Wild Mustangs Photography Workshop

In Search of the Wild Mustang

wild-mustangs-playing-in-colorado_blair-ball-photography

“NEW” COLORADO WILD MUSTANGS 

PHOTO WORKSHOP

Sept. 25th-27th 2017

There are many iconic symbols of the West — cowboy hats, spurs, lassos. But none symbolize the enduring ruggedness of the American West as much as the Wild Mustang.

Are you ready for a once in a lifetime photo experience? Along with like minded fellow photographers, this will be one your won’t forget. Imagine getting close to these beautiful horses and photographing them on the open ranch.

Awesome! So come join us for this photo adventure. Limited to 8

Instructor: Professional Photographer Blair Ball – See Bio

The Wild Mustangs come in a variety of colors and color patterns. Grey and sorrel are the most frequently seen colors, but you also might also see palominos, blacks, red and blue roans, bays, buckskin, duns and paints.

The herd divides itself into bands — groups of two to 12 horses led by a mare and usually protected by one stallion. The lead mare will guide the band to watering holes, food and protection from the weather.

Colorado Wild Mustang_Blair Ball Image

This workshop is geared for the intermediate to advanced photographer. However, beginners with a working knowledge of their camera can gain a lot of experience and instruction. Each participant is assisted at their level.

We focus on helping participants create the most appealing compositions of each location we visit.

We also delve into extensive discussions on equipment, exposure, metering, filters and personal tips. This is a workshop environment, Blair is present to aid in the field and teach his techniques for landscape photography. If you’re an advanced photographer he is happy to help or stay out of the way.

Wild Mustangs Colorado_Blair Ball Photography

Getting There

Colorado local residents might prefer driving to the location. If you are from out of state / different country, the best option is to fly into Steamboat Springs Hayden (usually connecting through Denver or another hub), rent a car and drive to Steamboat Springs, CO. Generally, flying into Denver is cheaper, however it’s a 3 hour drive in good weather. There will be mountains you cross to get to Steamboat Springs. Only drive from Denver if you feel comfortable, it’s rare but you might get snow at the upper elevations even in September.

Once you reserve your spot, it might be a good idea to coordinate flight schedule with others in the group to see if it is possible to share car rental fees.

Transportation / Driving Conditions

If you are planning to arrive by car or rent a car from an airport, we recommend to reserve a 4×4 vehicle / SUV. Since we will be driving on some dirt roads, driving conditions in the fall can be a bit tricky due to rain / snowfall. Some of the dirt roads might get muddy, which is why we recommend an SUV.

There is no need for high-clearance off-road vehicles, because we are not planning to take any dangerous high-clearance roads in the area.

I will have a 4 X 4 truck and can accommodate a couple of people. 

Equipment Recommendations:

Cameras and Lenses

You can bring any kind of camera gear with you. As for lenses, our recommendation would be to bring several lenses:

  1. Normal range: A 24-70mm or a 24-120mm would probably be your most used lens during the workshop.
  2. Telephoto range: There might will be good opportunities for using telephoto lenses as well. Grab something like a 70-300mm or a 70-200mm

If you don’t have one of these lens, you can rent one at Lens Rentals in Memphis

Tripod – Monopod

A tripod or monopod is helpful, but may not be necessary depending on the weather if it’s sunny or cloudy. But be prepared. 

Please use a cable release or know how to work the camera’s timer delay to avoid camera shake.

Filters

  1. Polarizing filter: a nice to have for the horses, but it’s OK if you don’t have one. There may be some haze to deal with. If you don’t have one, please purchase one as soon as possible or you can rent one at Lens Rentals in Memphis. 

Accommodations

Steamboat Springs will be our base camp and is a small town and easy to get around. 

Steamboat Lodging 

Airbnb

You can find some great deals where people would rent out a room, apartment or even the whole house for a pretty reasonable fee. I’ve used them before across the country and never have been disappointed. 

Laptop

We recommended bringing a laptop for the post-processing class (either PC or Mac), since we will be going over workflow and post-processing in detail.

Accessories

Don’t forget to bring a flashlight, memory cards and extra batteries. Batteries deplete much faster in cold weather, so we would recommend to bring 2-3 extra batteries with you. 

Bring lens cleaner, blower and cloths for the dust that might get on your lens. 

Clothing

The end of September can bring all kinds of unexpected weather in the mountains. If you are from a warm area, you will need to get some warm clothes! Bring a winter jacket (water-resistant is preferable, in case it rains) and some clothing to layer up. Bring underpants, gloves and a warm hat – you will thank us later!

Mornings tend to get really cold at times. With some potential wind, you will surely feel it. The open range is well…OPEN. As for shoes, warm water-proof boots suitable for hiking are a must.

We will be on mostly flat terrain, but there will be sand, scrub bushes, etc. So good support is necessary. If we get lucky sometimes they might be near a road, and not much walking. That’s happened before, but we need to be prepared to walk around 1/2 mile or so to get to the herd if they are in the open range. 

Might want to bring an extra towel. 

Meeting Time

Everyone should be coming in early afternoon on Monday Sept. 26th will take place on the first day of the workshop.

