Sunset over the rolling hills of San Juan Mountains in Colorado during Fall

Colorado Gold

Southwest Colorado is a landscape photographer’s dream during early Fall.

Rolling hills are blanketed in bursts of vivid yellow, greens, deep gold, and burnt orange.
Dramatic, rugged mountain peaks rise in every direction – usually with their first dusting of snow.
Winding backroads lead through aspen-filled valleys to picturesque ranch fields scattered with hay bales, serene alpine lakes that reflect the deep blue sky, and waterfalls.
The air is crisp, and the sunsets are golden.

Join us on this 5-day photography workshop to capture one of the most breathtaking locations in the world for fall colors.

We will be photographing everything from grand mountain vistas and some of the largest aspen groves in the United States to intimate woodland scenes, picturesque farmlands, and serene alpine locations.

As this workshop focuses on landscape photography, to take advantage of the best light the itinerary will be kept flexible.
On a typical day, you will be up early to capture the sunrise and out past sunset.
With the endless composition options in the area, daylight hours will also be spent shooting.
If the weather isn’t ideal, we will use the time for post-processing.

Our Photo Guides will monitor weather forecasts, road conditions, and any other factors and plan the days to optimize shooting conditions.
Our goal is to put you in the best locations at the right time with the best light!

Whether you’re an experienced, amateur, or beginner photographer, you will add to your portfolio with an incredible array of images, learning composition techniques with the assistance of award-winning photo guides.

Dates

28 September - 2 October, 2022

Group Size

Maximum of 12 participants

Price (USD)

$3,315 (Double Occupancy)
$3,990 (Single Occupancy)

Workshop Highlights

  • Improving your Landscape, Drone, and Golden Hour photography skills with our team of master photographers
  • Capturing the changing colors of aspen groves against expansive mountain vistas and amongst intimate woodland scenes
  • Photographing the glorious Colorado countryside under the golden backdrop of sunrise and sunset
  • Exploring one of the largest aspen groves in the United States!
  • Capturing the picturesque farms of the San Juan Mountains – timber ranch houses set amongst rolling fields, meandering zig-zag fences, and grazing horses
  • Understanding how to create stunning panoramas – from shooting the images in-field to the post-processing workflow
  • Learning composition techniques to transform your landscape photos into compelling, creative, and engaging images
  • Learning advanced photography techniques to make the most of lighting and locations such as bracketing, focus stacking, and long exposures
  • A small workshop so your experience is truly personal, and you get to know your guides and fellow photographers

Included

  • 5 day workshop with 4 nights of accommodation
  • Award-winning, professional Photo Guides who will provide a combination of instruction, masterclasses, and in-field guidance
  • Round trip transfers to and from the pick-up location near Denver International Airport and the workshop location in southwest Colorado/San Juan Mountains area
  • Transportation during the workshop in a comfortable vehicle with ample room for you and your photography gear
  • Post-processing masterclasses and image critique sessions that will help you to go home with an incredible portfolio
  • Access to exclusive discounts on gear from our partners

Excluded

  • Flights/Travel to and from the workshop pick-up/drop-off points in Denver
  • Food and beverages
  • Items of a personal nature including (but not limited to) laundry services, clothing, Wi-Fi, email, or phone charges
  • Personal Travel, Medical, Equipment or Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Gratuities for Photo Guides, local guides, and/or drivers

Book Now

To secure your spot on this workshop, select from the below to either pay a deposit or in full.
Completing your payment confirms acceptance of the Terms and Conditions as outlined.

Please note that the full amount is due 90 days prior to the start of the workshop.
A 3% charge is added using this service. Please contact us if you prefer other payment options.

Itinerary

Our workshop is based in a high-altitude area, with elevations ranging from 7,000 to 11,000 feet.
There is a risk of developing Altitude Sickness at these elevations, a serious and dangerous condition.
Please read our Important Workshop Information section below for more information.
You can reduce this risk by allowing your body to gradually acclimatize, spending at least one night in Denver (at 5,280 feet) before going to the San Juan Mountains area. For this reason, we highly recommend you arrive in Denver the day before the workshop at the very latest.

On the morning of Day 1, our Guides will collect you from the meeting point at/near Denver International Airport. We will then set off on our photography adventure, making our way to southwest Colorado.

Along the journey, we will stop at several locations to photograph stunning vistas, including Cimarron Ridge and the magnificent Chimney Rock. Our Guides will also hold a Woodland Photography Masterclass in the field so you can practice techniques for capturing Fall Colors during the rest of the workshop. We will arrive in the San Juan Mountains area in the evening.

