Experience Yellowstone in a way that few photographers ever get the chance to. After all of the tourist have emptied out from the busy summer season, Yellowstone becomes a place of peace and beauty. The roads throughout most of Yellowstone are closed to private vehicles during the winter season which allows us to photograph landscapes and wildlife without the hoards of tourists.
Over the course of the workshop we’ll spend three full days photographing wildlife and geothermal features in the winter wonderland that is Yellowstone National Park. We'll be traveling by snow-coach with a local driver/guide who will take our group to the locations where the wildlife has been most active. Possible wildlife sightings include bison, elk, coyotes, wolves, swan, fox, deer and more.
Who this Workshop is for
This inaugural trip, will be offered at a discounted rate because it is also a scouting trip for future workshops to come. Our group size will be limited to no more than six participants.
This is a great opportunity for folks who are already familiar with using their camera and can take simple tips without too much instruction since I will be shooting along side of the group to collect images for the following year’s workshop. While the main focus is wildlife, Yellowstone is absolutely beautiful in the winter so we’ll spend some time focusing on landscapes as well.
January 6th - Orientation in Holiday Inn Lobby: 7:30pm
January 7th - 8 hour snow couch photography tour in Yellowstone
January 8th - 8 hour snow couch photography tour in Yellowstone
January 9th - 8 hour snow couch photography tour in Yellowstone
Profesional photography instruction
Snow-coach transportation & local guide (3 eight hour trips into Yellowstone)
Box Lunch while we are in the park
Yellowstone in Winter Post Processing Video with demonstrations on images shot during the workshop.
What's Not Included
Transportation to and from West Yellowstone
Full payment for the workshop is due 90 days before the workshop start date.
Sometimes life can get in the way of a good a thing. Hopefully that doesn’t happen during this workshop, but if it does the following cancelation policy applies.
• 90 days or more – Full refund minus a $200 cancelation fee
• 60 days or more – 50% refund
• 60 days or less – no refund
Should you have to cancel and I find a replacement for your space, I’ll refund your full payment minus the $200 cancelation fee.
We'll be based out of the Holiday Inn Express in West Yellowstone, Montana for the duration of the workshop. You are more than welcome to stay anywhere that you would like but keep in mind The Holiday Inn Express is where we'll be meeting up every day.
Winter Weather in Yellowstone
The average elevation in Yellowstone is right around 8,000 feet above sea level and January is one of the coldest months of the year, but that is the perfect combination to photograph frosty bison as they gather around the geothermal areas in the park. Expect day time highs to stay below freezing with lows that could dip below zero. It is important to have warm winter clothing for this workshop including winter boots, a thick jacket, snow pants, winter hat and gloves and some packs of Mega hand/body warmers for each day.
We will stop at warming huts at various points throughout our trip to warm ourselves back up. While winter weather can be quite harsh, there could quite possibly be no better time to photograph Yellowstone than in the winter!
All participant will be required to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose when traveling inside the snow-coach.
Getting to West Yellowstone
The easiest way to get to West Yellowstone is to fly into Bozeman Airport BZN. From there, there are two options to get to West Yellowstone. The first easiest is to book a round trip shuttle ride with Karst Stage. (They begin booking for the winter season in November.) The second option is to rent a vehicle and drive yourself. Please keep in mind that the roads could be icy in January.
I recommend giving yourself at least one buffer day on the front end of your trip in case your flight and or shuttle service gets delayed due to snow.
Recommended Camera Gear
Since we will be shooting in very cold conditions, it's not a bad idea to bring along a second camera body in case one of them starts to act up. If you do not own two camera bodies you can rent one for a very reasonable price from Lensrentals.com.
You'll also want a lens that can reach at least 400mm. 600mm or more is ideal. A few affordable options would be a 100-400mm lens with a 1.4 extender or an ultra telephoto zoom such as the Sigma 150-600mm. The advantage of an Ultra telephoto zoom is it can easily be used as a hand held lens when needed.
The final and option for wildlife photography is a prime 500, 600, or 800mm lens. These lenses are tack sharp, have wider maximum apertures and have lightning quick and auto-focus systems. The downside is that they are very heavy and bulky. They are designed to be used with a tripod and gimbal so setup time is much longer than running and gunning with a handheld zoom. One option would be to have one body for running and gunning and a second for times that will allow for longer setup.
No mater what option you choose, a 1.4 tele-extender will be a great addition to your camera bag on this workshop.