Sandra Lee Photography presents … SOUTH DAKOTA – A Photographic Workshop


Beyond the Bus -


South Dakota's Hidden Photographic Jewels”


Oct 3 – 4, 2021


You must be a PSA member to attend this Festival Pre-trip.

Visit HERE to find out more about and how to join the Photographic Society of America (PSA).


Workshop leader – Sandy Zelasko




Badlands National Park, South Dakota INTRODUCTION


"South Dakota's Hidden Photographic Jewels" will take you to locations BEYOND where tour buses go! This two-day photographic workshop is being offered to PSA members who are looking for an opportunity to photograph with professional photographer and workshop leader Sandy Zelasko at locations in and around Badlands National Park.  Join Sandy and experience the photographic gems that call South Dakota home.


We will spend each day in the field creating, learning and experiencing the vast riches which the Great Plains have to offer. Once the site of an ancient sea, eroded canyons and isolated buttes stand as testament to the power of wind and water. Agile bighorn sheep, pronghorn and American bison browse immense grasslands as least chipmunks and black-tailed prairie dogs go about their kindred responsibilities in their intricate burrows.


There is something for every nature photographer. From seductive landscapes to lovable critters and a dash of history to boot! We hope you will make this journey with us.


Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep rams, Badlands National Park, South Dakota



The workshop begins early Sunday, October 3, 2021 with a 5:00 AM departure and ends Monday, October 4, 2021 at 8:00 PM. You will return to Rapid City each evening. Photographers of all levels are encouraged to participate but you must be a current member of PSA. Find out how to join HERE. Easy to moderate access to all locations.


All transportation during the workshop is included. Pick up and drop off at the Best Western Ramkota Inn at 2111 N Lacrosse St, Rapid City, SD 57701 will be provided both days. We will be traveling in a 15 passenger van with a limit of 10 participants. Required minimum participants: 6. (If you are planning to attend the PSA Festival Chuckwagon Supper & Music Show on Monday, October 4th, arrangements can be made to drop you off at the Best Western in time for the event.)


Please plan to arrive and check into your hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota, in time for a good night’s sleep before our workshop begins. Our schedule is action packed but will include a midday lunch break in the field (box lunch included).


Participants will receive tips and information on how to best prepare for the workshop in advance. Current Covid-19 regulations will be followed and participant safety is of the utmost importance. In addition, participants will receive a detailed copy of our schedule on the first morning. Note, the itinerary will be flexible in response to weather, lighting, availability of wildlife, client safety or any unforeseen conditions which may arise. 


You are responsible for transportation to and from Rapid City, SD. You can reserve and pick up a rental car at the airport in Rapid City, SD if you are flying in for the workshop. Rapid City (RAP) is a convenient airport with many rental cars companies. Book early if you need transportation beyond what is included in this workshop.


Rapid City, SD is a large town with grocery stores, fuel (unleaded & diesel), lodging and many eateries. Your trip leader recommends taking advantage of the offer PSA has secured at Best Western Ramkota Inn at 2111 N Lacrosse St, Rapid City, SD 57701 for your lodging. Visit HERE to learn more about the 82nd Annual PSA Photo Festival immediately following this workshop.


A typical day will go something like this: Meet before civil twilight to photograph sunrise, scenery and wildlife in the area. Depending on what we find, we may stay in a location a significant length of time before moving on to the next scheduled spot. We will break for lunch at a location in the field and then resume photographing until twilight. There is no night photography scheduled for this workshop but you may wish to include this opportunity in a dark sky region. Suggestion: If photographing the night sky, use foreground objects to add scale and content to your image!   


Plan your breakfasts to go and have snacks available if desired. Your host will have water and a boxed lunch (of your choice) each day. Plan carefully as we may not have access to a store or a restaurant on our route. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. Bring a refillable water bottle.


Tripods are highly recommended. If this workshop is canceled by Sandra Lee Photography it will be refunded. No refunds or cancellations due to weather conditions.  (We want dramatic weather don't we?) No refunds for cancellations after September 15, 2021.



