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colorado winter

Colorado Winter Photography Workshop
Ridgway, Colorado 

February 3-5, 2023: FULL (waitlist)
Cost: 1,200 total ($400 deposit due at sign-up)

Join us on a 3-day winter photography workshop and learn to capture massive snow-capped peaks and stunning intimate scenes around the San Juan Mountains. If you love Colorado in the summer, prepare to be blown away by winter. We will base out of one of the most incredible areas in the state for photography and shoot along quiet county roads during sunset and sunrise - with classroom time during the day. There are endless photographic opportunities unique to this time of year!

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Gorgeous Mountain Backdrop

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!

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


Field & Classroom

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

Photo Workshop Schedule

On Friday, we will start the workshop off at 1:00PM at the hotel with an introduction followed by a classroom session on light and composition. The group will be in the field for sunset then have dinner at a local restaurant in Ridgway after shooting.


On Saturday, we will rise before the sun to capture the gorgeous morning light. After breakfast we will have some time off followed by a classroom session on image processing with Lightroom. The group will then head out to shoot for the evening light. Time for dinner after sunset.


On Sunday, the San Juans 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 conditions.


Planning Your Trip to Ridgway, CO

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


Hotel: We will base out of the Chipeta Lodge & Resort in Ridgway for the workshop dates ($340 total with tax/fees). An email on how to confirm your stay will be sent after sign-up. You are welcome to book your stay elsewhere if preferred, and use the lodge as a meeting place. 

Car: We will be carpool in 2-3 vehicles during the workshop to each location. If you won't have your personal vehicle, I highly recommend renting a vehicle OR there are several shuttle services from the Montrose airport. 

Flights: The closest major airport is either Colorado Springs or Denver, with smaller airport options at Montrose (closest), Gunnison or Telluride.

WINTER CONDITIONS: Like every winter destination, there is the possibility of a snowstorm affecting plans. If the workshop is not possible due to inclement weather, we will officially reschedule. Your payment will be transferable to the new date or any future workshop.  Please make travel arrangements with this in mind. 

Cozy Warm Stay 


We will base out of the Chipeta Lodge & Resort, the perfect Rocky Mountain getaway destination. Think cozy Western-style rooms with a log cabin allure. Stay under our group reservation (2 nights) or book independently. 


      + $340 total with taxes/fees

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Dan will share his expertise during the 3 days of shooting sunrise and sunset at the base of the San Juan Mountains. You will work on photography concepts — focusing on light, simplicity, composition, focus stacking and more. He will always be with the group providing thoughts, advice and real time critique as the light changes.


With years of experience shooting with Nikon, Sony and Canon, Dan will be a resource in the field and the classroom. By keeping the group small we can react quickly to changing conditions and scout interesting locations.



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. 

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.

 "Dan is an excellent teacher. His class was probably the best educational investment that I have made for my photography." 
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What's Included in the Colorado Winter Photography Workshop: 

Instruction from Dan Ballard • Classroom Courses • Personal Feedback Session •  Snacks and Water
 Not included: Flights, Car Rental or Food 
Cost of Lodging is separate (+$340 or booked independently) 

“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. I have had several teachers and mentors along the way, but Dan brought these keys points to light better than anyone else.  Dan is honest, down-to-earth, amazingly knowledgable, helpful and generous with his guidance."

"Dan Ballard has a keen eye for great landscape photography and experience in capturing it, HOWEVER, it is his determination to match to the student’s level to share his in-depth knowledge in teaching it to others that was the highlight of the weekend. He was very patient with each student and took interest in each individual’s needs and level of experience."

“I wasn't impressed with my images until I took them into Lightroom and edited them as you suggested and  I am thrilled with the end product. Wow! I have had so many great comments on my photos. You were a great teacher as well as being a fantastic photographer. That's a rare combination."

"I consider myself an advanced beginner but despite taking a lot of pictures and watching many hours of YouTube videos, most of my work looked more like “snapshots” instead of photographs. The workshop filled in many of the gaps that I just hadn’t been able to figure out on my own. Dan’s artistic and technical expertise, patience, and ability to recognize the difficulties I was having, explain why I was having them, and provide instant solutions to those problems were invaluable."

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