Rocky Mountain School of Photography » Workshops Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:16:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Olympic National Park Workshop – A Top 10 List! Thu, 13 Feb 2014 00:01:02 +0000 All of us here at Rocky Mountain School of Photography agree that our hometown of Missoula, MT is darn near perfect. We think it has something to do with rivers, lakes, mountains, local ice cream, and a generally a fun “vibe.” But even with all of Missoula’s good traits, we sometimes can’t help but look longingly westward toward the other “cool” cities of Portland and Seattle and the rest of the Pacific Northwest in general. We’ve even been known to refer to those cities as West Missoula, in hopes of making some sort of connection. (You know, like, wouldn’t it be totally cool to get Seattle’s autograph and tape it inside our locker at school??!!).

Alas, we are here and the Pacific Northwest is there. But that doesn’t stop us from planning exceptional photography workshops in that neck of the woods. In fact, we have a few things happening there so at least we get to visit in hopes that the “cool” will rub off on us. One of these workshops is our Olympic National Park workshop led by Don Mammoser. A published author, professional photographer and former zoologist, this weeklong experience definitely takes participants beyond simple shutter speeds and apertures. Don’s knowledge of the flora and fauna adds incredible value to your photographic experience. Plus, you get to experience a rainforest, mountains, beaches and everything in between while traveling between Forks and Port Angeles, WA.

In lieu of a lengthy novel about his workshop, I asked Don for a Top 10 list of things a photographer might expect from this experience. Here is what he returned. I especially like #3.

Top 10 Things You’ll Learn on the
Olympic National Park Workshop



1) That Olympic National Park offers incredible diversity for a photographer.

2) That in a week’s time we’ll see, experience, and photograph craggy coastlines with crashing waves, old-growth rainforests with gigantic trees, thundering waterfalls, quiet forests, fleeting wildlife, and towering, glaciated peaks offering endless, impressive views.

3) That this park doesn’t have the crowds of other, equally famous national parks. Here we often have an entire beach or rainforest to ourselves.

4) That one seemingly insignificant, moss-encrusted, cascading brook, can offer hours of peaceful photography.

5) How to use a variable neutral density filter to make ocean waves look like fog.

6) That a polarizing filter is still a necessary and helpful photographic device, even in this age of “fix-it-in-Photoshop.”

7) That interesting foregrounds are important when taking photos with wide-angle lenses, and that the landscape in Olympic national Park has endless possibilities in this realm.

8) That water condensed from atmospheric vapor sometimes forms in the clouds and then drops in the rainforest and how to protect our gear if such a natural phenomenon occurs.

9) That close-up photographic opportunities are truly everywhere and if we go anywhere and move slowly, those opportunities will present themselves.

10) That being together in a like-minded group of folks brings out creativity, friendship, camaraderie, and joy in everyone, and that a week like this changes lives.

MammoserSecondbeach MammoserMosstree Mammoserbigwave MammoserBigview-2


Want to learn more about Don Mammoser? Visit his profile page here.



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Night Photography: A Novel. Mon, 02 Dec 2013 16:42:47 +0000 NightPhoto-Book-CoverEvery once in a while the clouds part, stars align and something wonderful happens.

Many moons ago, I first found out that RMSP workshop instructor, and our main man at B&H Photo, Gabe Biderman was putting pen to paper and writing a book about night photography. Then I got word that longtime RMSP instructor Tim Cooper was contributing to the effort. Since then, I have eagerly been awaiting the day that the finished book finds its way into my hands. Upon getting home from work last night and cruising through the mail, I happen to notice a large envelope at the bottom of the stack. Before tearing into it, I glanced out the window, and witnessed a large cloud split immediately into two halves. As I stood there with my jaw on the floor I then watched every star in the night sky snap into a perfectly straight line. I knew this phenomenon could only mean one thing.

In anticipation of their book hitting mailboxes around the world, I sent Tim and Gabe a list of questions about the book, the writing process, and how it ties into the Vegas to Zion: Dusk to Dawn workshop they teach together for RMSP. Here are their answers. If you have questions of your own for these two, post them in the comments below.


