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.

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


Where We Go: Photographers are an inquisitive and determined bunch when it comes to pushing the envelope in order to get “the shot.” We will travel to the ends of the Earth to find better light. We will suspend ourselves from bridges to get a new angle. We will take thousands of dollars of gear underwater just to see a new perspective. So the overwhelming desire to achieve incredible angles from impossible locations should come as no surprise to anyone. Thanks to the surge in popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles, (aka: “drones” to us regular folks), photographers around the world are creating imagery that wasn’t even possible a few years ago.

Whether you have a bit of experience using a drone, are chomping at the bit to get started, or are somewhere in between, this course held in and around Missoula, MT will definitely make you stand up and take notice. This week with Chase Guttman, the guy who literally wrote the book on drone photography and has been named "Young Travel Photographer of the Year" three times, will pour the gas on your drone photography fire!

What You Learn: If you think this class is only going to allow you to dip your toes into the world of drone photography, think again! From day one, you will be running at full speed toward gaining a comprehensive understanding of this niche. Chase will start by taking stock of the drones being used by each participant in the course. He will then lead a discussion on the various makes and models available, and various accessories that are available to drone operators. Once you have gained a broad overview of the choices available in the marketplace, it's time to start learning how to fly! From turning it on, to connecting it to your phone or iPad, cycling through the various flight modes, and moving it through the air effectively, you will quickly gain comfort with the tools. Progressing through the week, Chase will dive into topics including lighting for drone photography, composition, finding supreme shooting locations, post-processing considerations, as well as some of his pro tips on how to get the most out of your locations. You will learn the most current FAA regulations related to operating a drone and best practices for maintenance, how to travel with a drone, and even things to be aware of when setting up a drone photography business.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


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 are a couple of blog posts 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?

Is Basic too Basic?

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.

 

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.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.

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

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


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.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.

Description


When you sit down to edit your images, do you feel a little unsure of yourself? Something like, “I hope this looks as good as I think it does!” If yes, then this short, immersive editing and composition workshop is made for you.

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are powerful tools for photographers, but they can be very destructive to your images when used haphazardly. Instructor Tim Cooper will give you a digestible introduction to these incredible programs, with an emphasis on why they are important and how they can drastically improve your images.

When you sign up for this class, you’re not only signing up for excellent instruction and applicable material, but you’re signing up for a practical, experiential learning experience with a seasoned software pro. This workshop is the gateway to an effective image-processing workflow, whether you’re just beginning or have been photographing for years.

Students will practice with the following:

  • Lightroom’s Library Module organizational tools
  • Lightroom’s global and local adjustment tools
  • Why and When to Use Photoshop
  • How to best edit an image with both Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Layers and Masks: the structure of Photoshop
  • Retouching in Photoshop
  • Selective edits in Photoshop
  • Utilizing composition to direct the viewers’ eyes through your images

Is this course really for YOU?

  • Tim will cover the basics of Lightroom and Photoshop, but will not spend time on advanced topics during this workshop. This course is an introduction to these tools and therefore is geared toward beginner and intermediate Lightroom/Photoshop users. If you are looking for something more comprehensive about either software program, check out our dedicated, four-day Lightroom and Photoshop workshops taught in Missoula in the summer.
  • Students need to arrive at this course with a Lightroom catalog file ready to use on their laptop computer. See this video if you need assistance.

Description


When you sit down to edit your images, do you feel a little unsure of yourself? Something like, “I hope this looks as good as I think it does!” If yes, then this short, immersive editing and composition workshop is made for you.

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are powerful tools for photographers, but they can be very destructive to your images when used haphazardly. Instructor Tim Cooper will give you a digestible introduction to these incredible programs, with an emphasis on why they are important and how they can drastically improve your images.

When you sign up for this class, you’re not only signing up for excellent instruction and applicable material, but you’re signing up for a practical, experiential learning experience with a seasoned software pro. This workshop is the gateway to an effective image-processing workflow, whether you’re just beginning or have been photographing for years.

Students will practice with the following:

  • Lightroom’s Library Module organizational tools
  • Lightroom’s global and local adjustment tools
  • Why and When to Use Photoshop
  • How to best edit an image with both Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Layers and Masks: the structure of Photoshop
  • Retouching in Photoshop
  • Selective edits in Photoshop
  • Utilizing composition to direct the viewers’ eyes through your images

Is this course really for YOU?

