Colorado Fall Color Photography Workshop

Sept. 24-26 2021 Cost: 1,275  


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 3-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.



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


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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 Unique Locations • Individual Instruction • Creative Editing • Portfolio Feedback Session 

I will guide you through 3 days of shooting sunrise/sunset in the San Juan Mountains in Ridgway as we work on photography concepts — focusing on light, fall color, shadows, ridges, mountain vistas and much more. We will stay at the Ridgway Lodge 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.


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.


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. 

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.

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.

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


On Friday, we will start the workshop off at 1:00PM at the Ridgway library 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 Saturday 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 Sunday, the mountain vistas will be beckoning us again to shoot the early morning sunrise. We will end with a critique session that will break down 15-20 of your best images and give you new ideas on how to improve. We will finish up around 11AM.

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: I have reserved a block of rooms at the Ridgway Inn located just minutes from town. After sign-up you will receive an email with information to confirm your stay. 


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 Grand Junction and one in Telluride as well. Denver International Airport to Ridgway is about a 5-hour drive.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions


(Lunch) Arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport and transfer to hotel, then go to have lunch at local restaurant, after we go to Phnom Penh city tour: Visit the National Museum, also called Musee des Beaux-Arts. A French archaeologist and painter, Georges Groslier, designed it in Khmer style in 1917. The museum contains a collection of Khmer art – notably sculptures – throughout the ages, visit as well the Central market then go on the boat for Sunset Cruise on the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers for one hour after go back to hotel. Accommodation at hotel.


(Breakfast / Lunch) Breakfast at hotel, and then depart from Phnom Penh to Battambang by overland transfer (290 km, 4-5 hrs drive). Stop to visit Phnom Udong where the ashes and born of ancient Khmer kings and Buddha were installed in a numerous Stupa. In the afternoon, you will drive to Battambang Province by private vehicle. Arrive Battambang go to Check In. Overnight at hotel in Battambang.


(Breakfast / Lunch) Breakfast at hotel drive along the picturesque Sangker River to Wat Slaket Pagoda, the residence of the provincial Buddhist patriarch continue to visit Wat Ek Phnom. Visit a market where Prahoc, the Cambodian fish paste, is made, lunch at local restaurant than visit the Provincial Museum (closed on Saturday/ Sunday) and the local market. Drive to Phnom Banon, with its five sandstone towers on top of a hill and enjoy a magnificent view of the surrounding plains until Sunset, back to hotel for refreshment, accommodation at hotel.


(Breakfast / Lunch) Breakfast at hotel, then departure from Battambang to Siem Reap via Sisophon by overland and go to visit the Khmer silk village of Phnom Srok “the little hill” and discover the whole process of transformation in the silk production – from the mulberry tree leaf to scintillating silk. Cambodia has several centuries of a strong silk tradition. However, silk production has encountered many difficulties in the last decades due to wars and population displacement. Most silk villages had to discontinue this handicraft, but Phnom Srok is the only area which has continuously maintained its knowledge and skills both in silkworm breeding and weaving. Huge rice paddy fields and a beautiful ornithological sanctuary border this islet of a few kilometers square. There, you will discover the skills of women who today are vigorously reviving these activities. Walking through “the trails of the golden silk” the visitor will encounter a quiet rural lifestyle, the beautiful traditional dwellings, the rice warehouses, the children’s curiosity and laughter, the smiles of the adults. Lunch at local restaurant in Sisophon after continue to Siem Reap. Arrive in Siem Reap town and transfer to hotel, accommodation at hotel.


(Breakfast / Lunch) Breakfast at hotel visit the Roluos Group the monuments of Roluos, which served as the capital of Indravarman I (reigned 877-89), are among the earliest large, permanent temples built by the Khmers and mark the beginning of Khmer classical art. Preah Ko erected by Indravarman I in the late 9th century dedicated by the King to his ancestors in 880. Bakong the largest and most interesting of the Roluos group temples, with his active Buddhist monastery just to the north of the east entrance. Lolei built on an islet in the center of a large reservoir (now rice fields) by Yasovarman I, the founder to the first city at Angkor, go for lunch at local restaurant, in the afternoon, and continue your temple tour. See the unique interior brick sculptures Prasat Kravan, the Srah Srang reservoir (known as “The Royal Baths” was once used for ritual bathing), Banteay Kdei (surrounded by 4 concentric walls), Eastern Mebon (guarded at its corner by stone figures of harnessed elephants, some of which are still in a reasonable state of preservation) and back to Prasat Bei port is located in the north of Phnom Bakheng south gate of Angkor Thom in TONLE OUM behind Prasat Bei, all guests departs from ports visits south gate of Angkor Thom and the wall along the Tonle Oum with listen our romantic traditional music and histories. We will stopover at Prasat Chrung visiting Tadev Hole and temple with Sunset after this we will go to the TAKAO PORT and the driver will pick up drive back to hotel for refreshment and overnight at hotel.


(Breakfast / Lunch) Breakfast at hotel drive to visit the South Gate (with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk), the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century), Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Lunch at local restaurant nearby Angkor Wat temple; visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat’s five towers symbolize Meru’s five peaks – the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Enjoy the sunset on Angkor Wat, Sunset at Angkor Wat, back to hotel and accommodation at hotel.


(Breakfast / Lunch) An early bird special transfer to the archaeological site for sunrise from Phnom Bakheng one of two hills dominating the plain of Angkor, from where you will have a spectacular view of the Western Baray and Angkor Wat than go for breakfast at local restaurant, morning transfer to Banteay Srei temple (10th century), regarded as the jewel in the crown of Classical Khmer Art. Continue to Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery, lunch at local restaurant and in the afternoon you continue your temple visits to Preah Khan. Built by the King Jayavarman VII, Preah Khan is, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulder hugging corridors. Unlike Ta Prohm, however, the temple of Preah Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts should maintain and even improve this situation. Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool (representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake), Ta Som and Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century. It consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompanied by two libraries, the southern example remarkably well preserved. Two concentric walls enclose the ensemble. Back to the city and accommodation at hotel.


(Breakfast / Lunch) Breakfast at hotel drive to Silk Farm of Puok, learn the different stages of the complex process of producing handmade silk. Then continue to Wat Inkosei built on the site of an ancient temple, which still remains and to Wat Bo pagoda to view its well-preserved paintings. You will also observe monks making the various moldings, which adorn the pagodas. Lunch at local restaurant then visit to “Les Artisans d’Angkor – Chantiers Ecoles” of Siem Reap free at own leisure at local market, accommodation at hotel.


(Breakfast / Lunch) Breakfast at hotel after go to visit the Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, and the Silver Pagoda. Located within the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90 kilograms and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha. Then continue to the notorious Tuol Sleng Museum (S 21 prisons). This former school was used as a prison by Pol Pot’s security forces and became the largest center for detention and torture during the rule of the Khmer Rouge, time at leisure at the Russian Market (Psah Tuol Thom Pong) Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon transfer to Phnom Penh International airport for flight departure back home.


(Breakfast / Lunch) Breakfast at hotel drive departure from Siem Reap to Kampong Thom, en route, visit traditional villages and stop at the ancient Naga Bridge (Spean Pratpo), located 40 km from Siem Reap. Arrive at Kampong Thom and continue to Sambor Prei Kuk, located 35km northeast of Kompong Thom. Visit the ancient capital of Chenla with its 100 temples dating from the Pre-Angkorian period. Return to Kompong Thom for lunch at local restaurant then departure from Kompong Thom to Phnom Penh, en route visit Wat Kohear Nokor (11th century). Arrive in Phnom Penh and check in at hotel.

Have questions? Feel free to reach out.
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