For starters, give our readers a ten-cent tour of your book, Night Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots. Obviously it’s about night photography, but what can they expect to find once it shows up in the mail?

It is a “how to” book on night photography with lots of inspirational images. Tim and I go over the gear you need, how to succeed in the many night environments you might find yourself in, light painting, and post processing tips.

Would you say this book is suitable for absolute beginners or is it better suited for the photographer who has already logged many, many hours behind the lens?

It is published by Peachpit Press and is part of their successful Snapshots to Great Shots series, which is geared more to entry/intermediate photographers.  That being said, I think even an experienced night photographer will find a few nuggets of invaluable “night info” in the book.

BidermanGabe_20111231_Upstate_085How and when was this project born? Were you approached to write this or did you pitch the idea 1000 times before finding the right publisher?

I was approached at Photo Plus last year after they saw my presentation on a night photography panel.  The funny thing is we discussed writing the book almost as long as it took to write!  We nailed down the final logistics in May and I started summoning the words in June with our deadline the end of September.  That’s four months to write a 200+ page book – which was really crazy!  Luckily Tim came on board and saved the day by taking on 2 of the 6 chapters.

Gabe, you’re kind of known as the night photography guy. When did you decide to make this your specialty? Why?

I’ve always been fascinated with time and how we can interpret it.  In 2008 I took my night shots to the next level by committing to shooting every full moon.  I immediately saw results, which resulted in a much better understanding of the night life.  When you immerse yourself in a specialty you will either get better or realize it is not for you.   The next moment came in 2009 when I had a yearlong traveling exhibit called TIMEXPOSED that featured a combination of my long exposure work during the day and night.  My good friend, David Brommer, commented that I should really focus the show and my work more and I went down the nocturnal rabbit hole!

Gabe, I believe this is your first book, correct?  As a photo guy, how did you find the writing process? Love it? Hate it? Will you be doing it again in the near future?

Well we are now working on the screenplay adaptation of this book!  But yes, this is my first book and the writing was definitely a challenge.  I’m the kind of person who loves to write and share my stories but the words don’t always come so easily.  Working in a non-distracting place is key – I travel a lot so some of my most productive work came 10,000 feet in the air or locked in hotel rooms across the States!  Will I do it again?  Never say never, but right now I’m going to enjoy seeing my wife again, the book coming to life, a trip to India with my dad, and putting more words and images up on the blog.

Tim, you have authored and/or co-authored a book or two (or ten?) in the past. How was this process different? Or was it?

Well, it was a little different.  Book writing is largely about communication.  Your Communication to the readers, the co-author and the publisher.  The last publisher I worked with left a little to be desired.  Working with Pearson Publishing was a dream.  Very smooth.  And of course working with Gabriel was a joy as well.

BidermanGabe_20090730_GAB-179Walk us through the book a bit. What is the progression from chapter one to the end? Would you say it’s primarily focused on teaching technique or educating people about gear or finding locations, etc?

When I wrote out the table of contents I tried to think of someone new to photography picking up this book and wanting to learn. The first chapter goes over the gear you need and then we spend two chapters talking about the exposure and composition considerations. Once this foundation is covered we take a leap into light painting, writing, and other creative effects that incorporate existing lights or adding new illumination to the scene. Chapter 5 is called the “Night Life” and I guide you through many different nocturnal scenarios – from creating stunning shots under the moon and stars to successfully capturing city lights, fireworks and lightening.  Tim finishes up the book with an excellent chapter on how to get the most out of your night shots in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Looks like there is a Flickr group set up for readers. Tell me a bit about this. Who, what, when, where, how?

Peachpit suggested we do this and I think it is a great idea – create a community for people who have read the book and are interested in sharing and getting feedback on their night images.  It is free and easy to do – just sign up for Flickr and post away! (Here is the link to the community).

BidermanGabriel_Vegas-3You two teach our popular workshop called Vegas to Zion: Dusk to Dawn, which focuses on night photography in two vastly different, yet geographically close locations. Would you say your book is a good compliment to the workshop, or vice versa?

