Southwest / Navajo Country Photography Workshop / Mar-Apr 2011 / NFRCC CONVENTION FEB

NFRCC CONVENTION:  For those living in New York State, Pennsyalania and Ohio and SOuthern Onterio (Toronto area)… I’ll be doing some presentations at the NFRCC  Convention coming up soon in Niagara Falls NY. If you can make it I think you’ll find lots of great presenters, information and a fun time. Gary from Hunts Photo Video will be where with lots of show specials as well. Come on by!!

    50th Annual NFRCC Convention

Buy tickets on line now at    February 25-27, 2011
Niagara Falls Conference Center
Niagara Falls, New York





DATES:  March 31-April 3 2011                (Wed PM- through Sunday 1-2PM)

PRICE:   $ 895.00 per person                    (Limited to 8 participants)


The price for all Navajo guides and location admittance is included)The 2011 SOUTHWEST PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP will feature some of the most simply amazing places found on the planet. A whirlwind 4 day photography workshop will cover some of the icons of the southwestern part of the United States.

 We will base out tour in Page Arizona along the Colorado River and the Arizona Utah border. Page is about 275 miles north of Phoenix. The drive up to the Colorado Plateau country from the desert in Phoenix is about 5 hours, but the landscape is simply beautiful. We will also spend one day and one night in Monument Valley, in the heart of Navajo Country. There are so many well known areas within a days drive of Page it’s hard to put everything into one three 1/2 day workshop.

Tear Drop Window

 Some of the areas that we will photograph include:



Located on LeChee Navajo lands near Page, Arizona, Upper Antelope and Lower Antelope are breathtakingly beautiful and quite easy to reach and explore. Both slot canyons are open to visitors by permit, as conditions allow. A small fee is charged.

 The Corkscrew. (Upper Antelope) isn’t as long or as deep as many slot canyons, but it is amazingly beautiful! Its sensuously sculpted walls twist and wind along, glowing in unbelievable shades of red, orange, and yellow as the sun passes overhead. Upper Antelope is also one of the easiest slot canyons to visit, since you’ll be driven right up to the entrance, there are no drop-offs inside, and the ground is sandy and fairly level throughout. It does get very, very dark toward the end, where the walls are tightest.

 Lower Antelope is a long, very deep slot canyon of mesmerizing beauty. A more challenging slot than Upper Antelope, this one is entered through a slit in the rocks at ground level, where a series of ladders take you to the bottom of the gorge. The ground is rocky and uneven, there are usually muddy areas here and there, and the canyon’s twists, bends, and narrow passageways trap debris in piles that can be difficult to get through. You need hiking boots and a good sense of adventure to fully enjoy this slot canyon.

Late March and AprilValley MONUMENT is prime time for light beams in Upper Antelope Canyon

DEPENDING ON THE WEATHER: We may go to Water Holes Canyon. This is 7 miles S of Page on HWY 89.



Sunrise, Monument Valley



We will travel on Saturday afternoon over to Monument Valley (about 100 miles from Page), in time for sunset. Monument Valley is part of the Navajo Nation tribal park, straddling the border of northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah of the Colorado Plateau. It preserves the Navajo way of life and some of the most striking and recognizable landscapes of sandstone buttes, mesas and spires in the entire Southwest. The area is entirely within the Navajo Indian Reservation near the small Indian town of Goulding, established in 1923 as a trading post, and now has a comprehensive range of visitor services. We will stay in Goulding’s Hotel at the entrance to Monument Valley. Other accommodations are available in Kayenta, about 20 minutes away.  Sunday will be spent in the park photographing with a Navajo guide (required)


Big Water area


Big Water

Big Water is located just north of Lake Powell. This surreal are feathers dramatic, unearthly landscapes that offer never ending photographic opportunities. This location is so surreal that Disney recently filmed the motion picture”John Carter of Mars” is based on the comic book and hard book series by author Edgar Rice Burroughs, that took place on Barsoom (Mars) with the first one being The Princess of Mars. Barsoom is being created in Big Water on “the moon” an area where “Highway to Hell” was filmed and dinosaur remains can be found. Balancing rocks and the gray Tropic Shale (rock) make it a place unlike most others and perfect for BarsoomRoad Old.

 We’ll spend an afternoon out here! 

Paint Hills on the old Pariah Road

Old Pariah Movie Set Road & Vermilion CliffsThe Vermilion Cliffs themselves must be one of the most spectacular and extensive cliff faces in the US – unusually colorful because of the especially variegated Chinle Formation that forms the lower strata, the escarpment runs for over 30 miles and reaches heights of 2,000 feet. Further to the southeast, the land is quite flat for 100 miles or more though is split by the Colorado River, at the start of its Grand Canyon.

At Marble Canyon, (below left)  Arizona you will cross over the Colorado River and you can stop at the Navajo Bridge to walk out and look at the river below.   Take United States Highway 89 South toward Tuba City.  The massive boulders you see along the highway and across the desert were placed there by the same erosion forces that created the Grand Canyon.






Lee’s Ferry is a tiny settlement next to the Colorado River at the end of a side road 6 miles from ALT US 89, not especially interesting itself but surrounded by some remarkable scenery. The village is named after John D. Lee, a Mormon settler with 17 wives who established a ferry there in 1871 whilst in exile following his role in the massacre of 70 emigrants near St. George, Utah. The ferry provided the only crossing of the river for nearly 60 years until a bridge was built a few miles downstream, where the present day route 89 crosses now.

