An Elkhorn Ranch vacation is a relaxing adventurous retreat where you park your car, lose your keys in the bottom of your bag, and let friendly capable horses, grand and intimately beautiful country and the simple joy of time with good friends fill your day.  Your biggest decision is what to have for breakfast.  You’ll enjoy half and all-day horseback rides, tailored to your experience and interests, comfortable living in Elkhorn’s cabins amidst curious Sonoran desert vegetation, hearty healthy food and camaraderie.  A workshop week features all the joy of Elkhorn life, combined with creative flair.

Much like Elkhorn riding, photo week appeals to all ages and levels of experience.  For some people, gaining the confidence and know-how to push all the buttons on their camera is a big deal; and others seek the chance to explore a particular theme, or learn more about working with computer software.  Stewart adapts to individuals’ learning needs, and Ann is a delightful creative companion to all.  The group often begins the day photographing the horses coming in from the morning wrangle, and the adventure goes on from there!

Tentative Itinerary – A Plan to Deviate From
Day One – Sunday – Arrive at ranch; Meet & Greet and BBQ at 5:45 pm
Day Two – Monday – Morning ride.  Late afternoon (4:30pm) lecture: Histograms to Composition: Getting to Know Your Camera.  Photo Assignment:  Shoot Ranch Life.   After dinner question & answer time.
Day Three – Tuesday – Morning ride.  Late afternoon (4:30pm) meet at corral to practice with your digital camera.  After dinner lecture.
Day Four – Wednesday – Morning or all day ride.  Late afternoon (4:30pm) lecture: An Introduction to Workflow: I pushed the shutter, now what?  Demo of photo editing software.
Day Five – Thursday – Morning ride.  Afternoon make cowboy images
Powder River Imports, Steak BBQ and festivities at 5:45 pm
Day Six – Friday – Morning ride or all day ride.
After dinner lecture: Creative Photo Projects: What to do with all those pictures!

Day Seven – Saturday – Ride or hike or drive to picnic. Late afternoon (4:30 pm) submit your best images for slide show.  Evening Program: The Week’s Best Shots.

 Day Eight – Sunday – Depart ranch
Beginning to Advanced Photographers Welcome  – Bring Your Point & Shoot and/or DSLR and/or Camera Phone
Participants should bring their digital camera, battery charger and/or extra batteries, camera instruction manual, and if you have one, a laptop computer.  Film camera users are welcome, but there are no facilities for developing film at the ranch.
Stewart Aitchison is a zoologist and geologist by training and a naturalist by passion.  He has been exploring, photographing, teaching, and writing about the natural world for forty years, ten of those as a field biologist for the Museum of Northern Arizona.  Since 1981, Stewart has been leading trips primarily for Lindblad Expeditions in the American West, Arctic, Antarctic, Alaska, Mexico, Central America, Western Europe, the Baltic, Mediterranean, and Scotland.  Occasionally, he also escorts educational excursions for National Audubon Society, Smithsonian, National Geographic Expeditions, Grand Canyon Field Institute, Elderhostel, American Orient Express, and other educational groups.
His latest books include: The Desert Islands of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, A Traveler’s Guide to Monument Valley, A Guide to Southern Utah’s Hole-in-the-Rock Trail and The North Rim and Beyond: A Guide to Grand Canyon’s North Rim and the Arizona Strip.
His photos have been published in Arizona Highways; Los Angeles Times; Mountain Bike Magazine; National Wildlife; Nevada Magazine; National Geographic Society Books; Outdoor & Travel Photography; Orion; Paddler; Plateau; Reader’s Digest; Sierra; Southwest Parks and Monuments; Utah Geographic; and Wilderness.
Ann Kramer is a retired art educator, who enjoys dabbling with bookmaking, journaling, and the creative use of photographs.