Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota: Hard to Find Views (Part 4 of 4)

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View from the Sculpture’s Studio

In the last three blogs (part 1, part 2, and part 3), I featured my tourist photography on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. While I was pleased with the images thus far, I also wanted to find those unique angles that not everyone has already seen. So it was off to the Sculpture’s Studio (via the Presidential Trail) and Custer State Park for three more images.

The proposed but never finished Memorial

To summarize, when I’m on a photography shoot, I assume that I will not be returning to that place, so I shoot as often and as much as I can. I don’t want to leave a location thinking that I missed many great shots. I also know that no matter how often I attend a place, there is always more to see, more to photograph. But my “first-time eyes” see things differently, before I become jaded with the “been there, done that” bored mindset. I try to stay photographing until that “first-time wonder” fades.

Custer State Park

A day later and over 160 images later, I was ready to say goodbye to the Memorial. But as time fades and my wonder of the Memorial increases, I hope to photograph this sculpture again.

Finally, there are three reasons the Memorial was not completed: The first reason is in this blog, the second reason is in this blog. The third reason is due to the type of rock. It was not stable enough to continue the carving. If you know of other reasons, let me know.

And that’s how I spent my summer photo vacation–fourteen views later.

Custer State Park

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota: Context (Part 3 of 4)

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Mount Rushmore as seen on Needles Highway

In the prior blog, I focused on details of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. And the blog before that I talked about the importance of photographing a subject a lot and showed the Memorial at night.

Now I wanted to show the Memorial in a context.  As I mentioned before, in landscape photography, you want to highlight the subject as wide as you can and also focus on detail. Here, I’m going far wider here, introducing a context in which to appreciate the Memorial. The image above shows the bus and the Needles Highway (shown above) to show how large the sculpture is.

Grand View Terrace

Likewise, I used the crowd standing in the Grand View Terrace to show the mountain and Memorial size.The people give a sense of scale but also gives a sense to the viewer of how people are drawn to look and photograph both the Memorial and also use the Memorial background as a family portrait.

And my version of the iconic Memorial photo

There are three reasons the Memorial was not completed: The first reason was in the last blog. The second reason was the sculpture started this Memorial when he was 60 and after 14 years of work, he died. His son completed a small amount of work after his father’s death but it was stated that no one outside of the family could finish the sculpture.

Quick note: I am now on Facebook if you would like to read more about my activities.