Photographers from across the country capture the natural beauty of the Black Hills during last year's Black Hills Photo Shootout. There are still opening for this year's event which takes place this weekend.
The upcoming fourth annual Black Hills Photo Shootout, taking place this weekend, will host many of its workshops and classes on the Black Hills State University campus. Several of the workshops will be taught by BHSU photography instructors Steve Babbitt and Jerry Rawlings.

The Black Hills Photo Shootout brings photographers from across the country to South Dakota for photography, education, sightseeing, and camaraderie.  The photo shootout showcases the natural beauty of the Black Hills along with the expertise of highly-respected professional photographers.

According to Babbitt, BHSU professor of photography, the photo shootout is fun and educational for anyone. “It’s geared for people of all levels of expertise and seriousness, from the hobbyist to the professional.” Babbitt will be teaching several classes and workshops during the shootout, including an introduction to photography class and an introduction to Photoshop class. He will also be giving a workshop at Bear Butte, and one in Spearfish Canyon on photographing waterfalls and moving water.

Rawlings, assistant professor of mass communication, will also be teaching several classes and workshops during the shootout, including a photo tour of Black Hills back roads, a flash and fill flash workshop, and a class on studio lighting for still life.

The Black Hills Photo Shootout was started by the South Dakota Department of Tourism as a way to attract photographers and show off the beauty of the Black Hills. The state tourism department sponsored it for the first two years. The BHSU’s strong photography department and Outdoor Photo Workshops, a well-respected leader in professional photography instruction, have now taken over the coordination and development of the annual event.

Babbitt said last year more than 120 photographers from nearly 30 states attended the event. Registration for this year’s event is slightly above that, and photographers are still registering, according to Babbitt. Photographers can register until Friday by visiting outdoorphotoworkshops.com and clicking on Black Hills Photo Shootout.

Participants will have the opportunity to attend a keynote presentation by photographer Bill Fortney, four photography workshop sessions covering a wide variety of topics, and several other informative and social events throughout the weekend.

Fortney has had the opportunity to work with many talented professionals across America while covering events including shuttle launches, air races, air shows, The Masters, PGA Championships, NASCAR races, The Kentucky Derby, and The Breeder’s Cup. He has also worked with NFL teams, college sports programs, universities, colleges, major newspapers and magazines, law enforcement agencies, and many other professional photographers.

The weekend includes some in-studio classes as well as outdoor workshops at various Black Hills locations.

Babbitt said that they are once again offering scholarships for a few high school students to attend the photo shootout. “We pair them with a BHSU photography major, and they (the BHSU students) help make sure they get the most of the experience,” he said. Four students have received scholarships for the event—a Belle Fourche student, a Spearfish student, a student from Central High School in Rapid City, and a student from Stevens High School in Rapid City.

BHSU has a strong and growing mass communication program which includes an emphasis in photography. The Photography Department is made up of award-winning and nationally-recognized professors, and BHSU has among the finest darkroom and digital imaging facilities in South Dakota and the surrounding region with three black-and-white and color labs, a film developing area, and an imaging lab, according to Babbitt. BHSU also had $16,000 worth of professional desktop photo printers recently donated to them by Canon.

For additional details about the photo shootout visit www.thephotoshootout.com