Some more from the road trip as promised. We got to spend 2 days in the Black Hills National Forest in Southwestern South Dakota. I'm not sure how they got their name, probably because from a distance and approaching from the east they look Black. Likely due to the dense green pine forests contrasting with the amber waves of grain on the plains below. Just a WAG on my part but you never know.
Regardless the area is really pretty if you are into tall trees, lots of green and mans attempt to carve humongous statues out of mountains. The latter are actually quite impressive and more so when you understand their purpose like I blogged here and here.
All of these images were shot with HDR in mind. I hand held as it was just too hot and laborious to trek the trails with even a light tripod. They were all done RAW, EV was varied +/- 2 stops, merged and converted to HDR with Photomatix. Then they were adjusted further with Photoshop CS2 and further refined with the Virtual Photographer plug in.