Montana – Adventure Photography Tour & Workshop

Dates: Sunday, June 11th - Sunday, June 18th 2023

Presented and Guided by: Jake Kielbus Photography

Location: Sweet Grass Ranch (The Crazy Mountains, Montana)

Hosted by: Sweet Grass Dude Ranch

Price: $2,800.00 US Dollars (Subject to Accomodations)

Max. Number of People: 8

Price includes: Accommodations, All Meals, Use of Horses for Photographing Purposes which include 2-3 riding experiences (optional), Personal Guide, Cook, Post-Processing Instruction & Tutorials, Transportation (for Workshop locations).

Not included: Flights, Travel Insurance, Camera Gear, Adobe Lightroom CC Subscription, Personal Laptop, Good Hiking Shoes/Boots, Transportation to-and-from Airport (available at an additional charge through Sweet Grass Ranch – please email Page Dringman for inquiries)


Montana 2023

Come join Jake next summer during his Annual 1-Week Adventure Photography Workshop in Montana. Get ready to capture MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS, FREE-SPIRITED HORSES, AMAZING WILDLIFE, STUNNING WILDFLOWERS, BEAUTIFUL SUNRISES & SUNSETS, and some of the most SPECTACULAR LANDSCAPES that NORTH AMERICA has to offer! This tour takes place during the 2nd week of JUNE at a Historic DUDE RANCH tucked away in the heart of the CRAZY MOUNTAINS. During this time you will EXPERIENCE beautiful green pastures and majestic snow capped mountains. As a SPECIAL WEEK, which ends with 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 set out to observe SHOOTING STARS dance across the sky!

Every great photograph needs to tell a story where the viewer feels emotionally invested, connected, and inspired. And in order for this to have precedent, every Artist must create from their own vision. During this Adventure Tour and Workshop, you will learn how to track down and discover light; capture any single subject while maximizing great effective composition; all while creating flow, layers, & movement from any still image.  You will practice utilizing low-lighting techniques; combat “negative space” with precision frame work; create enormous scale and depth-of-field in your photos to truly bring out any landscape and small subject; and discover leading lines to create superb composition. As a highlight, we will also work on long-exposure photography at night as well as applying more creative principles to make your pictures stunning and worthy of a fabulous physical print.

This pristine wilderness of Montana is teeming with raw beauty. You will be hosted by Sweet Grass Ranch at the base of the 10,000 foot Crazy Mountains. You will have full lodging, all meals provided, and an experienced guide in Jake on the premises at all times.  During the workshop you will stay in a small cabin or room in the Historic Main House of the Ranch.  All your meals will be provided including; breakfast, lunch and dinner by a staffed cook. The secluded ranch that you will be residing at during your stay is owned and operated by Sweet Grass Guest Ranch. If you have serious dietary restrictions, please inform us when booking your reservation. Please refer to the Sweet Grass website www.sweetgrassranch.com for an introduction to the culture and landscapes of the Ranch as well as the Crazy Mountains.

Guided Hikes, Horse, Landscape and Wildlife Photography

Jake will be leading moderate walks from one photography location to another throughout the week. These walking locations will be located within 1-2 hours walking distance from Sweet Grass Ranch, unless there is a truck ride planned where more distance will be covered by using vehicles. For one of the more ADVENTUROUS NIGHTS, you will be transported by vehicle to a small photogenic white Church to shoot the NIGHT SKY and witness the core of the Milky Way in all its glory!

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: MEDIUM. GRADUAL TO MODERATE ELEVATION GAINS

Moderate walking throughout the foothills of the mountains is a main part of the Workshop. In order to photograph the most STUNNING LANDSCAPES and to have the best chance for WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS, walking up and down a big beautiful valley, into a canyon and out, and walking slightly off-trail around the ranch quarters will be required. Nothing will be too strenuous and we will always move at a slow and steady pace. These great photographic opportunities will result in better images and active days; which will also include very early mornings and some late nights. Photography is all about chasing the best light to capture the best shadows, highlights, and colors, which occurs when the Sun is closest to the horizon.

The required walking/ hiking will take place during most days. We are always trying to seek out the best lighting, especially an hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset (if on the schedule), which is known as the GOLDEN HOUR/BLUE HOUR in the photography world. These walks, which will involve little walking before and after the Sun arrives and departs, will be on known trails and fields and all led by Jake. Jake is extremely experienced and has performed these hikes and photo shoots in these locations numerous times.

POST-PROCESSING WORKSHOPS & TUTORIALS

A component of this Photography Workshop 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 3 days during the week, in the Main house at Sweet Grass Dude Ranch where we will have high speed internet (as well as an indoor film screen projector for processing and color grading our 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 selecting and editing pictures of your liking from the previous day and/or night time photography session. I will teach you great workflow, color coding, how to establish Presets, profile proofing, and how to attack a RAW file from start to finish. 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, shadowing, highlighting, and effects. Also, we will discuss how to properly save, organize, and polish your work for different types of printing. These editing workshops will last for 1 to 3 hours. You will depart the Adventure Workshop with skilled post-processing techniques in Lightroom giving you a much more polished photography portfolio to produce Fine Art Prints.

