Canyon Colors Workshop
Nov 5-9, 2020 - 5 Participants
Hikers Special! Trek deep into some of the Utah's most stunning canyons in search of brilliant autumn colors. The dates are optimized for the best chances of hitting peak color. This is one photo adventure you won't want to miss!
- November brings the last of the fall color of the season deep in Utah's spectacular canyons. Workshop dates are optimized for best autumn color.
- Live the adventure and trek through stunning canyons in Escalante and Zion! You must be a good hiker to join this workshop.
- Learn new photography skills and receive image critique from pro-photographer David Swindler. Small group size will give you plenty of individual attention.
- Post-processing instruction is included throughout the workshop to improve your skills in Photoshop and Lightroom.
- We provide the transportation during the workshop so you don't have to worry about the rough roads.
- Includes a final group dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in town to celebrate this novel experience and the new friends we have made.
In order to give our clients the best possible photography experience, we keep the itinerary flexible to account for autumn color, weather conditions, and group interest. The workshop dates coincide with peak fall color in places like Escalante and Zion. However, fall color can be a fickle thing and it sometimes comes earlier or later than predicted. We reserve the right to change the itinerary and shooting locations accordingly.
- Day 1 – Nov 5: The Workshop begins at 1PM in Kanab, UT with a short orientation session and classroom style instruction. Then we load up the rig and head north on a beautiful drive towards Escalante, UT. After photographing sunset from a beautiful viewpoint, we check into our hotel and get settled for the night.
- Day 2 – Nov 6: We are up well before dawn to hike into Coyote Gulch, one of the premiere canyons in the area. We plan to hike from Crack in the Wall and exit via the Sneaker Route with around 10-11 miles of hiking. The autumn colors will be fantastic throughout the canyon. Photogenic waterfalls, towering canyon walls, arches, and trees make this one a favorite with photographers. We return to Escalante, UT after a long and productive day.
- Day 3 – Nov 7: Today is another 10-mile hike down into several side canyons of the Escalante River. You will photograph intimate fall color scenes along with big canyon views and yellow cottonwoods framing the scene. You will gaze in wonder at the Golden Cathedral and find many photo ops to keep you pressing that shutter button. We return to Escalante, UT, exhausted but thrilled with the images we were able to capture!
- Day 4 – Nov 8: We wake up early to photograph sunrise at Bryce Canyon and then we make our way back to Kanab. We convene for a post-processing and image critique session and then head over to Zion for a sunset shoot with the fall colors. We do several short hikes and photograph the colorful cottonwood trees along the Virgin River.
- Day 5 – Nov 9: Today we spend our entire time deep in the Zion Narrows. We are the first ones into the canyon which allows us to photograph many areas without people in the way. The autumn colors are at peak and we find many compositions where we can utilize soft water effects, accented by brilliant yellow trees in the background. After we exit the Narrows, we return to town for our final group dinner. The workshop will conclude after dinner.
The trip will begin and end in Kanab, UT. Transportation will be provided during the workshop but you also have the option to follow us and drive your own vehicle between Kanab and Escalante, UT.
We did not include hotel stays in the workshop package to give you the flexibility to stay where you’d like. For the nights of Nov 5th, 6th, and 7th, we will be staying in Escalante, UT. We recommend you stay at the Circle-D Motel where you’ll get a 20% discount if you call and say you’re with Action Photo Tours. The night of Nov 8th we’ll be in Kanab. If you call the Best Western in Kanab, they will give you a 10% discount if you mention our workshop. It’s up to you if you want to stay the night of the 9th in Kanab or head off somewhere else. The workshop will be done by 8PM.
This is a hiking intensive workshop with a couple 10+ miles hikes in the itinerary. You should be comfortable hiking these sorts of distances while carrying your camera gear, drinking water, and lunch. Almost all of the hikes will have some cold water to wade through. All participants need a pair of waders or will need to rent a cold water wading package (shoes, neoprene socks, dry pants) from an outfitter like Zion Adventure Company in Springdale, UT. If you decide to rent gear, make sure you pick it up prior to the beginning of the workshop.
The days can start getting cold in November, so make sure you bring some warm layers, a waterproof rain jacket, sturdy hiking boots, wool socks, and hat and gloves. Trekking poles are highly recommended for better balance when hiking in the water.
There will be some short scrambles getting into and out of Coyote Gulch. We will be on hand to help you with your pack and will have a rope we can use for a handline. We will be able to filter drinking water from the creek or from nearby springs.
$1995/person + Tax
- 5-Day Intensive Photo Workshop
- All ground transportation and photography guiding during the trip.
- Post-processing instruction and image critique
- Park entrance fees.
- Final Group Dinner.
Trip Does NOT Include:
- Transportation to/from your home to Kanab, UT.
- Hotel Accommodations.
- Alcoholic Beverages.
- Meals and snacks with exception of final group dinner.
When you complete the checkout process, you will be given the option to either pay the full amount or put down a 50% deposit. If you pay the deposit, the remaining amount will be charged 90-days prior to arrival to the credit card we have on file.
Recommended Camera Gear
- Sturdy tripod and ballhead
- Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body.
- Wide angle lens (16-35mm is perfect). For crop sensor, you'll want 10-22mm. Ultrawide Angle Lenses in the 11-14mm range will also work nicely.
- Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
- Long telephoto lenses can come in handy in places like Bryce Canyon. However, in the interest of keeping your pack weight light, we don't recommend bringing them on the hikes.
- Circular polarizer filters are a must. Bring any ND filters if you have them.
- Extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies.
- Comfortable hiking backpack that can carry your camera gear, tripod, lunch, and drinking water.
- Laptop if you wish to backup your photos or follow along during the post-processing instruction.
- We may be able to rent you gear if you don't have everything you need.
Personal Gear List
- Sturdy hiking footwear, hiking socks, and long pants .
- Waders or Cold Water Rental Package from Springdale, UT.
- A rain jacket and several warm layers since it can get cold at night.
- Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Warm Hat & Gloves.
- Water bottle or hydration bladder.
- Trekking Poles.
Instructor - David Swindler
David Swindler is a National Geographic award-winning landscape and wildlife photographer. He received a degree in chemical engineering and worked many years in the semiconductor industry specializing in optics and photolithography. Thus, the technical side of photography came very easy to him. Back in 2014 he decided to quit his day job to follow his true passion. As a photographer, he has traveled to many locations around the world and has extensive experience with landscape, wildlife, night, and macro photography. He finds great satisfaction in helping others learn photography, especially in the wild desert environment near his home in Kanab, UT. Follow the links below to see more of Mr. Swindler's work.
Mr Swindler has been leading guided photo tours for several years and knows many different camera systems and how to capture the best photos. On his trips, you'll travel to impressive locations and receive photography instruction at the same time! Unlike many other photo guides, his clients are his top priority while out in the field. Read what others are saying about his trips here: Trip Advisor. Mr Swindler has extensive outdoor experience and will ensure your safety and well-being. If you have any questions, please Contact Us and we'll be happy to assist. Happy travels!