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

Arches & Canyonlands 2023 Winter/Spring Workshop

2023 Moab, Arches & Utah Canyonlands Winter/Spring Photography Workshop
5 Day workshop:  March 2-6, 2023

SOLD OUT!  Contact me if you wish to be added to a wait list, or if you wish to be added to a mailing list for future workshop announcements.

Other Upcoming Moab Workshops:
  Arches at Night - June 12-16, 2023

2024 Dates TBA

If those dates don't work for you, consider booking a private tour at Rock Light Photo Tours.

Registration Fee:
Full 5 day Workshop $950

(see below for housing options - sale prices cannot be combined with other discounts)

To reserve your slot, Click Here to pay your $850 registration fee.

Spend a fantastic weekend exploring Arches, canyons, ancient rock art, the Colorado River, iconic movie and TV locations, and some of the best light for landscape photography in the world.  The weather is cool and lovely in early March, with the snow-capped LaSal mountain peaks making a great background.

We will visit a wide variety of great locations in Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park, plus location in the Island in the Sky and Needles districts of Canyonlands National Park.  We will also explore other great locations in an around Moab and Castle Valley.  The workshop will include classroom work to better your photographic craft, including time to process and critique your images.  We will shoot sunrises and sunsets each day as weather allows, with a few hours each day dedicated to classroom instruction and image processing.  Subjects will include, but not be limited to: Natural arches, canyons, ancient ruins and rock art, the Colorado River, iconic movie and TV locations, and optional night photography in internationally recognized dark skies parks.  We will end the workshop with a group slide show and critique.

About the Photographer: Colin is an award-wining photographer based in Colorado and 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.  He is a certified photography travel guide in nearby Arches and Canyonlands national parks, as well as Bryce Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Parks.

Field lessons will include tips and techniques for:
  • How to make your red rock images pop
  • how to capture good images in challenging lighting conditions
  • how to analyze a scene for compositional options
  • using filters to improve artistic results
  • using your tripod to capture longer exposures and greater depth of field
  • How to photograph red rocks in the snow (if we're lucky!)
Indoor sessions will be spent viewing and critiquing participants’ images.  In addition, presentations will include:
  • Photographic techniques for shooting the red rock sandstone of the Colorado Plateau
  • HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography
  • Shooting and Stitching panoramic images
  • Using apps and topo maps to help predict great locations for sunrise and sunset
  • Adobe Lightroom workflow for getting the most from your images
  • Creating great black and white images from digital color captures

Skills Needed
All skill levels are welcome.  Participants who have a 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.  Keep in mind that the elevation in Moab is 4000', and Arches and Canyonlands are at 5000-6000' above sea level.

Group Size:   The workshop will be limited to 8 photographers

     Dates and Times

Workshop begins early Thursday afternoon, March 2, 2021 and ends Monday, March 6 at noon.

     Where to Meet

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

    Registration Fees:           
Full 5 day Workshop $950 - SOLD OUT

  See below for housing options in our luxury rental properties in Moab.

(then click add to cart to pay your registration fee to reserve your slot)

Feel Free to Contact Me with questions.

Red Rock Garden vacation rental

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 not included, but are available at discount rates in one of two luxury vacation rental properties just 10 min. south of Moab, Utah, each with a private hot tub and a fully equipped kitchen.  These will make a great base of operations for visiting Arches & Canyonlands national parks, Dead Horse Point State Park, and lots of other locations in and around Moab and Castle Valley.  One of the two properties will be our home base for indoor instructional activities.
  • Private bedroom (King bed, pvt bath (0 left): $140/night single occ, $165/night dbl occ.
  • Private bedroom (Queen bed, pvt bath - 0 left): $125/night - $145/nt dbl Occ
  • Private Bedroom (King bed, shared bath - 0 left): $110/night - $135/nt dbl occ.
  • Private bedroom (full bed, shared bath - 0 left): $90/night - $150/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.  Beds may be available for a night 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 guides are not allowed to pay for guests.  If you have a national parks pass, please bring it.  We will need at least one for each 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.  UPDATE: Sky West is now flying 12 flights a week from Denver to Moab Canyonlands Airport (CNY), operating as a regional carrier for United, meaning you can book through United.  Rental cars are generally required for those 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.  CNY is close enough for us to pick you up there.  Plan to arrive anytime Thursday afternoon, March 2. If you wish to come a day or 2 early (or stay late), please let us know ASAP - we can probably accommodate you.

     Program Schedule:

Rather than adhering to a set itinerary, we will stay flexible so that we optimize our time in the field, giving you the best chances to capture great images based on weather and lighting conditions. We plan to photograph golden hour at sunrise and sunset each day, with time during the day for additional shooting locations, instructional sessions, and down time.


Participants arrive in Moab. Kick-off dinner and opening presentation with a brief instructional session on the plan for the week, and introduction to the area.

     Thursday thru Sunday

Each day will start with a morning field trip followed by breakfast/brunch.  Break for processing and instructional session.  Afternoon field trip.  Evening viewing and critique of participants’ images.  Exact locations to be determined based on weather and specific interests of the group, but roughly the plan will be to spend one day in Arches, one day in Canyonlands/Dead Horse Point, one day in various other locations in and around Moab, with a possible 4th day in Bears Ears National Monument. The New Moon is March 6, so later in the week we will have an optional field trip or two for night photography as well.


Morning field trip followed by breakfast. Group critiquing session, slide show and workshop wrap-up.

(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 locations will put all your gear to work!
  • ·         A sturdy tripod
  • ·         A circular polarizer filter, while not required, can be a useful tool for controlling glare and reflections, and making your red rock images pop.  Other filters you may find useful are a rectangular or square graduated ND filter. A variable ND filter is not really useful on this workshop.
  • ·         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 in early March can be cold at sunrise or sunset in the desert, and much warmer during the day.  Fingerless gloves are helpful for cold weather shooting!
  • ·         A headlamp or flashlight, in case we need to hike back after sunset, or if you wish to participate in optional night photo sessions.
  • ·         Your own method of transportation.  We will carpool to locations as possible.
  • ·         A laptop computer, ideally loaded with Adobe Lightroom Classic, to best take advantage of the Lightroom workflow instructional session.  A tablet with Adobe Lightroom works, too.  Cables and devices necessary to download your images from camera to laptop or tablet is a must! Please figure this stuff out before you come, so you don't waste valuable workshop time fretting over downloads!
To reserve your spot, Click Here (then click add to cart to pay your workshop fee to reserve your slot)


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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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