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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 - Moderate

All age and physical ability levels are welcome on this photography workshop. Some walking is involved, but nothing too strenuous. Most of the sessions will happen within about 500ft from the main area. 

Group Size 

25
 

I normally hold 3 day western workshops with a max of 10 people. They are around $1500. This class is my attempt to get people out shooting at the ranch for less! We have plenty of time and space to make this a great experience even with the bigger group. 

A Day at the Ranch - Western Photography
Workshop!

 $400 total
September 7, 2024
Filling Extremely Fast! (only 5 spots left!) 

Join me on this 1-day photography workshop at a stunning CO mountain ranch! Capture real cowboys and running horses with gorgeous peaks as a backdrop! Located in south-central Colorado, near Westcliffe, the Wet Mountain Valley is one of the state's most beautiful and unspoiled areas. 

We spend the first 3 hours of this workshop at the ranch in "class" (without riders) working on camera settings, ideas and general info on how to create better images. Dan will go around and work with everyone one-on-one to make sure your camera is setup perfectly for the evening shoot, and to make sure you know how to get your camera setup correctly on your own in the future.

 

About 2.5 hours before the sunset when the light starts to get nice, the real fun begins. We will start shooting our riders (cowboys and cowgirls) getting saddled up, posing in the barn and after, running towards us and on the hills in front of the awesome peaks behind the ranch!  

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COME HOME WITH SPECTACULAR WORKS OF ART 

Colorado Horse Photography Workshop

MASTERING MOVEMENT

In this photography workshop, Dan will share methods for capturing the rapid movement of running horses, while focusing on the composition of the cowboys and landscape. This will include composing on the move, setting up your camera, lighting conditions, safety, how to approach ranchers for permission to shoot on their land and editing western images. He will always be with the group providing thoughts, advice and real time critique as the light changes.

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Majestic Mountain Backdrop Included

Rarely do you find the opportunity to shoot real cowboys with the perfect mountain backdrop!

Years of Experience with Sony, Nikon, and Canon Gear 

Photography Workshop Schedule

2pm to 5pm

Both group and hands on instruction. We will be outside at the ranch around the barn and corrals. Dan will give several talks and assignments on shooting western photos and photography in general, mixed with the group having time to wonder around and shoot while practicing what you have learned. 

5pm to 5:30pm

Time off for for food. We are keeping this very simple and asking everyone to bring a sack lunch. We will have water and snacks available as well. 

5:30pm to 8pm

Shooting horses and riders through sunset! This will be the highlight of the day, where are cowboys and cowgirls will "work" the horse heard, run towards us and walk along the hills in front of the mountains. We will finish at sunset. 

Planning Your Trip: Hotel & Transportation

Please note that transportation and accommodations are NOT included and is up to each individual participant.

 

Hotel: If you choose to stay the night there are several hotel options in the nearby town of Westcliffe (about 20 minutes from the ranch). There are also options in the very cool town of Salida about an hour away. 

Flights: The Colorado Springs airport is the closest and is about a 2 hour drive from Westcliffe. You can also fly into the Denver airport which is a 2.5 hour drive. 

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Authentic Ranch Experience

The Ranch is located in Westcliffe, Colorado at the base of the breathtaking Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. Dan works directly with the owner and ranch hands to coordinate photoshoots during the best light. Thanks to years of experience directing horses and setting up scenes, Dan is able to lead the group in capturing incredible moments with ease.  These scenes are typically challenging to create on your own, due to the nature of western photography.

As a family-owned and operated working cattle ranch, the property sits on 4,000-acres of conservation easement through the San Isabel Land Protection Trust. It has been family owned and operated since Bill Parker purchased it in 1968, and it is their intention to keep it as a working cattle ranch in perpetuity. It was recognized early on the importance of stewarding the grass and the ranch continues to follow these guidelines today.

"Dan’s workshop was the best I have ever taken! It answered all my questions and then some. I so appreciated his patience with me and learning how to use my camera settings properly. I think I finally got it. It was so helpful having the cameras set for shooting the next day. Most of all, Dan was so patient, kind and giving with the whole group. We were all cohesive and had a really fun time with each other."

"I enjoyed [the workshop] a great deal and learned a lot. I feel that I improved both my photography skills and my editing skills. The post-processing techniques that you showed us in Lightroom for the intimate landscapes we were shooting were a real “game changer” for me and I’m looking forward to trying them on my photos. I love it when I come away from a workshop so excited about photography and trying new things!"

SIGNUP
  • 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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