Mentor Series: Montana

The best images from our trek

Amiel Anus
Barbara Garcia
Barbara Garcia
Barbara Garcia
Gary Gustin
Gary Gustin
Gary Gustin
Joy Harder
Joy Harder
Joy Harder
Matthew Cortese
Raj Das
Raj Das
Raj Das
Raj Das
Raj Das
Sean Stauffer
Sean Stauffer
Tom Stewart
Tom Stewart
Tom Stewart
Tom Stewart
Tom Stewart

The Montana trek piqued my interest as I had travelled with Dave Black and David Tejada on previous treks and marveled at their ability to pass on their passion for, and knowledge of, photography. I had not met Bob Smith before but the opportunity to travel with a National Geographic photographer in Yellowstone National Park would be amazing. Yellowstone, which incorporates so many iconic locations such as Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs, was on my life list so a trip to the Park combined with a photo trek was not to be missed.

Our weather was close to perfect and over our four days we stopped frequently in Yellowstone and captured many beautiful images. Hands-on sessions at our location shoots included learning light painting from Mentor Dave Black where we got some great shots of the models dressed in western attire. The next day we had the opportunity to photograph cowboys and galloping horses and learn and use panning techniques to add a sense of motion to our images. Mentor David Tejada taught us how to improve our portraits using fill flash and light boxes in both indoor and outdoor settings.

A trek is a busy and wonderful experience but the enjoyment doesn’t end with the final slideshow and flight home. During the trek there are times when we quickly select some images to review with our mentors or share with fellow trekkers. However it is only after I get home that I can truly sit down and carefully go through my 1,297 photos from this trek. My goal is to narrow them down to the top 100 which then become the album I show to family and friends. I enjoy the process of reviewing each image, looking for those hidden diamonds in the rough that got missed on my first review, and doing some post processing to bring out the best in my favourites. Among the images which are likely to be included in my top 100 from the Montana Trek are • Old Whiskey Joe, dressed in buckskin, with his musket and bowie knife in Nevada City • The grizzly bear coming out of the water at the Grizzly Discovery Center • The “Home on the Range” iconic image of the buffalo roaming on the vast grasslands • The light painting made at the Parade Rest guest ranch • The view of the Grand Prismatic pool taken from the hillside • Our fly fisherman Ken standing mid-stream at sunrise with the buffalo in the background • The cowboys driving a herd of horses at the Elkhorn Ranch. • Sunrise over the Madison River

During the trek the leaders and mentors worked tirelessly to provide training and information, to review and critique our efforts, and to keep everything running smoothly. Thanks to the mentors and to Erica, Michelle, Donnie, and Ken for all of your efforts.This was my seventh trek with the Mentor Series and from each one I have come away with great pictures; more knowledge about my camera, light, and composition; wonderful memories; and good new friends. Looking forward to number eight.

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