Colorado Autumn: Aspens and Peaks Photography Workshop - September 28 - Oct. 2, 2025

Dates: September 28 – Oct. 2, 2025
Ouray, CO
Joseph Rossbach & Kurt Budliger


Southwest Colorado quite possibly could be the crown jewel of the Rocky Mountains. The area features miles of undeveloped, towering alpine mountains, winding country roads with awe inspiring views, myriad lakes and tarns and countless opportunities for intimate & grand aspen forest scenes. It’s also arguably Colorado’s best fall foliage hot spot. Our group size will be capped at 10 on this workshop to ensure an intimate shooting experience as well as maximize the instructor to student ration of 5:1. Join us for this 5-day inspiration packed exploration of this magnificent and wild region of the Rocky Mountains.

Key Features:

  • Gain a strong technical and creative foundation in outdoor photography
  • Learn the importance of “seeing the light,” weather forecasting and location scouting
  • Learn how to use filters in the field to control dynamic range
  • Learn strategies for making dynamic compositions that have energy and egage the viewer
  • Learn how to choose aperture and hyperfocal focusing for depth of field
  • Bring your images to life using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop (beginner and advanced techniques)
  • Get individualized instruction and critique in the field as well as classroom
  • Photograph intimate ponds, streams, aspen stands and woodlands in glorious autumn color
  • Photograph sunrise and sunsets with majestic mountain backdrops


The workshop will kick off on September 28 at 2:00 PM at the Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs in Ouray, CO with a short reception and then it’s into the field we go to make images. There is no “set” daily schedule, rather we keep things flexible in order to best respond to the weather and light available for making images. Typically, we’ll be out for sunrise, shoot until mid morning and then take a break for a meal and brief rest. We’ll then head back out into the field in the mid afternoon and evening, ending our session after sunset. We’ll also have the opportunity for informal post processing and critique sessions throughout our time together. We’ll end our time together after our last sunrise shoot of the workshop on October 2, with plenty of time to return to the hotel for a normal checkout and departure.

Physical Difficulty:

There will be no strenuous hiking involved during the workshop and most locations will be close to the road. Some locations, however may involve a short hike of less than a mile with elevation gains under 150 feet. We will be spending a lot of time shooting in mountainous terrain and thick aspen forests. Hiking boots and a modest level of health and fitness will greatly enhance your experience. The elevation in Ouray is just shy of 7,800 feet and we’ll be visiting and photographing at elevations as high as 10,000 feet. For folks traveling from sea level please be aware that you may experience shortness of breath, dizziness, and headaches until you acclimate to the elevation; usually in a couple of days. If you think this will be an issue you may consider arriving several days before the workhsop begins.


Students are responsible for their own lodging, transportation and meals. A room block will be made available upon registration.


A deposit of $500.00 USD is required to secure a space on this workshop. Final payment is due 60 days prior to the start of this workshop. There is no refund after the final payment has been made (unless we can fill your spot). Please see our cancellation policy for more detailed information.

Aspen Bends
A unique stand of twisted autumn aspens, San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Needles Range Autumn

Autumn Aspens and the Needles Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado.

San Juan Magic
Autumn colors below the San Juan Mountains at sunrise.
Blue Spruce & Cottonwoods

Autumnh Cottonwoods and Blue Spruce in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado.


A canopy of autumn color captured in a glade of aspens in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Fallen Autumn Aspen Leaves

Aspen leaves on the forest floor near Owl Creek Pass.