31 January 2015

My upcoming class "Photoshop Basics for Photographers" in western North Dakota

If you're in the Dickinson, North Dakota area, consider signing up for class. I'm teaching Photoshop Basics for Photographers. 2 pm to 3:30 pm, Saturdays 14, 21 and 28 February and 7 March.



darla hueske photoshop photographer


14 January 2015

Snow What! No Need to Hibernate

As winter solstice slides us into the deep winter months, gray skies and colds temps don’t need to drop us into hibernation. Some of the most exhilarating outdoor adventures can be found when snow is knee deep and temperatures nip the single digits. So, grab your poles and head for the hills.
Snow pack roads are still drivable. Just take it slower.

When planning for an off-road winter trek, prepare for an early start since days are short and hiking or skiing in snow can be long.
Getting away from the Bakken oil trucks is a great reason to retreat to the backcountry.

Always check weather and road conditions for your entire route. In north country, it can be sunny and calm in one area and whiteout blizzard conditions a mere thirty miles away.
The surprise of deer, antelope or buffalo is always exciting.

Snowshoeing the rolling hills of western North Dakota can feel like most mountainous areas and is the best way to discover the surprises of winter environments.
Early morning snow hikes offer beautiful diamonds.

But, cold temperatures and snow present very vigorous challenges. If a three-mile hike is a cinch in the summer, be sure to double or triple the time for a winter hike. Loose snow and ice can slow down even the most ardent hiker.

Hiking or backcountry skiing in extreme weather demands proper equipment. Invest in good equipment and dress like an onion with plenty of layers.

Though it feels frigid at the trailhead, your body starts to generate heat after just 10 to 15 minutes of walking, especially if you've chosen a strenuous trail. Dressing in layers will allow you to balance your internal temperatures by adding or removing hat, gloves or jacket. When you get indoors, your body will be ready to handle the warm air.
A breathable ski mask is preferred. Try to find a wicking material that won't crystalize in cold temperatures.

While no trek is the same, neither is a trekker's favorite gear. But, there are basic items that every winter hiker should have before hitting the trail. Winter hikers invest in high-quality foundation items.
A good pair of water proof snowshoes is a must.

Start with a good pair of snow boots that are fitted to snowshoes that support your weight. Add another layer of protection with knee-high gaiters.

Next, keep your body warm with wicking underwear, another layer of breathable clothing and top with waterproof trousers, Finally, an insulated jacket system with an inner and outer jacket, hiking poles, warm hat, liner gloves with outer-gloves or mittens, and goggles or polarized sunglasses.
Skis, backpack, hats.
Any off-trail hikes, snowshoed or not, are likely to be rigorous, especially in deep, powdery snow, If the going gets tough, be prepared to turn around. Focus on the entire adventure, not just a destination or trails end.
Extraordinary landscapes of western North Dakota
On the trail, you want to hydrate with water or electrolytes. After the hike, a local micro brew or warm drink is a welcomed warmer-upper.

Everything tastes better after a hike.

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A vigorous hike deserves a delicious reward. Treat yourself to a great meal. Plan to visit your favorite spot to fill you up with comfort food. Whether it is a cozy bar with great burgers, or a lively pizza hangout, find a place where you don’t have to worry about your appearance or aroma.

After coming in from the cold, it is tempting to chow down on everything. But, keep your food and alcohol intake in moderation.

Hiking in the cold will dehydrate you and it is easy for your body to cramp up. A good serving of water will hydrate you and open your appetite for a meal well deserved.


Western North Dakota is geared for the outdoors, so it is easy to find a great pub that serves up delicious comfort food and award winning regional micro brewed beers.

15 November 2014

Ribbon at the Badlands Regional Art Show

Last week, the 40th Annual Badlands Regional Art Show took place. There were many delightful entries from beautiful oil paintings to dimensional sculpture.

As part of a class requirement, I asked my university senior art students to enter the show. In the spirit of collaboration, I agreed that I would enter two of my photographs. It was fun to walk through the exhibit and find a 3rd place ribbon on my photograph.
"Raking in In" took 3rd place out of more than 40 photography entries
This is a photo of movement of the hay rake. I took the picture this summer as the guys were preparing to bale hay. I was out early one summer morning taking pictures when I saw them baling hay. I decided to watch and take some shots as they rounded the field. I stood right inline with the tractor and rake as my nephew passed by me and my camera. No long lens. This is either a testament to trust or stupidity.

01 November 2014

The Veil is Lifted. Embrace Your Shadow.

Modern Halloween is often associated with the Celtic festival of Samhain. Whether you celebrate Halloween or Samhain, in the northern hemisphere, the holiday heralds the end of autumn and signals the dark days of winter. 

Spirits. Souls. Sparks. 

The belief is that during Samhain, the living could visit with the dead and the dead could walk among the living. Other celebrations such as All Souls Day and Día de Muertos honour loved ones who passed from the earth. We were all born and one day we will all die, these celebrations of death help us acknowledge and internalize the beauty of death so that we can live our lives with more awareness and meaning. Our soul’s desire is to live and create. 

Self. Shadow. Source. 

As the winds of autumn flutter open the thin veil between worlds, it is a time of extraordinary opportunity to explore your shadow side: the parts you keep hidden, the qualities, behaviours, and motivations that may be difficult for you to acknowledge. Your shadow separates you from your full Self, your creative source, your muse. Connect with your shadow. Ignite your muse. Take this time to rest, meditate and gather your creative fertility, embrace your shadow self and live like you’re going to die.

17 August 2014

Emotion, Commotion, Motion

Sadness.
   Depression.
     Loneliness.
We are all on this path together, yet in our own individual ways.
We walk.
We rest.
We move ahead, or not.
Ultimately, it is our choice.

05 August 2014

Western Desert of Egypt

The White Desert:

The White Desert in western Egypt is stark, stunning and fascinating. Rock formations jut out from a stark white landscape. The formations are a combination of chalk and limestone shaped by wind erosion. Large balls of stone balance precariously on columns.
The most photographed formation in the White Desert of Egypt: Chicken and Mushroom. These formations are quite tall. The "chicken" is almost 2 metres high.

Hot Springs Oasis 

There is nothing more healing then the hot springs in the western desert of Egypt. One of the advantages of owning your own jeep, you can get to some of these secluded hot springs.
Remote hot springs in the oasis of Egypt

Agriculture Valley in the Desert

Dakhla Oasis (الداخلة ] called the inner oasis, is one of the seven oases of Egypt's Western Desert (part of the Libyan Desert). Dakhla is organized around the main town of Mut, a settlement that dates back to pharaonic times. Dakhla sits in a depression surrounded by pink cliffs and sand dunes.
There are about 30,000 acres of cultivated land. The farmers constantly fight the battle of the dunes that threaten their fields and orchards. The fields and gardens are filled mostly with mulberry trees, date palms, figs and other citrus fruits.
Dakhla Oasis الداخلة Farming

09 May 2014

Teaching What I Know

In September 2013, I returned to the states because I was hired to teach Graphic Design courses in the Department of Fine & Performing Arts at Dickinson State University. It is an exciting new direction for me.
This week is the final week of Spring Semester 2014. It is also the our department’s art show. It was very exciting to be part of DSU’s Visual Arts Faculty Show. I designed the postcard announcement for the show.
Visual Art Faculty Art Show Postcard Announcement
I presented two of my images from Dark Night of the Soul Series
Darla Hueske with photographic series in DSU Art Gallery.