  • Tim will cover the basics of Lightroom and Photoshop, but will not spend time on advanced topics during this workshop. This course is an introduction to these tools and therefore is geared toward beginner and intermediate Lightroom/Photoshop users. If you are looking for something more comprehensive about either software program, check out our dedicated, four-day Lightroom and Photoshop workshops taught in Missoula in the summer.
  • Students need to arrive at this course with a Lightroom catalog file ready to use on their laptop computer. See this video if you need assistance.

Description


Great landscape photographers are not born, but created, through many years of study and practice. One of these greats is Doug Johnson, the instructor for this workshop held in two of the nation's most scenic parks. Let him lead you through the arches and deserts of Utah as he helps you gain confidence in your skills, your camera, and your own images.

As with all genres of photography, landscape photography is all about the light and being in the right place at the right time. Doug will show you the best locations in these two incredible parks and he will take you to them when the sun enhances their textures for the most impactful images. In Arches National Park, you’ll explore the world’s largest concentration of sandstone arches in a scenic wonderland of wildflowers and gorgeous desert light. In neighboring Dead Horse State Park and Green River Overlook, the magic light of sunrise and sunset await you.

Here are just a few of the things Doug will teach during this workshop:

  • Hyperfocal focusing to ensure perfect sharpness from foreground to background
  • The Zone System of exposure for accurate in-camera exposures every time
  • Night photography techniques and considerations
  • Post-processing best-practices to make images stand out while still looking natural
  • How to identify great compositions in the field and arrange shapes, lines and elements

Students who attend this workshop should expect:

  • One-on-one attention from the instructor
  • Personalized image critiques
  • Early mornings and late nights spent shooting
  • Hands-on, indoor instruction during the hottest midday hours
  • Intermediate instruction level; students should be comfortable operating their cameras in Manual mode
  • Moderately strenuous conditions, hiking 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 students.

Description


Texas Hill Country is a unique mix of natural beauty, cultural icons, and living history. In fact, if you’ve ever wanted to place yourself in a country music song or an old Western movie, this workshop is for you. Instructor Lynn Hoffman-Brouse will take you to the best places at the best times for a photographic experience you’re sure to remember.

Spring brings a beauty to this serene landscape that is unmatched. Texas bluebonnets blanket the fields and roadsides. From the German settlement of Fredericksburg, you make day trips to the area’s natural attractions including Enchanted Rock State Park, the LBJ Ranch, nearby Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm and Pedernales Falls State Park. Experience the character of Texas from inside a dance hall in Luckenbach and from behind a bird blind, where if luck is with us, you’ll delight in seeing over 20 species of birds.

During the course of the class, Lynn will discuss composition and design and get you thinking about your own personal style. She will also discuss photographing people and landscapes. She will end by giving you the tools to challenge yourself artistically as you grow in your photography.

Students will walk away with experience in the following:

  • Compositional techniques for creating impactful images.
  • Technical know-how for photographing and connecting with people.
  • Macro photography practice and skills.
  • How to use the Zone System of exposure.
  • Creating a sense of place and emphasis on specific locations.

Description


This six-day, five-night photography workshop in Joshua Tree National Park will take place between the New moon and First Quarter phase of the moon, which means dark skies with an increasing amount of moonlight during the workshop.This is ideal for photographing the Milky Way, which rises above the horizon late each night. The temperature will be moderated by the season, with daytime temperatures in the upper 80s, and nighttime lows in the low 50s.

Topics covered will include exposure, composition, light painting and controlling the ratio between ambient and added light. Techniques and inspiration will be constantly discussed, demonstrated and put into practice. We hope to push you to step outside your comfort zone—to test the limits of what you and your camera can do. Special emphasis will be placed on developing your own personal night vision

This workshop will have both field and classroom instruction. We will be in the classroom each day, and out in the field at different locations each night. Participants can stay out shooting as long as they, or their camera’s batteries, hold out. While in the field, the instructors will demonstrate their own techniques, and work with participants one-on-one to make sure everyone gets the most out of the workshop. During classroom sessions, there will be presentations by the instructors, but we will focus on developing your images and sharing everyone's work and ideas with each other. Each day will have a critique of the previous night’s work.

