New Mexico Badlands Workshops 2018

If you are interested please contact me using the CONTACT ME button on the Menu Bar at the top of the page.

May 10 - 13  (full)           cost $995

May 15-18    (full)           cost $995 

These Workshops will be located in the New Mexico Badlands. The Badlands are a fabulous place to photograph, and there are more photo ops there than any other place I have ever seen. There are multiple places to visit and each would take about a night.

1) Main Bisti Badlands Area, South Parking - this is the longest hike and has the most to photograph. You could spend days and days here. I would suggest at least one night. Other people might show up here. 2 mile, 3 km hike 1 way, and we may hike another 3 km before heading back. 1 hour drive 1 way.

2) Valley of Dreams - 1 mile, 1.6 km hike each way, many hoodoos to photograph. This is one spot people commonly show up. It is getting popular. This is the site of the Alien Throne. If there are too many people there, then we can go 100 meters and do other hoodoos and wait for them to finish. At least 1 night here. 1.5 hour drive 1 way.

3) Valley of Dreams East - You can park right next to the hoodoos, no real hiking. You can do this area in 1/2 night. Lightly photographed. This is the area of the Three Kings or Three Sentinels Hoodoos. 1.5 hour drive 1 way.

4) Ah-Shi-Sie-Pah Wilderness - Short hike to get there, but there are many hoodoos over the next mile. Not many people go here. 1 night, maybe we could do this along with Valley of Dreams East. 1.5 hour drive 1 way.

5) King of Wings - very cool hoodoo - lightly visited, but people could show up. About 0.8 mile, 1.3 km hike to get there, but there are some ravines to get across. Lots of people get lost going here and so it is not real popular. The hike is pretty flat, but unforgiving, meaning that if you get off course just a little, you may have to do backtracking (to avoid ravines), and try again. It’s a very cool spot to photograph and worth the effort! It takes 1 night also. 1.5 hour drive 1 way.

6) Main Bisti Area, North Parking - About a 1 mile,1.6 km hike to get there. This is the area of the Winged Hoodoos, and The Hunter Wash Hoodoos. Takes 1 night. 1 hour drive 1 way.

The Sentinels or The Three Kings
Bisti Badlands Hoodoos

Early spring is great for these spots, and panoramas work at this time of year. As you can see, you could spend many nights here. We would stay in Farmington, N.M., the closest town. To get to the main Bisti Area, the closest site, takes about 1 hour driving. The other areas are about a 1.5 hr drive. You can camp at these sites also. So there is a lot of driving and a fair amount of hiking in some areas.

We will have lectures in the late afternoons if participants are willing. We will go over astrophotography processing, Low Level Lighting, Composition, and planning landscape astrophotography. I suggest meeting around 4 pm to 6 pm (or 3 to 5 if you desire) each day to teach processing, etc. Hotels in Farmington are more reasonably priced generally than those in Utah or Arizona. If you are still interested please contact me any time.

I would like to personally talk to anyone who will be going. There is a lot of hiking! There is no magic number of people to enroll, I would like to keep the groups to 5 people or less.  I will stay around for an optional 5th night if anyone wishes (as noted above, May 14). People from the first workshop can stay an extra day on May 14 or people from the second workshop could come a day early if desired. May 14 can also be a make-up night if there is bad weather. Durango, Co. is the closest airport. It is bout a 1 hr 15 min. drive to Farmigton, N.M. Albuquerque is another airport choice and is about a 3 hr 15 min. drive. Albuquerque is usually cheaper, but sometimes Durango is cheaper. There is no clear logic to the airline prices. 

The Alien Throne (2)

Our base will be the  Regions Hotel  in Farmington, New Mexico (1-888-325-1191). You do not have to stay there, but this will be the location of the lectures. The rate is very reasonable for the Southwest area. 

The Inn has a small conference room suitable for our lectures, and they have agreed to give us a special rate. I have reserved the conference room for each afternoon from May 10 to 18 to cover both groups. I have found this hotel to be convenient and the people very nice.Regions Inn Farmington, NM 505-325-1191 601 E. Broadway, Ave. Farmington, NM 87401 To get this rate just call the hotel directly and tell them you are with the Pinkston group. If you want to book online you can go here:  Reservations

If interested please contact me using the CONTACT ME tab on the Menu Bar at the top of the page. Payments can be by PayPal or personal check. A deposit of $500 will reserve your spot. I will email you the email address to use for PayPal payments.

Other information:

Needed Equipment:

Cameras: Full Frame cameras work best at night, but cropped sensor cameras will work as well.

Lens: Optimum focal lengths for night landscape photography are between 14 and 24 mm, f 2.8 or better. It’s really good to be able to shoot around 24 mm and 14 to 16 mm. If anyone wants recommendations I will give them. It depends on your brand of camera. I shoot most often at 14 mm, 20 mm, and 24 mm.

Tripod: you need a sturdy tripod that is light enough to carry around all night. Tripod Head: You need one that swivels horizontally for the panoramas. I use a Ballhead made by Acratech. It is not super cheap but is light and works very well. I really like the small size and quality. There are numerous other choices.

Extra Battery and Extra Memory Cards: Have extras!

Warm Clothes: It can get cold out there at night! Layers are recommended.

Stuff that's good to have and makes life a lot easier but not absolutely needed:

Leveling base: This levels the tripod head so swivel the tripod head horizontally for panoramas. It also makes recomposing in the dark much faster. I use an Arcatech leveling base, but there are some cheaper ones on Amazon that work well. It is amazing how much time this can save you at night. This one costs $68 on Amazon: Make sure it is compatible with your tripod and head.

“L” Bracket: For easy switching between vertical and horizontal shots. This allows you to mount the camera vertically on the tripod so you are rotating the camera over the point of rotation on the tripod head. This makes it so the camera does not have to hang off the side of the tripod. I have seen tripods fall over with the camera hanging sideways off the head. That will ruin you night! There are expensive ones, but on Amazon they start at $7.50 and go up from there. Just make sure it is compatible with your tripod head. It’s just a piece of metal so you do not need a brand name.

Shutter Release: Some kind of remote shutter release helps to prevent camera shake. This can be a simple wired shutter release that start around $10 on Amazon. An Intervalometer can be useful but is not really necessary. We will not be doing star trails. I have found that people spend more time trying to figure out their intervalometer than figuring out their camera at night, and it just makes it harder for a lot of people, just one more learning curve to master.

Lights: I will bring all the lights we need. If you want to try your own lights that is fine.

Laptop: Not absolutely necessary, but if you bring one then you can practice on your photos. !f there are any questions then please let me know! Do not hesitate to call! Would love to talk to you!

  • No Comments
Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In