On Assignment: Photography
Meet Your Expert
With its soaring peaks, endless grasslands teeming with wildlife, and gem-colored geothermal pools, Yellowstone National Park is an ideal setting to explore the field of photography. Venture into these vast landscapes alongside a National Geographic photographer to document bears and bison, bighorn sheep, wolves, elk, bald eagles, and more. Explore the techniques and craft of photography during daily hands-on classes, witness unusual geological phenomena, and capture the magic of Yellowstone through your camera’s lens.
The workshop begins with a night in Bozeman, Montana. Then travel to Mammoth Hot Springs, our base in northern Yellowstone National Park. Delve into the art and technique of photography, working in small groups with our photo instructors and National Geographic photographer. Begin each day exploring Yellowstone’s rugged terrain and searching for wildlife while practicing new photographic techniques, from managing light and depth of field to working with flash and improving your composition. Then return to the classroom to review and edit your images and prepare for the next day’s assignment.
Hone your eye for great landscape shots during visits to colorful hot springs, geyser fields, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Practice photographing high-speed movement as you capture images of fast- moving elk or deer in their natural habitat. Take an excursion to the Old West town of Livingston, Montana, and take portraits of cowboys and cowgirls at the famous Livingston Roundup Rodeo. Experience the thrill of the iconic Yellowstone River during a white-water rafting trip or ride horseback alongside a local cowboy.
In the evenings, review your day’s work, gather for talks by your photography expert, and learn low-light photography techniques. Take advantage of the golden hour during a sunset paddle on Yellowstone Lake, or capture the brilliant night sky during a nighttime shoot.
Throughout the workshop, we’ll prepare for a gallery show featuring large-format digital prints of the group’s original work. Spend your last two days in the quaint town of Bozeman, organizing, curating, and installing your exhibit. Celebrate your work on display in a local gallery and an opening party on the final night.
Our Photo Workshop Teams
National Geographic Expert: A National Geographic photographer will join the teaching staff for the duration of the workshop to share their insights and experience, and give you guidance and inspiration as you work through each of your photography assignments. The expert joins the classroom lessons and group critiques, works with students one-on-one in the classroom and in the field, and presents during evening seminars.
Photography Instructors: Our workshop instructors are talented and enthusiastic professional photographers from around the world who, along with the National Geographic expert, work with the students on advanced, hands-on knowledge of a broad range of photography skills and disciplines. With a staff to student ratio of 1 to 8, each instructor is able to work with students one-on-one and give personal assignments based on individual skill level and interests.
In Bozeman, we stay in dormitory-style accommodations on the Montana State University campus. In Yellowstone, our home is the historic Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Breakfast is provided at our residence, and other meals range from picnics to sit-down meals at restaurants. A classroom equipped with projectors will be set up at the lodge so we can share and critique our work.