Oh man I love that workshop!  Yes, definitely – would you like the Tim and Gabe show live or in book format?  The benefit to the workshop is that you get the hands on training in some killer locations as well as your specific questions answered or explored even further.  If you own the book, it is a wonderful guide to the night that you can refer back to all year long as well as inspire you to get out there and shoot!

Would studying the book prepare one for the workshop experience?

Most certainly!  The more you prepare yourself for a workshop or trip like this the more creative ideas you can bring to your work!

How much of the book – if any – was inspired by, or photographed in Vegas or Zion?

You know, flipping through the book I just realized there are quite a few shots from Vegas to Zion that made the cut!  It is a place that we have shot extensively for the past 2-3 years so we definitely have a variety of example shots to share!

Can you share a nugget of your night photography brilliance from the book with our readers? A technique? A tip? Anything?

The longest exposure isn’t always the answer. Really explore time and movement and find out what the best exposure for the given scene is. Even if you are sure that 30 seconds is the best – try it one stop more and less so you have options. This is a great way to better understand time and what you can do with it.

Looks like it is available currently through B&H, Amazon, and Pearson Education. Is it available for download?

It just hit the stores and is in stock at most resellers.  If you want to read it electronically you can download the Kindle version from Amazon or Peachpit has their Ebook as well. Of course B&H is carrying it too.

Carpe Noctem!

BidermanGabe_Gabriel Biderman_Composer_DGlass_SuperWide_NightLight2

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RMSP featured in The Missoulian. Twice. Mon, 26 Aug 2013 16:01:16 +0000 Sometimes there’s nothing better than waking up and enjoying your morning coffee while reading the paper – whether online or the good ‘ol fashioned way. Yesterday was one of those days for all of at RMSP, and truly, for anyone ever connected to our school.

Missoula’s local newspaper, The Missoulian ran a pair of excellent articles about us. One was centered around our Glacier National Park workshop with Tim Cooper. The other about our 25 years in the business of photography education. Owners and founders of RMSP Neil and Jeanne Chaput de Saintonge were even featured on the cover of Sunday’s paper.

While this is a nice feather in our caps, the credit does not go to us, rather it needs to be shared with every single person who has trusted RMSP with their photography education over the last quarter century. Without you, our excited students to teach, we would just have rooms instead of classrooms.

We sincerely appreciate every single one of you for helping to make RMSP what it is today.

Thank you.


chaput cover


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RMSP + Ladies Home Journal Wed, 07 Aug 2013 18:20:09 +0000 Every once in a while it feels good to pat yourself on the back. Today is one of those days. A while back, we were contacted by an editor and then a writer from Ladies Home Journal Magazine letting us know they wanted to include our school in some sort of article they were putting together. Naturally, we obliged. The focus was on our Travel Workshops, and the different locations in which we teach.

It’s a pretty quick read, but we think it’s cool nonetheless. Here is the link if you are interested in reading what they had to say.



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Botanical Dreaming Now Available As An E-book Fri, 15 Mar 2013 15:51:21 +0000 Botanical-Dreaming-eBook-Cover-400x400Longtime Rocky Mountain School of Photography instructor, photographer (and all around great guy), Mark S. Johnson has recently released his internationally recognized coffee-table book, Botanical Dreaming, as a downloadable E-book. If you are familiar with Mark’s images you already know that they speak volumes by themselves. With the re-release of this collection of work in a downloadable format, Mark has made not only his images, but his inspiring words and thoroughly positive view on life available to a much wider audience.

Botanical Dreaming showcases more than 100 one-of-a-kind flower portraits, and is an art book, a photo seminar, and a self-help book all rolled into one. Through his optimism and life view, Mark shares his belief that art must come from the heart. In sharing his in-depth knowledge of photography and his Photoshop artistry, he shows how you too can capture close-up images of flowers and turn them into masterpieces. Mark uses easy-to-follow text and stunning imagery to take you on an inspiring journey through the world of macro flower photography. Photographers and Photoshop users of all levels are sure to experience a creative harvest from Botanical Dreaming.

