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COLORADO FALL COLOR

Colorado Fall Color Photography Workshop

Sept. 26-29, 2024: NOW OPEN! |  Cost: 1,650 total

$450 due at registration | Remaining due 45 days prior 

Winding mountain roads, aspen filled valleys and bursts of orange and gold…. Fall color in Colorado is sure to inspire. But that’s not all this photography workshop is about. We will spend 4-days focusing on the dramatic scenery of the towering San Juan Mountains and surrounding landscapes. Home to the largest number of aspen trees in the country, the Telluride-Ridgway-Ouray area is one of the most inspiring places to shoot fall color and we will strike aspen gold in stunning artists’ light! In this Fall Color Photography Workshop, we will venture to less known locations to create original images.

Experience Level

Beginner - Advanced 

Both beginners & experienced photographers will benefit from this workshop. I will work closely with you to address  strengths and weaknesses. All can expect to be challenged.

Endurance 

Easy

All age levels are welcome on this photography workshop. We’ll drive to each location then walk to the best position for sunrise & sunset. *Reach out if you have limitations

Terrain

San Juan Mountains

We will be shooting gorgeous aspen valleys with majestic mountain backdrops. If we are lucky with the weather, we will get to snow on the peaks.

Group Size

10 people

I prefer to keep workshops small, ensuring that each person will have ample time for one-on-one instruction. This photography workshop is limited to 10 people. 

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COME HOME WITH SPECTACULAR WORKS OF ART 
 Unique Locations • Individual Instruction • Creative Editing • Portfolio Feedback Session 

I will guide you through 4 days of shooting sunrise/sunset in the San Juan Mountains near Ouray/Ridgway as we work on photography concepts — focusing on light, fall color, shadows, ridges, mountain vistas and much more.

 

We will stay at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs in Ouray and explore the surrounding area from there. Each trip out to shoot will be unique in its own way.

 

I will always be with the group providing thoughts, advice and real time critique as the light changes. I run my workshops the same way that I shoot personally. By keeping the group small we can react quickly to changing conditions and scout interesting locations.

MASTERING COLOR 

Colorado Fall Color Photography Workshop

Beyond the leaves... 

While the shimming colors of the aspen groves alone are worthy of a photo, we will focus on capturing fall color in a gorgeous mountain landscape that only Colorado can offer.

Years of Experience with Sony, Nikon, and Canon Gear 

Just imagine spending several days together one-on-one with one of the top photographer/teachers in the country. Dan is a gifted teacher, one with no agenda except what you want and need. He is generous with his knowledge and experience, sharing the best of both.

IN THE CLASSROOM 

We will be out shooting and exploring during sunrise and sunset to ensure we find the best conditions. During daytime hours we will have classroom time where we will focus on photography concepts and techniques. 

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Image Composition 

Learning how to compose an image is one of the most important elements of photography and probably one of the hardest to master. Starting with this class and continuing throughout the workshop, I will teach you simple and actionable skills that will help you find amazing compositions in any environment.

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Creative Editing

We will go through my editing process from beginning to end using a combination of mostly Lightroom with some fairly easy but extremely powerful Photoshop to finish it off. My editing method is very artistic and effective for beginners and advanced users alike. It is always one of the highlights of the workshop.

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Portfolio Feedback

Getting honest and constructive feedback about your images is extremely hard to find. At the end of every workshop I will dig into 15-20 of your best shots to give you insightful critique on how to improve. While these sessions are honest, I guarantee you will go away inspired with new ideas and thoughts on making great images.

Photography Workshop Schedule: 4-Days

 

On Thursday, we will start the workshop off at 1:00PM at the County Fairgrounds meeting space in Ridgway with an introduction, followed by a classroom session on light and composition. We will have a very early dinner at a small local restaurant before heading out to shoot sunset.

 

On Friday, we will rise before the sun to capture the best light over the rugged San Juan Mountains. After breakfast we will have a classroom session on image processing with Lightroom. The group will then take a short break before we head out to shoot for the evening light. We will enjoy dinner and conversation after sunset.

 

On Saturday, we will rise early again to shoot the morning sunrise. After breakfast and a short break, feedback session that will break down 15-20 of your best images and give you new ideas on how to improve. In the evening we will head out again to shoot our final sunset. 

On Sunday, we will spend our last shoot capturing sunrise and wrap up in the morning. 

* Exact schedule subject to change due to weather, good light, etc.

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Planning Your Trip to Ridgway, Colorado

Please note that transportation and accommodations for the Colorado Fall Color Photography Workshop are up to each individual participant.

