We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best Lighting Conditions for Photo's at Mt. Rushmore

Burleson, Texas
Level Contributor
75 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
Best Lighting Conditions for Photo's at Mt. Rushmore

Howdy All,

We will be coming in the middle to end of September, and both my Wonderful Wife and I are avid amateur photographers and we were wondering which time of day would be the best for the best pictures.

We'd also like to do the Evening Presentation, and we'll be staying in Keystone so making a trip out there early won't be a problem.

Also, if anyone has any special places to see and shoot we'd love to hear about them.

Kindest Regards, and Can't wait for the Travelin' to Begin!!!

Craig

Denver, CO
Level Contributor
391 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best Lighting Conditions for Photo's at Mt. Rushmore

Hi Craig-

Mt. Rushmore faces SE. You should be able to get excellent lighting at sunrise, depending on how the cloud cover works out. During mid-day, the lighting will be flat (as with any landscape photography). At sunset, the faces are in shadow -- hard to do much with that unless you're amazing or there's an amazing sunset. :)

Make sure you have a tripod for the night ceremony. I did some shots at night there in 2008. Using only the floodlights from the base of the mountain, I was shooting at f5.6, 2.5 seconds at ISO 400 (what did we ever do without EXIF info?). This was with a Nikon D80. They came out fine, but I can buy post cards of that shot for 25 cents.

For the more unique shots, plan on doing some hiking. There are trails where you can get some shots from the side, etc. There are also some shots that can be had from the roads in the area that will give you a different perspective of the mountain. One of the most popular shots (and it's difficult to execute) is the shot of Mt. Rushmore through the tunnel on Iron Mountain Road. If you're into really long-lens stuff, I might recommend a trip to the Mt. Coolidge fire lookout. Mt. Coolidge is quite a distance from Rushmore, but it's the only easily accessible place I know of where you can see both Rushmore and Crazy Horse from the same place. Haze usually renders good long-distance photography ineffective, but it's worth the trip if you have the time.

One thing to keep in mind is that Mt. Rushmore is one of the most over-photographed places in the U.S., so it's hard to do anything new.

The whole area is a photographer's paradise, though. I would recommend spending some time in Custer State Park and by all means, drive the Wildlife Loop. And don't be afraid to get off the beaten track a bit. Some of the best scenery is on dirt roads where most of the tourists never go (just respect the "No Trespassing" signs and fences of the local land owners and you'll be fine).

Hope this helps. How long will you be staying there?

-Rob

Burleson, Texas
Level Contributor
75 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best Lighting Conditions for Photo's at Mt. Rushmore

Howyd Rob,

Thanks so very much for all your wondeful and helpful advice.

We plan to stay about 4 days in the area, and have looked hard at

the Roosevelt and KBarS Hotel.

A lof of great info and I think will really afford us a lot of beautiful things

to see and shoot.

With us staying in Keystone, we should be able to get to Mt. Rushmore in a short amount of time, and back easily at night.

Also, great info about the settings for the Night Shooting, and I'll definitely have my tripod in the Truck<G>.

Really interested in all the Scenic Drives and especially Custer State Park and Wildlife

Drives.

Thanks again so much Rob, appreciate!!!

Take Care,

Craig

Edited: 11:39 pm, March 13, 2010
Rapid City, South...
Level Contributor
502 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best Lighting Conditions for Photo's at Mt. Rushmore

Sylvan Lake is a lovely place for photographs as well.

Burleson, Texas
Level Contributor
75 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best Lighting Conditions for Photo's at Mt. Rushmore

Howdy Lorhs,

Thanks very much for you reply, and suggestion.

We've looked into the Slyvan Lake area, and have seen some stunning images from

there, so that's on our list now as well.

Thanks so much for the suggestion!!!

Take care,

Craig

Edited: 1:00 pm, March 14, 2010
5. Re: Best Lighting Conditions for Photo's at Mt. Rushmore

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:16 am, September 11, 2010