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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.

All age levels are welcome on this photography workshop. Light hiking in is involved, but nothing too strenuous. We’ll drive to each location then walk to the best position. *Reach out if you have any limitations.


Easy - Moderate


Field & Classroom

We will be in the field shooting for sunrise and sunset with classroom time & breaks during the day. Learn composition techniques, how to shoot fast- moving scenes in low-light, image editing & more

Summer Western Photography Workshop

 1,275 total ($475 deposit due at registration)
JUNE 23-24, 2023: SOLD-OUT!

Join me on a 2-day photography workshop to capture horses running and cowboy silhouettes with a gorgeous mountain backdrop.. Located in south-central Colorado, the Wet Mountain Valley may be the state's most beautiful and unspoiled mountain valley. In June it will be lush green with meandering streams. Spend Saturday morning and evening shooting at the picturesque ranch, a 4,000-acre working cattle ranch, with classroom time with Dan in-between. 


 Unique Locations • Individual Instruction • Creative Editing • Personal Feedback Session
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Colorado Horse Photography Workshop


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.

Majestic Mountain Backdrop Included

Rare do you find the opportunity to shoot a herd of horses running AND the perfect mountain backdrop.  

Years of Experience with Sony, Nikon, and Canon Gear 


Colorado Horse Ranches Photography Works

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.

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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

2 shoots at the ranch (with cowboys & horses)
2 classroom sessions (composition & editing)

On Friday, we begin at 4:30PM with an introduction, followed by a classroom session on light and composition. We will then go over individual camera settings to prepare for the morning horse shoot. Time for dinner after. 


On Saturday, we will spend the early morning capturing the cowboys and horses running at the ranch. There will be a break after, followed by a mid-day classroom session on image processing with Lightroom and image feedback session. We will head back out to the ranch and spend the evening shooting cowboys and horses during sunset. 


On Sunday, check-out with an optional 4-hour horseback ride at the ranch (+$185)

Planning Your Trip: Hotel & Transportation

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


Hotel: We have reserved a block of rooms at the Lampost Lodge, located just outside in the small town of Westcliffe, Colorado. After sign-up you will receive an email with information about confirming your stay. 

Car:  We will carpool to the ranch for the morning and evening shoots. 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. Driving conditions will consist mainly of paved roads, so a standard car should be sufficient. 

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. 


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 hoses 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.

What's Included in the Colorado Ranches Photography Workshop: 

Instruction from Dan Ballard • Classroom Courses • Personal Feedback Session • Running of Horses • Authentic Colorado Ranch Experience • Snacks and Water
 Not included: flights, hotel, car and food 

"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!"

Have questions? Feel free to reach out.
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