Accommodations 

Your accommodations will be held at Sweet Grass Ranch, which will be fully operational.  You will be sharing the Ranch grounds and dining hall with normal scheduled weekly guests. Your accommodations can be referred to as both warm and rustic. Many of the private cabins will have a wood stove and all your comforting amenities.  This Workshop is a great opportunity to make long term friends, perfect for those who are passionate about photography while getting to know the other artists they will be spending their photo shoots with for an entire week.  

Please contact me at alphawolfphotos@gmail.com for more details on accommodations. Please let me know if you have any questions in regards to accommodations, we want everyone to be happy with choosing this Photography Workshop.

*Also please note at Sweet Grass Ranch as discussed below, you will have full access to internet through Fiber Optics. 


ITINERARY

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

(Sunday, June 11th) 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, Sweet Grass Ranch will provide transportation to the Ranch for an additional charge of $180 US dollars per person roundtrip. Your accommodations will be held at Sweet Grass Ranch upon arrival between 2-5 p.m. on Sunday.  You will then have time to relax and enjoy the beautiful pastures and horses. If you are feeling super ambitious, you can capture photos of the breathtaking landscape before a short briefing of the weekly schedule, just make sure that you aren’t late by taking too many photos on the way in along the breathtaking drive .

At 5:00 p.m., everyone will meet in the Living Room of the main house 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 5:45 p.m. where you have the freedom to explore until Dinner.

Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. in the Dining Hall prepared by Sweet Grass’ cook.  If you are out in one of the pastures, do not worry, you will hear the loud bell from the porch alerting you to come eat. This is the perfect opportunity to meet the staff and other fellow travelers who will be working/ visiting with you all week to give you the most memorable experience. After drinks, dessert, and socializing around a large fire pit, feel free to make your way to bed after a long day of traveling to your accommodation for much needed sleep. The next 6 days will be filled with EPIC ADVENTURES with your camera in an Unforgettable Landscape!

DAY 1 (Monday, June 12th) Low Light Horse and Landscape Photography:

  • • 5:30 – 7:15 a.m. – Horse Pasture and photographing bringing Horses into Corrals (Photography in Low Lighting during Golden Hour)
  • • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • • 8:30 – 9:15 a.m. – Meet behind the corrals for a riding and etiquette demonstration talk presented by the Sweet Grass Wranglers.  
  • • 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Jake will present a Workshop in the Main house on: Getting to Know Your Camera Equipment and Lenses specifically for this week’s workshop. He will cover topics, which include but not limited to; The Exposure Triangle, How to seek out Perfect Composition, Why Shooting in Manual Mode or Aperture Mode will make you a better Artist, and An Introduction to Landscape Photography. All his personal tips and experiences will be on display.
  • • 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Break (free personal time to get some relaxation and rest)  
  • • 12:30 p.m. – Lunch
  • • 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – LANDSCAPE PHOTGRAPHY. Hike above the Beaver Ponds half-way up the valley floor for some incredible scenery filled with mountains and a pasture of horses. Photograph Horses Being Turned Out
  • • 5:00 – 6:30 – Personal Break (free time)
  • • 6:30 p.m. Dinner

• 7:30 p.m. – Hang out by the campfire after a very long 24 hrs. as we complete our first full day!!! 

DAY 2 (Tuesday, June 13th) Silhoutte Horse Photography, Landscape Photography, Introduction to Lightroom Post-Processing and Introduction to Nighttime Photography:

  • • 5:00 a.m. – 7:15 a.m. – Sunrise and Silhouette Horse Photography Around the Corrals. Get creative and work those shadows and highlights.
  • • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • • 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – OUTLOOK HIKE. Set out immediately after breakfast towards the Outlook for the best view in the house. Opportunity to Photograph Rides below us on their way up the canyon.
  • • 12:30 p.m. – Lunch at Sweet Grass Ranch.
  • • 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – INTRODUCTION TO ADOBE LIGHTROOM (Post-Processing Techniques).  LANDSCAPE EDITING, Workflow, and how to edit your first pictures from the Workshop using Adobe Lightroom. Learn Jake's process and how he maximizes his time with his precise workflow.  Lastly, a tutorial on how to get set-up for Night Time Photography as well as how to Light Paint during our first Astro-Photography Session!
  • • 4:00 – 6:30 Personal Break (free time)
  • • 6:30 p.m. Dinner
  • • 7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Break or choose to hang around the Campfire.

• 11:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. INTRODUCTION TO NIGHT TIME PHOTOGRAPHY (Meet on the porch of the Main House. This area 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!

