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Vermejo – Bison Rut and Night Skies

August 8, 2018 - August 12, 2018


Vermejo Park Ranch – Bison Rut and Night Sky!

Vermejo Park Ranch features 585,000 acres of spectacular and relatively un-photographed wild country in New Mexico. It is a magnificent place, way too big to see in just one trip!

Our August workshop at Vermejo is at the height off the annual bison rut, and we can often park in the middle of the rut and watch the action unfold around us. Elk and mule deer are in velvet, and the black beers are feeding on berries and acorns. The weather tends to be clear with the afternoons bringing dramatic clouds and even rainbows. It is a great time to be in the high country.

It is also a perfect time for night photography. The workshop is during the Perseid meteor shower and the Milky Way is big and bright under Vermejo’s dark skies.

We will be able chase wildlife opportunities, explore several of Vermejo’s stellar ghost towns and historic structures, and shoot a range of landscapes, day and night

Guests also have an option to extend their stay another two days if they wish to experience more of what Vermejo has to offer, such as additional night photography or more time with the bison.

If chasing wildflowers and newborn animals is more your style, check out our early summer “Babes and Blooms” Photo Workshop.


Cost is $2200 for the August workshop.  There is an optional two day extension for anyone who wants more time to shoot or explore ($550/extra day).

Program rates include lodging, meals, professional guides and on-site transportation. Company Store purchases, alcoholic beverages, staff and guide gratuity and New Mexico State sales tax are not included. More information about my Vermejo workshops.

Contact me with any questions. My cell phone is 214-213-4193. To register, email Vermejo at


We will adjust our itinerary depending on the weather and those serendipitous opportunities that will likely present themselves. But this gives you an idea of what to expect.

The first day is very relaxed. Arrive at noon or early afternoon. You will have time to grab some lunch, get checked in and take a nap from your journey. Participants usually arrive between noon and 3pm, so there is no rush.

In the afternoon, we will hang out on the patio to chat about what you would like to see or achieve during the workshop.  We will then go on a photo drive and look for Vermejo’s large bison herd before returning for dinner and a good night sleep.

We will be up before dawn to get out and shoot an early morning landscape and then a game drive. Late in the morning we will return to relax and get lunch.

In the afternoon, we will head to the beautiful Canadian River and look for wildlife as we travel to the massive old charcoal kilns to photograph them against the setting sun, and then return to the Lodge to relax before the big day to follow.


We get up early and head to the Koehler Coal Mining Town, stopping along the way as opportunity presents to shoot landscapes and wildlife.

Koehler is an amazing ghost town, with a row of beautiful and colorful abandoned homes to photograph, as well as the now abandoned mining operations. It is a fascinating place and eerily beautiful. And unlike most ghost towns, it has been rarely photographed.

We will pack a lunch with us and relax in the mid-day before returning back home on a game drive.

Morning is left open to allow us some flexibility to decide from a lot of options depending on what the group wants. We can chase more wildlife, photograph wildflowers, drive to the top of a mountain,or do a number of other things depending on what the group wants and what is “happening”. Some may want to sleep in a bit after the long day, and rest up for the light-painting to come.

In the evening we will return to Castle Rock to photograph the sunset, and then stay until total darkness to “paint” the rock with light, with the Milky Way and stars. I will show everyone how to do it, in case you have never tried to light paint before, or have never photographed stars at night. We will work together to get some amazing and unique photos!

Sleep late after a long night and then catch a late breakfast and final wrap-up before check out.

Those staying for the extra two day extension have the morning off and time to work on their images.

In the evening, we will be back out to shoot into the night. This is the height of the Perseid Meteor Shower.

The two day extension is a complete wild card. I will discuss options with the participants. We can shoot more night photography, chase specific opportunities, or explore remote areas of the ranch, such as 12,000 foot mountaintops.

On Day 7, we wrap up with a final breakfast and before check out.

All Vermejo Workshops

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August 8, 2018
August 12, 2018
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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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