Locations may include Keys Ranch ruins, Arch Rock, the Cholla Cactus Garden, Ryan Ranch ruins, Hidden Valley, and of course Joshua trees! We may also venture outside the park one night to photograph some of the many interesting sites in the area. Discoveries await.

This class is for those looking to expand their photographic horizons, recharge their creative batteries and share ideas with friends and colleagues. We will create individual goals for each participant, and encourage you to blur the lines between night and day, consider why you photograph at night, and challenge you to make unique images that have deep personal meaning. Collaboration is a great way to make new discoveries and new friends, and will be a part of the experience. Working through image ideas and lighting together is a fun and rewarding process, and can give you that kick in the pants you’ve been looking for.

The workshop is intended for people who are comfortable with their equipment and with capturing RAW files in Manual exposure mode. Night photography experience is not necessary, but even folks with extensive experience shooting at night will find this class challenging, stimulating and inspiring.

Prerequisites and topics:

  • Participants must have at least basic photo skills, know their cameras well, and be comfortable shooting RAW in manual mode with a DSLR or high-end mirrorless camera.
  • You will go home from the workshop with a solid grasp of night photography in a dark-sky environment, and a good foundation in light painting techniques. Topics covered will include scouting and planning, composing and focusing in low light, light painting, and optimizing exposure for RAW capture and development with Lightroom.
  • Those with more experience are welcome, and we will offer guidance in the field if you mainly want to concentrate on creating portfolio images or more advanced techniques.

Considerations:

  • Demonstrations and image review will be conducted in Lightroom.
  • There will not be any long hikes, but you should be comfortable carrying your own equipment over uneven ground in the dark for distances up to a mile.

This workshop is limited to 12 students.

Description


When visiting America's first national park, you are amidst more geothermal features - geysers, hot springs and mudpots - than anywhere else on the planet. When the park wakes up from its winter slumber and comes to life each spring, these natural features combine with the wildlife and scenic beauty to create photographic opportunities that should not be missed. Let our instructor, Doug Johnson, help you create images that are more than just postcard worthy – images that are unique, meaningful and technically strong.

Great images of Yellowstone start with knowing where and when to visit. The spring is an incredible time to explore the park (and trust us – we’ve been there every time of year). The flowers are blooming, wildlife babies are born, and the massive crowds haven’t showed up yet. Let your senses come to life while experiencing some of Yellowstone’s greatest hits: Lamar, Swan and Hayden valleys, Mammoth Terraces, and Norris Geyser Basin, among many others.

Our instructor Doug Johnson has extensive experience teaching in the park.  His kind and generous teaching style helps students create the best pictures they can imagine. By combining his excellent instruction, perfect shoot timing, and hands-on experience, we’ve crafted a workshop that will make every landscape photographer swoon.

To maximize our visit to the park and catch the best of what it has to offer, the workshop begins in Gardiner, MT, and mid-way through re-locates to the town of West Yellowstone.

Students of this workshop will walk away with:

  • A solid understanding of the Zone System of exposure (which will change your photographic life)
  • A post-processing workflow for creating seamless HDRs and panoramas
  • Professionally critiqued images from the best parts of the park
  • New compositional techniques to create striking images
  • Experience in both wildlife and night photography

This workshop is limited to 13 students.

Description


One of the hidden (actually, not-so-hidden) gems of Washington state is an expanse of farmland smack-dab in the middle. The Palouse country hills are breathtaking for both photographers and laypeople alike, but for photographers, this flawless landscape stirs up something special inside us. 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.

Instructor Doug Johnson has explored this area up and down… And he’s found the most interesting places for students to photograph – and most importantly, he knows the best times to be there. Students can expect to be up and shooting before the crack of dawn and lay down to sleep well after twilight (usually not back to back!)

If you’re looking for a jaw-droppingly beautiful landscape to share with your camera, look no further than Palouse country. We make no promises, but your camera will probably thank you.

(Love the idea of the Palouse, but spring dates won’t work? Fear not! Doug is also teaching this workshop in the late summer.)

