Reflection Canyon & Beyond
April 9-13 2019 - SOLD OUT
Join us for Reflection Canyon, one of the most beautiful locations for Milky Way panoramas! Build on your night photography techniques in some of the most stunning locations in Southern Utah. Post-processing sessions will help you get the most out of your photographs and allow you to continue shooting beautiful nightscapes after the workshop is over.
- Early spring is our favorite time of year to photograph the Milky Way. The Milky Way is angled low to the horizon and is perfect for landscape images and panoramics. You will learn both natural light and low-level lighting techniques.
- Reflection Canyon is one of the most scenic views in the entire state of Utah. The month of April is perfect since water levels are lowest and the Milky Way arcs directly over the canyon!
- Trip includes round-trip boat transportation and fully outfitted camping.
- We are including lots of post-processing time to help you make the most of your night sky images. Image critique will be given throughout the workshop.
- The itinerary is kept flexible so we can chase the best weather conditions. As long as skies are clear, we'll focus on Milky Way and or star trails. We have permits to guide in Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Grand Staircase Escalante, and the Vermillion Cliffs so there are lots of options.
- The itinerary is being kept flexible to allow us to chase the best conditions. If skies are clear, we'll focus on early morning Milky Way shooting. If storms and clouds are moving through, we'll spend more time photographing during the day. The itinerary below is just an example of what you can expect.
- Day 1 (Tues April 9): Meet at 11AM at the Best Western in Kanab for a mandatory introductory session. After a lunch break, we'll head over to the marina and board our boat to Reflection Canyon. We'll shoot sunset at the canyon and get to bed early.
- Day 2 (Wed April 10): We awake at 2AM to clear skies and a brilliant arc of the Milky Way over the canyon. After photographing the Milky Way, we catch another couple hours of sleep before waking to shoot sunrise. We break camp and then board the boat back to the marina. Upon checking into our hotel in Page, AZ we explore a slot canyon before catching sunset at Horseshoe Bend.
- Day 3 (Thurs April 11): We wake up at 1AM and make our way to Alstrom Point, a stunning viewpoint above Lake Powell which makes for an amazing panorama with the Milky Way! Since there are no clouds, we decide not to stay out for sunrise and return to Page to catch up on some sleep. After lunch we head back to Kanab and reconvene with a post-processing session where we'll learn how to put our Milky Way panos together.
- Day 4 (Friday April 12): We're up early again this morning to photograph the Milky Way at the Great Chamber - one of our signature locations for night shooting. We'll return to Kanab for breakfast and do another post-processing session. In the afternoon, we'll head out to one of our secret spots not far from town, with a nice collection of hoodoos and colorful rock formations.
- Day 5 (Sat April 13): We lucked out! Conditions look great for Milky Way this morning, so we're heading out to Bryce Canyon at 1AM. Bryce Canyon is a phenomenal place to learn both natural light and low-level lighting techniques and even how to blend the two. We'll stay at Bryce until lunchtime. We regroup a few hours later for a final post-processing session and our group dinner. You can always leave sooner to catch a flight if needed.
Please arrive in Kanab, UT prior to 11AM on Tues April 9th for the orientation session at the Best Western Hotel. We didn’t include hotel stays on this trip to allow you the flexibility of a lodging option of your choice. You will need to book lodging in Page, AZ for the night of April 10th. We recommend the Holiday Inn Express. For the nights of April 11th and 12th, please book lodging in Kanab, UT. If you book with the Best Western Red Hills, you will get a 10% discount by mentioning our workshop. We will finish the workshop around 8PM on April 13th so it's up to you if you want to stay in Kanab that night or head somewhere else. You will also have the option to skip the last post-processing session and or group dinner if you need to catch a flight.
All participants on this trip should be in 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 around 2-3 miles per day. The hike up to Reflection Canyon is steep and strenuous. This trip is not recommended if you have a fear of heights.
The overnight trip will include all your camping gear and food. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.
We timed this workshop for optimal early spring Milky Way photography. However, we can't control the weather and if skies are cloudy one day, we'll either plan an outing to a different location or focus on sunrise/sunset photography. Don't worry - we'll make the best possible use of our time. Our job is to get you the most stunning photos and help you learn as much as possible!
The weather can vary quite a bit in early spring. It could be temperate and sunny with cool nights. Or it could be very cold, windy, and possibly even snowing. You need to come prepared for the worst conditions. Up at Bryce Canyon, it can be well below freezing early in the morning, so you'll need to bring warm layers to ensure you don't get cold photographing at night. Please see the gear list further down.
Recommended Camera Gear
- A lightweight tripod and ballhead you don't mind hiking with.
- Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body.
- Fast Wide Angle Lens. Our favorite night photo lenses include Tamron 15-30mm f2.8, Rokinon 14mm f2.8, Nikon 14-24mm f2.8, and Canon 16-35mm III f2.8.
- Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
- Circular polarizer filters are useful. Bring any ND filters if you have them for photographing the waterfalls.
- Extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies.
- Remote cord for your camera. An intervalometer will be especially useful for doing long exposures at night.
Personal Gear List
- Sturdy hiking footwear, hiking socks, and long pants.
- Comfortable backpack that can carry your camera gear and tripod.
- Overnight toiletries, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.
- A rain jacket and some warm layers since it can get cold at night. Glove liners and a beanie will also help you stay warm.
- Headlamp for night photography.
- Water bottle or hydration bladder.
$2495 per person
- All ground and boat transportation during the trip.
- Camping Gear and Food for the overnight trip (dinner and breakfast)
- All entrance fees for the places we visit.
- Photography guiding and post-processing training.
- Final group dinner.
Trip Does NOT Include:
- Transportation to/from your home to Kanab, UT.
- Hotel Accommodations.
- Meals and snacks..
- Alcoholic beverages
When you complete the checkout process, you will be given the option to either pay the full amount or put down a 25% deposit. If you pay the deposit, the remaining amount will be charged 30-days prior to arrival to the credit card we have on file.
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 which is why 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.