Not quite ready to commit to our Summer Intensive program but tempted to spend a fun-filled week steeped in photography? RMSP has a workshop for you. You'll be amazed how much you can learn in just a few days. Our workshops are split into two categories.

Foundation Workshops

Foundation Workshops are for beginning and experienced photographers who are interested in developing core skills or taking their artistry to the next level. We offer Basic and Intermediate Photography, as well as workshops in People Photography, Flash Photography, Macro Photography, Crafting the Perfect Image, Making Films with Your DSLR, and our most sought-after course — Lightroom for Photographers. These workshops are taught by some of the finest instructors around, most of them in one of America's most charming little mountain towns, Missoula.

Travel Workshops

Travel Workshops combine the best of both worlds when it comes to getting an education and taking a vacation. If you've been daydreaming about taking a trip, our professional photographer instructors will lead you on an educational adventure to outstanding shooting locations around the U.S. Places we'll visit include Utah's Natural Bridges and Arches and Canyonlands national parks, Oregon's Columbia River Gorge, Washington's Palouse Country, Death Valley, Yellowstone, and other destinations ranging from Colorado to Maine. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn photography in a breathtaking setting and capture the images of a lifetime.

At RMSP, you won't find workshop instructors shooting alongside their students. They're here to teach, not build their own portfolios. They'll look through your viewfinder with you, take you to all the insider spots, and show you how to capture that perfect photo you've always wanted to take.

Description


Why: One of the most appealing aspects of photography is that it is a subjective art form. What seems right to everyone else might be wrong for you. So how do we get away with calling this workshop “Crafting the Perfect Image,” when there is no such thing? Well, thanks to the incredible abilities of Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop applications, you are able to have complete control of your own creative process from start to finish. So whatever “perfect” means to you, it can be achieved by learning the software and developing a purpose behind your editing decisions.

What You Learn: Chances are you’ve worked with Lightroom or Photoshop before, and are at least vaguely familiar with some of the controls available within the applications. A raw image always benefits from editing. Instructor Tim Cooper will teach you how to make a good image into a great one. From cropping to straightening, color correction to compositing, making enhancements to your images can be as easy as moving a slider left to right. But does an easy-to-use interface replace the need to know why and when to use the software? Do you actually know why you are moving a slider? By spending two days with professional educator Tim Cooper, who has written several books on photo editing, you will learn the methodology behind photo editing as well as:

  • Advanced Library Module Strategies
  • Understanding Lightroom's Global Adjustments
  • Local Adjustments Using Lightroom
  • Why and When to Use Photoshop
  • Going From Lightroom to Photoshop and Vice Versa
  • Layers Theory
  • Local Adjustments - Why and How
  • Advanced Selections for the Ultimate Control
  • Masks - The Key to Photoshop

Considerations: A student attending this course must arrive with a Lightroom catalog file ready to use on their laptop computer. See this video if you need assistance.

This course is geared toward beginner to intermediate Lightroom and Photoshop users. Advanced users are welcome, but there will not be time to go very deep into each topic.

Description


Why: One of the most appealing aspects of photography is that it is a subjective art form. What seems right to everyone else might be wrong for you. So how do we get away with calling this workshop “Crafting the Perfect Image,” when there is no such thing? Well, thanks to the incredible abilities of Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop applications, you are able to have complete control of your own creative process from start to finish. So whatever “perfect” means to you, it can be achieved by learning the software and developing a purpose behind your editing decisions.

What You Learn: Chances are you’ve worked with Lightroom or Photoshop before, and are at least vaguely familiar with some of the controls available within the applications. A raw image always benefits from editing. Instructor Tim Cooper will teach you how to make a good image into a great one. From cropping to straightening, color correction to compositing, making enhancements to your images can be as easy as moving a slider left to right. But does an easy-to-use interface replace the need to know why and when to use the software? Do you actually know why you are moving a slider? By spending two days with professional educator Tim Cooper, who has written several books on photo editing, you will learn the methodology behind photo editing as well as:

  • Advanced Library Module Strategies
  • Understanding Lightroom's Global Adjustments
  • Local Adjustments Using Lightroom
  • Why and When to Use Photoshop
  • Going From Lightroom to Photoshop and Vice Versa
  • Layers Theory
  • Local Adjustments - Why and How
  • Advanced Selections for the Ultimate Control
  • Masks - The Key to Photoshop

Considerations: A student attending this course must arrive with a Lightroom catalog file ready to use on their laptop computer. See this video if you need assistance.

This course is geared toward beginner to intermediate Lightroom and Photoshop users. Advanced users are welcome, but there will not be time to go very deep into each topic.

Description


Why: One of the most appealing aspects of photography is that it is a subjective art form. What seems right to everyone else might be wrong for you. So how do we get away with calling this workshop “Crafting the Perfect Image,” when there is no such thing? Well, thanks to the incredible abilities of Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop applications, you are able to have complete control of your own creative process from start to finish. So whatever “perfect” means to you, it can be achieved by learning the software and developing a purpose behind your editing decisions.

What You Learn: Chances are you’ve worked with Lightroom or Photoshop before, and are at least vaguely familiar with some of the controls available within the applications. A raw image always benefits from editing. Instructor Tim Cooper will teach you how to make a good image into a great one. From cropping to straightening, color correction to compositing, making enhancements to your images can be as easy as moving a slider left to right. But does an easy-to-use interface replace the need to know why and when to use the software? Do you actually know why you are moving a slider? By spending two days with professional educator Tim Cooper, who has written several books on photo editing, you will learn the methodology behind photo editing as well as:

  • Advanced Library Module Strategies
  • Understanding Lightroom's Global Adjustments
  • Local Adjustments Using Lightroom
  • Why and When to Use Photoshop
  • Going From Lightroom to Photoshop and Vice Versa
  • Layers Theory
  • Local Adjustments - Why and How
  • Advanced Selections for the Ultimate Control
  • Masks - The Key to Photoshop

Considerations: A student attending this course must arrive with a Lightroom catalog file ready to use on their laptop computer. See this video if you need assistance.

This course is geared toward beginner to intermediate Lightroom and Photoshop users. Advanced users are welcome, but there will not be time to go very deep into each topic.

