Montana – Adventure Photography Tour & Workshop

Dates: Sunday, May 29th - Sunday, June 5th 2022

Presented and Guided by: Jake Kielbus Photography

Location: The Bar-B Ranch (The Crazy Mountains, Montana)

Hosted by: Sweet Grass Ranch

Price: $2,200.00 US Dollars

Max. Number of People: 8

Price includes: Accommodations, All Meals, Use of Horses for Photographing, Personal Guide, Cook, Post-Processing Instruction & Tutorials.

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 Sweetgrass.)


Montana 2022

Montana Sky

Come join Jake next summer during his Annual 1-week Adventure Photography Tour in Montana. Get ready to capture MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS, AMAZING WILDLIFE, STUNNING WILDFLOWERS, BEAUTIFUL SUNRISES, BEAUTIFUL HORSES, and some of the most SPECTACULAR LANDSCAPES that NORTH AMERICA has to offer! This tour takes place during the last week of MAY and into the first week of JUNE at a SECLUDED PRIVATE RANCH tucked away in the heart of the CRAZY MOUNTAINS, which means duringthis time you will EXPERIENCE beautiful green pastures carpeted with 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 set out to 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.  They are both artists, but two unique individuals. During this Adventure Tour and Workshop you will learn how to track down and discover light; capture a single subject while maximizing great effective composition; and create flow, layers, & movement from any still image .  You will practice utilizing low lighting techniques, combat “negative space” with precision frame work, create scale and depth-of-field in your photos to truly bring out landscapes, and discover leading lines to create better 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 pristine wilderness of Montana is teeming with raw beauty. You will be hosted by Sweet Grass Ranch at the Bar-B Ranch (a private ranch tucked away and very secluded from the outside world).  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 either stay in a fully constructed heated Yurt, a heated Wall Tent or small individual cabins which have fire places. All your meals will be provided including; breakfast, lunch and dinner by a staffed cook. The private secluded ranch that you will be residing at during your stay is co-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 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 maximum from the Bar-B Ranch, unless there is a truck ride or horseback ride planned where more distance will be covered. For one of the more ADVENTUROUS NIGHTS, you will be transported by truck to a small photogenic white Church to shoot the NIGHT SKY and witness the core of the Milky Way in all its glory.

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 down into a beautiful valley, into a canyon and slightly off-trail will be required. Nothing will be too strenuous. These great photography opportunities will result in active days of photographing during different times of the day, mainly very early mornings and some late nights. Photography is all about chasing the best light, which occurs when the Sun is closest to the horizon.

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

POST-PROCESSING WORKSHOPS & TUTORIALS

A 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, 3 days during the week, in the Main house at Sweet Grass Dude Ranch where we will drive our vehicles over and have high speed internet, as well as an indoor film projector screen for developing 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, profile proofing, and how to attack a RAW file 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, 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 every other day. You will be able to depart the Adventure Tour with skilled post-processing techniques in Lightroom giving you a much more polished photography portfolio.


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, May 29th) Introductions/ Arrival:

You will fly into either Bozeman Airport or Billings International Airport in Montana. You have an option to rent a 4WD vehicle, but if need be, we will provide transportation to the Bar-B Ranch for an additional charge of $180 US dollars per person roundtrip. Your accomodations will be held at Bar-B Ranch upon arrival between 2-5 p.m. on Sunday.  You will then have time to relax, enjoy the beautiful pastures, and the 80-mile wide open view of the horizon directly to the East. If you are feeling super ambitious, you can capture photos of the breathtaking landscape before a short briefing of the weekly schedule.

At 5:00 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 5:45 p.m. where you have the freedom to explore until Dinner.

Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. in the cookhouse.  If you are out in one of the pastures, do not worry, you will hear the whistle from the porch alerting you. This is the perfect opportunity to meet the staff who will be working with you all week to give you the most memorable experience. After drinks, dessert, and socializing around a large firepit, feel free to make your way after a long day of travelling you to your room for much needed sleep. The next 6 days will be filled with EPIC ADVENTURES with your camera in an unforgettable land!

DAY 1 (Monday, May 30th) Lowlighting Horse Photography, Landscape Photography, :

  • 5:30 – 7:15 a.m. – Horse Field and bringing Horses into Corrals Photography in Low Lighting with Sunirse
  • 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Jake will present a Workshop in the cookhouse 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. All his personal tips will be on display.
  • 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY (Hike to a Stunning Valley and down to some Cotton Trees for lunch)
  • 3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Break (free personal time).
  • 6:30 p.m. – Dinner
  • 7:30 p.m. – Hike out by the campfire after a very long 24 hrs. as we complete our first day!!! 

