Colorado Mountains and Wildflowers Ouray, Colorado

July 28, 2019 - August 03, 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 in the Riverview Building (see below) 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 Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs in the Riverview Building (formerly the Ouray Victorian Inn) for the nights of July 28 through August 2 (6 nights, departing August 3). Reservations can be made by using this online link. Click the "Book My Stay" button on the top bar, enter the dates of your stay, scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter 21488 in the "Group ID" box. This will take you directly to our block and you can choose what room you want and enter all of your information. Please book your room as early as possible as rooms fill up fast. If you would rather phone in your reservation, please call Beth Bridges (Sales Manager) at (970) 325-4427 and leave a voicemail. When you arrive, please check in at Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs at 125 3rd Avenue in Ouray (next door to the Riverview Building.)

Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs
Riverview Building
50 3rd Avenue
Ouray, CO 81427
(888) 799-5295

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.

For RMSP’s general list of recommended gear, click here:

Note: Not everything on the website linked above is required for the workshop. Use the list below as your guideline and the link above if you would like a recommendation on a lens, body or accessory to purchase. Also, please register for the workshop before buying gear, as registration will make you eligible for the B&H EDU program which will potentially save you hundreds of dollars on gear. Learn more here:

  • 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
What is the 2019 workshops schedule?

Please see our Workshops page.

Which workshop is right for me?

Depending on the workshop, varying levels of photographic knowledge are recommended for enrollment. For those interested in building a solid photographic skill base, we have designed a stair-step approach that teaches you to think, see and create with your camera. We call these our "Foundation" workshops. Beginners should start with Basic Photography, then progress to Intermediate Photography. Additional Foundation workshops such as Adobe Lightroom CCAdobe Lightroom ClassicIntroduction to Flash Photography, and Introduction to Professional Studio Lighting will help to round out your technical know-how.

Our "Travel" workshops invite you to some of the U.S.'s most stunning locations, under the wing of our accomplished instructors. For most of these workshops, we require that you are familiar with the manual operation of your camera. Check individual workshop listings for more information.

If you are uncertain about where you should begin, please call and we will be happy to help you decide what class is right for you.

What is the cutoff date for registration?

We accept registrations on a first-come first-served basis until a workshop is full. Register early! If your favorite workshop is full, ask to be put on a wait list.

How do I register?
  1. Register online
  2. Call the RMSP offices at (800) 394-7677
How many participants are in a workshop?

Depending on the workshop, there can be a maximum of 8 to 20 students. Generally we add an assistant when registration exceeds 8 students.

What is a "Friend of RMSP"?

Once you ve taken an RMSP course you become a "Friend" and are able to deduct $50 off workshop tuition.

What is included in the tuition?

The tuition for most workshops includes the instruction only. Hotel stays are not included. Selected hotels, most of which have special RMSP rates, are noted in the "Details" section of each workshop. Some transportation is included on selected workshops. Additional charges such as entrance fees/admissions to national parks and select shooting venues are extra.

Do I pay a deposit to reserve my spot on a workshop?

Yes. Most workshops require a $300.00 deposit and the balance paid 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. Payment options include personal checks, cash and Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.

What is RMSP s cancellation policy?

Please read our cancellation policy.

Note: Workshop content may change from that advertised based on weather, access to shooting locations, and other unforeseen situations. A change of instructor is also possible, though it rarely happens. Whenever possible, registered students will be notified ahead of time of any changes.

RMSP reserves the right to cancel any program that does not meet minimum participant requirements, in which case participants will be informed as soon as possible and all money will be refunded. RMSP is not responsible for any losses incurred as a result of a course cancellation. We encourage participants to purchase refundable airline tickets and consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance.

Travel Insurance

RMSP recommends that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself from circumstances that may prevent you from attending a workshop. Please check with your insurance agent about this low-cost service. RMSP is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets in the event of a workshop cancellation.


Blocks of rooms are reserved on most workshops. Unless otherwise specified, workshop participants make their own reservations for accommodations.


On most workshops, travel is the responsibility of the workshop participant. Participants usually get together on the first day and make arrangements to share car rides for field shoots. We encourage carpooling for the sake of camaraderie and also to reduce the impact on our environment.


You will be given breaks during the workshop to purchase and enjoy meals, however in some locations meals take a second place to shooting at the right light. It s always a good idea to include snacks for those moments when a regular meal is not available.

Free Time

RMSP wants to make sure you get what you want, need and expect from a workshop. Expect to be busy from morning until evening every day. If you re coming to an outdoor workshop, remember that sunrises and sunsets will be part of the shooting schedule!

Spouse / Partners

On most RMSP workshops, non-photographing spouses/partners are welcome to come to shooting locations and some critiques. Lectures and any other learning sessions are not open to guests. Please call our office for the guidelines for your specific workshop.

What should I bring?

You'll find a list of recommended equipment on the "Equipment" tab for each workshop on this website.


All participants should bring a laptop computer for downloading, sorting, viewing and selecting images for daily critiques. Computer specifics are included in the equipment lists for each workshop.

Will I have to pay for parking during workshops?

For most workshops, parking at the meeting location is complimentary. There are, however, some exceptions. Please check the hotel website for information. For workshops located in Missoula, parking downtown is metered Monday through Friday. There are two convenient parking garages located within one block of the school ( Parking downtown on Saturdays and Sundays is free.

Please feel free to contact us either by phone or email with any further questions you may have. We look forward to welcoming you to an RMSP Workshop!

Cancellation Policy

US-Based Workshops

  1. For cancellations received at least 60 days prior to the workshop start date: RMSP refunds any tuition paid, less a $50 processing fee.
  2. For cancellations received 30 to 60 days prior to the start of the workshop: RMSP refunds any tuition paid less the tuition deposit.
  3. For cancellations received within 30 days prior to the start of the workshop: RMSP retains full tuition.
  4. For cancellations after the workshop is in progress: RMSP retains full tuition.
  5. For no-shows: RMSP retains full tuition.
  6. Refunds will be processed within 30 days after our office receives notice of cancellation.

International Workshops

Please see the individual workshop page for the applicable cancellation policies.

Workshop content may change from that advertised based on weather, access to shooting locations, and other unforeseen situations. Whenever possible, registered students will be notified ahead of time of any changes. RMSP reserves the right to cancel any program that does not meet minimum participant requirements, in which case participants will be informed as soon as possible and all money will be refunded. RMSP is not responsible for any losses incurred as a result of a course cancellation. We encourage participants to purchase refundable airline tickets and consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance.
  • Deposit
  • Friend of RMSP Discount
  • Tuition Notes
    The backcountry Jeep Tours are included in the tuition price.
This course is past its starting date.


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

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 for 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.