Locations on our list to photograph: South Dakota/North Dakota with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto, Sept 2016.

  • Landscapes of Sage Creek Rim Road
  • Robert’s Prairie Dog Town
  • Grassland wildlife 
  • Buffalo Gap National Grasslands
  • The ghost town of Scenic
  • Sheep Mountain Table (if road conditions permit)
  • Red Shirt Table
  • Historic town of Wall
  • And much more!



DISCLAIMER: This workshop is designed for the nature photographer. We will spend time in areas with the best photographic possibilities. Conditions in the field will vary. There will be a minimal amount of easy hiking on boardwalks, over rocky areas but mostly on level, well-worn paths. We will photograph breathtaking landscapes and wildlife such as bighorn sheep, prairie dog, pronghorn, American bison, mule deer, birds, flora and more. We will concentrate on getting the best possible images while adhering to responsible wildlife guidelines set forth by the National Park Service.



South Dakota/North Dakota with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto, Sept 2016. DETAILS


INVESTMENT: $495.00 per person, two days – Maximum participants: 10. Required minimum participants: 6. (In the event the minimum is not met, the workshop will be cancelled and refunds will be given.)


Start date/time: October 3, 2021, 5:00 AM      

End date/time: October 4, 2021, 8:00 PM


Deposit: Workshop payment of $495.00 in full to hold a spot in this workshop. Make your payment out to Sandra Lee Photography and mail to 15864 Severino Lane, Valley Center, CA 92082 or call 760-749-2174 to process your credit card. Visa, MasterCard, check, money order and PayPal are all acceptable forms of payment.


What is included:

  • Trip leader/instructor, Sandy Zelasko, who will work to get you in the right place at the right time for stunning imagery.
  • Day long field sessions, personal photographic instruction.
  • Transportation both days of the workshop. Pickup and drop off at Best Western Ramkota morning and evening.
  • Entrance fees to Badlands National Park.
  • 25+ years of instructional experience, insured, licensed, CPR/AED/First Aid certified and a National Park permit holder.
  • Box lunch and water during the workshop. (Please bring a reusable water bottle.) Your choice of roast beef, turkey wrap or vegetarian wrap. Please specify.
  • An enthusiastic, passionate and experienced nature photographer pro at your side!

Not included:

  • Lodging, airfare to/from Rapid City, SD.
  • Trip insurance with the option of Covid-19 cancellation coverage. You are encouraged to purchase trip insurance in case of an unforeseen emergency which requires you to cancel.

Cancellation policy: 

  • Cancellation on or before September 15, 2021 is refundable less a $50 processing fee.
  • Cancellations after September 15, 2021 are non-refundable.


South Dakota/North Dakota with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto, Sept 2016.




To help plan your trip, visit the Badlands National Park website at Workshop dates were selected so that participants may have an opportunity to explore additional attractions in and around the Black Hills of South Dakota or attend the 82nd Annual PSA Photo Festival immediately following the workshop.


South Dakota/North Dakota with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto, Sept 2016. Below are a few helpful links for planning your trip.


Lodging suggestions:

  • Best Western Ramkota Inn, Rapid City - Book by using the link HERE for the best rates.

Additional attractions in the Black Hills region:


Any questions? Please feel free to call Sandy at 760-749-2174. Thank you for considering Sandra Lee Photography for your next photography workshop adventure! We know there are many photography workshops to choose from. You will find our small class size leaves time for enhanced personal attention and photographic discussion. Please visit for more information.

Sandy Zelasko, DBA Sandra Lee Photography is an authorized permittee with the National Park Service and maintains a CUA Permit in Badlands National Park for the purpose of field guided photography instruction.




Badlands National Park, South Dakota Town of Scenic, Badlands National Park, South Dakota



















South Dakota/North Dakota with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto, Sept 2016. Badlands National Park, South Dakota





















South Dakota/North Dakota with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto, Sept 2016. South Dakota/North Dakota with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto, Sept 2016.






















Thunderstorm, Badlands National Park, South Dakota Long-billed curlew, Badlands National Park, South Dakota