Horseshoe Bend



 Tamed by the Glen Canyon Dam, the emerald-green Colorado River makes a gigantic bend more than a thousand feet below the overlook, swinging first to the east, and then curving back to the west. It’s a spectacular place, where shadows shift by the minute and new details drift constantly into your awareness.

 The image on the left is taken from lookout point.t I’ve shot this many times and there is only a few ways to shoot it right. I’ll wok with you al & share my technique to get THE Shot……But it’s a 900 foot drop off! That little speck in the water is a motor boat

Horseshoe Bend is the name for a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near Page.  It is located slightly downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell about four miles or 6 km south of Page. Accessible via a 34-mile (1.2 km) hike from U.S. Route 89, it can be viewed from the steep cliff above, forming a spectacular vista.

Late Afternoon at Lake Powell


Lake Powell is the 2nd largest reservoir in the United States, capable of storing over 24.3 million acre-feet of water. In addition it is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Large sandstone rock creations are everywhere. This surrealistic landscape of crystal-clear lake surrounded by colorful canyons, peaks and buttes makes for some simply amazing photography


Depending on weather conditions and time factors, other areas that we may visit could be:

Coral Pink Sand Dune State Park, Utah

Lees Ferry (close to Vermilion Cliffs)

Goosenecks (just outside Medicine Hat, Utah neat Mon. Valley


TENTATIVE ITINERARIES (These may change due to weather and light conditions)

Wednesday PM March 30, 7-9PM Meet at the Marriott Courtyard, Page AZ for an informal session to discuss itineraries, and workshop expectations. Discussion of photographic topics and images will also take place

 Thursday AM March 31 – Vermilion Cliffs, Lower Antelope Old Pariah Movie Set Road, Lake Powell Sunset

 Friday            Apr 1- Horseshoe Bend Sunrise, Upper Antelope Canyon, Classroom r, image review session, Big Water area

 Saturday        Apr 2- Sunrise Location.  Image review, NOON-3pm DRIVE TO MONUMENT VALLEY—SUNSET SHOOT, Tear Drop Window/ PM Dinner, Golding’s IMAGE REVIEW

 Sunday          Apr 3—Sunrise-1PM– GUIDED TOUR WITH GUIDE/ MONUMENT VALLEY—-Workshop ends 1-2 PM


The majority of instruction and nature photography tips and techniques will take place right there in the field. There’s no need to take notes. After the workshop you’ll receive a complete 50+ page syllabus containing everything we do in the field and more.

 We take time periodically during the day to review our images in informal critique sessions. Special presentations concerning nature photography will also be made during these sessions.

 My workshops are sponsored by NIK SOFTWARE, Photograph America Newsletter, Think Tank Photo Bags, Lensbaby , Hunt’s Photo and Video and the Really Right Stuff. Discounts and some freebies are included in your workshop “pack” that you’ll receive upon arrival.

 Evenings will consist of informal sessions to discuss information on photographing in the area, critique sessions of your work shot during the workshop as well as general photography information.

As with all our workshops, this is primarily a field workshop. We do not sit in a classroom during the daytime. We are out shooting & learning about photography in the field, not behind a desk. However, it is critical as well as being very informative, to take time to review your work, and discuss important aspects of making quality photographs


 By AIR:

I recommend flying into Phoenix, (PHX). I recommend arriving no later than mid afternoon on Thursday. I’ll be in Page by Wednesday afternoon. (1-PM) it’s about a 5 ½-6 hr scenic drive from Phoenix. You can fly to Flagstaff (fares much higher) and drive 2 ½ hrs to Page.


PAGE:   Courtyard Page at Lake Powell,600 Clubhouse Drive Page, Arizona 86040 USA Phone:1-928-645-5000        


We will depart the Marriott Courtyard location VERY early each morning for a sunrise shoot. We will meet on Wednesday evening 3/31, for a discussion on what to expect and outline our photographic objectives. We will depart daily from the Marriott Courtyard

Saturday  (about noon, so we’ll we will check out early) we’ll  drive about 2 hours over to Monument Valley, following our morning location, in time for a late afternoon/ sunset shoot in the valley

 Monument Valley:  Goulding’s ( is a great place to stay. It is only about 5 minutes from the Monument Valley parking lot. Less expensive accommodations are found in Kayenta AZ, about 20 minutes from Monument Valley.

 The workshop will end on Sunday about 1PM.  If you may want to extend your trip, please let me know and I can direct you in lots of ways! It’s about a 6 hour drive back to Phoenix from Monument Valley. For those flying out Sunday night I recommend not booking flights earlier than 8PM. I would highly recommend staying by the airport and flying out Monday AM.

 It’s about a 5-6 hour trek back to Phoenix from Monument Valley.


COURTYARD by MARIOTT PAGE AZ 928-645-5000      
GOULINGS MV UTAH 425-727-3231      

Lower Antelope CanyonCAR POOLING: We’ll be car pooling as much as possible to save on expenses. This arrangements will be made on Wednesday night, when we initially meet.


During the day, we should carry energy bars and maybe a few candy bars. We will be able to grab a quick bite certainly on Thursday and Friday in Page before or after our trips into the slots. We can do the same on the way to Monument Valley on Saturday.

Eating is not a problem on this workshop.

 We will eat in the Navajo restaurant at Golding’s on Saturday night…..However, we are here to photograph and often the best light is at breakfast and dinner. Please know this in advance.


The weather is generally good in the area this time of year. High temp’s average 60-65 and low’s around 40-45. At this elevation, even this time of year, you can get sunburned so make sure to bring a hat or maybe even some sunscreen for your arms.

More details will follow after registration prior to the tour dates.


Remember the Grand Canyon is not very far away. You may want to schedule a visit there either before or after the workshop!


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