Travel Colorado 

Apsen ~ Vail ~ Crystal  Mill ~ Ouray ~ Crested Butte~ 

 

Late Spring Wildflower & Lush Summer Days Workshops

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Hello all, it's Rachel.  I am so happy that you have stopped by my website.  I look forward to telling you about my photographic workshops. First, they are as much tours of the area that we are visiting as they are workshops.  I have spent thousnads of hours driving down every country and forest road possible in my effort to uncover the most stunning landscape and cultural sites possible for our excursions.  All summer workshops, although visiting similar destinations, will have uniquely designed routes giving all those who desire to attend one (or more) spring, summer and fall excursions here in Colorado the opportunity experience a variety of planned and unplanned stops throughout each of my photographic workshops; each distinctively different from one another.  In the June & July months the wildflowers in the high country are VAST and demand frequent unplanned stops to capture the beauty of Colorado's high elevation early summer displays as waterfalls spring to life statewide.  In August & September summer months lush green valleys, dramatic cloud formations and high mountain lakes offer an abundance of beautiful landscapes to document.  As summer transitions into autumn, Colorado comes alive with golden aspen leaves fluttering in the gentle breeze while the dynamic color range of Colorado's native plant's along the mountainscapes scream to be photographed..   There are towns such as our world-renowned festival-rich Crested Butte that will be visited on one workshop, where the historic mining towns along I--82 or ranching communities along the Ohio Pass will leave you speechless on others.... there  is just too much to photograph in a single weekend/week-long excursion here in Colorado!!!!   

  

(Custom packages are available for a half day, single day or two day excursions or as add-ons)

 

Below you will find sample  itineraries  and a list of my tours scheduled for the  2020 spring wildflower season.  Aside from the group tour dates listed below, private single day, weekend, and week long tours  are available for photographers ranging from beginning hobbyist to professional level enthusiasts.   Each photographer who joins me for a "group" tour, will receive one-on-one as well as group instruction each day of the tour.  All skill levels to attend as I incorporate technique building skills for all levels into each stop.  Due to vast weather patterns here in Colorado, there are times when I do not know until a few days prior to the workshops what exact route we will take, but I assure all students to uncover areas of Colorado you have either not been to, or entry into private areas that are not otherwise accessible by the public.  

 

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Below the  scheduled itineraries give you an idea of what you can expect on a typical day.    On each excursion  my groups travel from town to town, and amongst different ecological areas of Colorado.  As we uncover the beauty of this incredible state, we'llntalk about photographic composition and techniques and Colorado's rich culture, history and  geological facts; Another subject I broach often is the weather and how it can positively impact your ability to create incredible photographs.  

 

Day One    

 Thursday (Marble Area)

   6:30 am     Leave Avon

   8:00 am     Redstone Pass/ McClure Pass                                              (Gradual Neutral Density Filter exercise)

  9:00  am     Island Lake                                                                             (Composition and Natural Framing exercise)

  9:30  am     Beaver Dam Pond                                                                  (Polarization and Composition exercises)

10:45  am     Beaver Lake                                                                           (Gradual Neutral Density Filter exercise)

11:35  am     Hays Creek Falls                                                                     (White Balance exercise/ Motion Blur & Freeze)

12:30  pm     Lunch Slo Groovin’                                                               (Discussion on why we might choose manual vs aperture priority, personal bio share)

  1:30  pm     Crystal River Tour                                                                  (Free shoot combined with framing and motion exercises)

  5:00  pm     Drive to Crested Butte along Kebler Pass                          (Gradual Neutral Density Filter exercise)

  7:30 pm      Dinner

Overnight in Crested Butte, CO        

 

Day Two

Friday (Crested Butte Area)

  6:00 am   Start Time Crested Butte Sunrise

  6:05 am   Aspen lined road…abstracts of backlit aspen leaves.         (Long Exposure exercise)

  6:30 am   Cabin in the early morning light, sunrise shot                      (Focus Stacking exercise)

  7:15 am   Crested Pond                                                                            (White Balance exercise / Abstracts in Nature work)

  8:15 am   Breakfast at Nordic Inn

  9:00 am   Kebler Pass                                                                                (Gradual Neutral Density Filter / Composition & Natural Framing)

  1:00 pm   Lunch at Sunflower in Crested Butte, CO

  2:00 pm   Ohio Pass Sunset –small ranches, vistas                              (Weather will determine what we practice)

  6:00 pm   Drive to Ouray

  7:30 pm   Dinner

Overnight in Ouray, CO  

 

Day Three

October 8th- Saturday (San Juan Tour)

  6:00 am   Start Time Crested Butte Sunrise

  7:30 am   Box Canyon Falls                                                                      (Long Exposure / Rule of thirds / motion building exercises)

  9:30 am   Yankee Boy Off-Road                                                              (Focus Stacking, Composition, Gradient & filter exercises)

11:30 am   Lunch at Goldbelts                                                                  (Discussion / Question & Answer)

  1:30 pm   San Juan Jeep Tour                                                                   (Painted Mountain Trail) (Free fun shooting)

