Valley View Hot Springs Resort, Colorado: The Sensuous Line and Apogee Photo had their first annual member workshop this October 3, 4, and 5, 1997. Valley View Hot Springs, a clothing-optional resort, provided a perfect setting for photographing the nude.
Members arrived Friday afternoon and immediately jumped into the first photo session located along the pools and springs of the resort. The weather was better than could be expected for October in the Rockies. Daytime highs were in the 70's, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky-- either an advantage or disadvantage depending on which side of the lens you were facing. At 8200 feet elevation, as the sun set, so did the temperatures. Participants and models hurried back to the Sunset Rooms as the air quickly cooled. Besides comfortable, modern rooms, the Sunset Rooms also provided a large kitchen, allowing Bob Smith, our gourmet chef, to work his wonders.
Bob, a photographer himself, had recently shattered his lower leg and ankle, yet he bravely hiked along with the group to shoot pictures and, later, mustered enough energy to do the cooking, besides. With wine generously provided by a couple of the participants, photographers and models alike enjoyed a spaghetti dinner topped by a special sauce created by Chef Bob.
Following dinner, the photographers had a chance to get to know one another as well as share portfolios and shooting tips. The variety of experience levels in the group provided invaluable help to some of the members. As the evening wore on, people drifted off to soak in the hot spring pools and share a glass of wine or port with good company.
Reveille came at 7 AM, and guests were treated to another of Chef Bob's specialties--a Southwestern dish of eggs, sausage and chilis. Bread, bagels and fruit were also provided. And then it was off to the Cherry Creek Trailhead and Aspen groves.
Organizers Michael Fulks and Charles Zeis had hoped that the timing of this event would coincide with the advent of fall colors. They were not disappointed. After a somewhat chilly start, the grove warmed up, allowing photographers to shoot models Cindy and Sarah among the yellows, golds, greens and reds.
Following lunch, the group relaxed, napped and swam until the next session--which took place in a glen nestled beneath an aspen canopy and alongside several spring fed pools. By now everyone had settled into a comfortable groove, so that when the sun finally dipped, they were ready to relish another of Bob's treats.
This time it was fajitas made from flank steak grilled on a real mesquite fire--right outside our doors. Members gathered around the fire and enjoyed a spectacular sunset, followed a little later by the setting crescent moon.
The highlight of the evening was a presentation by Boyd Fellows. All day he had been photographing using both his regular camera plus a Sony digital camera. He was able to pull together a slide show on his laptop and show the group the results of shooting for the day. His feedback proved to be priceless to everyone, as it quickly became apparent how contrasty the high altitude light really was. For his finale, Boyd offered images of his recent trip to Greece, complete with personal commentary.
Morning light created different shooting opportunities at the pools. Following breakfast, everyone hurried to catch a few more shots before beginning the trek back home.
In the next issue of The Sensuous Line, we will present images captured by each of the members who participated in our shoot. We hope you will join us to see the exquisite products of our first annual outing.
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All photos Copyright 1997, Boyd Fellows. All Rights Reserved.