If you are not familiar with Mark or his work, an excerpt from the acknowledgements section of his book perfectly captures a slice of his personality and humility. He writes, “As much as I might like, I can’t take credit for these images. Proper acknowledgment for this body of work belongs to a power that I can barely understand and perhaps never fully articulate. Each spring, when brilliantly colorful flowers burst through the soil, the embers of my imagination catch fire. I recognize the mystical force at play in this creative process, which, much to my delight, remains well beyond my comprehension. This is a force to which I forever extend my humble gratitude.” And these words are just a small glimpse of the larger experience that Botanical Dreaming provides.

If, after being taken aback by the images and message in Botanical Dreaming, you are inspired to learn from and work with Mark from behind the lens, you can join him on our Creative Compositing workshop held in Boulder, CO from June 15 – 21, 2013.

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Experience Olympic National Park Tue, 19 Feb 2013 18:50:39 +0000 MammoserSolDucLongtime RMSP instructor Don Mammoser will be leading a workshop on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula from May 25-31. Having been there many times over the years, Don knows how special and downright amazing this area is. A quick search online will reveal that a trip to Olympic NP actually delivers “Three Parks In One.” In one day you can travel from snow-capped mountains, through some of the largest remnants of ancient forests left in the country, and end up breathing the crisp air and photographing a sunset on a Pacific Ocean beach. Now if that isn’t a perfect day, I’m not sure what is! I was able to connect with Don to ask him a few questions about what his upcoming workshop will offer. Our conversation is below. If you have questions, ask them in the comments section below.

Don, you are leading a workshop in Olympic National Park for RMSP in May. Can you
tell our readers what they can expect if they want to join you?
First, Olympic National Park is an absolute stunner of a place, and participants can expect to capture a wide range of diverse landscapes with their cameras. The greens are out of this world! Besides the diversity of this park, which I’ll talk about more in a bit, folks on the workshop can expect to have tons of fun in a supportive and positive environment. We’ll spend lots of time outside getting the best photos we can all week.

This isn’t your first time to Olympic National Park. How many times have you been there? What is it about the area that keeps you coming back?
I’ve been to this area 10 or 12 times throughout my career, and can’t wait to go again. Each time I visit something new happens. I’ve had rainbows over the beach, massive waves crashing the shoreline, orange sunsets, bald eagles fishing, seastack rocks covered in colorful starfish, fog, mist, forest sunshine making beams of light, and always those green greens of the deep rainforest – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Much more awaits us in this awesome park.

Walk us through the workshop. Where are you going to start and end? Photographically, what will you focus on throughout the week? (For example, will you teach macro techniques in the rainforest, landscape techniques on the beach, etc?)
We’ll begin in Forks, Washington, where we’ll be close to the Pacific Ocean and all its glory. From here we get to photograph sunsets, beach scenes, seastacks, ocean waves and more. Then we move on to Port Angeles, where we point our cameras at old growth rainforests, massive trees, crashing waterfalls, babbling brooks, and so much green that you won’t believe it’s possible. Landscape photography is definitely the focus of this workshop with intimate scenes and some macro photography thrown in as it comes along. Wildlife is also a possibility. There are seabirds, eagles, forest elk, and more, and if it presents itself, we’ll certainly take time to get photos of it.


Before becoming a professional photographer, you were trained as a zoologist and worked as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife ranger and endangered species researcher. Does this experience come through in your photography and teaching style? If so, how?
I think that it must as all of us constantly draw on our past experience as we go forward. My love for, and knowledge of wildlife means that, as I said above, if animals present themselves we’ll do our best to try and capture compelling images of them. But more than that, I feel as if I really have a true respect and connection with all things nature related. My passion is showing or teaching others about the wonders of nature, and there aren’t many places better for this than in the hugely diverse Olympic National Park.

