Monument Valley Workshops 2018


The Monument Valley Landscape Astrophotography Workshops are provided through WorldPix, a charity organization that promotes photography as a way to make a difference. 

All profits from the workshop will be donated to a local charity, The Navajo Relief Fund. The Navajo Nation is generous to share the beauty of their land with us, and we will say thank you by giving back to the community.

WorldPix believes in the power of a photograph to lead the way to effect change for communities in need.  We believe in the power of a photograph to tell a story, to touch a life, to inspire action, to provide insight, and to provide enjoyment.

Imagine the spectacular Landscape of Monument Valley at night! You have probably seen many spectacular landscape photos from Monument Valley. Now imagine those landscapes under a beautiful starry sky!

1) Landscape Astrophotography in Monument Valley, Utah:

This workshop is now Full, I can take names for a waiting list

June 6-9

4 nights  

Cost $1395 USD

2) Landscape Astrophotography in Monument Valley, Utah:

This workshop is now Full, I can take names for a waiting list

June 11-14

4 nights  

Cost $1395 USD


1) Image Monument Valley!

2) Keep it simple! Teaching will emphasize nightscape techniques that work with single frame acquisitions and panoramas. We will discus image stacking and blended images (separate captures for the sky and foreground), however my goal is to give you techniques for single frame acquisitions that rival stacking and blending. My goal is to teach you techniques for any situation. 

3) Emphasize the landscape! We will spend a lot of time on creating a spectacular sky, however my goal is to make the landscape as attractive an eye-catching as the sky. Too often the landscape is an afterthought. A foreground silhouette is beautiful occasionally, but I want detail in the foreground while still making it look like nighttime. The landscape gets equal billing here!

4) Learn a flexible method of processing. We will discuss processing in detail, with 3 goals, 1) keeping it simple and straightforward, and 2) making it flexible enough to tailor to your vision of nightcaps. Discussions will involve the use of Photoshop and Lightroom in nightscape processing. 3) Learn how to minimize noise in nightscapes.

5) Learn Low Level Lighting,  Techniques and when to use it. One night will be set aside for this.

The organization for both workshops will be similar. Each workshop will be a four day workshop. The day between the workshops, June 10, will be a "bonus" day or "make-up" day for anyone from either workshop who wishes to participate that day. This effectively gives us the ability to shoot together for 5 nights if the weather is permitting. If one or more of the workshop days gets "clouded out", then June 10 can be used as an extra day for shooting.

Attendance will be limited to 6 participants in each workshop to allow adequate attention to each person. 

Three nights will be planned in Monument Valley, and one night scheduled for outside the valley. Monument Valley has spectacular wide landscapes and there are multiple arches within the valley that are suitable for nightscapes, but the valley itself is not ideal for learning Low Level Lighting. Yes, we will be using Low Level Lighting  for creating soft illumination for various arches and structures within the valley, but a night will be set aside for specifically teaching and practicing Low Level Lighting in a more optimal setting. For that night we will be visiting a field of Hoodoos just outside of Bluff, Utah, about 1 hour away. 

The three nights in Monument Valley will target the following areas of interest for compositions.

One night will be planned in the main valley, shooting classic structures such as The Mittens and The Totem Pole. We will plan panoramas of The Mittens and a panorama from John Ford Point. June is ideal for panoramas in Monument Valley!

One night will be planned in the Monument Valley "Outback". This area is restricted from normal tourist traffic, and requires a Native Guide to visit even in the daytime. Structures of interest in this area include Big Hogan Arch, Moccasin Arch, and Sun's Eye Arch. 

One night will be planned for Mystery Valley. In this area there are several Anasazi Ruins, as well as Honey Moon Arch, Skull Arch, and others, time permitting. 

There are classic views of the Monument Valley buttes from the main highway, Highway 163. The best views from the highway in June occur early in the a.m., so after shooting the above locations we can drive to this location and catch some classic views from here. At this point anyone who is too tired can opt out for the last hour or so.  

This area is also the location of the famous "Forest Gump Highway" the point (Route 163, milepost 13)  where Forest Gump ended his cross country run. In June, in the early morning the vertical Milky Way lines up with the highway creating a wonderful composition. 

A night hike to one of the Mittens may be substituted for one of the nights in Monument Valley. This depends on the interest of the group.

Possible plans for the "bonus day", June 10, include Valley of the Gods and adjacent interesting spots near the San Juan River.

On day one we will meet at 5:00 p.m. get to know each other and go over some basic information. We will then have dinner that will be "on me". 

For the next 3 days we will meet from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for talks about image acquisition, nightscape processing, Low Level Lighting, etc. This is for anyone interested. You will then be free to have dinner or relax until we again meet up for the nightly expedition.

I will do my best to make myself available for individual sessions in the afternoons if anyone is interested. 

Night excursions into Monument Valley require a Navajo Guide. There is a per person, per day charge for each person.  This fee is included in your tuition payment. It does make the tuition a bit more than some other workshops. We are very fortunate to have an excellent guide, Quanah Parker Johnson. He is a Nightscape photographer himself, so he has an excellent understanding of our needs.

Your travel and lodgings are not included. There are 2 excellent hotels in Monument Valley, The View Hotel (located at the entrance into the park), and Goulding's Lodge (located across the highway). Both are convenient and are very well nice. 

Nearby towns are Kayenta and Mexican Hat. Kayenta is 28 miles South on the same highway as Monument Valley (MV) and Mexican Hat is 26 miles North on the same highway, Route 163. Both take about 30 to 35 minutes to reach the entry into Monument Valley. Both have hotels that are less expensive. I have stayed in Mexican Hat and is was no problem driving into MV. 

To Sign Up:

Contact me using the "Contact Me " button in the menu bar at the top of the page. 

Please let me know which workshop you would like to attend, your email address, and your mailing address. I would also like to personally talk to each participant, so please include you phone number unless you have reservations doing so. 

Payments will be by PaPal. Contact me using the "Contact Me" button and I will send you the PayPal address for payment. The full tuition is $1395 USD. Once enrolled you need to pay a deposit of $500 USD to secure your spot. The rest needs to be paid 90 days before the workshop date. A full refund is possible up until 30 days prior to the workshop, a 75% refund up to 3 weeks before the workshop, and 50% refund up to 2 weeks before the workshop, none thereafter. The fee includes the workshop and guiding fees, and the dinner on night one. Room and other meals are the responsibility of the individual. 

The activities are all relatively low key and safe, however there may be some short hikes or scrambling over rocks. No one is encouraged or required to do anything that makes them nervous or uncomfortable. There are many good photos otherwise. If any activity is thought to be outside your range of comfort you must inform me and we will plan accordingly.  You are the judge of what you can do!

Closest Airports:

The nearest place to fly into is Flagstaff, Az. or Durango, Co. As I look today, Flagstaff is cheaper. Both are about 3 hr. 15 min way, give or take a few minutes. Albuquerque, NM and Phoenix, Az. are about 5 - 5 1/2 hours away. Salt Lake City is 6 1/2 hours away. Grand Junction, Co is 4 1/2 hours away. That is a good one if you want to go to Moab as well.

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