Students will leave this workshop knowing how to:

  • Identify the best times of day to photograph a landscape using specialized software
  • Discover the best times are to photograph a specific location
  • Shoot for and stitch together Panoramic images and HDR images
  • Edit their landscape images for greatest impact using Adobe Lightroom
  • Create compelling landscape images in-camera instead of relying on post-processing

Description


How many photographers have bought an external flash unit, used it once or twice with less-than-great results, then stashed it back into the box/a closet/a storage unit fearing it would ruin their photographs?

Us too!

That is, until we met Syl Arena. He has been teaching with RMSP for many years, and he is one of the best flash instructors in the biz. After learning technical flash/speedlight skills with him, you won’t ever want to shoot without your flash again!

So, what exactly will students be learning?

  • How to set a flash to produce the desired quality of light
  • How to fire a flash off-camera with remote technology
  • How to position a flash to produce specific lighting scenarios
  • How to use multiple flashes to create more dynamic images
  • How to select and use helpful lighting modifiers (diffusers, grids, softboxes, etc.)
  • How to use a flash to add fill light to a high contrast scene or portrait
  • How to balance ambient light with light from the flash so the background isn’t pure black
  • How to use both Manual and TTL (through-the-lens) flash exposure methods

What types of photographers use flashes?

Portrait, portrait and portrait photographers
Wedding photographers
Editorial photographers
Journalistic photographers
Headshot photographers
Landscape photographers
Basically all photographers

Note:  No prior experience with flash is necessary.

Description


When photographers start out, most of them spend a couple of seconds reading their camera manual, quite a few minutes fiddling with the controls, and the following few years thinking they’ve “got it.” But then they look back and realize their photos on their fancy camera aren’t much better than their smartphone photos.

Our goal with this workshop is to help photographers gain a solid understanding of their camera, the fundamental photographic principles, and best practices for lighting so that their photos will constantly improve. Plus, we help you in-person, with hands-on suggestions for improvement.

Probably you’ve already heard this, but instructor Doug Johnson is one of the best. And he’ll make sure you walk away from this workshop with your questions answered, your pictures better, and your camera permanently affixed to your hand. Split between classroom lectures, hands-on field shoots, and lively (but gentle) critique sessions, you learn the topics indoors in the classroom and then actively explore them through trial and error during field shoots outdoors.  We'll take you to locations such as the Moon-Randolph Homestead, the University of Montana campus, Fort Missoula, Rattlesnake Creek Recreation area and Caras Park in the heart of downtown Missoula.

As for the information taught, where to begin…

  • Manual Mode on your camera and why it’s worth it.
  • How the reciprocal relationship of aperture, shutter speed and ISO really works.
  • Why light is always your most important subject.
  • How to shape and form your images with light.
  • What composition actually is and some best practices for how you “see”.
  • What a light meter is and why it’s in your camera – and different metering modes.
  • White balance.
  • Depth of field.
  • Using a histogram.
  • Constructive group critiques and one-on-one attention.
  • Gaining confidence.
  • Gaining confidence.
  • Gaining confidence.

If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you, here are a couple of blog posts 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?

Is Basic too Basic?

Description


Our popular Colorado Mountains and Wildflowers workshop is a great way to enjoy some of the best scenery our country has to offer.  The town of Ouray, our workshop base, is often called the "Little Switzerland of America" and rightly so. It features some of the highest peaks in the Rockies, rugged canyons, ghost towns, alpine waterfalls and abundant wildflowers. We may find blue columbine, mountain paintbrush, mountain bluebell and many others of the more than 50 local species.

The high point of the workshop is the days traveling via 4x4 jeeps (with professional drivers) along steep mountain roads into the back country.  This allows us to get into the heart of this magnificent land and see its grand scale, with plenty of time to stop and shoot along the way.  Each day the group returns to Ouray for lunch, lecture and critique.  Evenings are spent photographing within easy driving distance of town  One day is spent capturing the Old West architecture of Silverton and the vast beauty of Molas Pass.

Tim Cooper and Lynn Hoffman-Brouse are our veteran instructors on this adventure.  They've taught this workshop together for over twenty years and continue to inspire students with their technical and aesthetic instruction and one-on-one personal attention. Plan on having the time of your life and experience the camaraderie of a true adventure with fellow photo enthusiasts.