  6:00 pm   Sunset in Ouray Canyon/Yankee Boy                                    (Long exposure, colored gradient filters)

  7:30 pm   Dinner   

Overnight in Ouray, Colorado

 

Day Four

Oct 4th  – Sunday (Telluride / Ouray)  

  6:00 am   Start Time Dallas Divide Sunrise  

  6:45 am   Dallas Divide/ Country Road 7- location one                      (Sunrise w Aspen Glow / polarization exercises)

  7:30 am   Lost Dollar Road- location two                                             (Long Exposure & composition exercise)

  9:45 am   Telluride Overlook- short easy hike                                      (30 minutes) (weather dependent)

11:00 am   Lunch  

 3:00 pm    McClure Pass                                                                         (Gradual Neutral Density Filter / Composition & Natural Framing) 

 7:00 pm    Arrive in Avon, Colorado. Conclusion of tour..... shuttle is available to DIA from Avon for those flying in domestically or internationally 

 

SPECIAL NOTE:  Should you decide on one or more of my tours, I will send you a proposed itinerary as soon as I revieve your confirmation email and deposit.  As mention, some of your specific tour's travel itinerary may change at the last minute to either chase a storm I feel will positively impact our time together or avoid weather that I feel may cause a negative impact and impede our ability to get out and stretch our legs during the technique exercises.  If there is a particular attraction or destination you desire to visit, please mention this in your email to me.

 

After reading through the dates itinerary below and descriptions of some of the key routes, parks and destinations we will cover, please use one of the tabs on this page to access my direct email. Include any questions you may have concerning your skills advancement, skills that will be covered, or destinations you want to confirm will by on your route.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tour Spring/Summer Colorado Wildflowers

 

COLORADO WILDFLOWER WORKSHOP  

TBD      3 Day Shared Transportation       COST:        $ 1250 / $950 (returning students) pp ~~ Single Day self drive option $350 

These prices do not include hotels/meals  $500 deposit, non-refundable, but can be utilized up to 24 months in cases of cancellations.

 

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Friday                 Flat Tops - Eagle Valley

Saturday            Crystal River Mill 4 x 4 Tour, Kebler Pass, Crested Butte  (4 x 4 tour included in workshop price)

Sunday               Crested Butte, Kebler Pass, Ohio Pass

 

 

TBD         3 Day Shared Transportation       COST:        $  950 /  $  850 (returning students) pp ~~ Single Day self drive option $350

TBD        5 Day Shared Transportation       COST:        $ 1500 / $1250 (returning students) pp ~~ Single Day self drive option $350

These prices do not include hotels/meals  $500 deposit, non-refundable, but can be utilized up to 24 months in cases of cancellations.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Wednesday      Avon to Ouray; 4 x 4 Jeep Tour in the San Juan's above Ouray, vast wildflower displays to Red Mountain #3

Thursday           4 x 4 Jeep Tour in the San Juan's above Ouray, vast wildflower displays to Governor's Basin

Friday                Crystal River Mill 4 x 4 Tour, Kebler Pass, Crested Butte  (4 x 4 tour included in workshop price)Saturday            

Saturday           Crested Butte, Kebler Pass, Ohio Pass

Sunday              Crested Butte, Kebler Pass, Ohio Pass

 

 

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Summer Lush Workshops 

 

SAN JUAN JEEP OFF-ROAD  & HORSEBACK LED PHOTOGRAPHIC WORKSHOPS  with PEAK WILDFLOWERS

TBD        4 DayShared Transportation        COST:        $1950pp   (Includes two professional off-road tours)

$500 deposit, non-refundable, but can be utilized up to 24 months in cases of cancellations.

 

Celebrating Summertime Colorado Style

TBD  4 DayShared Transportation       COST:        $ 1150 / $900 (returning students) pp ~~ Single Day self drive option $350

Option:                3 Day Self-drive option                COST:        $  950 /  $800 (returning students) pp ~~ Single Day self drive option $350

 

$500 deposit, non-refundable, but can be utilized up to 24 months in cases of cancellations.

ITINERARY

Friday                    Crested Butte Backcountry, Kebler Pass, Ohio Pass 

Saturday               Dallas Divide, Telluride Bridal Veil Falls, San Juan Mountains, Ouray

Sunday                 San Juan Mountains 4 x 4 All Day Ouray WIldflower Jeep Tour, Travel Day (4 x 4 Tour included in workshop price)

Monday                San Juan Backcountry, Bookcliff Mountains & Travel Day                 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As we head out from Avon, Colorado across the majestic mountain passes along 1-70, we'll make a number of stops to take in and photograph the scenery. During the first hours of our workshop, we'll begin collaborating about the lessons we will cover throughout the week/weekend, which include but are not limited to shooting for HDR, shooting in natural light and weather events, a wide range of composition topics, using accessory fill-flash, exposure drag, focus staking and in field on-location filtration.  All topics will be taught at a beginner/intermediate level, with signifiant advanced techniques offered to those participants with the desire and skill sets.  ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE.

