No trip to Southwestern South Dakota would be complete without a visit to Mount Rushmore. Is there anything else in South Dakota?

Anyway, pay the $10, walk up to the monument viewing area, and take a photo. I’m a tourist and I’ done.  Time for lunch.

The monument viewing area provides for a great place to capture the four presidents. This image is shot from a side viewing area that all the tourists seem to ignore.

To spice it up a bit, making the photo something more than a tourist snapshot, I shot the presidents with  flags in front. I really shouldn’t talk about shooting presidents, so I’ll only photograph them.

I angled my camera in such a way that my image did not include tourist heads.

This is a nice change of pace. But what can we do to make it even more interesting. We decided to take a much less traveled route to Mount Rushmore, traveling down one-lane roads with many hairpin turns. Every so often we would come to a tunnel (these tunnels are barely one car width). When we looked through the tunnel to make sure there were no cars coming at us, we noticed something very interesting. Presidents!

They are so small but if you look carefully you can see all four presidents.

Adding some context (motorcyclists) spices up the picture a bit.

We’d drive a little more and reach another tunnel.

We are quite a bit closer which allows for the presidents to be larger in the image. I like the tunnel framing them.

Again, to add some perspective and additional interest, I included a silhouette of a car (SUV).

And then we got to the last tunnel.

Ever to contortionist, Kas makes sure se gets the perfect angle. I was getting bored of taking photos of presidents through a tunnel – this subject was far more interesting, don’t you think?

Then, with Mount Rushmore looming, we stopped on the side of the road, scaled a rocky hill, and took this shot.

The side of the road wasn’t good enough. We had to scale rocks to get to an optimal position – so the noses don’t touch! Kas was right, of course.

Now we have interesting shots of a very common scene. The goal is to make the common, uncommon.

Remember, it’s all about the light!