© John Robinson

See the world while honing your photography skills on one of these expert-led journeys.

Why should a photographer head for the hills, the seas, or a narrow cobbled street dating back to medieval times?

Because it’s a big world, filled with innumerable glories, and a classroom doesn’t do it justice. Yes, as a photographer you want to grasp the technical details. But as a participant in this opportunity called life, you want to grasp something larger.

“The best photo trips provide an epiphany or a series of epiphanies,” says Jay Dickman, leader of our first tour.

FirstLight Workshop, Dubois, Wyoming
© richard sandor

Hunkered in the Wind River Valley, Dubois (pronounced “Doo-boyz”) is a small, picturesque, working-class town some 90 minutes from Jackson; in short, real cowboy country. Among Western glories, 14 students will photograph working cowboys, a rodeo, Dubois’ Fourth of July parade, and portraits of faces etched by the land. Students get 30 minutes of one-on-one editing time each day (“Honest feedback is where you’re really going to grow,” says lead instructor Jay Dickman), and you’ll see plenty of Dickman and his fellow instructors in the field. “We teach our students how to use their viewfinders like a canvas,” says Dickman, “and this is a visually rich area.” You have to like Dickman: 40-plus years of photo experience and a Pulitzer Prize haven’t turned him aloof or jaded. “We’ll be photographing horse drives with working cowboys,” he says. “This is not in a pen. It’s out on an amazing landscape in the early morning light. It’s the coolest thing since canned beer.”

Students will stay the week in rustic, comfortable cabins at Absaroka Ranch and enjoy hearty family-style gourmet meals, but when the workshop ends, Dickman recommends a few more days in town. “When you finish the workshop you’re going to be so amped up photographically, you’re going to see the area through different eyes.”

The opportunity may not present itself 20 years from now. Times are changing, and Dubois is changing with them. “This is an amazing opportunity to photograph a disappearing lifestyle,” says Dickman.

July 1 to 7. $2,900 (includes six days lodging and meals). (877) 448-0411, firstlightworkshop.com

Of Note: Each student receives a gorgeous, surprisingly weighty (some 40 pages) magazine featuring the best shots from the workshop (check out previous magazines on FirstLight’s website). Added nicety: “Everyone in town who opens their doors to us gets one too,” says Dickman.