Olympic NP boasts some pretty amazing beach scenery as well as views of the Olympic Mountains and lush rainforests. How will you squeeze it all in to this workshop? Can someone expect to create images of all the park has to offer?
They certainly can! We’ll have plenty of time to get those ocean views as well as the deep rainforest scenes, numerous waterfalls, and even some snowcapped mountain peak views as a bonus. Olympic National Park is perhaps the most diverse park within the U.S. but the good news is that it’s all in a relatively compact area, so getting from one habitat to another doesn’t take too long.













Besides the obvious gear someone should expect to bring with them, what are three otherthings participants should throw in their bag?

Be sure to have some sort of protection to keep your camera equipment dry. We will be photographing in a rainforest after all. Even mist from waterfalls is prevalent so a heavy plastic bag for your camera (at the very least) can be handy. A polarizing filter is one accessory that participants will certainly need. From waterfalls to wet rocks, to forest greens, this filter is invaluable for popping colors. A third thing would be good, solid, waterproof shoes or boots. Nothing makes a photographer happier than dry feet when out shooting (ok, gorgeous light, amazing scenes, cooperative wildlife, rainbows, perfect waterfalls, “God beams,” and such make photographers happy too, but dry feet do help you to see all those things).


Since I can’t resist, will you be talking at all about the Twilight phenomenon? Maybe a lecture on how to photograph vampires?

The craze has definitely taken over the Forks area and I can promise we’ll keep our eyes open and our wooden stakes at the ready. Thanks for the opportunity to answer your questions. I look forward to getting people excited about Olympic National Park and all it has to offer!


mammoserdon_headshotTo read more about this workshop, check it our on our website here.
View Don’s website here and his full bio here.



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Landscapes & Lightroom in Big Sky, MT and Yellowstone in Autumn Workshops Student Slideshows Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:13:19 +0000 In September, two of RMSP’s outstanding and intrepid instructors, David Marx and Doug Johnson, led two separate workshops experiences back-to-back in southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming. Some of the participants in these joined us for both, and all had a spectacular time in this beautiful part of the country. See the results of their photographic journeys in these excellent slideshows of their work. A big thanks to David Marx for putting these together and sharing with us all. Enjoy!

Landscapes & Lightroom in Big Sky, MT September 15-21, 2012


Yellowstone in Autumn September 22-28, 2012

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San Juan Islands Workshop Student Slideshow Fri, 14 Sep 2012 22:40:56 +0000 When it comes to scenic beauty, there really is no comparison to the San Juan Islands in the northwest corner of Washington state. This summer, instructor Eileen Rafferty and her trusty assistant, Roxanne Duffy, traveled with an inspired and inspirational group of photographers to guide them through this lush landscape of greenery, wildlife, ocean and architecture.  Here’s your chance to live vicariously by viewing their beautiful photographic depictions of the San Juans and their experiences there. Enjoy…and maybe we’ll see you with us on this workshop next year!




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Thank you, Margaret! Mon, 14 May 2012 15:08:01 +0000 We just have to share this with you! Seattle resident Margaret DeWilliam Horton is a very good writer, not to mention photographer. Within the past month, she was also a participant in our Seattle Photo Weekend event and most recently in our Intermediate Photography workshop here in Missoula. She maintains her own photo and writing blog at and has honored our school by writing several posts about her experiences with us, and the application of what she’s learned from our fantastic instructors.  Yeah, we know we’re pretty biased around here, but they really are fantastic! Thank you, Margaret for joining us and sharing your experiences with the world!

And in case you missed it, here’s a slideshow of work produced by the Intermediate Photography workshop students from a few weeks ago, including Margaret’s!



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What’s New in Photoshop CS6 Tutorials with Mark S. Johnson Thu, 03 May 2012 20:37:01 +0000 When it comes to Adobe® Photoshop®, there are few people who are more qualified to teach this powerful software and its creative potential for photographers than Mark S. Johnson. A long time instructor for RMSP, accomplished artist and passionate liver-of-life, Mark regularly dedicates his considerable energy toward sharing his wealth of knowledge with others. His most recent endeavor is a series of 10 video tutorials that spotlight the new features in Photoshop CS6 soon to be released by Adobe. Starting today, he will post one tutorial per day for 10 days, explaining his take on what’s so cool about the new additions to PS6. If you have any interest in exploring how to make your own work more creative, feel free to visit his site at As Mark says, “These “Just Do It” (JDI) improvements won’t get much hype, but boy will they make a big difference!” We have a strong feeling he knows what he’s talking about!

