Dream Lake Sunrise Rocks

Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Dates - March 4-6, 2016

Investment - $695 (Lodging not included)

Availability - Limited to 5 people


In this workshop my goal is to help you find your vision. This starts in the field by taking you to inspiring locations. While out in the field we will discuss composition and seeing in a different way by immersing yourself in the landscape. I will show you techniques of contemplative photography and exercises to help your creativity flourish.

Finding your vision will extend into post processing, I feel this is one of the most important aspects of finding your creative vision. We will cover topics ranging from basic raw development in Lightroom to advanced burning and dodging using Luminosity Masks in Photoshop. You will be amazed at what can be achieved when you know the how and why of advanced post processing.

There will also be critique sessions for images taken during the workshop and I will provide critique for a small selection of images you provide from the past, please have these ready on a jump drive.

Lake Haiyaha Ice


Day 1 - We will meet at the group house at 4:00pm for introductions, we will then drive out to an easy location for sunset, which is at 6:10pm. After sunset we will come back to town for a group dinner and visit Estes Park Mountain Shop to get fitted for snowshoes and rent them for the weekend (Included).

Day 2 - In the morning we will wake very early to snowshoe up to Dream Lake for sunrise and the continue photographing in the soft morning light. We will then come back to town for brunch as a group. In the afternoon we will have image critiques and work on post processing. We will then go out for sunrise and come back for dinner again.

Day 3 - We will rise very early again to snowshoe to Lake Haiyaha for sunrise. Plan on being back to Estes Park in the early afternoon, at which time you are free to go.


There is always potential for extremely cold temperatures at both of these lakes combined with strong winds. Temperatures in the teens or lower can be expected, with wind chills below zero.

The only weather that would cancel the workshop is a complete whiteout that would not allow us get to the lake, or dangerous avalanche conditions. In such an event a refund of 50% will be given if we cannot hike to the lakes either days. If we can reach a lake one of the days a refund will not be given.


Snowshoeing is generally as easy as walking unless there is deep powder, in which case it can be more strenuous. You must be in very good physical condition to participate in this workshop.  Dream Lake is 3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 560 feet and relatively easy. Lake Haiyaha is 4.5 miles round trip with 1300 feet of elevation gain, this is very strenuous.


  • Transportation from the hotel to the park
  • Snowshoes, boots, and gaiter rental
  • Small group size of 5 maximum
  • Water and snacks


  • Lodging
  • Meals - we will be eating together as a group often though
Lake Haiyaha Jagged Ice


Clothing - You must not wear ANY cotton and know how to layer properly with synthetic materials. A heavy down jacket will be required and preferably down pants for when we arrive at the lake. Waterproof snow boots can be rented with the snowshoes, along with gaiters and trekking poles. For more ideas on what to wear please see this article Snowshoeing: First Steps. Bring at least 1 liter of water, snacks, sunglasses, and sunscreen is also recommended. 

Bring an ultra wide angle lens, standard lens, and macro or telephoto for ice abstracts, A tripod will be needed as well. A good backpack for hiking will be needed, I recommend the Mindshift rotation180° Horizon 34L or something similar.

For post processing please bring a laptop with the current version Lightroom and Photoshop. I will be covering Luminosity Masks, I use the TKPanel created by Tony Kuyper, if you are interested in using this you may download the panel fromhttp://goodlight.us/writing/actionspanelv4/panelv4.html. Please bring materials for taking notes as well.


Lodging is not included, I will be staying at the Discovery Lodge. You are free to stay here or anywhere in Estes Park.


You are responsible for getting to Estes Park, CO, after that we will be traveling as a group in my 4x4 van. You are welcome to follow along in your own vehicle if preferred.



Estes Park is a 1.5 hour drive from Denver International Airport. Please see this site for more information on how to get there.


This workshop will not have any night photography.


Our primary focus will be photographing sunrise from two different lakes that are only accessible via snowshoes. We will also get out to photograph other areas of the park for sunset.

  • Dream Lake - The most breathtaking lake in RMNP. The ice in this lake has a polished finish with ice bubbles and cracks for a unique foreground with the dramatic Hallett Peak as a backdrop.
  • Lake Haiyaha - A lake with unique ice formations that occur when the lake freezes, drains and the ice drops around rocks in the lake, leaving jagged formations poking out around the rocks