National Geographic photographer leads Mountain Moments workshop Sept. 22-24 | VailDaily.com

National Geographic photographer leads Mountain Moments workshop Sept. 22-24

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily

You may have a really nice DSLR camera, or you may just have your smartphone, but it's not all about the camera, said award-winning journalist and National Geographic photographer Jad Davenport. It's about storytelling.

"I feel frustrated when I see people get bogged down by the technical aspects of their cameras," Davenport said. "I probably use 10 percent of what my camera can do, and I don't know half of what it can do, and I really don't care. To me, it's a tool; it's all about the story."

Davenport will be at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 22-24, to host the Mountain Moment photography package in partnership with the resort.

This three-day, two-night package is Friday through Sunday and features hands-on, interactive photography workshops with Davenport. Guests will learn or improve how they capture nature, wildlife and even astrological photos — on a smartphone or a professional camera.

“I probably use 10 percent of what my camera can do, and I don’t know half of what it can do, and I really don’t care. To me, it’s a tool; it’s all about the story.” Jad DavenportNational Geographic photographer

"Whether you have an iPhone or a DSLR, it doesn't matter to me," he said. "You can still make great photos."

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Focus On Four Elements

Davenport is a freelance travel writer and photographer for a number of magazines, and he said he learned from his mentor at National Geographic that the best piece of photography equipment anyone can have is an alarm clock.

"He always said, 'I don't care what kind of camera you have, just make sure you are up early and you stay out late," Davenport said.

Along with getting your time of day dialed, there are four elements that Davenport said National Geographic looks for when it comes to a great photograph.

"We look at great light," he said. "It's the kind of light that you know when you're in it. It's usually early in the morning and late in the evening; it's a very beautiful, sentimental light."

Composition is another key component. And this is something you can practice with or without your camera.

"Often I will tell people to go to art museums," Davenport said. "Spend some time looking at paintings, because there is nothing a painter puts in a painting that he or she doesn't want in it."

When you look through your viewfinder or digital screen, decide if there is anything that you don't want in the photo frame, or anything that you want to bring in.

"Is there a branch sticking in, or is there a cloud or a bright rock that you want to include?" Davenport shared as an example. "So simple things like going to art museums and appreciating art is very helpful."

Color is another key component of photography, and Davenport said to keep the four primary colors in mind — red, blue, green, yellow.

"At a magazine, often the art director will request more of one color for a layout," he said. "So it's not just about one great photo, but how does the whole photo story come together?"

On the morning photo hike this weekend in Bachelor Gulch, Davenport said he might suggest incorporating a deep blue color in a photo, since there will already be a lot of orange and yellow with the leaves.

"The deep blue could be a reflection of the sky on water, or a blue jacket someone is wearing," he said.

And finally, creating a beautiful photograph comes form capturing a moment.

"I talk to people about waiting for the right moment," Davenport said. "So we may set everything up on a clearing on a hiking trail, and then wait until some hikers going up are hit by a shaft of sunlight."

Workshop This Weekend

The Mountain Moments package at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch includes:

Two-night luxury accommodations

Photography workshop led by Jad Davenport, award-winning journalist and National Geographic photographer

Activities outlined in weekend itinerary

Valet and resort fees for one vehicle per room

The weekend itinerary features a wide range of photography workshops coupled with sensational activities at the resort. Highlights include (but are not limited to): Sunrise hike with the opportunity to catch wildlife in action for photos

Golden hour hike to Anderson's Cabin, a historic cabin situated above the resort

Blue hour with a cocktail menu crafted the resort's mixologists

Light painting at Anderson's Cabin

#UltimateSelfie

Astro photography at night

Food photography in WYLD

Whiskey and wood burning

Learn more about Davenport on his website: http://www.jaddavenport.com.

The Mountain Moments package is available Sept. 22-24 for $899 (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Space is limited and advance reservations are required.

To book your spot, visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/colorado/bachelor-gulch or call the resort at 970-748-6200.

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