Colorado Mountains and Wildflowers Ouray, Colorado

7/28/2019 - 8/3/2019

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.

Doug Johnson is our veteran instructor on this adventure. As one of RMSP's most beloved instructors, Doug's expertise in landscape and macro photography continues to inspire students with 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.


This workshop begins on Sunday, July 28, at 7 p.m. and ends on Saturday, August 3, at noon.

Tentative schedule for Colorado Mountains and Wildflowers workshop:

Sunday, 7/28
Evening: 7 pm: Introductions and Orientation
Monday, 7/29
Morning: Field Shoot
Afternoon: Lecture: Basic Exposure, Photographing Flowers
Evening: Field Shoot (Jeep Ride)
Tuesday, 7/30

Field Shoot (Jeep Ride)



Lecture: Composition


Evening: Field Shoot: Sunset
Wednesday, 7/31

Field Shoot (Jeep Ride into the backcountry)



Lecture: Zone for Color


Evening: Field Shoot: Sunset
Thursday, 8/1

Field Shoot

Lecture: HDR Images, Right Brain and Left Brain Photography



Field Shoot

Evening: Field Shoot
Friday, 8/2
Morning: Field Shoot: All Day Jeep Ride into the Backcountry



Optional "no-host" group dinner with Doug

Saturday, 8/3

Critique and Final Slideshows


Workshop ends at Noon



Meeting Space

This meeting room for the workshop is the breakfast room at the Ouray Victorian Inn at 50 3rd Ave in Ouray. This workshop begins Sunday, July 28, at 7 p.m. and ends Saturday, August 3, at noon.


There is a room block set up at the Ouray Victorian Inn for the nights of July 28 through August 2 (6 nights, departing August 3). Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly. Be sure to indicate that you are with Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Please book your room as early as possible as rooms fill up fast.

Ouray Victorian Inn
50 3rd Avenue
Ouray, CO 81427
(970) 325-7222

Rates: Rooms have been blocked at the rate of $155 per night + tax (one king bed) or $160 per night + tax (2 queen beds). Room choices are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cutoff Date: Be sure to make your reservations by June 14, 2019. After this date, reservations will be based on availability.

Cancellation Policy: All reservations require a 50% deposit and are subject to a 30-day cancellation policy. Please check with the hotel for details.

RMSP is not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets/hotel rooms in the event of a course cancellation. Please consider the purchase of trip/travel insurance.

There are several nearby airports for this workshop. To find out about carriers and flight schedules visit the airport websites.

Montrose Regional Airport
2100 Airport Road
Montrose, CO 81401
Montrose Airport

Telluride Regional Airport
1500 Last Dollar Road
Telluride, CO 81435
Telluride Airport

Denver International Airport
8500 Pena Blvd.
Denver, CO 80249
Denver Airport

Transportation during the Workshop

You are responsible for your own transportation during the workshop. For transportation to and from field shoots, we suggest that you carpool to get to know fellow students.

Major car rental companies are available at the airports listed above. Please click on the links to the airport websites for more information.


Any additional fees and/or supplies will be the responsibility of the participant. The 4x4 Jeep Tours are included in your tuition.


We want your experience at an RMSP workshop to be full of learning and fun. We recognize that preparation is one important key to success. The following is meant to be a packing aid, not a shopping list. If you have questions about what’s needed, please call Bob McGowan, our Student Services Associate, at 800-394-7677.

If you'd like to try out the best gear we recommend for this workshop, or you don't have the gear we require, check out the Colorado's Mountains and Wildflowers LensProToGo rental gear package we put together for you! Click here to check it out.
  • Digital SLR camera or interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera
  • Sturdy and reliable tripod
  • You’ll need at least one lens but please bring any other lenses that you own (a variety of focal lengths is always helpful. A focus on this workshop will be macro photography. One of the following should be considered: Macro Lens, Extension Tubes
  • Laptop
  • Memory Card Reader
  • Flash drive
  • Spare batteries for equipment (especially for your camera)
  • Extra memory card
  • Camera manual
  • Camera bag or backpack
  • Cable release/wireless remote
  • Camera & lens cleaning supplies
  • Note taking materials 
Accessories highly recommended for low to the ground macro photography
  • Ground cloth/large plastic bag
  • Cushion or knee pads
  • Diffusion disc 
  • Plamp (clamp to hold flowers still)
Optional Accessories
  • Dedicated flash (bring ONLY if you have one. Please do not feel obligated to purchase one for this workshop.)
  • Off-camera flash cord
  • Spare batteries for flash
  • Polarizer
  • Focusing rail
  • Lens shades for all lenses
  • Gray card
  • Professional air blower for sensor cleaning (eg. rocket blower)
  • Camera rain cover if your camera and lens are not water resistant
Personal Items
  • Weatherproof clothing that can be layered underneath for warmth. Please note that evenings and mornings in Colorado can be chilly – even in the middle of the summer!
  • Sturdy footwear for walking on uneven ground or trails
  • Light to medium jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Sun protection – hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks for between meals in the field
  • Travel alarm clock and wristwatch
Tuition: $1,795
Deposit: $300
Possible Discounts:
Friend of RMSP:$50
Early Registration:$50
if registered before 4/29/2019
Tuition Notes:
The backcountry Jeep Tours are included in the tuition price.


Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson is a Colorado native now living in Missoula, Montana. Before a life-changing pursuit of photographic art, he was an outdoor educator for more than 20 years, passionately teaching people backcountry skills in navigation, mountaineering, avalanche awareness and wilderness first aid. Since graduating from RMSP’s Summer Intensive program in 1996, Doug’s work has covered many diverse projects in the documentary, commercial, fine art and educational fields. Assignments have taken him from coyote shooting in Wyoming to the last stages of a woman’s life to the graffiti-covered alleys and abandoned buildings of Denver. He is currently involved in an ongoing project called Art Music, which fuses the art of photography with live musical performance. His educational philosophy is fun, intuitive and full of creative persistence. No matter where you are in your photographic journey, Doug’s balance of the aesthetic with the technical can help you further express your unique vision.



Perks of Registering For A Workshop

EDU Advantage Program

By registering and completing any course with us, you will automatically be eligible for EDU status with B&H Photo. EDU members can save money on select items sold by B&H.

Creative Cloud Subscription

The software you use in your workflow is almost as crucial as your camera. Register for any RMSP course and you will receive a code to save 15% on a Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for the first year.

What Gear Do You Need?

Want a specific lens for a workshop? Need some extra gear fro your next shoot? Renting gear from Lens Pro To Go allows you to try before you buy! Upon registering for a course, you will receive a discount code for 10% off your next rental.