On Days 2-4, the itinerary will be kept flexible to allow you to capture the best images possible. Our Photo Guides will monitor weather forecasts, snowfall, sunrise/sunset times, and other factors and plan each day’s shooting locations/times to optimize shooting conditions. 

On a typical day, you can expect long hours.
We will be up early to capture the sunrise before heading back to the hotel for breakfast and rest.
After lunch, we will meet for classroom-style learning (such as post-processing or image critique), go exploring to scope out compositions for golden hours or head out for daylight shooting. (Yes – even on sunny days, deep blue skies can complement fall foliage, resulting in vibrant, vivid images!)
We will stay out shooting to capture the sunset before heading back for dinner.

We will be capturing the most scenic locations in the surrounding areas – from stunning mountain vistas, unique and intimate woodland scenes, and picturesque rolling farmlands to alpine lake reflections and waterfalls. Depending on how quickly the fall colors change, we may revisit locations, as the foliage may be completely different just a few days apart, providing other composition options. We may even be lucky to cross paths with bugling elk during their fall rutting season!

Ultimately, during this workshop, our goal is to put you in the best locations at the right time with the best light so you can capture fantastic images of this stunning season.

On our last day, we will depart the San Juan Mountains area after our sunrise shoot and head back to Denver, arriving in the evening.

Important Workshop Information

Altitude
The elevations of the shooting locations during the workshop range from 7,000 to 11,000 feet.


If you will be traveling to Colorado from a significantly lower altitude, it is important to be aware of the danger of Altitude Sickness, which is caused by ascending too rapidly, not allowing the body sufficient time to adjust to reduced oxygen and changes in air pressure. It can typically occur at or above 8,000 feet.


Symptoms that develop at high altitudes should be taken very seriously, as they can develop into a fatal illness. Preventative measures taken before and during your time in Colorado can reduce the chance of getting altitude sickness:

    • Let your body acclimatize and gradually get used to higher elevations - avoid rapid ascents from sea level, and ascend by no more than 1,000 feet per day
    • Don't travel to places above 8,000 feet on your first night – consider arriving at least 2 days before the workshop commences, and spend your first night in Denver (5,280 feet) before continuing your journey to the San Juan Mountains area
    • Know how to identify the first signs of altitude sickness, including a headache that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medicine, shortness of breath with little exertion, fatigue, sleep disruptions, dizziness/light-headedness, frequent urination, nausea/vomiting, reduced performance/co-ordination, and decreased appetite
    • Schedule plenty of rest during the first 48 hours after arriving at a place of high altitude - avoid strenuous activity before your body has had time to adjust to the lower oxygen levels
    • Drink at least 3 liters of water each day before and during your stay – the dry mountain air can dehydrate quickly, increasing the effects of altitude
    • Increase your intake of carbohydrates, and make sure you have plenty of snacks with you during the workshop
    • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, or medications that can slow your breathing such as sleeping pills
    • Some prescription medications can help with acclimatization
    • If you develop early signs of altitude sickness, immediately stop ascending, move to a lower elevation and inform your Photo Guide.

Note that some people may be at increased risk of getting altitude sickness, including:

    • Those with medical issues affecting the lungs, heart, circulation, or with High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE),
    • People who have a previous history of altitude sickness,
    • Those with obesity.

We have planned the workshop with the altitudes in mind, ensuring that:

    • While we will be exploring locations up to 11,000 feet (and driving through areas that are higher still), we will be returning to lower elevations of around 7,000 feet to sleep each night
    • There will be no strenuous hiking involved – most of our shooting locations will be within a moderate distance to where we park.

While these measures will help to minimize the chance of altitude sickness, we still recommend consulting with your doctor before the workshop. We will also require participants to sign a Release of Liability Waiver before the workshop commences.


Weather Conditions

At the start of Fall, the San Juan Mountains area experiences intermittent and sudden weather changes throughout the day. Days can range from clear, blue skies to heavy rain/wind. There is also potential for early snow.

In the mornings, temperatures can drop below freezing.
Ensure you are adequately prepared with appropriate clothing – base layers, insulating layers, a winter jacket, gloves, warm hat/beanie, and sturdy footwear/hiking shoes. Sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are also necessities.

A moderate level of fitness is required for this workshop.


Most shooting locations are easily accessible via a short hike.
However, sometimes this may be across rough, uneven, icy, or muddy terrain that includes elevation changes. In addition, the high altitudes in this area increase the difficulty level.
Our Guides will let you know if a photography destination involves a long hike, steep incline, or particularly challenging terrain, and provide alternative shooting locations or other options if you don’t feel comfortable.


Participants should also be able to carry their own camera gear while hiking.


Sometimes we may remain in a location shooting for a few hours. Participants should be comfortable outdoors for extended periods of time in various weather conditions such as wind, rain, and extremes of temperature. Wherever possible, our Guides will keep the vehicle available nearby so participants can rest and take a break.


All participants should be in good physical shape with no mobility issues. If you have any concerns about your suitability, then reach out to us and we will be happy to discuss the particular location details of the workshop with you.


You must advise Viking International Phototours in advance and in writing to info@vip-ehf.com of any illness, injury, or pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to affect your participation during the workshop.

The itinerary for our workshop is subject to change at the discretion of our Photo Guides depending on the weather, which can be highly unpredictable. We will check the weather forecasts and road conditions and plan our day to optimize shooting conditions. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to visit all the locations on the itinerary.


Fall colors typically start in the San Juan Mountains mid to late-September when the days start to shorten, lasting for up to three weeks. However, there are many variables that can affect this, for example, the temperatures and precipitation levels in the preceding months.


While the workshop has been carefully planned to maximize the chances of fall colors, we cannot guarantee that this will be the case.

Our workshops require a minimum number of participants to proceed.


We will confirm if your photography workshop will be proceeding 90 days before the start date, at which point full payment of any remaining balance will be required.


Viking International Phototours reserves the right to reschedule or cancel workshops due to low participant numbers.


We will do our best to reschedule the workshop within two years of the original date. 
If this happens, we will offer you the choice between:

    • Retaining your spot on the rescheduled workshop;
    • Transferring to the same workshop on a different date if there is availability; or
    • Canceling your spot on the rescheduled workshop: No refund – your funds will be held as credit which can be transferred or used towards our other photography workshops, self-drive packages, or tours for up to 2 years from the date of cancellation.

In the improbable event that a workshop is canceled altogether rather than rescheduled, we will offer you the choice between:

    • Applying your funds towards a different workshop, tour or self-drive experience; or 
    • Receiving a full refund minus a $300 USD fee and any non-refundable fees paid to third parties.

Please note that Viking International Phototours are not liable for travel expenses incurred to reach the workshop destination or any other personal expenses incurred in preparing for your workshop. For this reason, we require that you obtain Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking with us.


We also recommend you do not book travel or make any trip-related purchases before the workshop has been confirmed.

We cannot delay or change a workshop in the event of travel disruptions that cause a participant to arrive late.

If this happens, participants are responsible for arranging their own transport to catch up with the group - which can be a very costly expense. In addition, no refunds will be made for any time missed on a workshop due to the late arrival by the participant.


For this reason, we highly recommend you arrive the day before your workshop is scheduled to start at the latest.
At the very least, you will be more refreshed and relaxed for the start of your adventure.

There are drone-friendly places in the US, so if you own a drone, you are welcome to bring it along to the workshop.


Please note that you are solely responsible for your equipment, and are expected to adhere to all rules and regulations as specified by the Federal Aviation Administration and any other applicable state-specific regulations.


Viking International Phototours and our Photo Guides will not be liable for any injury or damage caused to equipment, environment or people caused by you operating your drone during our workshop.

If you are traveling with a partner/friend who is interested in joining you on this workshop but they are NOT a photographer, we may be able to accommodate them. In some instances, this may be at a reduced price.


Please note that this will be at the discretion of Viking International Phototours – contact us at info@vip-ehf.com for information.

Your companion would need to understand that this is a photography workshop and not a typical ‘tourist’ tour – long hours will be spent photographing locations outdoors rather than visiting attractions.

If you are interested in this workshop but would prefer a private experience or to attend with your own group of people, we can arrange that for you – contact us at info@vip-ehf.com to discuss.

We know that plans can change, and unforeseen circumstances can happen. 


You need to advise us in writing via email to info@vip-ehf.com as soon as possible if you need to cancel your workshop. Your cancellation is not official until you have received a return email confirmation acknowledging your cancellation.


If you cancel and we can fill your spot on the workshop, you will receive a full refund minus a $300 USD fee.
If you cancel and the workshop does not fill, cancellation requests and refunds will be processed according to the following:

    • More than 90 days from the start date of the workshop: Full refund minus $300 USD fee*
    • Less than 90 days: No refund – your funds will be held as a credit which can be transferred or used towards our other self-drive packages, tours, or photography workshops for up to 2 years from the date of cancellation*.

*Please note that some of our workshops with partner companies/third parties may have non-refundable deposits, which will not be refunded or credited to you.

Please refer to the Terms and Conditions.

Booking with Viking International Phototours indicates acceptance of the Booking Terms and Conditions as outlined.

If you have any questions about this workshop, please get in touch with us at info@vip-ehf.com.