Photo of the Month October 2023

Tom and I celebrate great participant images by selecting a Photo of the Month. For October we chose an image taken on our Ouray Fall Color Workshop. The image was taken by Mike Iles just outside of Ouray, Colorado. Mike is an avid landscape photographer from Oregon who is now branching out to wildlife and macro photography.

Congratulations to October 2023 ‘s featured photographer – Mike Iles

Mike Iles in Ouray, Colorado

The Story… 

This is a place off of County Road 5. We walked through the bushes and the scene was right in front of us.

I took a picture where Mt Sneffels was more centered in the frame. I showed it to Tom and he suggested I move the mountain a little bit to the left side of the frame. So I went back down through the bushes and took this shot. As soon as I looked at the back of my screen, I knew I got it right.

The shot is destined to be a metal print, hanging in my house. This photo really represents the mountains and the whole area of the workshop.

The mountains in Oregon are not as knife-like, or sharp as in Colorado. I was in awe of the mountains in Colorado.

I know the 24-105 mm lens shoots well at f8. That’s its sweet spot. I had enough light to shoot at ISO 100. I looked at my histogram to be sure. The sky was to die for. It was gorgeous.

I have learned to always shoot in manual over the last ten years. I like it because I have more control of my settings.

Photo of the Month – Mt Sneffels in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains

EXIF Data:

Camera: Canon EOS R6m2

Lens: Canon RF f4 24-105 mm at 85 mm

Aperture: f8

Shutter: 1/60 sec

ISO: 100

Mode: Manual

Aspen with Sunstar

About Photographing in Ouray, Colroado

Absolutely gorgeous! The mountains feel like they are towering above you. It’s so high that I can hardly breath there. The clouds in the sky were gorgeous almost every day. I like shooting puffy clouds.

If you don’t like yellow, don’t go to Ouray. The color was stupendous. It felt like we were there at peak time. It was just magnificent.

Abstract Aspen on Owl Creek Pass

Mike’s Tips for Landscape Photography

Tip 1

Slow down. Make sure you look all the way around, especially behind you. Study the scene and take more photos than you anticipate.

Tip 2

Shoot what you enjoy.

Tip 3

Shoot a variety. I post everything from backyard flowers, old buildings, moutains, rivers. I am least adept at street photography. I shoot anything that catches my eye.

On Mike’s Horizon:

Bosque and White Sands

Louisiana Bayous

San Juan Islands


Black Hills of South Dakota

Rocky Mountain National Park

Mike enjoying the Colorado aspens

Tom and Cree will be closer to home for their next tours, CHilkat Eagles and Bosque del Apache. They are currently in Slovenia leading a tour for Strabo Tours.

We recently had a few openings become available for our Northern Lights and Iditarod Workshop. This is the perfect trip for anyone who has already done our Fairbanks Northern Lights Workshop and wants more Northern Lights, more sled dogs and more scenic winter Alaska scenes. Click here to learn more

Enjoy your Fall trips!

Tom and Cree

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