Hidden Gems of the Southwest
Nov 14-18, 2020 - 5 Participants
- Photograph some of the most remote and stunning landscapes in the Southwest! We have acquired special access to many of these areas.
- Trip includes 3 nights hotel and a fully outfitted camping trip on Hunt's Mesa, which is one of the most spectacular views of Monument Valley!
- This workshop is designed for those who truly want to get off the beaten path and improve their photography and camera skills. The dates are optimized for the best light and conditions.
- Enrollment is capped at 5 people, ensuring plenty of individual attention.
- We provide all the transportation during the workshop so you don't have to worry about the rough roads.
- Post-processing and image critique sessions will help you make the most of your images!
- Day 1 (Sat Nov 14): Meet at 10AM in Page, AZ for a mandatory introductory session. After lunch, we'll check into our hotel and head out to Eggshell Arch to capture the setting sun through the arch. This is the perfect time of year when this phenomenon happens and we have special access from the Navajo Leaseholders. This arch is just as amazing as the overcrowded Mesa Arch in Canyonlands! We return to Page, AZ to check into our hotel.
- Day 2 (Sun Nov 15): We wake well before sunrise to photograph the gigantic monolith of White Mesa Arch. The light is spectacular and the sky fires up for an incredible show. We return to town for breakfast and then make our way over to Tuba City. We check into our hotel and then spend the rest of the evening exploring a dramatic canyon with hoodoos and formations of all sorts of shapes and colors. The views here are nothing short of impressive.
- Day 3 (Mon Nov 16): It's another early morning as we head out to photograph one of our favorite views of the Grand Canyon. The drive is long and rough, but the solitude we have at such an amazing view more than makes up for it. In the afternoon we head into Monument Valley, chasing the light and clouds as we choose our shooting locations.
- Day 4 (Tues Nov 17): We're out again at dawn to venture deep into Monument Valley. We capture sunrise at the Totem Pole along with the amazing sand ripples and then head over to some unique arches and photogenic alcoves. In the afternoon, we load up for a rough ride to the top of Hunt's Mesa. The vistas from up here are simply stunning! This is the part of Monument Valley not many folks get to see. We stay up after dark to capture some nightscapes before retiring to our tents.
- Day 5 (Wed Nov 18): We wake up early to capture sunrise on Hunt's Mesa and then return to civilization. We do a post-processing and image critique session once we get back to Page, AZ and then enjoy our final group dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in town.
Please arrive in Page, AZ prior to 10AM on Nov 14 for the orientation session. All hotel stays are included in the workshop fee. The price assumes single-occupancy lodging. If you would like double occupancy, we can give you a $250 discount.
Participants should have their own transportation to get to/from Page, AZ. We provide all transportation during the workshop but you are welcome to follow us in your own vehicle when we go between Page, Tuba City, and Monument Valley. Everyone on this trip should be in reasonably good physical condition. We aren't planning any long hikes on this trip, but the uneven terrain, sand and steep uphills can make short hikes seem much harder. You should be comfortable walking a couple miles per day.
We timed this workshop for the optimal sun angle at Eggshell Arch. However, we can't control the weather and if skies are cloudy one day, we may try to move around the itinerary. Don't worry - we'll make the best possible use of our time. Our focus is to get you the most stunning photos and help you learn as much as possible!
The weather is highly variable in November. It can be temperate and sunny during the day, or cold, windy, or even snowy. Make sure you dress appropriately and bring enough warm layers so you don't get cold. Please see the gear list further down.
We will provide food during the Hunt's Mesa Overnight Camping portion in addition to our final group dinner on Nov 18th. All other meals will be on your own, even if we are eating as a group. To give you flexibility in your travel plans, we are not including the final night of hotel on Nov 18th. It is up to you if you want to stay in the Page area or head elsewhere. If you drive your own vehicle, you can even stay in the Monument Valley area after we finish at Hunts Mesa.
$2895/person + Tax
Price assumes Single Occupancy. If you would like Double Occupancy, we can give you a $250 discount.
- 3 nights of hotels. Single occupancy is assumed.
- Fully outfitted overnight camping trip to Hunt's Mesa.
- Navajo guide fees.
- Park entrance fees and Navajo permits.
- Final Group Dinner.
- All ground transportation and photography guiding during the trip.
- Post-processing and image critique
Trip Does NOT Include:
- Transportation to/from your home to Page, AZ.
- Alcoholic Beverages.
- Meals and snacks with exception of the Hunt's Mesa Overnight portion and our 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 in the 16-35mm range. If you have an ultra-wide in the 11-14mm range, bring it along since there are many places we can utilize it.
- Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
- Long telephoto lenses will come in handy for creating abstract images. We really like our 100-400mm zoom lens.
- Circular polarizer filters are useful. Bring any ND filters if you have them.
- Extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies.
- Remote cord for your camera.
- 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 .
- A rain jacket and several warm layers since it can get cold in Nov.
- Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Warm Hat, Sun Hat, and Gloves
- Water bottle or hydration bladder.
- Hiking poles if you like having them.
- Please don't overpack, as we'll only have enough room in the vehicle for everyone to have one suitcase.
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.