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Photo Workshops in Colorado

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Colorado Photography Festival

Nature Photography Classes

The Workshops - August 9, 2015

On Sunday, all of the instructors will hold workshops at locations along Colorado's Front Range. Participants can choose which workshop they want to join. There is a limit of twelve people per workshop and a minimum of four people. The cost to join a workshop is $165. You can register for the festival and join a workshop here.

Instructors will attempt to arrange shared transportation to all workshops from Golden but this can not be guaranteed for all workshops. If you will need shared transportation, please Contact Us. The workshop times include estimated drive time from and back to Golden.

A description of each of the workshops is provided below.


Take Amazing Outdoor Portraits by Christine Szeredy (www.szeredy.com)
12:15 pm to 9:15 pm: Garden of the Gods


Pleae Note: If you sign up for this workshop, we ask that you bring $20 to help pay the model we will be hiring. This is in addition to the $165 for the workshop.

Getting a great outdoors shot requires a sophisticated understanding of lighting. Both beginning photographers and seasoned professionals must overcome the same challenges when addressing glare, shadows and full or partial sun. This course is your introduction to the skills you need to shoot successfully in any outdoors situation.

You’ll learn about working with single and multiple flashes, reflectors, and speedlights. Photographers constantly search to capture that decisive moment. Unfortunately that moment seldom happens under ideal photographic conditions. In this class you'll learn how to quickly overcome all of the most common poor lighting scenarios.

You’ll gain a complete understanding of the tools and techniques you can use to meet your location lighting goals.

WORKSHOP #2 - This workshop is now FULL!

Boulder Flatirons by Joseph Roybal (www.JosephRoybal.com)
1:00 pm to 9:00 pm


NOTE: There is only 1 opening left for this workshop, so if interested you should sign up right away. Priority will be given to the earliest postmark date on the letter. If you want to sign up, please E-mail Grant to let him know your application is on its way.

Join professional landscape photographer Joseph Roybal on an afternoon photographic excursion into Colorado’s gorgeous Boulder County where we will photograph the stunning scenery at Chautauqua Park, working on several key concepts to strengthen your photographic process and see the landscape differently. We will work into the evening, where we will find a unique vantage point to photograph the Flatirons differently, focusing on composition, reading light, technique and working efficiently. The goal for this day's workshop will be to help participants better understand their photographic process and push themselves into a higher level through exercises, discussions and ultimately the final shot.

Participants will need to bring proper clothing should it rain or be chilly as the sun sets and temperatures drop. Good walking/hiking shoes are also a must. Water and light snacks will be provided throughout the afternoon as needed. Required camera gear: good DSLR or equivalent, tripod, memory cards, spare camera batteries, headlamp, wide-angle (as wide as possible: 16,17 or 18mm - 35,55,70) and telephoto lenses.

Meeting location is TBD and will be sent out closer to the workshop date; however, we will meet in Boulder and drive to our first location from there. My thought is to have everyone either meet me over lunch in Boulder at 2pm or eat a good meal before meeting up so we can work through the afternoon and past sunset which is scheduled to be around 8pm. We will wrap things up at this point and anyone that would like to grab dinner and recap the days events and exercises are encouraged to join Joseph in town where we will discuss what was learned, questions/answers on anything covered during the day and our final take-aways.

WORKSHOP #3 - Only 4 Openings Left!

Creative Landscape Photography by Glenn Randall (www.glennrandall.com)
10:00 am - 10:00 pm: Mountaineering Museum & Mount Evans


For a landscape photographer, creativity does not emerge, fully formed, from the void. It emerges when the photographer makes a new, unexpected, but suddenly obvious connection between bits of seemingly unrelated knowledge already stored in that photographer’s head. Unlike painters and novelists, landscape photographers can’t sit in a darkened room, conjure an image or story out of nothing, then put their vision down on canvas or the printed page. Landscape photographs must be grounded in reality. Creativity in landscape photography is founded on knowledge of the terrain where the photographer plans to shoot, coupled with an understanding of key concepts in atmospherics optics, geography, and astronomy. Knowledge of the terrain lets photographers focus their efforts on the land’s most dramatic and iconic features. Understanding atmospherics optics, the science of light, allows photographers to predict the most vivid displays of alpenglow, where rainbows will appear, and how polarizers will interact with reflections. Understanding geography helps photographers understand how the angle of sunrise and sunset varies throughout the year. Understanding astronomy lets photographers predict where to go to shoot moonrise and moonset, the Milky Way, meteor showers, star trails, and lunar eclipses. This class will begin by discussing these fundamental topics with an emphasis on how to put this new knowledge to immediate practical use. After laying that foundation, the class will explore a number of software tools that can enhance creativity by making it easier to visualize possible images and to plan when and where to go. Specifically, students will learn how to use the Photographer’s Ephemeris, Heavenly Opportunity, and Skygazer to visualize possible images and determine the best way to create images that match their vision. After a classroom session in the morning, students will head up to Mt. Evans, where they will work on a series of assignments that will encourage them to look deeply, think creatively, and consider all aspects of their image before pressing the shutter release. If the weather permits, students will shoot sunset from the summit of Mt. Evans. If the lightning risk is too high, as is likely, students will shoot sunset from lower on the mountain. Students should be prepared for a cold, windy, high-altitude shoot. It may be 90 degrees in Denver in the morning, but it could be in the 40s and windy at sunset on the summit of Mt. Evans.


