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BACK ROADS

CRESTED BUTTE 

Crested Butte "Back Roads" Photography Workshop

Aug 2-4, 2024 | NOW OPEN!
Price: 1,400 total  [$400 due at registration]

Join Dan for a 3-day photography workshop in the charming small town of Crested Butte, tucked away in the remote Elk Mountain Range. Old mining roads from the late 19th century make this the ideal place to explore and find unique landscapes in Colorado’s backyard. We’ll take the back roads to photograph crystal clear alpine lakes, aspen groves, rugged mountain vistas and lush green vegetation. This is a Colorado photography workshop you don't want to miss! 

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 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.

Curriculum

Field & Classroom

We will be in the field shooting for sunrise and sunset with classroom time & breaks during the day. Learn composition techniques, adv camera settings, image editing & more! 

Group Size

7-10 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. 

COME HOME WITH WORKS OF ART 

 Unique Locations • Individual Instruction • Creative Editing • Portfolio Feedback Sessions 
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Capture Rugged Mountain Landscapes

-  what to expect  -

We will be shooting in exciting and beautiful locations. But we will also working nonstop to improve your photography skills, from the technical how to side of creating sharp images to composition theory to image editing. 

We will stay at the Nordic Inn where we will have classroom time and explore the surrounding area from there. Our goal is to capture each scene in the best light, which means we will be out early for sunrise and again for sunset. 

 

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.

Years of Experience with Sony, Nikon, and Canon Gear 

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.

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"Dan led us off the beaten path taken by other photographers, with spectacular results. His enthusiasm is infectious."

"I learned a ton on the workshop and the scenery was absolutely spectacular! Your workshop was well-organized and it's amazing just how much we packed into those three days."

I have been shooting for 30 years and one day with Dan has literally changed the way I shoot, select and edit and my photos forever. He is honest, down-to-earth, amazingly knowledgable, helpful and generous with his guidance” -Karen Berman 

Photography Workshop Schedule

 

On Friday, we will start the workshop off at 2:30PM at the Nordic Inn with an introduction, followed by a classroom session on light and composition. We will have an early dinner at a local restaurant before heading out to shoot sunset.

 

On Saturday, we will rise before the sun to capture the best light over the peaks. After breakfast and a short break, we will have a classroom session on image processing with Lightroom. Then we will go out for any early dinner followed by the evening photoshoot. 

 

On Sunday, the mountain vistas will be beckoning us again to shoot the early morning sunrise. We will end with a feedback 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.

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

Please note that transportation and accommodations for the Crested Butte Back Roads Photography Workshop are up to each individual participant.

Hotel: We have a block of rooms held for our group at the Nordic Inn on Mt. Crested Butte during the workshop dates. After sign-up you will receive more information. 

Car: We will coordinate having 4WD vehicles for carpooling to our locations during the workshop. You will need to arrange your own transportation to/from the workshop - most people rent a vehicle at Gunnison Airport or drive themselves. 

Flight: The closest nearby airport is in Gunnison, about half an hour drive from Crested Butte. You can also fly into Denver, which is about a 4-hour drive to Crested Butte. 

Planning Your Photo Trip 

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About Crested Butte, Colorado

"An historic coal mining turned ski town; Crested Butte is a place that lives and breathes outdoor adventure where the only limits are your own. An authentic destination, where crowds don't exist, zany, festive community events are a priority, and genuine family adventure awaits. With vibrant Victorian store-fronts and expressive local characters, Crested Butte remains true to its heritage and radiates an unparalleled welcoming and inviting spirit that will take you back to a simpler life and time." [Mentioned by coloradoski.com]

What's Included in the Crested Butte Photography Workshop: 

Instruction from Dan Ballard • 4WD Vehicles • Classroom Courses • Portfolio Feedback Sessions • Snacks and Water
 Not Included: flights, hotel, food, transit to/from the workshop
SIGN-UP CB

Operating under a Special Use Permit on the Gunnison National Forest. Dan Ballard Photography is an equal opportunity service provider.

  • 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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