Moab, Arches & Canyonlands 2019 Fall Photo Workshop

Moab, Arches & Utah Canyonlands Fall Photography Workshop
6 Day workshop:  Oct 31 - Nov 5, 2019

Note: this workshop sold out in 2018, so book soon!

Space is still available in my next Moab Workshop March 1-5.  Click here for details.

(then click add to cart to pay $250 deposit to reserve your slot)
20% Off Early Bird discount will apply if you book by Dec 31, 2018

Spend a fantastic week 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.  Early November is peak fall color for the cottonwood trees in Canyons near Moab, and the area is famous for its dark skies for night photography! 

We will visit a wide variety of great locations in Arches & Canyonlands National Parks and Dead Horse Point State Park.  We will also explore other great locations in an around Moab and Castle Valley, and weather permitting, a day exploring native ruins and rock art in endangered Bears Ears National Monument.  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 primarily in New York state, but he 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.  He is a certified photography travel guide in nearby Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

Field lessons will include tips and techniques for:
  • How to make your red rock images pop
  • determining proper exposure
  • how to capture good images in challenging lighting conditions
  • varying shutter speed and aperture for creative effect
  • reading and shooting the light
  • photographing from different vantage points
  • how to analyze a scene for compositional options
  • working with a range of lenses for a range of compositions
  • using filters to improve artistic results
  • using your tripod to capture longer exposures and greater depth of field
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 Thursday evening, Oct 31, and ends Tuesday, Nov 5 at Noon.

     Where to Meet

Participants will gather and be based at the Moab Rental House (Rim Village, Y4) in Moab Utah.   Directions and details will be sent well in advance of the workshop.

    Registration Fees:          
Full Six Day workshop: $795
10% discount for workshop alumni
(20% Early Bird Discount: only $650 if you pay your deposit by Dec 31, 2018)
$250 Deposit to book, balance due Sept 1
Including private bedroom (King bed, 5 nights): $1295
Including shared bedroom (full bed, 5 nights): $1145

(then click add to cart to pay $250 deposit to reserve your slot)

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 with King size bed (3 Avail) $100/night
  • Shared bedroom with Full size bed and shared bathroom (4 avail)  $75/night
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 before and after the workshop, if you wish to extend your stay in the area.

     Park Admissions

All national parks admissions are Included in the registration fee.  Colin is a certified and insured tour operator in both Arches & Canyonlands National parks.

     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.

     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.

     Friday thru Monday

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 4th day in Bears Ears National Monument. There may be 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.  Other filters you may find useful are a warming filter and a graduated ND filter.
  • ·         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 sunrise or sunset in the desert, and much warmer during the day.
  • ·         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, to best take advantage of the Lightroom workflow instructional session.  Cables and devices necessary to download your images from camera to laptop.
To reserve your spot, Click Here (then click add to cart to pay $250 deposit)


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