Colorful Landscapes in the Heart of the Rocky Mountains
July 18–23, 2022
The San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado contain some of the highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains. Picturesque off-road trails lead into the alpine tundra and snow-capped 13,000 to 14,000 ft peaks that surround the area. July is peak time in the San Juans for wildflowers—Colorado columbine, lupine, fire weed, Indian paint brush—and these will provide compelling accent to clear streams, rolling meadows, and rugged mountain peaks. We will use all-access 4WD jeeps to get where we want to go, but you’ll also need to bring your hiking boots! Short scenic hikes will take us to some of the lesser-known meadows and views. We will also photograph historic mining villages and abandoned structures. All of this makes for great subject matter during the day, and if the skies are clear we will photograph at night as well.
Muench Workshops pro Wayne Suggs will be your instructor and will make sure everyone has a safe, enriching, and fun learning experience. Special techniques Wayne will cover include focus stacking, shutter speed blending, and lighting scenes at night. Mornings, late afternoons, and nights will find us out in the field. During the day, back in town, we will hold image reviews and we will learn new post-processing skills while working on the images we have captured.
We will be staying in the historic Imperial Grand Hotel that was constructed in 1883 in the lively mountain town of Silverton, Colorado. Silverton is located in Southwestern Colorado. At over 9,300 feet above sea level, it is an outdoors lover’s paradise. Surrounded by mountain peaks and located on the Million Dollar Highway, it is always bustling with adventurers and thrill-seekers.
This trip requires being acclimated to elevations up to 13,000 feet. It’s best to plan ahead and spend an extra night or two in Durango or similar town prior to this workshop to help your body acclimate.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
July 18, 2022: Meet at 3:00 PM inside the Imperial Grand Hotel in Silverton, Colorado. We’ll be having an early dinner tonight where you’ll be briefed on how to prepare for our first evening shoot. We will leave Silverton at 4:30 PM and head up the canyon in search of wildflowers and high mountain peaks. If the weather cooperates, we will stay out late and shoot into the night—this time of year is ideal for capturing the galactic center of the Milky Way!
July 19–21, 2022: This morning we’ll head up in our jeeps to our outfitted alpine camp. We’ll have time to acclimate and settle in to our tents and enjoy some hot food. Our time will be filled with photography, and we’ll work to find intimate photographs as well as grand vistas. Our nights will consist of learning lighting techniques for abandoned mining camp buildings with the stars as a backdrop. Of course, we will be photographing the wonderful snow-capped mountain peaks with the Milky Way behind them! On occasion, there will be short hikes up to two miles from the jeeps, but nothing too steep or rugged. We will take our time, but be advised we’ll be at high elevation (up to 13,000 feet). Acclimation before the workshop may be necessary for some participants traveling from homes near sea level.
July 21–22, 2022: After returning from our alpine camp, we’ll enjoy the comfortable Imperial Grand Hotel, in Silverton. We’ll have time to post-process our images of the Rocky Mountains. After some time spent reviewing and processing, we’ll have time in the afternoon and evening to photograph again. We’ll load up in the jeeps and head up into the mountains.
July 23, 2022: After breakfast, we will have a last image review session to enjoy the amazing images we captured throughout the week. The workshop concludes at noon, after which you are free to make your way back to local airports and home.
Moderate: You should be able to do short walks in alpine country at elevation up to 13,000 feet
Arrive Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT), Grand Junction, Colorado before 10:00 AM on July 18, 2022. Flights out can be made after 4:00 PM on July 23, 2022.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $750 supplement.
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
- All transportation during the workshop
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- Travel to and from Grand Junction, Colorado.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $750 supplement.
“Wayne is a superb photographer and a superb teacher. One does not necessarily lead to the other, but he is most definitely both. He was generous with his praise and his critical feedback, both much appreciated. ”