Greater Yellowstone Photography Symposium

Package Info

: 1 Days
Package Cost
: $447
Package Type

Quick Contact

Photo Adventure Workshops 208-523-6789

May 14 – May 20, 2017

Sign up 4 additional people with yourself – receive 4 golden tickets ($100)

Sign up 5 additional people with yourself – receive 8 golden tickets for the Iceland Workshop Giveaway ($200)

Welcome to the Greater Yellowstone Photography Symposium!

Our goal in presenting this symposium is to provide you with the opportunity to understand and photograph Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding Yellowstone ecosystem with a level of understanding and insight few rarely achieve. You will listen, engage and learn from experts in the field of geology, biology, and herpetology of the Greater Yellowstone Basin. You will also engage and work with several members of the professional photographic community and learn new ways of photographing our natural world. Combined, these individuals represent hundreds of years experience of scientific and photographic work in the Yellowstone ecosystem. We have assembled these experts to address specific objectives in this program as noted below, taking maximum advantage of the resources available in the greater Yellowstone area. You will be busy, focused and engaged in those disciplines that will give you the opportunity to understand, practice and improve your nature photographic skills. This knowledge and skill will translate to facets of your photographic base which you can take forward in your local home environment while giving you a unique insight into one of the most magical geological and interesting natural systems in the world…. Yellowstone National Park.


Becoming a better nature photographer

Becoming a better nature photographer is more than just the buttons on your camera and glass in the lens you hold. The more you understand about the subject of your photography, the better you will be prepared to respect your subject, look for specific behaviors, the best lighting, the best season, the best locations and other parameters that can have a huge impact on the success of your trip and your satisfaction with your final collection of images… luck favors the well prepared photographer.

Understanding the biology of Yellowstone to become a better wildlife photographer

It is imperative to have some knowledge and understanding of the animals, (mammals, birds, insects) or plants you are photographing in the vastness of the Yellowstone ecosystem. Where do you need to be?? What season? Time of day? Time of year? What do you look for to identify a good opportunity? What is the pending weather and how does it affect your subjects?

Understand the geology and environmental events of Yellowstone to become a better landscape photographer

It is imperative to have some knowledge and understanding of the forces of geology and recent environmental events (fires, earthquakes, geysers, rivers, ice, avalanches) you are photographing in the vastness of the Yellowstone ecosystem. Where do you need to be? When? Why? Is it safe to be where I want to be? What do you look for to identify a good opportunity? What is the pending weather and how does it affect my decisions on where to be in the Park? What forces created your subject? How do you capture those forces of nature?

Understand the photographic process to become a better image processor

As an active, informed, understanding and respectful photographer you will collect hundreds if not thousands of images during your time in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Learn how professional photographers handle, import and process this volume of images efficiently and how their processes may impact your own workflow.

$447 includes:

6-8pm on May 14 – Meet and great with photography instructors and presenters on May 14th (Beverages and snacks provided)

5-8pm Farewell Social Saturday May 20 (Beverages and snacks provided)

20 raffle tickets for sponsored giveaways throughout the week. (Additional raffle tickets with be available for purchase at the event)

Over $2,500 in prizes by our sponsors and Perfect Light Camera and Supply to be given away over the 5 days with the use of raffle tickets (more to come!)

Entry of 1 image to a photo critique* (Panel of 3 professionals to critique your images while you are able to remain anonymous. Images will need to be in electronic format).

Entry to our photo contest with cash prizes to be awarded during the social on the last day. (3 Submissions per participant. Electronic versions – Please send to Note: No composite images accepted

1st place $300 / 2nd place / $150 3rd place $75

PLUS one entry for the



with Photo Adventure Workshops

$4,495 value

Additional Grand Prize Tickets will be available for purchase at $25 each during the event

These classes are included in your week  – No additional cost

The Art of Nature Photography Seminar, Christopher Balmer

How to Create New Passion For Your Photography, Christopher Balmer

Yellowstone’s Big 5: Who They Are and How to Photography Them Adam Brubaker

Everyone knows Africa’s Big 5 but did you know which are Yellowstone‘s Big 5? Grizzly, Bison, Elk, Moose, and Wolf are the largest of our animals as well as the most sought after. Each of the Big 5‘s behavior and habitat will be talked about before learning the how, when, and where to photograph them. Knowing your subject is critical to photographing it, learn steps that will put you one step ahead of you subject. 

How to Dramatically Reduce Your Editing Time, Christopher Balmer

Winning Photo Contests and Selling Your Images, Christopher Balmer

The Captivating and Beautiful World of Owls, Christopher Balmer

Christopher Balmer (long known as the Owl Man) will not only teach you about the wonderful world of owls, he will also teach you how to consistently find owls in and around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (He is known to find over 20 owls per day on many occasions). He will teach you the biology behind many of the Northwest species, how to identify their calls, their perching habits, their mating behaviors and of course how to get the very best photographs of them. The information in this discussion will also help you find many owls in the area you live in.

Amazing Geology of the Yellowstone National Park, Duncan Foley

Using Your Nature Photography for Conservation, Charles Peterson

Birding in & Around Yellowstone National Park, Adam Brubaker

Live Birds of Prey exhibit by the Grizzly & Wolf discovery Center

History in Yellowstone: From the Native American to the Mountain Men and beyond!, Adam Brubaker

What was Yellowstone like before it was Yellowstone National Park? Stories from the past will come to life as you learn about the Sheepeaters, John Colter, Thomas Moran, and others that helped put Yellowstone Country on the map. Learning about the past can help us appreciate what we have in the present and advocate for it’s future.