Mark S. Johnson will be teaching RMSP’s workshop Creative Compositing: The Impressionistic Photograph in Boulder, Colorado on June 16-22.

Below is the schedule and a brief synopsis of each tutorial:

Thursday, May 3

Episode One – Content-Aware Move and Patch

Learn how to move a subject while simultaneously (and miraculously) hiding the original.


Friday, May 4

Episode Two – Camera Raw Improvements

Discover the brave new world of Camera Raw editing, complete with improved tone correction sliders, better clarity and brushable white balance and noise reduction.


Saturday, May 5

Episode Three – The New Blur Gallery

If you’ve ever dreamed of selectively controlling depth of field during post-production, you’ll get a kick out of the new Blur Gallery.  Use Field Blur to produce a graduated blur, Iris Blur for shallow depth of field, and Tilt-Shift Blur to simulate the look of photographing a toy model.


Sunday, May 6

Episode Four – Adaptive Wide Angle Lens Correction

Fix geometric distortion and perspective issues caused by a fisheye or wide-angle lens using blazing fast on-canvas controls.


Monday, May 7

Episode Five – The World’s Best Oil Paint Filter

Adobe holds the title for the best and easiest to use Oil Paint filter.  Come see what I mean.


Tuesday, May 8

Episode Six – Crop Tool Refinements

Experience the completely reengineered Crop Tool and the new Perspective Crop Tool.


Wednesday, May 9

Episode Seven – Color Range Skin Tone Detection

Learn how to quickly create selections of skin that make color correction a snap.


Thursday, May 10

Episode Eight – The Overhauled Lighting Effects Filter

Discover a faster, more dynamic Lighting Effects Filter that produces stunning lighting and texture results.


Friday, May 11

Episode Nine – 3D Enhancements in Photoshop CS6 Extended

Learn how to generate realistic 3D effects complete with lights and shadows using a more intuitive user interface.


Saturday, May 12

Episode Ten – Little Improvements that Make a Big Difference

These “Just Do It” (JDI) improvements won’t get much hype, but boy will they make a big difference!


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Is Basic Too Basic? Sat, 28 Apr 2012 15:00:11 +0000 “I’ve been photographing for a while now. Do you think I should skip Basic and register for the Intermediate Photography workshop?”

This is a question we have fielded many times over the years, and although it is a question that requires a photographer-specific answer, we thought it would be helpful to put up a post addressing some details of our Basic Photography workshops.

Naturally, your own personal experience and level of knowledge should help steer you toward finding a photography course which is right for you. However, above all else you need to make sure you are 100% honest with yourself when you assess your abilities. Just because you have been photographing for years, or even decades, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are beyond the basics. In our 25 years of experience, we have noticed a remarkable difference between those who “enter in” to the process with Intermediate Photography thinking they are beyond the basics, and those who take our Basic Photography workshop and progress on to Intermediate.  Sure, the former can be done, but more often than not, skipping the all-important first step reveals “gaps” in one’s knowledge. If not adequately addressed, these “gaps” can become potholes and eventually craters down the road.

How does that old saying go?  Something about a house only being as strong as the foundation it’s built upon….  Yep, It applies to photography too!

Basic is Basic is Basic … right?

If you have decided that starting at square one with your photo education is the best thing to do, you must find a course that will work for you. A quick Google search, or scan of the course catalog at a nearby Community College might reveal dozens of options to choose from. But what differentiates one Basic Photography course from another? After all, they’re all called “Basic Photography”… right?

During a Basic Photography workshop at RMSP we focus heavily on two aspects: teaching the nuts and bolts of photography and making sure participants enjoy and engage in the “experience” of photography.


