Basic Photography Missoula, Montana


Basic Photography Missoula, Montana

09/13/2014 - 09/19/2014
$50 off
$50 off if deposit received by 06/15/2014
This workshop is past its starting date.
Please Note: If you are registering more than one participant, please call us at 1-800-394-7677 to process it for you.

Why? Say goodbye to blasé photos and get ready for a new world of photographic possibility. After a week of immersion in RMSP-style education, you’ll understand how your camera works—and how to make it work capturing the beauty and moments around you.

What? During this week of learning the basics, you explore the craft of photography with an instructor who makes the process fun. Split between classroom lectures, hands-on field shoots, and lively critique sessions, you listen as topics are thoroughly explained indoors—and then actively explore them through trial and error outdoors. Your instructor teaches you the building blocks of photography: Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and how they all work together to determine exposure. You learn how to interpret your camera’s histogram, adjust the white balance, and use various metering modes. An A–to–Z equipment lecture covers cameras, lenses, tripods, and more. Learn how to use depth of field to stunning creative effect, and how techniques for composition can make your images sing. Group critiques help you identify areas you can improve while letting you see the work of your classmates.

Who? You’re a beginning photographer who wants to learn to use your camera in manual mode—and take the best pictures of your life.

Student Testimonials

Wow! This was one of the best and most fun weeks of my life! Our class was full of characters, and we laughed a lot. There was almost instant "camaraderie."

Margaret Haugen North Dakota

I learned so much and had so much fun that if I could have, I would have stayed another week!

Pamela Dolby Illinois

RMSP never disappoints. To date I have taken six workshops from RMSP starting with Basic Photography and working through to Advanced. From there I added both foundation and travel workshops, ending most recently with the Macro Photography. The level of commitment exhibited by every instructor is incredibly consistent. They have a passion to help you improve and throughout the five days it is clear their goal is for you to leave, not only as a better photographer,...


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Meeting Space

This workshop begins Saturday at 7 p.m. and ends Friday at noon. Your class will meet at the following location for the workshop:

Rocky Mountain School of Photography
216 N. Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59802


Missoula has numerous hotels from which to choose with varying accommodations at different price ranges and locations. There are many other hotels in Missoula to choose from; however, the two hotels listed below extend a special discounted rate to Rocky Mountain School of Photography students.

  1. Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown
    200 S Pattee St.
    Missoula, MT 59802
    (406) 721-8550
    (888) HOLIDAY

    Additional Information

    The Holiday Inn at the Park is a full-service hotel located just 2 blocks from RMSP and has extended a special discounted rate to RMSP students.  To receive the discounted rate, contact the hotel directly and let them know you are with Rocky Mountain School of Photography.

  2. Staybridge Suites
    120 Expressway
    Missoula, MT 59808
    (406) 830-3900
    (877) 238-8889

    Additional Information

    The Staybridge Suites Missoula is located approximately 5 miles from RMSP. The hotel offers a complimentary hot breakfast and suites with fully equipped kitchens.  Reservations made online will not receive the special rate so please call the phone number above and let them know you are a student of Rocky Mountain School of Photography.


Parking downtown is metered Monday-Friday. There is a convenient parking garage, Central Park, located less than one block west of the school at 128 West Main Street ( Parking downtown on Saturdays and Sundays is free.

Free parking is available at Holiday Inn Downtown at the Park for participants staying at the hotel.

Air Transportation

Missoula International Airport
5225 Hwy 10 West
Missoula, MT 59808
(406) 728-4381

Car Rental

Most major car rental companies are available in Missoula and have counters at Missoula International Airport. Please visit the airport website for more details:

Missoula’s locally-owned Dollar Rent A Car franchise offers a special discounted rate to Rocky Mountain School of Photography students. To take advantage of this rate, contact them directly and mention that you are an RMSP student.

Dollar Rent-A-Car
1905 W. Broadway
Missoula, MT 59808
(406) 542-2311

Travel During Workshop

You are responsible for your own transportation during the workshop. For transportation to and from field shoots, we suggest that you carpool to get to know fellow students. Your final email will include a car share list of interested participants.


You are responsible for your own meals during the workshop. Your instructor will allow plenty of breaks in the schedule. There are many convenient and affordable options for breakfast, lunch and dinner within walking distance of RMSP.


Any additional fees and/or supplies will be the responsibility of the participant.


