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Vermejo – Autumn Elk and Aspens

September 23, 2016 - September 28, 2016



The high country of Vermejo in the fall is famous for two things – the incredible show of elk during their rut, and large groves of aspen trees putting on their autumn display of vibrant colors. Join us September 23-28, 2016 to photograph the elk and aspens, along with everything else Vermejo has to offer! This tour is especially unique, though, as many days we pair up two photographers with one of the Vermejo’s world class wildlife guides to help them get incredibly close to the bull elk as they bugle, display and fight each other. This is a rare and unique opportunity, done expertly and responsibly, and is the experience of a lifetime.

We are also staying in the newly refurbished, historic and spectacular Casa Grande lodge! Casa Grande is the home of Vermejo owner Ted Turner, and worth a visit all by itself.

vermejo_casa_grande     vermejo_casa_grande2


Cost is $3500 for the September workshop.  Contact me with any questions. My cell phone is 214-213-4193. To register, email

Program rates include lodging, meals, professional guides and on-site transportation. Company Store purchases, alcoholic beverages, staff gratuity and New Mexico State sales tax are not included. Please note that you should plan to include tips for your Vermejo guides.  For more information, click here. . . .And a Map to Vermejo is here.

The Vermejo Experience

Vermejo Park Ranch is a special place. It is huge, wild, and we basically have almost 600,000 acres to ourselves. That is a rare privilege in today’s world of overstressed and overpopulated parks. Accommodations are outstanding and the food is first class. Vermejo is famous for both! The workshop is not strenuous, physically. We will have four wheel drive vehicles to get us where we need to go, with the option of some short walks to look for photo opportunities or wildlife. Space is very limited, so mark your calendars and reserve your space now!

Rainbow shaped fog known as a "fog bow" above meadow, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA.

Rainbow shaped fog known as a “fog bow” above meadow, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA.


About My Workshops

I am a teaching workshop leader, so I will not just cut you loose. You can go off on your own if you wish, but my goal is to help you get some great photos and help make you a better photographer. Whether you are already advanced or a pure beginner, I will be there to help.

I will be in touch before the workshop to help you prepare and practice, and work with you during the workshop to help you improve your skills, technique and especially your “vision”.

Workshop size is small, and you will get a lot of personal attention. If the weather turns bad and we can’t get outside, we will take it inside for presentations on photography and digital workflow.

About Vermejo Park Ranch

Vermejo truly has it all, stretching from high mountains south to beautiful shortgrass prairies. It is filled with history, from frontier and pioneer era settlements and mining operations to the historic Vermejo Park Lodge.

Vermejo is an amazing place for a nature photographer, with landscapes, wildlife , and wildflowers galore.  Add in the old mines, barns, abandoned towns, cowboy camps, and charcoal kilns and you have a photographic nirvana!

The truth is, you never know what you are going to find at Vermejo. Check out my prior blog posts from Vermejo to get a sense for some of the adventures that await us.We are going to focus on the highlights, with an optional “Ghost Town” extension to photograph more of the historical structures, especially at night.

Elk herd on meadow near forest, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA.

Elk herd on meadow near forest, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA.


Day 1

Arrive at Vermejo at noon and get checked into your room. After everyone arrives, we will likely head out toward Vermejo’s iconic Castle Rock, a huge rock outcropping in the middle of a beautiful, flower-filled field. We will look for Vermejo’s large bison herd, prairie dogs, perhaps check a favorite spot for golden eagles, and other animals, and then head back for dinner.

 Day 2-5: 

We keep the itinerary open on this workshop to work with the fall weather, and with the desires of the photographers. Want to photograph elk every day? You can do that. Want to just photograph landscapes or aspens or something else you want to focus on? You can do that too. With just two photographers paired to a guide, you can almost certainly customize this workshop to your heart’s content. I will be there to help and teach, either in person or back at the lodge at mid-day or in the evenings.

I will also be available during our down times to work with each participant on their images, to review their portfolios, to help them with digital workflow and processing issues, or to help them with their photo techniques.

Bull elk in velvet near Catskills ghost town, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA.

Bull elk in velvet near Catskills ghost town, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA.

Running Bull elk in velvet near Catskills ghost town, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA.

Running Bull elk in velvet near Catskills ghost town, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA.



Photos courtesy Vermejo Park Ranch

Last Day

We will have a late morning slideshow to share your favorite images from the the week with everyone else. Departure at 10am.


Aspen grove, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA.

Aspen grove, Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico, USA. The fall colors will be spectacular!


September 23, 2016
September 28, 2016
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Sean Fitzgerald
View Organizer Website


Vermejo Park Ranch
Raton, NM United States + Google Map
View Venue Website

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