 

Hotel: We will base out of Ouray at the Box Canyon Lodge.  After sign-up you will receive an email with more details on how to make your reservation (lodging is not included in workshop tuition).  

 

Car: If you won't have your personal vehicle, I highly recommend renting a vehicle so you can also explore on your own before/after the workshop. We will be carpooling in 3 vehicles during the workshop. ​

Flights: There is an airport in Montrose (45 min drive), Grand Junction (2 hours) and one in Telluride (1 hour) as well. Denver International Airport to Ridgway is about a 5-hour drive.

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TAKE IT EASY 
at the Ouray Box Canyon Lodge

We will base out of the Ouray Box Canyon Lodge, boasting mountain views and natural hot pools – perfect for downtime between class and shoots. After signup you will receive information on how to make your reservation under our group block.  

A Dynamic Mountain Landscape 

A dramatic section of the western Rocky Mountains, featuring deep valleys, mineralized volcanic peaks, old mines and several historic towns. The range spans across Telluride-Ridgway-Ouray and the continental divide with numerous jagged volcanic summits, 13 of which rise to over 14,000 feet!

What's Included in the Colorado Fall Color Photography Workshop: 

Instruction from Dan Ballard • Classroom Courses • Personal Feedback Session • Snacks and Water
Not Included: Flights, hotel, car and food.
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  • ABOUT BUYING NEW GEAR
    I always tell my students that you DO NOT need expensive gear to create excellent images. Great gear does make a difference in terms of technical quality, durability, ease of use and other factors and I advise using quality products, but creating a powerful, creative image is all about the photographer and the light. While I do recommend shooting with the best gear you can afford, keep in mind this is not the most important factor.
  • CAMERA GEAR
    Camera: (preferably a DSLR or a mirrorless with the ability to shoot raw) Lenses: My ideal setup for full frame is a16-35mm, 50mm, 70-200 or 300mm. If you own a 24-70 or equivalent that is fine. As long as you have something fairly wide and a telephoto. For DX or APS-C users, any combination of lenses that gets you from at least 18mm to 200mm. Preferably from 10mm to 200mm but if you don’t already own a wide angle don’t stress. Other: A sturdy outdoor tripod is a must! Also, plenty of digital memory, extra batteries & battery charger,
 lens cleaning cloth, camera bag that allows you to easily get to your gear. You may want to consider bringing a back up camera as well. Filters: The only filter that I consider a must have is a circular polarizer. While I don't use it often — when you need it you have to have it. There can also be situations where a 10 stop neutral density or variable ND (variable neutral density) can be very useful. This is definitely not something that is mandatory but could be useful on the workshop or shooting in general. I prefer the screw on circular polarizers and ND filters. I also carry a 3 stop soft graduated neutral density filter, and although I rarely use it these days — it can come in handy. If you don't already know what this is or how to use it, don't stress about bringing one. I prefer hand holding 4x6 inch grad ND filters.
  • OUTDOOR GEAR
    We will shoot rain or shine. A rainjacket is a must and a small travel umbrella is highly recomended. Layered clothing is super important for changing temperatures — early morning can be cold with afternoons getting very warm. Consider thin gloves, a hat, sturdy footwear and sunglasses. Also helpful to have is a flashlight, sunscreen, lip balm and bug spray. For more challenging or strenuous workshops, it is helpful but not mandatory to bring waterproof boots or gators. I don't personally usually use a camera cover (I prefer an umbrella) this is something you may want to bring along.
  • CLASSROOM
    Please bring a laptop computer with a card reader for the classroom portion of the workshop. It would be best to have Adobe Lightroom software installed. We will also spend a small amount of time with Adobe Photoshop if you want to have this installed as well to follow along. I use the Creative Cloud and purchasing the Lightroom/Photoshop package which is only $9.99 a month. If you use and prefer another editing program that is not a problem at all. You will still pick up a ton of new thoughts and ideas — much of the editing is focused on the artistic side of image processing. Also, if you don't have a laptop — don't stress. You will still benefit from the ideas shared in the courses. You are welcome to borrow a laptop or share with another student. If you prefer to take written notes, it is a good idea to bring along pen and paper.
  • CRITIQUE SESSION
    We will be critiquing images taken prior to the workshop, please inlcude a section of 15-20 of your favorite images you would like feedback on. We may also have a chance to critique some images taken during the workshop.
  • INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOPS
    You must have travel insurance for an international workshop. I recommend bringing quite a few snacks with you. Granola bars, jerky, nuts, etc. Be sure to see what kind of plug adaptor you will need for electronics. If you are signing up from outside of the US, please be aware of VISA requirements for the country of travel.
Have questions? Feel free to reach out.
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