Missoula Chamber of Commerce
(406) 543-6623

Missoula Downtown Association
(406) 543-4238



Kathy Eyster, a former English teacher, is an outdoor photographer specializing in landscape and macro subjects. As an instructor, Kathy translates the jargon of digital photography into everyday language and offers students positive, practical suggestions for making photos they are proud to share. Kathy’s enthusiasm and experience have made learning photography fun for hundreds of students across the country. In addition to teaching, Kathy shares digital photography tips through her blog, Essential Digital Camera.
View other courses taught by Kathy Eyster.

Basic Photography Schedule & Equipment List
(This is also downloadable by clicking here.)


Saturday7-9 Opening
Introduction & Orientation
SundayLectureField Shoot
 Dinner Break
MondayField Shoot
Lecture CritiqueDinner Break
TuesdayField Shoot
Guest Lecture
Dinner Break
WednesdayLectureField Shoot
Dinner Break
ThursdayField Shoot
Dinner Break
FridayClosingEnds at Noon

Please keep in mind that this is an example of the schedule.  This schedule is subject to change due to class size, weather and any other unforeseen need to make adjustments. 

 Equipment & Supply List

Note:  The following is meant to be a packing aid, not a shopping list. Please call our office at 800-394-7677 if you have questions.

Equipment Checklist


o Digital SLR camera

Note:  In some cases an advanced point-and-shoot camera that can be operated  in manual mode can qualify.  Please contact the school to see if your camera is a good fit for this workshop. 


o The kit lens that came with the camera (this will most likely be a 18-55mm lens)

Wide angle lens  (fixed or zoom)
Telephoto lens (fixed or zoom)

Location/Field Equipment

o Camera bag or backpack
o Tripod
o Spare camera batteries
o Equipment manuals
o Note taking materials


o Lens shades for all lenses
Polarizing filter
Cable release/remote
Camera & lens cleaning supplies
Ground cloth
Rain cover for camera

Computer and Accessories

o Laptop (Refer to Laptop Information below)
o Card Reader
o Jump Drive

Laptop Information

Digital SLR users must be able to:

  • Download and store your images on your laptop
  • View your images after downloading them
  • Select and transfer specific images for daily critiques using a jump/thumb drive.

All students must supply their own laptop computer with the following specifications:

RAM (Memory) – Minimum of 4 GBs.

Free Hard Drive Space – We recommend that you have at least 60-70 GBs of free space on your laptop’s built-in hard drive if you plan to store photos on your computer.

External Hard Drive – Bring 1 or 2 external hard drives dedicated to your photography.

Virus Protection – Please update your virus protection prior to the workshop.

Operating System CDs, Passwords and Cables/Cords – As needed

Clothing and Personal Items

o Weatherproof clothing that can be layered for warmth
o Warm jacket
o Insect repellent
o Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots
o Travel alarm clock and/or a watch
o Water bottle
o Pocket sized flashlight
o Snack for between meals in the field.

Important notes about tripods

You will need a tripod to successfully complete your assignments during the workshop. A sturdy, reliable tripod keeps your camera steady and safe while shooting. If you have a tripod, bring it with you. If you need to purchase a tripod before you come to Basic Photo, our recommendations are listed in the table below. Many tripod heads and legs are sold separately, so there are as many types and combinations of tripods as there are photographers. If you have questions, please call our office and speak with Bob.
The tripod head will affect your photography more than the tripod legs.

There are two basic kinds of tripod heads, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages:

Pan/Tilt Head:  You can rotate the head (also called panning, which allows you to follow a moving subject), tip it forward and back, and tilt it side to side.  A protruding handle controls each separate motion, which can make these awkward and time-consuming when you are on the go.  These are good for commercial studio and architectural photography where you can take the time to set up a shot.  In these cases, having separate locks for separate planes can be crucial.

Ball Head
:  Ball heads are generally lighter and smaller than traditional pan/tilt heads.  They are also faster to use, because you can compose and lock the camera with only one control.  This makes these great for nature/landscape photographers. Most other photographers prefer ball heads for their many possible camera angles.

We recommend buying a head that pans (rotates), and that has a quick release plate (allows for quickly mounting your camera).  Kirk Enterprises is a great US manufacturing company that creates custom quick release plates for every available camera.
Aluminum, carbon fiber and basalt are the three materials used in making tripod legs.  Carbon fiber is lighter-weight and sturdier over time, but more expensive.