Collaboration throughout the group will be encouraged as we chip away the miles on our exciting journey. I'll ask those who would like to share, to tell us about their  past photographic experience and memorable trips while we get to know one another...

 

From the first day forward,  I incorporate tutorials into every stop with ample time available to shoot outside of our group lesson.  Participants are free to opt out of group tutorials at any time to concentrate on independent portfolio captures. I will be on hand to answer any questions and begin my one-on-one interaction with each participant.   Many of the stops along our route are planned as I have designated certain locations prime spots for teaching skills.  

 

Resting in the shadow of Colorado’s tallest peak, Twin Lakes is one of Colorado's most scenic locations. The community lies adjacent to the state's two largest glacial lakes along the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. The drive between Twin Lakes and the summit is breathtaking. We'll allow the group to make decisions on how often we stop, and the subject matter that peaks the most interest; there are a few must see's that we will definitely spend time at along the way that provide  awe inspired views of the valley we will be climbing out  of.

 

 

 

Independence Pass & Summit-  Independence Pass is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of Central Colorado.

It is located at an elevation of 12,095 ft on the Continental Divide. As we travel along Hwy 82, we will traverse the scenic switchback's until reach the highest elevation of a paved Colorado state highway on a through road.  A scenic overlook near the pass allows visitors to take in the alpine tundra environment above the tree line, and offers excellent views to the east of Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak and the second-highest mountain in the continuous US. The views are glorious!!! 

McClure Pass, Crystal Creek Mill    4 x 4 Jeep Tour with Crystal River Jeep Tours

 

Probably my favorite day of the week, Sunday!....As we leave base camp, we'll head out across Carbondale, and photograph the gorgeous backroads of Glenwood Springs; then whine in and out of valleys, with scenic sheer cliffs, rock formations, aspen forests, and the raging Roaring Forks River before eventually photographing along the scenic vistas of McClure Pass, that will simply take your breath away.  In the afternoon, we'll on the 4 x 4 Jeep Tour of Crystal Creek Mill Tours. What a rush this will be for all.

 

This 4 mile trek takes 1.5 hours to drive because it is pretty treacherous. The tour drivers drive very slow, so you and your equipment will be in very capable hands. Along the way to the mill, seen below, you'll pass one of my favorite hidden lakes, called Lizard Lake, of which I am not going to show--because I love to see the looks on photographer's faces as we drive up to this extraordinary mirror lake. The mirror is of a sheer face limestone cliff, with firs and aspens aligning the lakes edge. It is a site to behold. There is also a gorgeous valley with a beautiful river running through it along the way that is fun to capture. At sunset, we put ourselves at the edge of Beaver Lake, image below, which often stills and is almost to beautiful to take your eyes off of long enough to shoot. It is a beautiful but small body of water with algae and weeds floating just below the waters surface. Depending on weather, sometimes the water is so clear you can pick the weeds up in your image. The sun screams yellow in July as it sets, and it just beautiful.

The Summit of Independence Pass, Summer 

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It is difficult NOT to jump out of the van every 5 miles along this incredibly scenic stretch of Colorado. I have explored the area, and found a number of "off the beaten track" gorgeous views of the river, lakes, and aspens forests. The summit itself is one of the highest elevations in Colorado, it is brisk, and usually a bit breezy; the views are absolutely stunning. We'll make a number of stops along Hwy 82, capturing vast valleys, waterfalls, and twists in the road that are fun to shoot. The aspens forests hug the road between the summit and Aspen. From the summit to Aspen, is approximately 45 miles.

SUNSET END OF DAY SHOOT-- Two of the most exciting hours of the day for a photographer is sunrise and sunset. Our route puts us  right in the McClure Pass and next to Mount Sopris during these critical magic hour captures.  Taking the collective opinions of the group in consideration, our sunset shoot will be dependant on the weather.  I love shooting the McClure Pass as the sun falls low on the horizon because it truly accentuates the definition on the peaks down this valley.   If there is dense cloud cover or lack of dramatic clouds, we'll head toward a couple of my favorite outlooks and capture the stunning mountain of Sopris at sunset.  Examples below.

 

What  can I expect to experience & learn on Rachel's tours/workshops?

 

  • Professional Guided Tours with Well Defined & Explored Routes

  • ISO/ Shutter Speed/ Aperture Triangle

  • Understanding Your Histogram Gradual & Full ND Filtration 

  • Equipment Knowledge / Features & Funtions Polarization Versitility

  • Understanding White Balance

  • Shooting Bokeh and Depth Of Field

  • Blending Exposures In The Field For HDR

  • Composition & Leading LinesIn-Field Fill Flash Techniques

  • Mid-day Shooting SuccessShooting Water In Motion / Silk

  • On Location PreparednessShooting in Inclement Weather 

  • Shooting On & Off Tripod

  • Graduated Color Filters 

  • Freezing Motion / Exaggerating Motion

  • Creating Signature In Your Work

  • Marketing Your Work

  • Copyright Laws

  • Portfolio Development 

Roaring Forks Valley, Glenwood / Snowmass

Wildflowers , Aspen / Snowmass / Crested Butte