Students of this workshop will learn the following:

  • The Zone System of exposure for nailing perfect exposures every time!
  • Creative macro photography techniques and technical skills.
  • Composition considerations for framing images.
  • How to use foreground, middle ground and background to make beautiful landscape images.
  • What is and isn’t working in their own images.

Description


This workshop is built for people who want to increase their photograph knowledge beyond just shooting on Manual and centering their light meter on “0.” (Psst, if these are foreign concepts, check out Basic Photography.)

Because instructor Tony Rizzuto leads participants through hands-on exercises of the concepts he teaches, students always leave this workshop satisfied and excited to continue photographing – with a newfound confidence. The material taught is almost second to the experience of learning from one of the best teachers in the industry and giving yourself dedicated time to improve your vision for your work.

You'll go on field shoots to several locations within the Missoula vicinity, including Ninepipe Wildlife Refuge, Garnet Ghost Town, the historic town of Philipsburg, and a local nursery for learning how to get up close.  Tony's humorous and easygoing teaching style make for a comfortable learning environment.  He leads group critiques that further your growth by offering constructive ideas for how you can improve.  Tony will challenge you to seek out creative compositions as you experience the difference between taking a picture and designing a memorable image. 

When it comes to what this class includes, it starts with a (quick) review of the basics and launches into a week of exploring:

  • The Zone System of exposure (worth the tuition on its own)
  • Macro photography techniques and practice
  • Composition considerations so that your photos are purposeful and impactful
  • Low-light and night photography – because shooting for the stars is never a bad thing
  • Ghost towns, small towns and rural Montana

Description


Adobe Lightroom is one of the most powerful image-editing programs for photographers. We are impressed by its organizational mastery and the powerful raw processing that works beneath the surface of the Develop module. Which is why, in this workshop, we spend plenty of time teaching students how to best use both.

Just pick up any book on Lightroom and it’ll tell you: it’s important to understand the program before you start using it. There are some quirks about it. Like a few non-default settings that really should be default. Like the way Lightroom links to the physical locations of image files that shouldn’t be moved. Like the way you should always back up your catalog file and why.

Let us help you out.

Students will walk away from this workshop with:

  • A solid understanding and workflow for storing and archiving images knowledge of how Lightroom works (it’s not necessarily intuitive!).
  • New techniques for making images look like what your eyes saw.
  • A strategy for backing up your images to prevent any loss due to hard drive failure.
  • The best workflow for editing your images – so that they look their best.
  • An understanding of how to import images to or export images from Lightroom.
  • A complete understanding of Lightroom’s organizational tools and techniques to leave you no excuse for disorganization.

Description


When you hear the word Photoshop, you’ll either get giddy, artistic, or confused. We’d like you to be, simply, knowledgeable.

Here’s why: Photoshop is the most incredible program we’ve ever used. It has purposes for photographers, graphic designers, animators, videographers, advertisers, developers… Well, you get the point.

And we want to teach you why it’s so incredible for photographers.

Learn how to start using it with instructor Jeff McLain, a veteran digital technician for clients such as Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Mountain Hardwear, and many others.

Reasons why photographers might want to know Photoshop:

  • It’s a BEAST of a program and can vastly improve your images, even beyond what you thought possible.
  • It enables photographers to combine multiple images into composites. 
  • It gives you the ability to precisely select and adjust certain areas of an image.
  • We call it a pixel-pusher, which allows you to turn what you photographed into creative art. 
  • The methods it used (layers and masks) are very helpful once you understand them.

Reasons why you should learn Photoshop in this workshop:

  • Jeff will help it make sense through hands-on application.
  • The follow-along method we use in our software workshops is tried and true.
  • We commit to answering every student’s questions (big or small) before they leave the course.
  • The best thing about photography is community – why learn alone?

Description


Creating great images of wild animals requires technical understanding, attention to detail, and access to animals. But once a photographer has all those things, how do they know whether the photo is any good?

This course with Neil and Forest Chaput de Saintonge will help students learn the best wildlife photo considerations, practice their techniques in the field with mountain lions, wolves and other animals, and gain valuable feedback on what is and isn’t working in their wildlife photographs. Students leave this workshop with a solid understanding of the most trusted settings for wildlife photography, a workflow for editing their images to maximize impact, and amazing experiences photographing some of the world’s most interesting animals in a controlled environment.