Capturing a Moment in Time: Landscape Photography, Kevin Odette

Basic Graphic Design for Photographers, Caryn Esplin

How photographers can combine tasteful typography and design to create photodesign projects for announcements, marketing, social media, or just to add text, titles and quotes to their images. Here is a link to the digital textbook and online course, which includes lots of video tutorials to use Adobe programs and Microsoft Office programs to use design and images together in marketing.

*Additional Courses will be added demand

Create Your Own Custom Symposium Experience by selecting additional learning experiences

$297 Ranch Stock Photo Shoot

$197, Park Tour with Christopher Balmer FULL – Wait List Only

$117, Park Tour with Guide

$47.00 Macro photography,  Christopher Balmer

$37.00 Birds of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Adam Brubaker

Did you know Yellowstone boasts nearly 300 species that have been found in the park, and half of those nest here. Come learn how to start adding each of these to your life list and photography portfolio.  Adam has lived in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem most his life and for the last four years has made his living as a professional guide. Through the years, he has learned not only where to find birds, but how to photograph them. In this class Adam will share tips and techniques for finding and then photographing birds in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Although Adam has a passion for raptors, specifically owls, he will be addressing multiple species from waterfowl and raptors to song birds and game birds. 

$47.00 Photographing Yellowstone’s Reptiles and Amphibians Workshop, Chuck Peterson

$37.00 Advanced Metering, Christopher Balmer

$47.00 The Power of Photoshop, Steven Hatch  

$47.00 The Power of Lightroom, Steven Hatch

$39 or $89 THE ART OF LIGHT PAINTING (4 hours, hands-on – Indoor & Outdoor)  — Caryn Esplin

Option A:  $39  – First 90 minutes: Presentation & Instruction 
Option B:  $89 –  Full 4-hour+ Instruction & Workshop with hands-on light painting of indoor and outdoor scenes-
Limit: 20 people

Hands on instruction in the creative art of light painting for stunning indoor fine art and epic outdoor nightscapes. In Part 1, you will learn to master your manual camera settings in the dark, then “paint light” to illuminate beautiful still life scenes. During Part 2, you will review different styles of outdoor nightscapes, learn the setup and capture your own outdoor light painting nightscapes.

Part 1: INDOOR Table Top Light Painting:  Learn the techniques, then receive hands-on instruction as you capture your own indoor fine art light paintings.
Part 2: OUTDOOR Light Painting:  Get inspired, then drive to an outdoor location for on-location instruction to light paint an outdoor landscape and night sky.

Equipment Needed:  DLSR or Mirrorless Camera, Tripod, and  This Streamlight penlight

You can use your own camera to shoot the setup light painting scenes on your own, or bring an SD card to use the instructors camera setup and one-on-one instructor guidance on her camera  (Only for the first 4 people to request it, by email:
Caryn will also have an experienced assistant on hand to help.

$49 FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY – Capture, Process and Sell Your own Masterpieces — Caryn Esplin

Printing your images in large format will change the way you take photos. Learn how to capture and compose a set of high quality images with superb dynamic range. Then follow a post-processing workflow from Lightroom to Photoshop to fine-tune the details that will produce tack-sharp, quality large-format prints, that include your own signature. Learn the proper way to prepare images for fine-art professional printing, setup a pro account and see examples of finishing and mounting options from float mounts to metal and glass prints and more.  Those who email in advance (first come-first serve) will get first chances for individualized editing instruction and critique during the last part of the workshop.

$29.00 Stories from the landscape – Reading the Book of Geology, Duncan Foley Ph.D

We will explore the geologic terrains of Yellowstone and surrounding regions, considering both short term and long term geologic processes that result in the geologic product we call landscape. Current landscapes provide many clues about their history. What landscape features exist, how they relate to each other, and what they reveal about their origins can lead to deeper appreciation of what photographs show. In some places, such as geyser basins, geologic changes are very short, even on a human time scale. In other places, such as the building of the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains, deep time is required for the modern landscapes to form. Knowing how to read landscape origins can help photographers identify and select features that best help them tell their desired stories. This session will also use Google earth in evaluating landscape stories and planning photographic missions.

$37.00 Midday Magic – Duncan Foley

Mid-day, Mid summer. So what? Learn Dr. Foley’s best tips on getting great images, even in the hardest of light.

*Additional Courses will be added dependent upon demand



Christopher Balmer

Adam Jones – Canon Instructor

John Stoilov

John Stoilov – Canon Instructor


Steven Hatch


Dr. Charles Petersen


Dr. Duncan Foley

Caryn Esplin

Caryn Esplin

Shawn Weishaar – Canon Rep








Sign up here! Someone will contact you by phone to answer any questions and to sign you up for any additional courses you may want



Note: Full payment is due upon registration of any and all events.

90 days or more before the event you will receive a 100% refund minus a 6% credit card fee if applicable. 89 to 60 days before the event you will receive a 75% refund. 59 days or less before the event there will be no refunds given for any reason Rooms have been reserved at a large discounted rate in West Yellowstone. Please call ASAP for room details if you are planning on attending the symposium. Limited rooms, big savings!! (Note, lodging can become very difficult to find and very expensive if you wait too long).