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      Night & Early Morning Hike to Lake Helene - Private Photography Workshop in Estes Park

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      June 8, 2013


      Bear Lake Trail
      Estes Park, Colorado 80517

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      Night & Early Morning Hike to Lake Helene - Private Photography Workshop

      Join pro photographer, Mike Berenson on a challenging 6 mile hike in the backcountry.  Start at the Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park, near Estes Park, Colorado.  Ask questions and get pointers on the way up to the a pond near Two Rivers Lake and Lake Helene.  Lake Helene is positioned below dramatic Notchtop Mountain and Little Matterhorn as well as a view down the valley to Lake Odessa and beyond.

      Workshop Highlights

      Photography Guide - Target Locations
      After meeting at the Bear Lake Trailhead, we'll gear up and head up the trail for a challenging 3 mile hike to Lake Helene. With dramatic views of Notchtop Mountain and Little Matterhorn, it's not quite as famous as Dream Lake but is still very pretty - even in winter.  This trip affords excellent side trip opportunities to Two Rivers Lake and a few nearby ponds - giving a few more options along the way.  Another little side-trip near Lake Helene affords impressive views looking down the Chaos Canyon to Lake Odessa and up to the ridge of peaks lining the top of the canyon.  In early winter, we often find ourselves making great foregrounds with the interesting icy patterns we find in the frozen mountain lakes.  On the route up, we'll see dramatic views to the south of Glacier Gorge and Longs Peak (at 14,259 feet) - the crown jewel of Rocky Mountain National Park. Looking to the east of course is the gentle glow from the light pollution coming from the little town of Estes Park.

      Instructional Training Topics
      Here are a few of the areas we often cover in my workshops:

      • Equipment - Expert advice on gear for night photography in-the-field. Go beyond the body into discussions about lenses, tripods, remote triggers, filters, headlamps, snowshoes, smart phones, and more.
      • Light Sources At Night - Discussions about the primary and secondary sources of illumination at night and how they affect your images.  Learn how to add subtle light painting to your night photography.
      • Composition - Finding the best foreground (in the dark), controlling the perspective, and finding the sweet spot.  Planning your strategy for periods where the light won't last long.
      • Exposure - How to photograph in dark night situations and make the most of the histogram to avoid going home with a bad shot.  See the timing needed to capture either sharp points of light or streaky star trails. Use High Exposure Test Shooting to make sure long exposures look great on the first try.
      • Sharp Focus At Night - Focus perfectly on your subject - even in the pitch-black dark of night.
      • Professional Tips - Great locations, traveling with your gear, coping with the weather, you name it...  this is your chance to ask a pro photographer that question you've been wondering.

      Hike Profile
      Relative difficulty rating: challenging.  This hike is 6 miles in total distance with 1,200 feet of vertical elevation gain on the way up with the return heading back down the same route.  Snowshoes, poles, backpack, headlamp and warm weather clothes are required.  That said, I have one pair of snowshoes and poles for guests.  So just let me know if you'd like to borrow them for the trip.

      Not Just Early, Really Early
      In the true spirit of Colorado Captures, this isn't your traditional morning workshop, this is a combination night photography and early morning photography workshop. Pay close attention to the start times as they give plenty of time for both dark night photography and first-light at sunrise.

      What Else To Expect

      General Guidelines
      All levels of experience are welcome from complete beginner to professional! As an instructor, I like to get to know my students so I can tailor my training to best fit the level of expertise and areas of interest. And drawing from my years of night photography experience and much of my classroom content, I've been able to provide a lot of resources to students who show the interest.  During the classes, I have some periods where I show my shooting technique and others where I watch the technique of the students - all in beautiful mountain settings.  The goal is to have a relaxed atmosphere where students can learn and have fun.

      Camera Equipment Recommendations
      I strongly recommend bringing a tripod as long-exposures will be commonplace at night and in the early morning hours.  In that direction, I also suggest a remote trigger.  I use one that's a remote timer which is nice but a remote with a simple button works in a pinch.  On the camera, a DSLR is recommended but certainly not required.  Whatever camera you do bring, please review your camera manual and controls before the workshop to better prepare yourself for your time out in-the-field and to ensure a positive experience.

      Other Equipment Recommendations
      As we'll be out in the dark, I strongly recommend a headlamp - ideally one with a red lamp as it more easily allows your eyes to adjust to the darkness.  Beyond that, hiking boots and more warm clothes than you think you'll need has always been a good approach for me.  I suggest the same for my students.  For hikes, I recommend poles and a backpack that will carry camera gear including tripod and extra clothes & supplies.  On winter and spring hikes, students are required to bring snowshoes and appropriate warm winter gear.

      Backcountry Decision-Making
      As there are many factors that determine the safety of the group and the chances for successful photography, students should understand that Mike will read the conditions and make decisions for the trip.  They should also understand that we sometimes don't make it to a planned destination on the first attempt.  Trail conditions and weather can change from one day to the next - making the need to read the conditions and flexibility in the plan key factors in a successful outing.  For these reasons, I keep alternate locations in-mind for each trip to help make the most of whatever conditions we see.

      Terms & Conditions

      The amount of the deposit is due at the time you book a workshop and your space is not reserved until we receive your deposit.  The full balance is due 30 days prior to the date of the workshop.  If we do not receive your balance by this time, we reserve the right to cancel your workshop and/or attempt to fill your spot.  In the event of such a cancellation, no refunds will be provided.

      Cancellation, Refund, & Delay Policy
      All workshop schedules and plans are subject to change at our discretion based on factors including weather, health and safety considerations, or any other factor related or unrelated to photographic opportunities as we deem appropriate.  In the unlikely event that we cancel a workshop or reschedule one and you are unable to attend on the new date, we will refund all money paid.  Colorado Captures is not responsible for any other costs that workshop participants may incur including but not limited to travel, car rental, lodging, insurance, photographic purchases and/or rentals as a result of delays, cancellations, or other unplanned occurrences.

      Cancellation Procedures
      If a cancellation is received at least 45 days prior to the start of a workshop, the deposit can be applied to another workshop of your choice.  Cancellations received 31-44 days prior to the start of a workshop will result in forfeiture of the deposit.  For cancellations received 0-30 days prior to the start of a workshop, all deposits and workshop fees will be forfeited.  No refunds will be given for delays or cancellations due to inclement weather, flights, or other events beyond our control, either before, during, or after your workshop.

      Categories: Conferences & Tradeshows | Outdoors & Recreation

      Event details may change at any time, always check with the event organizer when planning to attend this event or purchase tickets.
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