During this shoot-and-critique style workshop you will:

  • 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.
  • Gain insight on how you can improve your techniques. 
  • Benefit from having dedicated time to edit your images during the course.

What to expect:

  • Two morning-light field shoots at Triple D Game Farm.
  • Two specialized critiques from both instructors.
  • Lectures about both photographing and editing wildlife photos (instructors will talk about specific shooting techniques, but will not cover basic camera operations; students are expected to arrive with a working knowledge of their camera’s manual shooting mode).
  • One-on-one help in a small class size (2 instructors: 12 students).
  • Please note that this workshop is primarily a shoot-and-critique workshop. And, unlike during other RMSP workshops, your instructors will be photographing alongside you during this course.

Description


Creating a great black-and-white image starts with an understanding of light, tonalities, and photographic exposure. When those skills are coupled with the perfect times of day in fascinating locations across the Old West, amazing images are inevitable.

Let our exceptional instructor (and life-long Montanan) Doug Johnson lead you on a photographic experience through some of the state’s most interesting landscapes, ghost towns, and ranches. He’ll teach you technique, composition and more, as he critiques your images and helps you see Montana like a photographer.

Although students are encouraged to explore all avenues of creativity, this course specifically focuses on helping students learn how to “see” in black and white. Doug will relay knowledge passed down from Ansel Adams to Neil Chaput de Saintonge to himself. With new skills like the Zone System of exposure and black and white image-processing techniques, students will leave with incredible experiences, impactful images, and an understanding of light that goes deeper than that of most photographers.

Students of this workshop will:

  • Learn how to see and read light to produce perfect exposures every time.
  • Learn how to capture and process images like Ansel Adams did.
  • Gain a solid understanding of the Zone System of exposure.
  • Explore night photography techniques.
  • Process images with Adobe Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro.

During this workshop, we drive through western Montana exploring the most photogenic locations of the Old West. Students will capture the essence of these locations at the best times of day!

  • Garnet Ghost Town
  • Moon-Randolph Homestead
  • Bannack Ghost Town
  • World Museum of Mining in Butte
  • Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge
  • Geary Ranch

Description


Becoming a freelance photographer who can regularly generate income from outdoor imagery requires a knowledge of the industry and a unique vision that's all your own. 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 venture.  Learning how to sell your images is often the last thing that photographers want to think about. And yes, photography starts and revolves around creating quality work, but often we forget to put the time into learning how to pay the bills with those images.

This workshop combines in-classroom lecture and honest, professional critiques with time spent shooting outdoors. Scheduled shoots will take you to locations within easy driving distance from Missoula, such as Lee Metcalf Wildlife Reserve, Holland Lake and Falls and Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge. Working with the landscape and with hired animal models, you’ll practice techniques for capturing marketable images under Michael’s experienced guidance. 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.

Instructor Michael DeYoung has been photographing for over 25 years and he has sold a tremendous number of images, over and over again.  He will share with the class how he does it and how his strategy still works in an ever-changing industry. 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
  • Learn how to think about your photographs as "concepts"
  • Convey a sense of place in your images
  • Build trust by maintaining a high standard of ethics

Students of this workshop walk away with:

  • A tremendous amount of information about what makes images marketable.
  • Amazing images of beautiful Montana locations.
  • Tips for writing proposals and query letters to editorial clients.
  • An understanding of licensing, valuing and pricing their work.
  • Info about licensing images to magazines, calendars, cards, books, local and regional tourism markets, and commercial art décor.
  • The know-how for licensing images through stock agencies.
  • Marketing knowledge that makes a photographer stand out from the crowd.

So, is it for you?

(If you love outdoor imagery…. then we’re going to go with yes. See you soon!)

Description


Understanding studio lighting is one of those things that will instantly set apart any photographer from the pack. It is a professional skill that is useful in many arenas, especially nowadays, when images run rampant in our culture and every business needs professional headshots, product shots, and perfectly-lit Instagram content.

However, when it comes to studio lighting, what matters the most is, well, lighting. And in this case, the gear is the means to achieve incredible light. We want to help you understand how it all works.

Allow our instructor Jeff McLain (our Professional Intensive studio lighting instructor!) make it all make sense. He’ll talk all about why this gear is so awesome, what its practical applications are, and how to use it all effectively in order to achieve the look you’re going for.