Sunrise is 6:56 am and Sunset is 7:04 PM

Tenative Itinerary

Monday

Sep. 25th – Arrival and check-in
Sep. 25th, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Meet and Greet / Planning, Starbucks
Sep. 25th, 7:30 PM Group Dinner

Tuesday – Approximately 2 hr. drive to location from Steamboat

Sep. 26th, Leave approximately at 5:00 am 
Sep. 26th, Arrive at open range around 7:00 am as sun is rising. Search for bands of wild mustangs and photograph till lunch. 
Sep. 26th, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Lunch Break on open range (Provided)
Sep. 26th, 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM – Photograph Wild Mustangs
Sep. 26th, 7:00 PM Group Dinner 

Wednesday

Sep. 27th, 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM Post-Processing, Critique & Photo Evaluations
Sep. 27th, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Lunch Break
Sep. 27th, Time to leave after lunch

Things to Do

Shop & Dine

  • http://www.steamboatchamber.com/shop-dine

Discover Steamboat

  • http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat

Strawberry Park for soaking in therapeutic water. Several hiking and biking trails. 

Physical Health State and Altitude

Please note that we will be traveling by cars when we are out shooting and there will be minimal walking / hiking needed (typically no more than a 1/2 mile). We recommend our participants to be in good general health condition to enjoy the workshop in full. Also note that we will be in the high elevation zone (above 7000 feet), so we recommend to consult your doctor before the trip to make sure that you do not have high altitude sickness / problems.

You will be asked to drink a lot of water / fluids during the workshop to avoid dehydration, headaches and other problems associated with the high elevation. We will be requiring each participant to sign a “Release of Liability” form on the first day of the workshop.

Altitude

If you are coming to the mountains from a significantly lower altitude, it is important to think about the potential affects of altitude on your body and to take some simple steps to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Preventative measures taken before and during your stay will help avoid problems associated with altitude sickness. Although most people may only experience some shortness of breath with a little exertion, others are more prone to headaches and sleep disruptions, fatigue, nausea and decreased appetite. You will also notice the aridity — the humidity hovers around 20%.

Here are some tips

  • Drink extra fluids, such as juices and Gatorade with copious amounts of water, a few days before and during your entire stay. Staying well hydrated in the dry mountain environment is very important to offset the effects of altitude.
  • Avoid over-exertion and get as much rest as possible.
  • Eat lightly.
  • Drink a lot of water, but do it slowly.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages. One drink at altitude equals two drinks at sea level; alcohol promotes dehydration.
  • Ask for a humidifier in your hotel room.  

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Personalized Instruction

Each participant will receive personal attention in the field during the shooting sessions. I will also provide “ask me anything” post-processing lessons and one on one support each day to all attendees. Topics will include the use of Lightroom & Photoshop for color and black and white image processing. We will also have group photo reviews and critique sessions.

Investment and How to Sign Up – Limited to 8 

What’s Included
The workshop fee of $399 per photographer includes:

• Field instruction
• Classroom instruction (Photoshop & Lightroom)
• Box Lunch on Tues. the 26th
• Image review & critique
• Bottled Water

The workshop cost is $399 per participant. This cost excludes flight, car reservation, lodging, food and other related costs. Workshop participants will be responsible for arranging their own flights, accommodations and ground transportation to and from the workshop location in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

In order to sign up for the above workshop, please use our secure Workshop Registration page.

Reservations/Payment

A deposit of $200 dollars is required to hold your spot on this workshop. Your final payment of the “balance due” for this workshop must be paid on or before July 1st, 2017 prior to the workshop’s inception. We will send out reminder notices of your balance due a week before this mark.

Payment methods accepted: VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS and PAYPAL.

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Cancellation

Please note that the workshop fees are fully refundable until July 15th of 2017. We will not be able to provide a refund after this date due to planning and coordination issues. In the event of workshop cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances (natural disaster, government closures, injury, death, etc), collected workshop fees will be refunded (minus potential processing fees and permits acquired in advance).

Blair Ball Photography will not be held responsible for airfare and other potential expenses incurred due to workshop cancellation.

Learning is never out for the PRO!

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Bio Pic-Blair Ball

Blair Ball is a Memphis based sports, event, and photojournalist photographer. He is past President of the Memphis Camera Club where he served two years. He enjoys shooting sports, events, corporate events, action, as well as landscape, wildlife and macro.

  • His most recent Reelfoot Lake Series is featured in the new Bass Pro Shops Pyramid in Memphis.
  • He’s photographed 100+ Marathons, Half Marathons, Triathlons, and other running races.
  • He’s photographed 1000+ portraits.

His works have been published in:

  • CBS sports
  • The Commercial Appeal
  • Bass Pro Shops Pyramid Memphis
  • Memphis Sports Magazine
  • Memphis Daily News
  • Memphis Magazine
  • Memphis Flyer
  • Memphis Business Journal
  • Cotton, Inc.
  • New York Post
  • The Guardian
  • The Road Runner
  • Running Journal
  • The Jewish Scene Magazine
  • The Travel Channel
  • American Drag Racing League Magazine
  • Memphis Motorsports Park

I enjoy capturing the moment, the adventure and telling your story.

Websites: 

Blair Ball Photography

Memphis Professional Photographer