Description


Why? Wouldn’t it be great if you could store every photo you have ever taken in one place and have an easy and logical method of finding any image that came to mind? Sounds like a pipe dream, doesn’t it? Well, fortunately for photographers of all kinds, this dream actually can come true by simply learning to use Adobe Lightroom. Join Instructor Forest Chaput de Saintonge for this four-day workshop to learn how to make the management and editing of your images less stressful and way more enjoyable.

What? Adobe Lightroom is a powerful, professional-grade image management and enhancement tool that can furrow the brows of new users trying to learn it on their own. For serious amateurs and professional photographers alike, strong Lightroom skills can dramatically improve both your happiness level and your image quality. During this course you will:

  • Learn to manage a large volume of digital images
  • Learn best practices for how and where to store your images
  • Gain an understanding of the relationship between Lightroom’s database and your image files
  • Learn to import your images into Lightroom
  • Learn how to rate, sort, keyword, find and label your images
  • Learn to use the Develop module to make exposure adjustments, crop, straighten, convert images to black and white, remove spots and make further enhancements to images
  • Learn how to sync your edits on one file across a large number of files
  • Use Lightroom to prepare your images for sharing online or in print format


Who?
 Lightroom is professional-level image management software and may not be appropriate for novice computer users. New users are welcome to attend but must have a solid working knowledge of their computer’s operating system to get the most from this workshop. Participants are required to have their own laptop for this course, and two external hard drives are recommended.

Description


Where We Go: If you had to use one word to summarize what makes Arches National Park so amazing, it would be “light.” The effect light has on the red-rock formations, and the way it illuminates the ever-changing weather lets the landscape assume a different identity as the day progresses. During this week, you explore the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches (including Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch and The Windows), while photographing wildflowers, dramatic desert scenes, and beautiful sandstone patterns. Outside Arches National Park, world class canyon views await you during the magic light of sunrise and sunset in neighboring Dead Horse State Park and Green River Overlook in Canyonlands National Park.

What You Learn: Experiencing this rugged environment with a photographer as talented and personable as Doug Johnson makes this week an extraordinary learning opportunity. Doug’s experience photographing in this area affords you the chance to:

  • Create images of locations when the light is at its best
  • Experience brilliant sunrise and sunset shoots
  • Learn composition, hyperfocal focusing, the Zone System of exposure, night photography techniques and post-processing workflow
  • Use the Photographer’s Ephemeris, a handy tool for all landscape photographers
  • Spend midday hours in critique sessions to receive constructive feedback on your images

Who Should Attend: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera. Due to the moderately strenuous conditions, it is recommended that you be prepared to hike up to three (3) miles at a time as well as up and down stairs and along uneven surfaces. This workshop is limited to 13 participants.

Description


Why? Say goodbye to the days of pressing your camera’s shutter button while also crossing your fingers, and get ready to capture sights and moments around you with confidence! Sunny day vacation images on the beach? No problem! Poorly lit conference room photos for your business website? No problem! After a week of immersion in RMSP-style education, you will understand how to use your camera intentionally to obtain great images in a variety of lighting scenarios

What? During this week of learning the basics, you explore the craft of photography with experienced photo educator, Lynn Hoffman-Brouse, who also makes the process fun. While exploring the seaside beauty of Monterey from the famed Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and Carmel by the Sea, you will:

  • Enjoy classroom lectures, hands-on field shoots, and lively critique sessions
  • Learn the building blocks of photography including shutter speeds, aperture, and ISO
  • Learn how to read a histogram
  • Understand white balance
  • Learn the difference between each of your camera metering modes
  • Get a comprehensive lesson on camera gear including cameras, lenses, tripods, bags, and more
  • Learn how to use depth of field effectively
  • Learn techniques for creating compositions that make your images stand out

Who? You’re a beginning photographer who wants to learn how to use your camera in manual mode—and take the best pictures of your life. If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you because you have some photography experience, here are a couple of blog posts produced by our instructors for you to review. These may help you decide if either Basic or Intermediate Photography is the right choice for you:

Should I Take Basic or Intermediate?

The 411 of Basic Photography in Monterey, CA

Description


Where We Go: Springtime in the Pacific Northwest means the hillsides burst with color and the ground comes to life as streams and creeks fill with spring run off. On the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, small trickles that begin on Mount Hood turn into gorgeous – and beautiful – waterfalls that spill over cliff edges into aqua-blue pools below, while lush green vegetation provides the perfect complement. Explore this magnificent destination while training your lens on the multitude of waterfalls including Wahclella, Wahkeena and Fairy Falls in addition to the impressive 611-feet-high Multnomah Falls. At Tom McCall Nature Preserve beautiful yellow balsamroot and purple lupine provide the perfect foreground at the for the ever-present Columbia River in the valley below.

What You Learn: It’s a perfect match: a landscape photographer who can’t contain his excitement for the subject and a landscape whose beauty knows no end. With Doug Johnson at the head of the class, your week will be as productive as it is fun. Join Doug to:

  • Explore and photograph the Columbia Gorge in the Hood River, Oregon area
  • Enjoy lectures on landscape composition, hyperfocal focusing, techniques for capturing moving water and great light
  • Learn post-processing techniques using Adobe Lightroom


Who Should Attend:
You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Description


Why? Say goodbye to the days of pressing your camera’s shutter button while also crossing your fingers, and get ready to capture the sights and moments around you with confidence! Blue-sky days hiking in Glacier? No problem! Poorly lit conference room photos for your business website? No problem! After a week of immersion in RMSP-style education, you will understand how to use your camera intentionally to obtain great images in a variety of lighting scenarios.

What? During this week of learning the basics, you explore the craft of photography with experienced photo educator, Doug, who makes the process fun. Split between classroom lectures, hands-on field shoots, and lively critique sessions, you listen as topics are thoroughly explained indoors—and then actively explore them through trial and error outdoors. During this week you will hone your technique while visiting locations such as the Moon-Randolph Homestead, University of Montana campus, Fort Missoula Museum, Rattlesnake Creek Recreation area, and Caras Park in the heart of downtown Missoula. Doug teaches you the building blocks of photography:

  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • How they all work together to determine exposure.