DAY 3 (Wednesday, June 14th) – Horseback Portriture, Morraine's Ride and Wildlife Photography:

  • • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • • 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Personal Break
  • • 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – HORSE PORTRAITURE.  Photograph horses around the Sweet Grass Ranch Grounds. Work on Framing, Bokeh, Lighting Techniques and Minimalism. As a bonus photograph and film the horses being turned out across the creek.
  • • 12:30 p.m. – Lunch
  • • 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – MORRAINE’S RIDE. Ride or hike out to a special geological feature above the Canyon Floor where the clouds are dreamy and we will have great potential for spotting a Bear or herd of Elk.
  • • 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Personal Break

• 6:30 p.m. – Dinner

DAY 4 (Thursday, June 15th) –  Sunrise Ride, Wildlife and Macro Photography & LightroomWorkshop:

  • • 4:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. – Sunrise Ride. Mount up in the dark to Photograph the Sun rising over the horizon to the East where one can see for miles on end.
  • • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Hike to Wards Pond for Wildlife & Macro Photography Opportunities.
  • • 12:30 p.m. – LUNCH 
  • • 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Personal Break
  • • 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Lightroom Workshop Session 2!  Catching up with all of our images and creating together!  How to discover who you are and what tones/ vibes you represent as a digital artist. 
  • • 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  –  Personal Break
  • • 6:30 p.m.  –  Dinner

DAY 5 (Friday, June 16th) – Landscape Photography - Photograph the High Peaks on the way to Bar-B Ranch, plus a hike to the famous Valle Hermoso, Astro Photography at a classic white Church

  • • 4:15 a.m. – Cold Breakfast
  • • 4:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Depart to a secluded Ranch near the high peaks by truck for the most beautiful views on the North Eastern side of the Crazies; Packed lunches will be provided and eaten in a beautiful valley. Nap included at the Bar-B Ranch!
  • • 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Our 3nd day of Post-Processing!  Define your vibe. Color Grading Session. How to begin as a RAW and End as a Fine Art Print!
  • • 4:30 p.m.  – 6:30 p.m. – Personal Break (Free Time)
  • • 6:30 p.m. – Dinner.
  • • 1:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m. – Shoot the photographic glorified white Church in Melville under the Milky way.  Take the vehicles down to Melville for our highlighted 2nd outing with Astro-Photography.  

DAY 6 (Saturday, June 17th) – Pano & Photography Challenge (Last Full Day)

  • • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. –PANO, & MOTION BLUR PHOTOGRAPHY – Hone in on your skills photographing horses loping through the field during Gymkhana Games as Jake teaches you how to better capture movement using motion blur techniques! 
  • • 12:30 p.m. – Lunch
  • • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Personal Break (Free Time!!!)
  • • 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Photography Challenge. Each person will submit the best shot they have during the workshop within 5 Photographic Categories; Landscape, Portraiture/Wildlife, Creative, Long Exposure, and Natural Use of Lighting. Any photos can be used from throughout the week.  After each person choices their photos, they will then touch them up in Adobe Lightroom using the skills they've learned throughout the week and finally submit their work to Jake.  Jake and a panel of judges will vote a winner, runner-up and honorable 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!
  • • 6:30 p.m. – Dinner.
  • • 8:00 p.m. – Closing Ceremony.  Understanding Prints, ICC Profiles, and how to turn a RAW image into a JPEG piece of Physical Art. Hangout including; drinks and marshmallows by the Campfire.

 

DAY 7 (Sunday, June 18th) Departures:

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


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 (Surrealism), Jake is neither a realist nor surrealist, but searches for a connection between both the physical and the spiritual nature of experience; capturing a subject’s place within a larger esoteric 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”.

 

This is Jake's 3rd workshop in the Crazy Mountains after the success of the last 2 years. Previously, Jake has worked for Sweet Grass Ranch for 9 years wrangling, guiding, care-taking, and entertaining guests from all over the world with his fascinating traveling 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 Digital Photography. You can always find him with his camera while he takes his time to seek out the next “EPIC SHOT”, as he would say. He has travelled to over 14 different countries within the past 9 years, honing in on his photography skills, developing his portfolio and website, selling his work to clients as Fine Art Prints, and submitting his work to magazines. He is striving to own his own photography studio, advance his career in commercial photography and is currently working on NFT's, so that he can live a life of inspiration reporting to the world through his pictures. He has a concentration on capturing remote wild places and mainly focuses on Minimalism, Wildlife, Landscape, Astro Photography and Portraiture in Wild Places using Natural Light.

 

Some of the most impressive places he has photographed include; the Amazon Jungle, the Southern Alps, the Okavango Delta, the Namib Dessert, the Serengeti, Chilean Patagonia, the Mountains of the Moon, the Rocky Mountains, and the New Forest of England. Amongst all these beautiful destinations, the Crazy Mountains contend for supremacy due to its unparalleled beauty; A place he calls Home.


Booking This Tour

Rate: $2,800 US Dollars.  Does not include the State of Montana accomodations tax, gratuity, or transportation to and from the airport fee if needed.

Deposit: A $1,400 US Dollar deposit is required to reserve your spot when booking.

Full Payment: Required by April 15th.

Refund Policy:

  • Cancellations made by March 1st: 50% refund of deposit
  • Cancellations made by March 15th: 25% refund of deposit
  • Cancellations made after April 15th: NO REFUND

 

Contact

Please contact Jake Kielbus at alphawolfphotos@gmail.com or at  +44 7851611423. It’s also very easy to contact me through Facebook Messenger at Jake Kielbus Photography for inquiries regarding the ADVENTURE PHOTOGRPAHY Workshop. You can also find out more about Jake’s 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. If Page is unreachable please contact Jake.