When we say nuts and bolts, we are referring to the things that actually make photography happen. In tangible terms, this means that you ignore most of the settings on camera and go straight to using Manual mode. By learning in Manual mode, you see firsthand how f-stops, shutter speeds and ISO determine your exposure. Learning how each affects the other, and ultimately the outcome of your images, is vitally important and is the foundation of every image you will create in your photography career. Added into the mix during this learning process are other topics including depth of field, selective focus, file formats, outsmarting your camera’s meter, histogram, white balance, the temperature of light, composition techniques, and downloading images to your computer to name a few. By the way, if you just read that list and now suddenly feel overwhelmed because it all sounds foreign, take a deep breath. Relax.  Remember, on a workshop, you are learning these things incrementally, from a professional photography instructor with a group of people who are at your same level. And most likely you are laughing a lot too!

This brings us to the other aspect we focus on during a Basic workshop, which can be summed up in one word: experience. At some point in your learning process, you actually need to get up, get outside and introduce the rubber to the road. That is why approximately one third of your time in an RMSP Basic Photography workshop is spent on location learning to shoot with your camera.

We have always been of the belief that photography is an around-the-clock pursuit. Great light usually doesn’t appear when it’s convenient for you, so it doesn’t make much sense for a workshop to limit your learning hours to 9 – 5, or for a few hours in the evening. Long, hands-on and involved (yet fun) days define our Basic workshops.  For example, during our Missoula-based workshops you might spend a morning photographing on the campus of the University of Montana, in the nearby Rattlesnake Wilderness, or an afternoon on the grounds of historic Fort Missoula or at Moon Randolph homestead, located in the hills just two miles north of downtown.  These location visits offer unique experiences and wonderful shooting opportunities where trial-and-error learning is encouraged. Since shoots are followed by critique sessions, your successes can be celebrated and your mistakes identified prior to the next days shoot.



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Vegas to Zion: Dusk to Dawn – Scott Kelby Chooses His Winner(s)! Fri, 13 Apr 2012 00:27:06 +0000 Apparently NAPP founder and creative,  Mr. Scott Kelby (@ScottKelby) had more than a tough time choosing a single favorite image from the work produced by the participants on the RMSP Vegas to Zion workshop we’ve been so excited about for quite some time now. Earlier in the year and before it took place in March, Scott graciously offered to reward the photographer whose image from this workshop impressed him the most with a full free pass to the Photoshop World Conference and Expo of their choice. Ironically, the next scheduled one is in Las Vegas, NV on September 5-7, 2012!

So, what do you if you are simply blown away by all of the creative work from this tremendous group of photographers, and can’t seem to narrow down your decision to just a single image? You choose TWO, of course! That’s right, Scott Kelby himself is inviting two photographers from the workshop to Photoshop World as his invited guests. We’re happy to announce both Wendi Kennedy and Matthew Trabold are the chosen winners for this honor. Below are the outstanding images deemed to be his favorites. Congratulations, Matthew and Wendi!

Truly, every single one of the nine Vegas to Zion workshop participants are to be congratulated for their amazing work on this workshop, as well as both Gabe Biderman and Tim Cooper for the excellent instruction and inspiration they provided. If you missed it before, here’s their concluding slideshow that gives you an idea of the overall experience and what these folks were inspired to produce. Heck, we’re as blown away by their work as Scott and certainly don’t envy him having to make a decision like this! Great job to all involved and many thanks to Scott Kelby for his generous offer!




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Vegas to Zion Student Slideshow Wed, 04 Apr 2012 22:11:20 +0000 The folks who participated in our recent workshop Vegas to Zion: Dusk to Dawn with photographers/instructors extraordinaire, Gabriel Biderman and Tim Cooper, must have been feeling Lady Luck on their side. How else could they have captured some of the coolest and most unique images we’ve seen from a workshop lately?! Of course, great skill, talent, instruction and the right gear all played a much bigger part than simple good fortune. Don’t believe us? Then take a look for yourself at their collective work in this slideshow. From what we’ve heard from the participants, as well as Gabe & Tim, the experience was a big hit and everyone hit the jackpot when it came to creating amazing images!