Students will have practical experience with the following:

  • How to meter artificial lighting for accurate exposures every time.
  • The applicable differences between different strobe modifiers and their primary uses.
  • How to achieve or reproduce particular lighting scenarios.
  • How to read the light in a particular image to identify how to reproduce it.
  • How to combine strobes and ambient lighting in a pleasing way.
  • How different directions of light affect the shape, texture and form of a subject.
  • How to recreate traditional portrait lighting setups.

Students should arrive at this workshop with a solid understanding of using the Manual mode on their camera, comfortability with getting photographed (we promise, it’ll be painless), and a lot of empty space in their brain. Because Jeff will fill it. With good stuff.

Description


When it comes to beautiful places, Glacier National Park is a landscape photographer’s heaven. With wandering trails, expansive scenery, massive mountains and perfect sunsets, this park is more than a place to roam – it’s a place to experience. This workshop will take you from the waterfalls, majestic peaks and wildflowers on the east side of the park – up to Logan Pass on Going to the Sun Road – and down to the west side and gorgeous Avalanche Lake and Lake McDonald.

Join long-time RMSP instructor and landscape photographer Tim Cooper as he leads you to the best locations at the best times, helping you create striking images of this breathtaking park.

Tim will lecture on the Zone System of exposure, which was taught and used by Ansel Adams. He’ll help students learn how to compose their images for greater impact and how to process and create HDR composites. Students will receive one-on-one attention and specialized critiques.

Students will leave this workshop with:

  • A solid understanding of Ansel Adams’ Zone System.
  • Experiences and images from the best time + location combinations Glacier offers.
  • Feedback about what is and isn’t working about their images.
  • More!

Students should arrive with:

  • A working knowledge of your camera’s Manual mode.
  • Due to some hiking at high altitude (7,000 feet), it is recommended you be in good physical condition.
  • A camera, tripod, laptop, and hiking boots! (see full equipment list here).

Description


Palouse Country seems custom made for the benefit of landscape photographers. Located in eastern Washington, south of Spokane along the Idaho border, this 4,000-square-mile region is a patchwork of rolling farmland, colorful farmhouses and flour mills rich in character. This is no tourist attraction put on “for show”. These are working farms of rich, fertile soil, producing huge crops of wheat, barley, lentils and grapes.

We’re returning to the Palouse with a second workshop this year. This time it’s at the end of the season, during the last weeks of harvest when the fields have changed from vibrant green to beautiful golden browns. Farmers are busy working, finishing the harvest and getting their fields ready for next year’s crops. You’ll see the area in action as massive combines, tractors and other farm machinery do their work.

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.

Here’s what you get by attending this workshop in the late summer: Deeper colors, longer shoot-able hours, and a different kind of light.

We can’t wait to share this with you.

Students will spend a week with instructor-extraordinaire Doug Johnson learning how to:

  • Identify the best times of day to photograph a landscape using specialized software.
  • Discover what the best times are to photograph a specific location.
  • Shoot for and stitch together Panoramic images and HDR images.
  • Edit their landscape images for greatest impact using Adobe Lightroom.
  • Create compelling landscape images in-camera instead of relying on post-processing.
(Love the idea of the Palouse, but spring dates won’t work? Fear not! Doug is also teaching this workshop in the spring.)

Description


When photographers start out, most of them spend a couple of seconds reading their camera manual, quite a few minutes fiddling with the controls, and the following few years thinking they’ve “got it.” But then they look back and realize their photos on their fancy camera aren’t much better than their smartphone photos.

Our goal with this workshop is to help photographers gain a solid understanding of their camera, fundamental photographic principles, and best practices for lighting so that their photos will constantly improve. Plus, we help you in-person, with hands-on suggestions for improvement.

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 (but gentle) critique sessions, you learn the topics indoors in the classroom and then actively explore them through trial and error during field shoots outdoors.  We'll take you to locations such as the Moon-Randolph Homestead, the University of Montana campus, Fort Missoula, Rattlesnake Creek Recreation area and Caras Park in the heart of downtown Missoula.

