Nature Photography by Colin D. Young
Colorado, Utah, New York, and U.S. National Parks

Arches at Night Photo Workshop

Arches at Night Photo workshop
4 Night Photo workshop:  June 4-8, 2024

Registration fee: $995+tax

Click Here to pay your $250 deposit and reserve your slot.

Arches National Park has been designated as an official International Dark Sky Park.  Spend 4 nights photographing the Milky Way against a wide variety of fascinating rock formations, including the largest collection of natural arches in the world.

We will visit a wide variety of great locations in Arches National Park, as well as a couple of locations outside the park, including Canyonlands National Park.  The workshop will include classroom work to better your photographic craft, including time to process and critique your images.  We will shoot each afternoon into late at night as weather allows, with a few hours each day dedicated to classroom instruction and image processing.  We will end the workshop with a group slide show and critique.

About the Photographer:  Colin is an award-wining photographer who has spent the past several years exploring the red rock Canyonlands of Southern Utah.  As a part time resident of Moab since 2011, he has spent several weeks a year exploring the photographic riches in and around Moab in every season, and has been leading workshops and tours in the area for several years as the founder of Rock Light Photo Tours.  He is a certified photography travel guide in nearby Arches, Bryce Canyon and Canyonlands national parks.

Field lessons will include tips and techniques for:
  • Capturing the Milky Way with your digital camera
  • Techniques and gadgets for better Milky Way photography
  • Making your red rock sunset images pop
  • Determining proper exposure
  • Stacking images to reduce noise
  • Capturing great images in challenging lighting conditions
  • Analyzing a scene for compositional options
  • Using filters to improve artistic results
Indoor sessions will be spent viewing and critiquing participants’ images.  In addition, Colin will give indoor instructional presentations on:
  • Adobe Lightroom workflow for getting the most from your images
  • Post processing for night photography
  • Creating composite images with layer masking
  • Photographic techniques for shooting the red rock sandstone of the Colorado Plateau
Skills Needed
All skill levels are welcome.  Participants who have a good working knowledge of their cameras, and basic understanding of digital workflow and knowledge or exposure to Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom will get the most from this workshop.

Other Considerations
Though locations visited during this workshop are readily accessible, the hilly terrain requires some moderate hiking (typically less than 3 miles round trip). Participants MUST be in good physical shape and able to climb and descend moderate to steep inclines. They should wear sturdy boots and use caution on slippery and rocky slopes.  As this is a night workshop, we will be shooting late at night, sometimes into the wee hours of morning.

Group Size:   The workshop will be limited to 8 photographers (this workshop usually sells out well in advance)

Registration Fees:   4-night workshop - $995+tax

Click Here to pay your deposit and reserve your slot.
Dates and Times

Workshop begins Tuesday, June 4 at 4pm, and ends Saturday, June 8th at Noon.

Where to Meet

Participants will gather and be based at the Red Rock Garden vacation rental property in Moab, Utah.   Directions and details will be sent well in advance of the workshop.


Meals are the responsibility of the participant and their cost is not included in the registration fee.  We will work with the group to organize meal times and locations.  Fully stocked kitchens are available at each rental house, and we will likely plan to eat at least one meal per day there.


Accommodations are available in one of our luxury vacation rental properties just 10 min. south of Moab, Utah, each with a private hot tub and a fully equipped kitchen, which will be a great base of operations for visiting Arches National Park other locations in and around Moab and Castle Valley.   One of the two properties will be the home base for the workshop, giving us a place to gather for classroom sessions, a kitchen to use for meals, and a chance to mingle with and learn from your fellow photographers.

  • Private bedroom (King bed, pvt bath (1)): $140/night single occ, $165/night dbl occ.
  • Private bedroom (Queen bed, pvt bath (0)): $125/night - $155/nt dbl Occ
  • Private Bedroom (King bed, shared bath (1)): $110/night - $135/nt dbl occ.
  • Private bedroom (full bed, shared bath(0)): $90/night - $145/night dbl occ (2 full beds)
Prices are indicated for single occupancy.  Want to bring along a spouse, partner or other non-participant?  Contact us for double occupancy rates, and non-participant workshop rates.  Beds may be available a day or two before and after the workshop, if you wish to extend your stay in the area.

Park Admissions

Colin is a registered and insured tour operator in both Arches & Canyonlands National parks, but cannot use his permit for  entry for workshop participants.  We will need one Arches or National Park pass per vehicle.

Airfare & Local Transportation

Airfare and local transportation is NOT included.  There is not much in the way of public transportation in Moab, and the closest major airport is in Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT), a little less than 2 hours away, and Salt Lake City (SLC) a little more than 4 hours away. Rental cars are generally required for getting around, although we will try to organize ride shares as much as possible, and we will carpool as much as possible, to keep both our carbon footprint and parking space as minimal as possible. (If you are not comfortable sharing a ride with other vaccinated individuals, then plan on driving your own vehicle)

Program Schedule:

Exact schedule to be determined, but in general we will shoot sunset every day, and then shoot late into the night each night.

(Schedule may vary considerably depending on weather and other factors)

What to bring:
  • ·         A digital or film camera capable of manual exposure settings.  Due to the short time frame of the workshop, people with digital cameras, especially digital SLR cameras, will get the most from the workshop. 
  • ·         Plan to bring all of your lenses, from wide angle to telephoto, as the variety of daytime locations for sunsets will put all your gear to work!  A wide angle lens capable of an aperture of f/2.8 or lower is best for capturing the Milky Way.  Consider renting a lens if you don’t own one.
  • ·         A sturdy tripod
  • ·         A circular polarizer filter, while not required, can be a useful tool for controlling glare and reflections for the sunset shoots.
  • ·         Hiking boots or other sturdy shoes: while the hikes to locations we will visit will be fairly short (typically less than 2-3 miles round trip) a good set of sturdy hiking boots is good for protecting the ankles on rocky trails and slippery rocks.
  • ·         Lots of clothing layers – Moab weather can be finicky, and temps can be chilly at night in the desert, and much warmer during the day.
  • ·         A headlamp, preferably with a red light setting, to participate in optional night photo sessions.
  • ·         Your own method of transportation.  We will carpool to locations as possible, but ride sharing may be limited due to social distancing requirements.
  • ·         A laptop computer, ideally loaded with Adobe Lightroom, to best take advantage of the Lightroom workflow instructional session.  Cables and devices necessary to download your images from camera to laptop.

Click Here to pay your deposit and reserve your slot.

Contact me if you have any questions about this workshop, or if you wish to be added to a mailing list for future workshop announcements.


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Landscape and nature photography from national parks across the U.S. & Canada and beyond, with a special focus on the Western United States.

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