You learn a great deal about the basic functions of your camera, such as:

  • The histogram
  • White balance
  • Metering modes

Your instructor will:

  • Discuss compositional techniques that can make your images stand out
  • Open your eyes to the powerful nuances of light such as the temperature, color and direction
  • Facilitate group critiques that help you identify areas you can improve

Who? You’re a beginning photographer who wants to learn how to use your camera in manual mode—and take the best pictures of your life. If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you, here is a blog post by RMSP Instructor Tony Rizzuto for you to review. This may help you decide if this Basic course is best for you, or if Tony’s Intermediate Photography is the right choice for you:

Should I Take Basic or Intermediate?

 

Description


Where We Go: If the mountains and rivers here could talk, you would listen. If the big sky could show you even a fraction of what it has seen, you would look. Witnessing the mountains, rivers, lakes and oh-so-dreamy light that paints the hills and defines the sky is an experience that won’t soon fade from your memory.

But what do you do when viewing isn’t enough?

Easy! You sign up for this workshop so you smell, taste, hear and feel what a true Montana experience is all about. With photojournalist Keith Graham and RMSP Founder Neil Chaput de Saintonge at the helm, you roll up your sleeves for a solid week of getting down and dirty with your camera. Between classroom lecture sessions and group critique opportunities, you spend your time steeped in Montana culture as you travel between a couple of working Montana ranches to photograph calving, branding, and a day in the life of a working rancher. In the nearby town of Ovando, you revel in the sights of the fun-loving community events. The nearby banks of the Blackfoot River, southern border of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and possible wildlife viewing opportunities further add to the experience of this week.

What You Learn: While it would be easy to lose track of time watching the waters of the Blackfoot River go by, or getting your boots dirty by roaming around on a ranch, this course is much more than that. During this week, you:

  • Become a more skilled photographer while learning to tell stories visually
  • Learn to photograph - and connect with - people in their own environment
  • Create images to form a larger narrative
  • Learn to communicate an experience through the use of images
  • Navigate the nuances of photographing events, where your subjects may or may not be willing participants
  • Learn professional ways to handle yourself in various situations


Considerations: 
You need to be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Description


Where We Go: There is a place in eastern Washington, south of Spokane along the Idaho border, so unique in its geography and beauty it’s as if it were custom made for the benefit of landscape photographers. Known as the Palouse Country, this 4,000-square-mile region is a patchwork of rolling, green farmland speckled with colorful farmhouses and flour mills rich in character. Before the long and harshly-lit days of summer arrive, late spring in the Palouse welcomes visitors with incredible light, rich colors and 360° of photographic compositions. This workshop is your opportunity to arrive in the Palouse and photograph to your heart’s content. Based in the town of Colfax, WA, you venture to Steptoe Butte State Park with panoramic views that seem to go on forever, and to Palouse Falls State Park to capture Washington’s official waterfall. Photograph along Chicken Ranch Road Loop, Prairie Loop and Green Hollow to photograph the multi-colored farm fields that make the Palouse Country so visually intoxicating. You will also enjoy capturing the colors and character of the Moscow Farmers’ Market.

What you learn: Simply being in Palouse Country is amazing. But being here to further your photography skills with an instructor like Doug Johnson by your side is a remarkable experience. Every minute spent with Doug – whether during lectures, in the field shooting, or during one of the many critique sessions throughout the week – will help you improve as a photographer. Throughout the week Doug will cover:

  • Landscape composition
  • Techniques for creating panoramic images
  • Workflow for creating incredible HDR images
  • Methods for using Adobe Lightroom to make your post-capture workflow smooth


Considerations: 
You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Description


Why: We’ve all heard the old adage that states, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but in this day and age if that picture moves, has sound and tells a compelling story, it will be worth 100,000 words. Using the camera that might already be sitting in your camera bag, you can create high-quality films that capture the stories that exist all around you. So, what is holding you back from forging a path in this wide-open world of video? Is it a lack of technical know-how? Lack of gear? Lack of experience? Or perhaps you can see a beautiful project in your mind, but simply don’t know where to start.

We’ve heard this from countless photographers and understand the physical and mental barriers that stand between you and the pursuit of using your DSLR to begin your video projects. To alleviate the pain of figuring it out on your own or not at all, we have collaborated with another one of Missoula, Montana’s highly regarded institutions, The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Together, we are proud to offer this two-week workshop in order to make the entry into creating films with your DSLR a high-quality and highly inspirational experience.

Week One:

This workshop takes place in Missoula, MT over the course of two weeks, with a weekend break in the middle. The first week is focused on the craft of filmmaking itself. Led by educator and documentary filmmaker Meghan O’Hara – named one of the 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014 – you will learn:

  • Basic story development
  • Pre-production planning
  • How to approach the filmmaking process before picking up a camera.
  • Basic technical aspects of capturing video including file formats, frame rate, shutter speed, ISO, exposure for video and camera movement
  • How to conduct an interview on camera
  • Basics of audio recording gear and how to use it
  • A variety of common camera shots including slides, pans, and tilts
  • Methods for letting your subject’s characteristics guide your story

Having this time with Meghan will allow you to gain experience using your creative tools in an environment where you are expected – in fact, encouraged – to practice, play, and learn via trial and error. Throughout the course of week one – either on your own, or in small teams – you will work to create a short film using the techniques you learn in class. To save time, a few story ideas will be generated before the workshop begins for participants to choose from. Or, if you have a story idea of your own you would like to pursue, you are welcome to do so.

Week Two:

Led by accomplished documentary director and editor Laura Green, week two is where the rubber hits the road. Spent entirely in the classroom, you:

  • Learn the basics of Adobe Premiere Pro to edit your footage and audio from week one
  • Learn media management best practices
  • Develop a strong workflow for working with video
  • Learn how to craft a story through decisions made during the editing process
  • Learn the tools of the trade commonly used to edit video and audio files
  • Create a film that will be debuted at a local venue at the end of the course

Throughout the workshop – both in the classroom and at a local theatre – your group will enjoy learning by viewing, studying and discussing a selection of films. Having Meghan and Laura guide you through the filmmaking process is an incredible opportunity to learn from two highly accomplished filmmakers in a creative environment.