As for the information taught, where to begin…

  • Manual Mode on your camera and why it’s worth it
  • How the reciprocal relationship of aperture, shutter speed and ISO really works
  • Why light is always your most important subject
  • How to shape and form your images with light
  • What composition actually is and some best practices for how you “see”
  • What a light meter is and why it’s in your camera – and different metering modes
  • White balance
  • Depth of field
  • Using a histogram
  • Constructive group critiques and one-on-one attention
  • Gaining confidence
  • Gaining confidence
  • Gaining confidence

If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you, here are a couple of blog posts 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?

Is Basic too Basic?

Description


Why not go to Maine with your camera? Really, there’s nothing like it anywhere in the world. And we’re northwest-people, but we truly can’t get enough of Maine.

From the deep blues of the North Atlantic waters to the pinks of morning sunrises, it’s clear that this area is a color photographer's dream come true.  Add fall foliage into the mix and you have the perfect time to visit New England. Autumn color blankets the granite shoreline and the thick inland forests. White birches stand out against red, orange and yellow maple leaves. Nearby rocky crags reach out from the pounding surf.

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 visits to charming 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.

This course leads you through these many shooting locations – always at the best times of day – and Doug is right there with you, available to work side-by-side with you, answer your questions and talk you through any challenging situations. On top of that, he will offer constructive group critiques of your images so that you can improve tenfold.

Students in this workshop will learn:

  • How to properly expose their images with the Zone System of exposure.
  • How hyperfocal focusing can help you achieve sharpness throughout your entire image.
  • How to use Adobe Lightroom to process your images for greatest impact.
  • How to improve your landscape compositions.
  • When to photograph for the best possible lighting in your images.

Description


This workshop is built for people who want to increase their photograph knowledge beyond just shooting on Manual and centering their light meter on “0.” (Psst, if these are foreign concepts, check out Basic Photography.)

Because instructor Tony Rizzuto leads participants through hands-on exercises of the concepts he teaches, students always leave this workshop satisfied and excited to continue photographing – with a newfound confidence. The material taught is almost second to the experience of learning from one of the best teachers in the industry and giving yourself dedicated time to improve your vision for your work.

You'll go on field shoots to several locations within the Missoula vicinity, including Ninepipe Wildlife Refuge, Garnet Ghost Town, the historic town of Philipsburg, and a local nursery for learning how to get up close.  Tony's humorous and easygoing teaching style make for a comfortable learning environment.  He leads group critiques that further your growth by offering constructive ideas for how you can improve.  Tony will challenge you to seek out creative compositions as you experience the difference between taking a picture and designing a memorable image. 

When it comes to what this class includes, it starts with a (quick) review of the basics and launches into a week of exploring:

  • The Zone System of exposure (worth the tuition on its own)
  • Macro photography techniques and practice
  • Composition considerations so that your photos are purposeful and impactful
  • Low-light and night photography – because shooting for the stars is never a bad thing
  • Ghost towns, small towns and rural Montana

 

Big Bend National Park

11/1/2018 - 11/7/2018

Description


Join us for this exciting trip to one of America’s best-kept secrets. Named for the curving path of the Rio Grande river marking the border between Texas and Mexico, Big Bend National Park is one of the largest and most diverse parks in this country. Most major ecological zones exist side by side here, ranging from arid deserts to verdant mountain forests.

Where the rocky Chisos Mountains meet the Chihuahuan Desert, we find extraordinary landscapes, rare plant species, and scenic views that will knock your socks off. From Santa Elena Canyon on the western edge to Boquillas Canyon on the east and all the wide-open valleys and mountain splendor in between, landscape photographers are bound to find plenty of captivating subject matter. Outside the park, we’ll visit the ghost town of Terlingua, a funky, picturesque oasis that’s alive with history and a great place to relax and have a delicious meal.

When it comes to hands-on attention, Doug is unmatched, and we are certain you’ll walk away from this experience a better photographer because of it. Doug will take you to the best places at the best times. He’ll help you create the best possible pictures of this area, and he will look at your camera with you while you’re trying to create them.

This gorgeous location is not complete without a serious amount of time spent on photographic techniques that you can use anywhere, not just in Texas.

Instructor Doug Johnson will cover:

  • A review of exposure
  • Landscape photography
  • Hyperfocal focusing
  • Zone System
  • Lightroom
  • Composition
  • Shooting panoramas and HDR’s