Also, due to Gabe’s due diligence (Thanks, Gabe!), each participant was able to shoot with a Lensbaby Composer lens courtesy of Lensbaby. As another added bonus, the person producing the best shots of the workshop (as deemed by the Gabe & Tim) would win a free Lensbaby Composer. Congratulations are in order for Anna Gerling for taking home this honor and the complimentary lens (but we sure don’t envy Gabe & Tim for having to make this choice amongst so much outstanding work)!

Enjoy the fruits of their labor and consider joining us next year for this spectacular experience!




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Macro Photography: A Closer Look Thu, 15 Mar 2012 16:48:43 +0000 If you thought the expression “big things come in small packages,” was just something your loved ones told you when they were making excuses for buying you small Christmas presents, think again. In the world of photography, big things really do come in small packages. To help you unwrap these big photographic gifts, we offer a workshop dedicated to teaching you how to get started – and make a huge splash with – your own macro photography.

Led by longtime RMSP instructors and macro aficionados, Elizabeth Stone and Tony Rizzuto, Macro Photography: A Closer Look takes place July 1 – 6, 2012 in Missoula, MT. This week long experience is your chance to dedicate yourself and your curiosity to nothing but macro photography. The dynamic duo of Tony and Elizabeth start with the basics and don’t look back.  From composition to specialized equipment to lighting techniques, they roll out the educational red carpet for you! Many photographers choose to explore flowers with their macro lenses, and on this workshop you will too – from shooting a bouquet in a studio setting to flowers crawling over the grounds of a local nursery.

If you are interested in pursuing your curiosity or existing passion for macro photography, I encourage you to give us a call to discuss the details. As of today (3-14-2012) there are four spots remaining in this workshop. Remember, as with every RMSP workshop, you can take advantage of our early bird discount of $50 if you register before the early registration date, which in this case is April 2, 2012.


In the meantime, check out these macro images taken by Tony and Elizabeth. Yeah … i’d say these two know a thing or two about macro!

RizzutoTony_BCDahlia RizzutoTony_Dahlia3 RizzutoTony_Redgreen StoneElizabeth_YellowFlower RizzutoTony_hinge Rizzutotony_Purple RizzutoTony_red StoneElizabeth_46 StoneElizabeth_BC_Clematis StoneElizabeth_TSquareMacro ]]> 0
Lightroom for Photographers Sat, 03 Mar 2012 16:00:52 +0000 I realize every photographer has their own, unique workflow and way of accomplishing tasks when it comes time to wrangle images on the ‘ol computer, but i’m sure I am not alone when I say that it’s almost hard to remember what that workflow was like before Adobe came out with Lightroom. Personally, I admit to being skeptical and nervous about embracing it when it first stepped on the scene. Now, I actually get excited to sit down at my computer to simply look through images or to perform semi-extensive edits to a file or group of files. Lightroom simply makes working with your images enjoyable. In case you missed it earlier in the week, Forest Chaput de Saintonge posted a really good overview of his digital imaging workflow. You can read it here.

RMSP offers a workshop that is ideal for anyone interested in harnessing the full capabilities that Lightroom has to offer. Aptly titled, our Lightroom for Photographers workshops are led by longtime instructor and Adobe Certified Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom Expert David Marx, and Forest Chaput de Saintonge, who also recently became an Adobe Certified Expert. Offered six times in 2012, this four-day course teaches you to organize your images and develop a structured workflow from import to enhancement to final export. Along the way you’ll learn to label, rate, keyword, sort and browse your images effortlessly.

Consider joining David or Forest for an insightful Lightroom experience in one of these cities in 2012:

Sacramento, California – April 26-29  (8 seats available as of 4-6)
Minneapolis, Minnesota – May 17-20  (4 seats available as of 4-6)
Billings, Montana – June 21-24  (7 seats available as of 4-6)
Seattle, Washington – July 26-29  (11 seats available as of 4-6)
Overland Park, Kansas – August 16-19  (18 seats available as of 4-6)
Missoula, Montana – August 23-26  (18 seats available as of 4-6)

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