Considerations: 

  1. For this workshop you will need to have a DSLR that has video capturing capabilities, as well as other video-specific tools. See the equipment list tab for a list of required and suggested tools.
  2. Intermediate to advanced computer navigation skills are required. If you are not proficient with your computer, you may be challenged in week two, when introduced to Adobe Premiere Pro.
  3. Prior to beginning this course, it is recommended you familiarize yourself with the basics of Adobe Premiere Pro. This online tutorial on lynda.com, or this one on udemy.com are good resources. Lynda.com offers a 10 Day Free trial.
  4. Adobe Premiere Pro is an advanced, professional level software. This course will introduce you to what it is capable of, but you should not expect to master it by the end of the course.

 

Click on the images below to read testimonials and view the films created by two past participants in this class.

 

How To Stay Lovely:
The Ceramic Vision of Shalene Valenzuela
Created by Leland Buck

How To Stay Lovely: The Ceramic Vision of Shalene Valenzuela from Leland Buck on Vimeo.

 

Celebrating Montana's Open Lands
Created by Amy Howie

 


Description


Where We Go: When you think of southeast Utah, you might envision hot, dry, red-hued landscapes with other-worldly natural features … and not much more. Aside from the well-known places like Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and the town of Moab, your vision is basically spot on. But for many photographers, everything this area lacks is exactly what they want! The almost non-existent light pollution found here is a dream come true for night photographers. In fact, the darkness in this area prompted the International Dark Sky Association (yeah, that’s a real thing!) to designate Natural Bridges National Monument as the world's first International Dark Sky Park.

As enrollment in this class is limited to 12 students, your night-owl instructors – Gabe Biderman and Matt Hill – will roll out the red carpet so you’ll feel like a kid in a (dimly-lit) candy store here. With the Milky Way as your backdrop, your time is spent photographing Utah’s first national monument featuring the three arches that make up Natural Bridge National Monument – Kachina, Owachomo, and Sipapu. You will also venture to Horsecollar Ruin, one of the best-preserved ancestral Puebloan sites. And not to be overlooked, you will experience the night sky from Hovenweep, an incredible Pueblo town in beautiful ruins. Experiencing all of this with plenty of one-one-one photographic guidance is sure to make this an experience you won’t soon forget.

What You Learn: When the sun goes down and the light around you begins to fade, creating images and even operating your camera becomes a bit trickier. However, this course ensures that you will:

  • Increase your technical and aesthetic proficiency when working in the dark
  • Get comfortable using the specific tools of the trade
  • Learn “night photography 101” from within an air-conditioned meeting room
  • Enjoy lectures on how to effectively scout a location during daytime hours
  • Learn light painting
  • Create star points and star trails
  • Assemble awe-inspiring night panoramas
  • Learn post-processing techniques using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Gain first-hand experience working with your tripod, intervalometer, bubble level, flashlight and other tools that come in handy while photographing at night


Considerations:

You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

There will be some moderate to strenuous hiking, sometimes with steep passages, involved with this workshop. Sipapu is accessed by a steep 1.2-mile descent involving wooden ladders and switchbacks. Please consider your athletic abilities prior to registering.  If you have questions, please contact us.

Be advised the hotel is one hour away from the monument - proper lodging is scarce in the area. We recommend car pooling and being sensible with how much energy you have left in the tank.

This class is limited to 12 students.

Description


Why? Aaaahhhh, the flash. Such an overlooked tool. It fits so nicely in the hot shoe on top of your DSLR, is capable of delivering incredible results and has even been known to turn an otherwise “blah” image into a “WOW” image. Yet, it is often misunderstood, underutilized and can even be blamed for raising the blood pressure of more than a few photographers. This workshop, led by the guy who literally wrote the book (actually, books … plural) on using flash, Syl Arena puts an end to the stress when it comes to using your flash. From a rustic, western homestead to urban scenes in downtown Missoula and a variety of indoor locations with mixed lighting, you learn to make your flash work for you, instead of the other way around.

What? Flash photography can be applied to many genres including landscape, wildlife and especially portraiture. During this week, you learn:

  • To add fill light to the foreground of your landscape images
  • How to accentuate and add dimension to portraits
  • How the flash and camera work together in Manual and TTL modes to achieve perfect exposure
  • How to effectively balance ambient and artificial light
  • To use diffusers, reflectors and scrims to shape, angle, bounce and color light
  • How to use your flash off-camera
  • How to use remote-triggering systems
  • How to use multiple strobes together to create more dynamic images

Who? You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Description


Why? Say goodbye to the days of pressing your camera’s shutter button while also crossing your fingers, and get ready to capture the sights and moments around you with confidence! Blue-sky days hiking in Glacier? No problem! Poorly lit conference room photos for your business website? No problem! After a week of immersion in RMSP-style education, you will understand how to use your camera intentionally to obtain great images in a variety of lighting scenarios.

What? During this week of learning the basics, you explore the craft of photography with experienced photo educator, Doug Johnson, who makes the process fun. Split between classroom lectures, hands-on field shoots, and lively critique sessions, you listen as topics are thoroughly explained indoors—and then actively explore them through trial and error outdoors. During this week you will hone your technique while visiting locations such as the Moon-Randolph Homestead, University of Montana campus, Fort Missoula Museum, Rattlesnake Creek Recreation area, and Caras Park in the heart of downtown Missoula. Doug teaches you the building blocks of photography:

  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • How they all work together to determine exposure.

You learn a great deal about the basic functions of your camera, such as:

  • The histogram
  • White balance
  • Metering modes

Your instructor will:

  • Discuss compositional techniques that can make your images stand out
  • Open your eyes to the powerful nuances of light such as the temperature, color and direction
  • Facilitate group critiques that help you identify areas you can improve

Who? You’re a beginning photographer who wants to learn how to use your camera in manual mode—and take the best pictures of your life. If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you, here is a blog post by RMSP Instructor Tony Rizzuto for you to review. This may help you decide if this Basic course is best for you, or if Tony’s Intermediate Photography is the right choice for you:

Should I Take Basic or Intermediate?

Description


Where We Go: Wherever you are at this exact moment, transport yourself to a mountain pass with nothing but blue sky and white clouds above you, and a sea of mountain ridges and peaks stretching out in every direction around you. This will be your reality when you join Tim Cooper and Lynn Hoffman-Brouse for an exhilarating week of photography instruction. Your base for the week is the photogenic mountain town of Ouray, Colorado (elevation: 8,000 feet), where you will be surrounded by 13,000-foot peaks amidst mountains known as America’s Alps. From there, you venture into Yankee Boy Basin, Black Bear and California Passes, the Million Dollar Highway, and multiple backcountry excursions in specially designed 4×4 vehicles.

Whether you call Colorado home, have visited the state many times before, or have never been there, you’ve never experienced it quite like this. Every location is awe-inspiring, steeped in history, and dripping with photographic potential. Climbing to impressively high vantage points during guided 4x4 Jeep tours provides you with the opportunity to create images at locations very few photographers have ever set foot.

What You Learn: With their different photographic backgrounds, Cooper and Hoffman-Brouse offer a glimpse into their own unique perspective and creative process. During this week you:

  • Further your knowledge of how to operate your camera
  • Learn the Zone System of exposure for color photography
  • Learn macro techniques for creative flower photography
  • Hone your landscape composition skills
  • Enjoy classroom lectures when the light is less than ideal
  • Take part in constructive critique sessions following on-location shoots

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Description


Why? You know the difference between a shutter speed of 1/60th and 1/6th. When you think of the numbers 2.8, 4.0, 5.6 or 22 you immediately think of the word “aperture.” You no longer have to google the acronym ISO to understand what it means. All of this means that you understand the basics of photography, and are ready to ramp it up a notch. This workshop will do exactly that, while also allowing you to explore the beauty of western Montana. You will revel in views of the jagged Mission Mountains from Ninepipes Wildlife Refuge, cascading waters of Kootenai Creek, rustic charm of Garnet Ghost Town, and the historic western town of Philipsburg with its colorful downtown and famous candy store.

What? This weeklong course helps you master exposure and teaches you to see more creatively. In a wide spectrum of shooting scenarios, Tony teaches you:

  • Low-light and night photography
  • Macro photography techniques and equipment
  • Zone System of Exposure
  • How to achieve more creative compositions
  • How to design great images vs. simply capturing a scene

Tony’s humorous and easygoing nature makes for a comfortable learning environment. He leads group critiques that further your growth by offering a window into the thought process and keen eye of a professional photographer. Seeing the images created by your classmates, and hearing their input on the strengths and weaknesses of your photographs also helps to embed the lessons learned throughout the week.

Who? You have an understanding of the basic principles of photography and are able to operate your DSLR on manual mode confidently, or have taken RMSP’s Basic Photography workshop. If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you because you feel less confident than you would like, here are a couple of blog posts to review. These may help you decide if either Basic or Intermediate Photography is the right choice for you:

Should I Take Basic or Intermediate

The 411 of Basic Photography in Monterey, CA 

Description


Why: War, hunger, social and political unrest and poverty are unfortunate parts of the life experience, which must be photographed. It is the responsibility of the documentary photographer to capture life’s stories in images and present them to the world at large. In this course, professional documentarian and educator Lynn Hoffman-Brouse delivers a week full of insight and hands-on learning that teaches you how to approach and capture challenging subject matter.

What You Learn: Having worked with a number of organizations including the YWCA, One Heart Tibet, IVUMed and the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council, Lynn’s experience will ensure you have a highly enlightening experience. In this course, you will:

  • Develop a sense of what goes into embarking on a documentary project
  • Brainstorm projects that interest you and discuss how to make them a reality
  • View examples of projects completed by other photographers
  • Discuss ethical issues facing photojournalists and documentary photographers
  • Learn about methods for funding documentary projects
  • Discuss ways you can gain trust with and access to your subjects
  • Photograph a variety of assignments given by Lynn
  • Complete a daily journal of your thoughts throughout the workshop

Considerations: You must be comfortable with the manual operation of your camera.

Description


Where We Go: Crumbling log structures at Bannack and Garnet ghost towns where communities of hardworking people once built their lives; the World Museum of Mining in the hardscrabble town of Butte – rich with history and full of stories from the past; the antiquated Moon-Randolph Homestead tucked in the hillside near Missoula. You will revel in these as well as the treasures found on Bob Geary’s ranch, one of Montana’s oldest homesteads founded in 1867 near Helmville. These are the remnants of Montana’s history that bring us so much pride and continue to define us today. This workshop is an opportunity to go back in time with Doug Johnson to photograph western Montana as it was over 100 years ago.

What You Learn: One thing many photographers need more than any lens or camera or software update is … time. Having the gift of uninterrupted time to see and think creatively can do wonders for your photography. This week is all about tilting the scales of time back into your favor so you can improve. Here’s some of what you will learn and experience during this workshop:

  • In-classroom and on-location shoots
  • Techniques to help improve your landscape photography composition
  • How to shoot and process HDR images
  • Night photography techniques
  • Black and white post-processing techniques using Adobe Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro

Whether photographing in downtown Missoula where this course is based, in the town of Butte, or anywhere in between, Doug makes himself available in the field to provide assistance when you most need it. Following each outing, your group gets together for constructive critique sessions in which you listen and learn from each other and benefit from Doug’s vast amounts of experience.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

 

 

 

Description


Where We Go: When you think of Montana you might think of endless landscapes, rugged wilderness and the incredible wildlife that roams around “out there”. While we do have larger-than-life animals here, most visitors’ interactions with them occur from the side of the road or through binoculars. But for any photographer wanting to capture magazine-quality images, they know that simply rolling down the window to grab a photo will never cut it. This workshop at Triple D Game Farm will put you front and center – and sometimes face to face – with animals such as mountain lions and wolves. The experience will give you the best possible opportunity to create images you’ve always dreamed of, and will surely allow you to cross several things off your bucket list.

What You Learn: As if being in Montana, on the outskirts of Glacier National Park, and safely photographing animals isn’t enough, doing so with the father/son instructor team of Neil and Forest Chaput de Saintonge will ensure this experience is one you won’t soon forget. Their collective, well-trained photography prowess will ensure that every one of your photo questions gets answered in a way that makes sense to you, and that you will get the maximum benefit from this course by photographing alongside the two of them.

During this shoot-and-critique style workshop you:

  • Get a review of basic wildlife photography techniques
  • Cover appropriate camera settings and techniques
  • Photograph wolves and mountain lions in a natural setting
  • Photograph baby animals during morning light
  • Have your images critiqued by two photographers
  • Gain insight on how you can improve your techniques
  • Benefit from having dedicated time to edit your images during the course


Considerations:
Please note that this workshop is primarily a shoot and critique workshop. And unlike other RMSP workshops your instructors will be photographing alongside you during this course as a means to demonstrate concepts and techniques.

 

Description


Why? What does it take to get started in the business of outdoor photography? A nice camera? A handful of great photos? A website? Sure all of these are helpful, but at the end of the day, becoming a freelance photographer who can regularly generate income from outdoor imagery is less about the tangible tools and more about your knowledge of the industry and the unique vision you bring to the table. This course, focused on getting started in the business of photography, is not for photography’s weekend warriors. Instead, this week led by professional photographer Michael DeYoung is geared toward experienced photographers who are looking to turn their outdoor photography habit into a money-making possibility.

What You Learn: The structure of this course is loosely 2/3 in-classroom lecture and 1/3 time spent outdoors photographing. Scheduled shoots will take you to magnificent locations such as a private ranch where the owner rides her horse through the creek right in front of your lens, the Lee Metcalf or Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuges, and Holland Lake where you photograph the Mission Mountains as Holland Falls crashes behind you. Classroom lectures cover a range of topics that will assist you in becoming a more knowledgeable photographer including many of the less-than-glamorous, yet necessary aspects of running a photo business. This will include:

  • Writing proposals and query letters to editorial clients
  • Best practices for making submissions to editorial and commercial markets
  • Developing an understanding of licensing, value and pricing of your images
  • Licensing your outdoor images to magazines, calendars, cards, books, local and regional tourism markets and for commercial art decor
  • How to license your images through by building relationships with stock photo agencies,
    as well as doing it on your own
  • Seeing and thinking in creative ways to make yourself stand out in a crowded field
  • Understanding that the art and business of photography are two separate things

After discussing many of the behind the scenes topics of running your business, Michael will shift gears and begin to share with you the multitude of ways you can begin to market your images. Having experience with editorial, commercial, and stock environments he is a wealth of knowledge (and advice) for emerging shooters. His background of working with editors and buyers will help you:

  • Photograph with an art director’s point of view in mind
  • Photograph from a conceptual point of view
  • Convey a sense of place in your images
  • Understand when and when not to use specialized equipment
  • Become familiar with on-location creative techniques
  • Build trust by maintaining a high standard of ethics

Considerations: Participants need to be totally comfortable operating their DSLR in manual mode.

Description


Why? No matter how the world changes from day to day or generation to generation, people (us!) will always be what makes the world turn. From the musician playing a guitar on the sidewalk to the rancher moving cattle to the astronaut preparing to explore outer space … our world is full of fascinating characters. This workshop is your opportunity to learn to photograph people like a pro, with two pros leading the way. Portrait photographer Tony Rizzuto and photojournalist Jeremy Lurgio take you to a variety of locations including the Western Montana Fair and a barrel-racing school in the tiny town of Arlee—to teach the techniques, etiquette, and art of capturing people on camera.

What? Throughout this week, your instructors and experiences will put you on the fast track to becoming a better photographer. During this course you will:

  • Benefit from two instructors each with a unique photographic background
  • Learn how to supplement natural light with artificial light from your strobe
  • Refine your compositional skills to craft effective portraits
  • Gain techniques for gaining a subject’s trust
  • Learn techniques for maintaining a subject’s attention during a shoot
  • Learn to create environmental portraits that tell a story
  • Gain a better understanding of how light creates mood and shapes your subject
  • Push your abilities by going outside your comfort zone
  • See and learn from the work of fellow participants
  • Benefit from constructive group critiques


Who? 
You need to be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Description


Why? Do you have a nagging feeling your photos could be better if you only knew more about image processing? Does managing images on your computer drive you to temporary bouts of madness? This four-day workshop is your ticket to easier, calmer, and more effective days working with images on your computer.

What? Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® is a powerful, professional-grade image management and enhancement tool that can furrow the brows of new users trying to learn it on their own. For serious amateurs and professional photographers alike, strong Lightroom skills can dramatically improve both your happiness level and your images. The majority of this course is spent where the action happens—in the Library and Develop modules—focusing on techniques for managing a large volume of digital images. From proper storage methods to understanding the relationship between Lightroom’s database and your actual digital files, knowing the software from the ground up will help streamline your workflow.

After the initial import of images, you learn how to work with files by using the rate, keyword, sort, find, and label functions. In the Develop module, making exposure adjustments, cropping, converting to black and white, and removing pesky spots are a breeze—and can dramatically improve your images. Lightroom even makes it easy to sync your actions to many images at once. Lastly, you get an introduction to the various methods of showing your work, from slideshows to publishing your images on the web.

Who? Lightroom is professional-level image management software and may not be appropriate for novice photographers. New users are welcome to attend but must have a solid working knowledge of their computer’s operating system to get the most from this workshop. Participants are required to have their own laptop for this course.

This may help you decide if Lightroom for Photographers is the right choice for you:

Digital Imaging Workflow

 

 

Description


Why: Regardless of the camera you use to create your images, Adobe® Photoshop packs the power to take those images to places you never could without it. Whether using this industry-standard software to create dramatic skies in your landscapes, straighten crooked horizons, remove unwanted blemishes in your portraits, or to go completely crazy with compositing many images together, Photoshop can handle most any task you throw at it. Come learn the basics with instructor Tim Cooper.

What: Wow” is the word most people utter when they learn how powerful Photoshop is.  “Overwhelming” usually follows shortly thereafter. But that’s where Tim Cooper comes in.  By stripping away all the non-essential components and focusing on what you need to know as a photographer, Tim teaches you:

  • Photoshop Architecture
  • Layer Theory
  • Selections
  • How to Use Layer Masks
  • How to Make Local Adjustments
  • Techniques for Making Advanced Local Corrections
  • Advanced Image Retouching
  • How to Work With Smart Objects
  • How to Work With Smart Filters
  • About Plug-Ins and How to Use Them in Your Workflow

Considerations: You should have the latest version of Photoshop loaded on your laptop prior to the start of this course.

Description


Where We Go: There are few roads in America, or in the entire world, that can compare to Glacier’s Going-to-the-Sun Road. It twists and turns while taking riders through tunnels creatively carved into the steep mountainside. Waterfalls of melted snow flow year round onto one side of the road, while incredibly steep drops on the other side deliver it to the valley below. Jammers – bright red buses that have been carrying visitors to the top of Logan Pass for decades – add pops of color to the landscape, matched only by the bright white fur of mountain goats that get so close they could almost be photographed with a macro lens. In this stunning environment, landscape photographer and professional instructor Tim Cooper takes you straight to the park’s premier shooting spots so you can create images that will leave you as breathless as looking over the edge of the road. Whether photographing the magical Avalanche Creek, or the towering cedars, snow-mantled summits, and sparkling mountain lakes that abound here, you’ll understand why Glacier is a landscape photographer’s paradise.

What You Learn: When you visit Glacier with RMSP, you don’t merely take in the sights and collect a few pretty pictures. Instead, instructor Tim Cooper ensures that you:

  • Become a more educated and intentional photographer
  • Learn creative landscape composition techniques
  • Master the Zone System of Exposure
  • Gain experience in the process of creating HDR images
  • Experience morning and evening field shoots when the light is best
  • Improve your abilities through constructive group critique sessions
  • Receive one-on-one assistance while working in the field

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera. All skill levels are encouraged to attend, but lectures are not tailored to basic principles. Due to some hiking at high altitude (7,000 feet), it is recommended you be in good physical condition.

To learn more about the experience on this workshop, click the link below to read a blog post written about our 2013 Glacier National Workshop in our local newspaper, The Missoulian.

http://missoulian.com/lifestyles

 

 

Description


Why? After picking up your camera for the hundredth time, it’s understandable if you have been lulled into a certain way of doing things, or a specific way of seeing things. But it’s important to remember that you actually can snap yourself out of your routine. And sometimes, it’s as easy as trying out a new lens!

Macro photography – photographing small items at larger than life size – can inspire big inspiration that can lead to even bigger results! Prepare to get closer than ever before during this week with instructor and macro shooter Tony Rizzuto. From a local floral nursery to the side streets of Missoula and Garnet Ghost Town, you go on the hunt for beauty with your macro lens in natural and man-made landscapes. And in the comfort of a controlled environment, you learn to work with color and composition while enjoying the ability to control the light on your subject.

What? There’s no end to the potential subjects for macro photography. Rusty nails in a barn, colorful flowers in a vase, or fresh fruit at a farmers market are all works of art waiting for you to photograph them. During this course, you:

  • Learn about the tools of the trade used in macro photography including extension tubes, close up filters, and focusing rails
  • Learn macro composition techniques
  • Learn to control depth of field and achieve tack sharp focus
  • Learn methods for adding or altering light in a scene
  • Experience outdoor shoots to photograph items in an uncontrolled environment
  • Photograph items so as to control your creative vision and outcome
  • Push your ability by seeing the work of others
  • Receive constructive feedback from Tony on your images

Throughout the week, Tony makes himself available during shoots for quick refreshers or top-to-bottom assistance creating the photograph you see in your mind’s eye.

Who? Intermediate level photographers comfortable with the manual exposure operation of their camera.

Description


Where We Go: The Grand Teton at sunset. Mormon Row barns with the Tetons in the background. The views from Schwabacher’s Landing. The reflections on Jenny Lake and in the backwaters of the Snake River at Oxbow Bend. Witnessing these landscapes – some of planet Earth’s most picturesque  – change like a chameleon beneath skies of dynamic light and weather is enough to leave anyone speechless. This workshop is an opportunity to experience what it's like to view these scenes through your camera’s viewfinder while creating some of the best images of your life. As part of a small, fun group led by landscape photographer and professional instructor Doug Johnson, you explore all the highlights Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park has to offer.

What You Learn: Being surrounded by this much natural beauty while photographing with a professional at your side makes this week a special experience you won’t soon forget. Doug’s mission is to transform you into a more educated, intentional photographer who can use a camera with confidence. He helps you identify your landscape photography goals and then works with you to achieve them. Along the way he uses classroom lecture time to cover various topics ranging from:

  • Landscape composition
  • Night photography techniques
  • Developing a solid HDR workflow
  • Solutions for exposure of high contrast scenes at sunrise and sunset

In the field Doug encourages and assists you as you practice these techniques. Once you’ve had a chance to create images, you will have your work critiqued so you have a clear idea of how you can improve. Seeing the images created by other participants further helps train your eye to become a better photographer.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Enrollment: Enrollment in this workshop is limited to 8 students.

Description


Where We Go: Being in Yellowstone National Park in the fall makes you think someone adjusted nature’s saturation levels to perfection. The cottonwood and aspen trees create a pallet so vivid you have to pinch yourself to know you aren’t dreaming. The yellows, reds and greens that blanket the landscape seem painted on. The blues in the sky invite you to swim in them. The air is so fresh and crisp you savor every breath and smell. During this week with Doug Johnson, let your senses come to life while experiencing some of Yellowstone’s greatest hits: Lamar, Swan and Hayden valleys, Mammoth Terraces, Norris Geyser Basin, West Thumb Geyser Basin and the Great Fountain Geyser. With scenery so stunning, you might even have to pinch yourself a few times throughout the week! And to top it all off, around every corner exists the possibility of seeing elk, bears, moose, and tons of other creatures that will keep you on your toes … and your finger on the shutter button.

What you learn: As if the scenery weren’t enough, the quality of photographic education you receive while on the workshop will catapult your confidence and abilities to the next level. During this photo-op-of-a-lifetime, Doug teaches you:

  • Methods for photographing wildlife successfully
  • A variety of methods for improving your landscape composition
  • How to create HDR and panoramic images by developing a seamless workflow
  • Techniques for night photography
  • Zone System of exposure for digital cameras.

At the end of this bucket-list experience, you emerge as a more knowledgeable and capable photographer. The skills you gain with Doug will stick with you for a long time and ensure you are able to create technically strong images of every adventure to follow.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Description


Why? Say goodbye to the days of pressing your camera’s shutter button while also crossing your fingers, and get ready to capture the sights and moments around you with confidence! Blue-sky days hiking in Glacier? No problem! Poorly lit conference room photos for your business website? No problem! After a week of immersion in RMSP-style education, you will understand how to use your camera intentionally to obtain great images in a variety of lighting scenarios.

What? During this week of learning the basics, you explore the craft of photography with RMSP graduate turned photo educator Sarah Ehlen, who makes the process fun. Split between classroom lectures, hands-on field shoots, and lively critique sessions, you listen as topics are thoroughly explained indoors—and then actively explore them through trial and error outdoors. During this week you will hone your technique while visiting locations such as the Moon-Randolph Homestead, University of Montana campus, Fort Missoula Museum, Rattlesnake Creek Recreation area, and Caras Park in the heart of downtown Missoula. Sarah teaches you the building blocks of photography:

  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • How they all work together to determine exposure.

You learn a great deal about the basic functions of your camera, such as:

  • The histogram
  • White balance
  • Metering modes

Your instructor will:

  • Discuss compositional techniques that can make your images stand out
  • Open your eyes to the powerful nuances of light such as the temperature, color and direction
  • Facilitate group critiques that help you identify areas you can improve

Who? You’re a beginning photographer who wants to learn how to use your camera in manual mode—and take the best pictures of your life. If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you, here is a blog post by RMSP Instructor Tony Rizzuto for you to review. This may help you decide if this Basic course is best for you, or if Tony’s Intermediate Photography is the right choice for you:

Should I Take Basic or Intermediate?

Description


Where We Go: Between the reds and yellows of the fall foliage, deep blues of the North Atlantic waters and pinks of morning sunrises found along the coast of Maine, it’s clear that this area is a color photographer's dream come true. A colorful character himself, Doug Johnson guides you through this week of beautiful scenery and photographic discoveries while providing an experience you won’t soon forget. As any trip to Maine wouldn’t be complete without the requisite visits to lighthouses and quaint harbor towns, you photograph Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, journey to Monhegan Island and discover endless compositions around Friendship Harbor. While visiting Acadia National Park, you photograph from atop Cadillac Mountain, along the ever-changing rocky coastline near Otter Cliffs and in the Birch Forest at the Wild Gardens of Acadia.

What You Learn: During this week you divide your time between location shoots held when the light is at its best, and a classroom setting in which Doug provides lectures on technical and aesthetic concepts. These lectures will cover topics such as:

  • How to improve your landscape composition
  • Hyperfocal focusing
  • Black and white processing
  • Using the Zone System of exposure 
  • Post-processing techniques with Adobe Lightroom

While on location, Doug is available to work side-by-side with you, answer your questions and talk you through any challenging situations. His constructive feedback during group critiques further solidifies your learning process.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera. Be prepared to hike one to two miles on easy to moderate trails.

Description


Why? You know the difference between a shutter speed of 1/60th and 1/8th. When you think of the numbers 2.8, 4.0, 5.6 or 22 you immediately think of the word “aperture.” You no longer have to google the acronym ISO to understand what it means. All of this means that you understand the basics of photography, and are ready to ramp it up a notch. This workshop will do exactly that, while also allowing you to explore the beauty of western Montana. You will revel in views of the jagged Mission Mountains from Ninepipes Wildlife Refuge, cascading waters of Kootenai Creek, rustic charm of Garnet Ghost Town, and the historic western town of Philipsburg with its colorful downtown and famous candy store.

What? This weeklong course helps you master exposure and teaches you to see more creatively. In a wide spectrum of shooting scenarios, Tony teaches you:

  • Low-light and night photography
  • Macro photography techniques and equipment
  • Zone System of Exposure
  • How to achieve more creative compositions
  • How to design great images vs. simply capturing a scene

Tony’s humorous and easygoing nature makes for a comfortable learning environment. He leads group critiques that further your growth by offering a window into the thought process and keen eye of a professional photographer. Seeing the images created by your classmates, and hearing their input on the strengths and weaknesses of your photographs also helps to embed the lessons learned throughout the week.

Who? You have an understanding of the basic principles of photography and are able to operate your DSLR on manual mode confidently, or have taken RMSP’s Basic Photography workshop. If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you because you feel less confident than you would like, here are a couple of blog posts to review. These may help you decide if either Basic or Intermediate Photography is the right choice for you:

Should I Take Basic or Intermediate

The 411 of Basic Photography in Monterey, CA 

Description


Where We Go: Photographing in Death Valley National Park takes you and your photography to new extremes. While the area is usually talked about in terms of record heat (136 degrees), or as North America’s lowest elevation (282 feet below sea level), it’s also a playground for landscape photographers. Within its three million acres, infinite spectacular possibilities exist for capturing the interplay between otherworldly landscapes and dramatic morning and evening light. During this weeklong feeding frenzy of amazing light, photograph at Mesquite Sand Dunes, Golden Canyon, Ubehebe Crater and Cow Creek. Venture to the Rhyolite Ghost Town to capture creative night images of the town's dilapidated structures amidst the ever-changing hues of Death Valley.

What You Learn: Learning to photograph in an environment as dynamic as Death Valley requires an instructor just as dynamic – someone like Doug Johnson. From a comfortable classroom, Johnson provides insightful lectures that cover a wide range of topics:

  • Composition
  • Hyperfocal focusing
  • Techniques for creative night photography
  • Developing a workflow for creating realistic HDR images

During location shoots—held when both the light and the temperature are enjoyable—Johnson provides:

  • One-on-one assistance
  • Tips as you practice the techniques discussed in the classroom

Constructive, post-shoot critique sessions allow you to benefit from having a nice glass of ice water while your images are studied and discussed by Doug and other participants in an effort to help you improve.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera. Be prepared to hike up to three miles on moderate trails and steep sand dunes.