What is the 2016 workshops schedule?
Please see our Event Calendar.
Which workshop is right for me?
Foundation Workshops require varying levels of previous photographic experience. Beginners should start with Basic Photography. Travel workshops require that you are familiar with the manual operation of your camera. If you are uncertain about where you should begin, please call and we will be happy to help you decide what class is right for you.
What is the cutoff date for registration?
We accept registrations on a first-come first-served basis until a workshop is full. Register early! If your favorite workshop is full, ask to be put on a wait list.
How do I register?
  1. Register online
  2. Call the RMSP offices at (800) 394-7677
How many participants are in a workshop?
Depending on the workshop there can be a maximum of 14 or 16 students. Generally we add an assistant when registration exceeds 8 students.
What is a "Friend of RMSP"?
Once you’ve taken an RMSP course you become a "Friend" and are able to deduct $50.00 off workshop tuition.
Explain Foundation and Travel workshops?
Foundation Workshops are designed with a stair-step approach that teaches you to think, see and create with your camera. Travel workshops take you to a beautiful location with an instructor who knows the area and the light and how to get you to the perfect shooting spot.
What is included in the tuition?
Most workshop tuitions include the instruction only. Hotel stays generally are not included. Selected hotels, most of which have special RMSP rates, are noted in the accommodations section of each workshop. Transportation is included on selected workshops. Additional charges such as entrance fees/admissions to national parks and select shooting venues are extra.
How do we pay for a workshop?
Most workshops require a $300.00 deposit and the balance paid 60 days prior to the start of the workshop.  Payment options include personal checks, cash and Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.
What is RMSP’s cancellation policy?
Please read our cancellation policyNote: Workshop content may change from that advertised based on weather, access to shooting locations, and other unforeseen situations. Whenever possible, registered students will be notified ahead of time of any changes. RMSP reserves the right to cancel any program that does not meet minimum participant requirements, in which case participants will be informed as soon as possible and all money will be refunded. RMSP is not responsible for any losses incurred as a result of a course cancellation. We encourage participants to purchase refundable airline tickets and consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance.
Travel Insurance
RMSP recommends that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself from circumstances that may prevent you from attending a workshop. Please check with your insurance agent about this low-cost service. RMSP is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets in the event of a workshop cancellation.

Other Logistics

Blocks of rooms are reserved on most workshops. Unless otherwise specified, workshop participants make their own reservations for accommodations.
On most workshops, travel is the responsibility of the workshop participant. Participants usually get together on the first day and make arrangements to share car rides for field shoots. We encourage carpooling for the sake of camaraderie and also to reduce the impact on our environment.
You will be given breaks during the workshop to purchase and enjoy meals, however in some locations meals take a second place to shooting at the right light. It’s always a good idea to include snacks for those moments when a regular meal is not available.
Free Time
RMSP wants to make sure you get what you want, need and expect from a workshop. Expect to be busy from morning until evening every day. If you’re coming to an outdoor workshop, remember that sunrises and sunsets will be part of the shooting schedule!
Spouse / Partners
On most RMSP workshops, non-photographing spouses/partners are welcome to come to shooting locations and some critiques. Lectures and any other learning sessions are not open to guests. Please call our office for the guidelines for your specific workshop.


What should I bring?
You'll find a list of recommended equipment on the "Equipment & Schedules" tab for each workshop on this website.
All participants should bring a laptop computer for downloading, sorting, viewing and selecting images for daily critiques. Computer specifics are included in the equipment lists for each workshop. Please feel free to contact us either by phone or email with any further questions you may have. We look forward to welcoming you to an RMSP Workshop!  

Cancellation Policy

 Cancellation Policy for Workshops
  1. For cancellations received at least 60 days prior to the workshop start date: RMSP refunds any tuition paid, less a $50 processing fee.
  2. For cancellations received 30 to 60 days prior to the start of the workshop: RMSP refunds any tuition paid less the tuition deposit.
  3. For cancellations received within 30 days prior to the start of the workshop: RMSP retains full tuition.
  4. For cancellations after the workshop is in progress: RMSP retains full tuition.
  5. For no-shows: RMSP retains full tuition.
  6. Refunds will be processed within 30 days after our office receives notice of cancellation.
 Note: Workshop content may change from that advertised based on weather, access to shooting locations, and other unforeseen situations. Whenever possible, registered students will be notified ahead of time of any changes. RMSP reserves the right to cancel any program that does not meet minimum participant requirements, in which case participants will be informed as soon as possible and all money will be refunded. RMSP is not responsible for any losses incurred as a result of a course cancellation. We encourage participants to purchase refundable airline tickets and consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance.