Montana – Adventure Photography Tour & Workshop

Dates: Sunday, June 14th- Saturday, June 20th

Presented and Guided by: Jake Kielbus Photography

Hosted by: Sweet Grass Ranch (The Crazy Mountains, Montana)

Price: $2,000.00 US Dollars

Max. Number of People: 8

Price includes: Accommodation, All Meals, 2-days of Horseback Riding, Personal Guide, Post-Processing Instruction & Tutorials.

Not included: Flights, Travel Insurance, Camera Gear, Adobe Lightroom CC Subscription, Personal Laptop, Transportation to-and-from Airport (available at an additional charge.)


Montana 2020

Montana Sky

Come join Jake next summer during his 6-day Adventure Photography Tour in Montana. Get ready to capture MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS, AMAZING WILDLIFE, STUNNING WILDFLOWERS, BEAUTIFUL SUNRISES, MESMERIZING SUNSETS, and some of the most SPECTACULAR LANDSCAPES that North America has to offer! This tour takes place during the third week of JUNE at a SECLUDED RANCH tucked away in the heart of the CRAZY MOUNTAINS, which means you will EXPERIENCE beautiful green pastures carpeted with endless fields of wildflowers and majestic snow capped mountains. As a SPECIAL WEEK, which consists of a NEW MOON, you will also bear witness to the DARKEST SKIES in all of North America! The Milky Way will be clear and visible to the naked eye as you observe SHOOTING STARS dance across the sky!

Every great picture needs to tell a story. And every great artist needs to create from their own vision. It’s important to conclude that no two photographers are alike. During this Adventure Tour and Clinic you will learn how to understand the Exposure Triangle, capture a single subject while maximizing great composition and create flow, layers, and movement from a still picture.  You will learn to utilize low lighting techniques, combat “negative space”, create scale to truly bring out landscapes and depth of field, and find leading lines to create perfect composition. As a highlight we will also work on long-exposure photography at night and apply more creative principles to make your pictures stunning and worthy of a fabulous print.

This part of Montana is teeming with raw beauty. You will be hosted by Sweet Grass Ranch and have full lodging, all meals provided, and an experienced guide on the premises at all times.  During the clinic you will stay in a charming house with a private room and shared bathroom, or small individual cabins. All your meals will be provided including breakfast, lunch and dinner by a staffed cook. It is a guest ranch with a variety of amenities. If you have serious dietary restrictions, please inform us when booking your reservation. Please refer to the Sweet Grass website www.sweetgrassranch.com for a great introduction to the Ranch and to view what the accomodations will look like.

Guided Hikes and Horseback Riding

Jake will be leading moderate walks from one photography location to another throughout the week. These locations will be located within 1-hour or 2.5 hours maximum from the ranch, unless there is a horseback ride planned where more distance will be covered (horseback riding is optional: please refer to itinerary below for details). For one of the more ADVENTUROUS NIGHTS, you will be transported by truck and walk with Jake 45-minutes to a beautiful secluded field filled with old classic cars and a charming barn to shoot the NIGHT SKY.

Horses Running Wild

Will Outlooking

Lunch Break

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: MEDIUM. GRADUAL TO MODERATE ELEVATION GAINS

There is a certain physical fitness required for this Adventure Photography Tour. In order to photograph the most STUNNING LANDSCAPES and to have the best chance for WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS, walking up hills and off-trail will be required. Keep in nothing will be too strenuous. These great photography opportunities will result in active days of shooting during different times of the day and some late nights.

The required hiking will take place on most days. We are always trying to seek out the best lighting, especially during an hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset, which is known as the GOLDEN HOUR in the photography world. These hikes, which will involve some walking in the dark, will be on a known trails and led by Jake, who is extremely experienced and has performed these hikes numerous times.

POST-PROCESSING WORKSHOPS & TUTORIALS

A major component of this Photography Tour will involve instruction for post-processing of images. We will use the latest version of Adobe Lightroom Creative Cloud for in-class workshops on how to transform your photos into a beautifully stunning piece of art. This introductory course to Adobe Lightroom will take place, daily, in the Main house where we will have high speed internet and an indoor screen for developing photos. It is not necessary, but highly recommended, that all participants bring with them a laptop with the latest version of Adobe Lightroom Create Cloud installed. To subscribe to this latest technology in post-processing, Adobe Lightroom Creative Cloud can be purchased on the internet for only $9.99 per month! The daily workshops will involve choosing and editing a picture of your liking from the previous day and/or night time photography session. I will teach you great workflow, from start to finish. And in this course you will learn to DO IT YOURSELF and MASTER basic and intermediate post-processing techniques such as composition, lighting, color, selective details, and effects. Also, we will discuss how to properly save, organize, and polish your work for different types of printing. These daily editing workshops will last for 1 to 2.5 hours each day. You will be able to depart the Adventure Tour with skilled post-processing techniques and a much more sound photography portfolio.


ITINERARY

*Please note that upon arrival to Sweet Grass Adventure Photography Tour the following itinerary may fluctuate and be subject to change, accordingly, based on weather conditions.

DAY 1 (Sunday, June 14th) Introductions/ Arrival:

You will fly into either Bozeman Airport or Billings International Airport in Montana. You have an option to rent a vehicle, but if need be, we will provide transportation to Sweet Grass Ranch for an additional charge of $140 US dollars per person roundtrip. Your accomodations will be held at Sweet Grass Ranch upon arrival between 2-4 p.m. You will have time to relax, enjoy the beautiful pastures and capture photos of the breathtaking landscape before a short briefing of the weekly activities.

At 4:30 p.m., everyone will meet in the Dining Hall with Jake for a brief introduction. We will break down the itinerary, discuss each day in full and answer any questions you may have. We will disperse at 5:30 p.m. where you have the freedom to explore until Dinner

Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. If you are out in one of the pastures, do not worry, you will hear the dinner bell being rung from the porch. This is the perfect opportunity to meet the other guests and staff who will be working with you all week to give you the most memorable experience. After drinks, dessert, socializing, and your long day of travelling you can make your way to your room for much needed sleep. The next 6 days will be filled with EPIC ADVENTURES with the camera!!!

Hiking Sweetgrass Montana

Sweet Grass Photography

Sweet Grass Drone

Outlook Sunset Photography

Montana Milky Way Photography

Montana Milky Way Photography Course

DAY 2 (Monday, June 15th) Landscape Photography, Intro to Adobe Lightroom and Night Time Photography:

  • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. – Jake will present a Workshop on: Getting to Know Your Camera and How to Shoot Like a Pro. He will cover topics which include The Exposure Triangle, How to seek out Perfect Composition, Shooting in Manual Mode, and An Introduction to Landscape Photography.
  • 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY (Hike to Horse Pasture and Lake)
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Break (free personal time).
  • 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. INTRODUCTION TO ADOBE LIGHTROOM (Post-Processing Techniques). Workflow/how to edit your first picture of the day. Getting Set-Up for Night Time Photography.
  • 6:30 p.m. Dinner
  • 7:15 p.m. SUNSET PHOTOGRAPHY (Hike to the South Ridge Outlook for spectacular photography outing up Sweet Grass Canyon).
  • 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Break (free personal time)
  • 11:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. INTRODUCTION TO NIGHT TIME PHOTOGRAPHY (Shooting the Main House under the Milky Way). Meet on the porch of the Main House at 11:00 p.m.

DAY 3 (Tuesday, June 16th) Shooting the Stars above a Classic Setting:

  • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – WILDLIFE, WILDFLOWERS, AND HORSE PHOTOGRAPHY (Hike up the canyon for a few miles)
  • 12:30 p.m. – LUNCH at Ranch
  • 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Break (personal free time)
  • 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – EDITING TUTORIAL – Moody Photography vs. Sharp Photography Workshop. Post-processing your photos from yesterday using Adobe Lightroom. Getting set-up for Night Time Photography and How to Light Paint.
  • 6:30 p.m. Dinner
  • 8:00 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. – ADVENTUTRE NIGHT TIME PHOTOGRAPHY – Get transported by truck(s) to a secluded field to photograph a Charming Barn and Old Classic Cars. What may go down as one of the most EPIC ADVENTURES OF THE WEEK, hike with Jake through beautiful Montana pastures as day leaves and night illuminates this stunning landscape. This part of the country has a Bortle scale rating of 1 (the highest level of brightness in the night sky), so prepare yourself for a SPECTACULAR EVENT!

Montana Flower Photography

A Walk in Paradise

The Crazy Mountains on Fire Photography

DAY 4 (Wednesday, June 17th) – Sunset Photography, Creative Shots and Scale Shots:

  • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. – Introduction to Horseback Riding.
  • 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Ride Up to Outlook for some EPIC LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY.  Capture creative shots, scale shots, and landscape/ composition shots.
  • 12:30 p.m. – LUNCH
  • 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDITING TUTORIAL in Main House. Post-Processing photographs from the previous night and day.
  • 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. BREAK (personal free time)
  • 6:30 p.m. – Dinner
  • 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. SUNSET RIDE. Mount your horses (or hike optional) after dinner and ride up to the North Ridge overlooking the Sweet Grass Canyon for a SPECTACULAR SUNSET.

DAY 5 (Thursday, June 18th) – Sunrise Ride, Portrait and Pano Photography:

  • 3:30 a.m. – 6:30 a.m. – SUNRISE RIDE (or hike optional). Get your tripods ready to capture the majestic sun rising over the rolling hills of the Crazy Mountains.
  • 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
  • 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – PORTRAIT, PANO, & MOVEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY – Hone in on your skills photographing the Gymkhana Games performed by the Wranglers of Sweet Grass!!!  Want to have a go in the games? Allow Jake capture you riding on your horse.  MOUNT UP!!!
  • 12:30 p.m. – LUNCH
  • 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – EDITING TUTORIAL (Post-processing your photos from yesterday and the morning Games).
  • 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – BREAK (personal free time)
  • 6:30 p.m. DINNER
  • 7:30 p.m. – Bonfire, Music and Enjoying your night! (Personal Free Time)

Montana Photography

Montana Horseback Riding

Dinner under the clouds

Praire Pronghorn Montana

DAY 6 (Friday, June 19th) – Photography Competition and Dinner Ride with Closing Ceremony

  • 5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. – (OPTIONAL) Photograph Jake and Erin wrangling in the horses under a beautifully lit Montana Sunrise.
  • 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
  • 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Meet in the Main house for a Photography Competition. Jake will pair 2 people together as a team and set the rules for a rival Photography Challenge. Each team will go in the field to capture the best shot they can within 5 Photographic Categories; Landscape, Portrait, Creative, Long Exposure, and Use of Lighting. After each team completes their assignment, they will then go and edit 5 photos of their choice, as a team using Adobe Lightroom and the skills they've learned from the weekly torturials. Each team will present their photos to Jake and a panel of judges will vote a winner, runner-up and honourable mention in each category. Judging will be point system based and the team that gains the most points throughout the 5 categories will be crowned champion and awarded a SPECIAL GIFT related to photography!!!
  • 3:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Dinner Ride (you will have the option to hike or take a truck if you prefer) to the Bar-B Ranch located 6 miles away. You will have the opportunity to capture wildlife, if hiking, which could include; elk, bear, pronghorn, butterflies, and an unbelieveable sunset on the way back to Sweet Grass Ranch. Trucks will be driving over with your camera gear, if you decide to ride a horse over. The Bar-B has a beautiful Veranda and fields of Wildflowers you have only seen in your dreams. We will hold a closing ceremony as Jake will give out certificates and photography awards for the week, including the Winners of the rival daily competition!!!

DAY 7 (Saturday, June 20th) Departures:

  • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast and Departures - Enjoy a final breakfast as you reflect on your memorable week and say, "UNTIL NEXT TIME."

Montana Horseback Riding


Jake Kielbus

ABOUT JAKE

Jake is a self-taught photographer with a love for wild places. Initially a backpacker and hiker, it was only in search of beautiful landscapes and adventure that he picked up a camera. Once he realized he could best communicate the World’s natural beauty through digital photography, he was hooked.

Always fascinated by the subtle line between perception and reality, Jake is neither a realist nor surrealist, but searches for a connection between both the physical and the spiritual nature of experience; capturing a subjects place within a larger natural order. He hopes that people will see his photography for more than the aesthetics of the photograph, but for the transcending connection his subject has with its simplistic natural environment, which he calls “A Spiritual Epiphany”.

Jake has worked for Sweet Grass Ranch for the past 8 years wrangling, guiding, and entertaining guests from all over the world with his fascinating adventure stories. During this time, he has used Sweet Grass Ranch and the Crazy Mountains as a home base to develop his passion, creativity and love for Photography. You can always find him with his camera while taking his time to seek out the next “EPIC SHOT”, as he would say. He has travelled to over 12 different countries within the past 5 years, honing his photography skills, developing his portfolio and website, selling his work to clients, and submitting his work to magazines. He is striving to own his own photography studio, so that he can live his life and report to the world through his pictures. He has a concentration on capturing remote wild places and mainly focuses on Wildlife, Landscape, and Milk Way Photography.

Some of the most impressive places he has photographed include are the Amazon Jungle, the Southern Alps, the Okavango Delta, the Namib Dessert, the Serengeti, Patagonia, and the Mountains of the Moon. Amongst all these beautiful destinations, the Crazy Mountains contend for supremacy due to its unparalleled beauty.


Booking This Tour

Rate: $2,000 US Dollars.  Does not include the State of Montana accomodations tax, gratuity, or transportation fee.

Deposit: A $1,000 US Dollar deposit is required to reserve your spot when booking.

Full Payment: Required by April 1st.

Refund Policy:

  • Cancellations made by March 1st: 50% refund of deposit
  • Cancellations made by April 1st: 25% refund of deposit
  • Cancellations made after April 1st: NO REFUND

Welcome to Sweet Grass

Montana Ranch Photography Tour

Contact

Please contact Jake Kielbus at alphawolfphotos@gmail.com or (203) 522-2884 for questions regarding the ADVENTURE PHOTOGRPAHY TOUR. You can view some of Jakes work on his website at www.jakephotos.net.

Please contact Page Dringman at sweetgrass@mtintouch.net or (406) 930-5441 to reserve your spot and for any questions regarding accommodations.