Photographing the Alpine and Subalpine Environment of Guanella Pass:
Finding the Intimate Landscape among the Grand.
by Stephen G. Weaver (www.stephen-weaver.com)

12:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Guanella Pass


This workshop will explore the alpine and subalpine environment of the Guanella Pass area. Although grand landscape images will abound and we will take advantage of photographing sunset light, the workshop will concentrate on getting the students to think, look, see and capture intimate landscape images that abound in nature but are often overlooked. Exploring the alpine zone environment will provide excellent opportunities to discuss and put into practice the theories of composition and the use of light that is so essential to the process of making an excellent photograph. This workshop is all about learning to “See” and helping the participant to recognize and photograph the image “gems” that can be extracted from the often messy and chaotic nature of the natural environment.

This workshop will be beneficial for all levels of photographers from beginner to advanced. A DSLR, tripod, and basic knowledge of your camera will allow you to get the most from the instruction. Also, students should be prepared for hiking at elevations of over 12,000 feet. Everyone should be fully prepared for potentially chilly and windy weather with possible afternoon showers.

WORKSHOP #5 - This workshop is now FULL!

Macro Photography
by Gene Tewksbury (www.BigSunPhotography.com)

8:00 am – 4:00 pm: Chatfield State Park


It's hard to get a unique image these days. It seems that anything and everything you point your camera at already has a thousand stunning images online just like it. Enter the world of Macro. Within 100 feet of where you're standing (no matter where that is) there are thousands of amazing AND UNIQUE images to capture. Moments in time that nobody else can or will see except you. And if that's not fun enough, it all looks new and exciting when you're up close. Even items that you've seen every day of your life become alien to your eyes when you turn your macro lens to them.

This class will introduce you to the world of macro photography, and believe me, there's a lot more to think about than how to find a bug. Once your camera falls onto tiny objects at close distances, everything you thought you knew about photography turns on it's head. Controlling motion blur and depth of field become far more difficult requiring an arsenal of creative techniques to overcome.

The great thing is that much of macro photography can be done close to home (or even in your home), anytime of year and with minimal equipment. Creating “home made” modifiers, flags, wind blocks and more is cheap and easy to do - no need for a ton of studio equipment.

So join me in exploring this lesser known area of photography and you may just find that spending a day in your back yard can be more fun than you imagined.

Class Topics: (In the field approx 5 hrs)
  • Lens options (macro, micro, 1:1 and not, macro tubes, reverse telephoto).
  • Depth of Field in the micro world.
  • Motion blur and methods to control it.
  • Controlling the elements (wind, sun, etc).
  • Creating your own Macro equipment (wind tents, diffusers, reflectors, backdrops and more).
  • Focus stacking methods of capture.

Lunch: (1 hr)

Classroom: (Inside in Golden – approx 2 hrs to however long people want )
  • Reviewing the images of the day. We will go over everyone's best images and discuss what's good and what could use work. More importantly we will discuss HOW those improvements could have been made so that you learn from mistakes not just have them pointed out to you.
  • Post production: While reviewing images we will go over post production techniques, especially those specific to producing better macro outcomes.
  • Focus stacking development.

Lens Requirements:
Do I need a macro lens to take this class?
Answer: No you don't. However you should at least have a strong telephoto (min. 200mm). A macro is certainly going to expand your options, but much of the basics can still be applied and learned without. This class will also help you to decide what you want in a macro should you choose to buy one later. We will also discuss cheaper alternatives to a macro lens such as lens reversal and extension tubes.
Note: Macro lens can be rented locally and online for a small price.


Night Photography on Mount Evans
by Mike Berenson (www.coloradocaptures.com)

5:00 pm to 2:00 am


Some people think there wouldn't be much to shoot at night on the front range with all the overwhelming light pollution. There is a lot but Mike has found great perspectives to shoot from up on Mount Evans that make it an awesome place to learn & use new techniques - with unique locations from timberline to the summit.

Dark skies are predicted with no moonlight during the workshop which is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the "natural" light painting from the city lights below. And timing should bring us up to the above timberline terrain when it looks especially pretty thanks to all the little yellow flowers in bloom. Of course, don't forget about that Milky Way... If the weather cooperates, the Milky Way should be visible as soon as it gets dark all the way through the end of the workshop.

Mike's night photography single-night workshops feature a combination of night photography instruction and Phototour guiding to hand-picked locations that make for an amazing learning experience. Mike takes students to the great locations, shows the techniques he uses, and then helps them get great shots of their own. And beyond the verbal instruction, students receive a printed and electronic copy of the instructional materials complete with follow-up resources to review after the workshop. Mike keeps no secrets, so this is a great chance to learn from an award winning nightscape photographer. He welcomes questions.

Mike's night photography workshops start with instruction before sunset, include shooting during the sunset period, heavy instruction during twilight, and assisted shooting in the dark night. Planned locations include twisty trees at timberline and the observatory and crest house near the summit parking lot (as time allows).

Some Of The Night Photography Training Subjects
  • Gear & Settings
  • Focusing In The Dark
  • Composition In The Dark
  • Using The Histogram To Adjust Exposure
  • Shooting The Milky Way
  • Shooting For Blended Exposures
  • Light Painting

What To Bring For Night Photography
  • Warm Clothes
  • Camera Body & Lenses
  • Tripod Legs & Head
  • Remote Trigger
  • Headlamp
  • Batteries & memory cards
  • Backpack or bag for your gear
  • Water, snacks, etc.

If you have questions on lenses for night photography, please take a look at Mike's article titled Recommended Lenses For Night Photography at http://goo.gl/UcM8OB. Beyond that, many of the concepts taught in this training event are featured in "How To" Articles & Tutorials, Product Reviews, and more posted on Mike's Night Photography Blog at http://goo.gl/91Ce8C. Students (and those just interested in night photography) are invited to view these articles as a supplement to the content taught in Mike's night photography workshops.