DAY 2 (Tuesday, May 31st) Sunrise, Horse Portrait Photography, Introduction to Lightroom Post-Processing and Introduction to Nighttime Photography:

  • 5:00 – 6:30 a.m. – Sunrise and Silhouette Horse Photography
  • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – INTRODUCTION TO ADOBE LIGHTROOM (Post-Processing Techniques).  Depart to Sweetgrass by vehicle.  LANDSCAPE EDITING, Workflow, and how to edit your first pictures from the Workshop using Adobe Lightroom. Getting set-up for Night Time Photography and How to Light Paint during our first Astro photography session! 
  • 12:30 p.m. – Lunch at Sweetgrass
  • 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Photoshoot Around Sweetgrass Ranch Grounds.
  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Head back to the Bar-B Ranch.
  • 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. – 12:15 a.m. INTRODUCTION TO NIGHT TIME PHOTOGRAPHY (Shooting the stars in a field of horses). Meet on the porch of the cookhouse at 11:00 p.m. sharp. 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!

The Crazy Mountains on Fire Photography

DAY 3 (Wednesday, June 1st) – Wildlife Photography, Creative Shots and Wildflower/ Macro Shots:

  • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 8:30a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Hike through the Black Canyon and out to Wolf Butte in search of Wildlife (Elk, Bear, Moose).  Capture creative shots, scale shots, and landscape/ compositional shots as well. 
  • 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Personal Break (Free Time).
  • 5:30 p.m. – Dinner
  • 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Personal Break (Free Time)
  • 8:00 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. – SUNSET/BLUE HOUR PHOTOGRAPHY – Capture the colors of the Montana Sky around the Bar-B Ranch grounds and learn how to work in low lighting during the Golden Hour and Blue Hour.

DAY 4 (Thursday, June 2nd) –  Sunrise-Landscape, Waterfall, and Motion Blur Photography :

  • 4:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. – Get transported by vehicles to Big Timber Canyon for some EPIC Sunrise and Landscape Photography. Then drive to Halfmoon Campground and hike to beautiful Big Timber Falls to practice waterfall and movement photography.
  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Breakfast in Big Timber.  Spend the morning in the small quant town of Big Timber visiting their local shops and filling upon supplies.  It's like going back in time to the Wild West.
  • 1:00 p.m. – LUNCH at Bar-B Ranch
  • 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – PORTRAIT, PANO, & MOTION BLUR PHOTOGRAPHY – Hone in on your skills photographing horses loping as Jake teaches you how to better capture movement using motion blur!
  • 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Personal Break (Free Time).
  • 7:00 p.m.  –  Dinner

Praire Pronghorn Montana

DAY 5 (Friday, June 3rd) – 

  • 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. Any photos can be used from throughout the week.  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 6 (Saturday, June 4th)

DAY 7 (Sunday, June 5th) Departures:

  • 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast and Departures - Enjoy a final breakfast as you reflect on your memorable week and say, "UNTIL NEXT TIME!"


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 (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 subjects 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 second workshop in the Crazy Mountains after the success of last years.  Jake has worked for Sweet Grass Ranch for 9 years wrangling, guiding, caretaking, and entertaining guests from all over the world with his fascinating travelling 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 13 different countries within the past 8 years, honing in on 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 and is currently working on NFT's, so that he can live a life of inspiration and report to the world through his pictures. He has a concentration on capturing remote wild places and mainly focuses on Minimalism, Wildlife, Landscape, and Astro Photography.

Some of the most impressive places he has photographed include; the Amazon Jungle, the Southern Alps, the Okavango Delta, the Namib Dessert, the Serengeti, 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.


Booking This Tour

Rate: $2,200 US Dollars.  Does not include the State of Montana accomodations tax, gratuity, or transportation fee if needed.

Deposit: A $1,100 US Dollar deposit is required to reserve your spot when booking.

Full Payment: Required by March 15th.

Refund Policy:

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

Contact

Please contact Jake Kielbus at alphawolfphotos@gmail.com or  +44 7851611423 or through Facebook Messenger at Jake Kielbus Photography Page 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.