Reflection Canyon & Beyond

April 8-9, 2021 - Sold Out!!

Apri 10-11, 2021 - Sold Out!!

Quick Summary

Join us in Reflection Canyon, a remote and impressive viewpoint high over Lake Powell. It certainly qualifies as one of the most stunning views in the entire Southwest! If skies are clear we will capture brilliant panoramas of the Milky Way.  We will access the canyon by boat and the overnight camp is fully outfitted. Note that this trip is rated challenging due to steep uphill hiking from where we dock the boat. All participants need to be in good physical condition, without a fear of heights, and no mobility or balance issues. You will need to carry your camping gear, water, food and camera gear.

Reflection Canyon Photo Workshop Lake Powell Photography


  • Reflection Canyon is one of the most scenic views in the entire state of Utah. The month of April is best since water levels are lowest and the Milky Way arcs directly over the canyon!
  • Trip includes round-trip boat transportation and fully outfitted camping (weather permitting).
  • The Milky Way is angled low to the horizon which is perfect for landscape images and panoramics.
  • The workshop includes classroom instruction both before and after the outing to help you make the most of your images. The final session will focus on post-processing and image critique.
  • Learn many new photography techniques both in the field and in the digital darkroom from instructor David Swindler.
Reflection Canyon Milky Way Pano


  • The itinerary below is just an example of what you can expect. We reserve the right to change the itinerary based on weather, current conditions, and safety concerns.
  • Day 1 (Thurs Apr 8) or (Sat Apr 10):  Meet at 10AM at the Best Western in Kanab for a mandatory introductory session. We'll cover the photo techniques you'll be using at Reflection Canyon along with information on Milky Way Panoramas.  After a lunch break, we'll head over to the marina and board the boat. We'll shoot sunset at the canyon, eat dinner, and get to bed early.
  • Day 2  (Fri Apr 9) or (Sun Apr 11):  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.  After lunch, we do a post-processing session where we learn many digital darkroom techniques to bring your photos to life!  The workshop will conclude by 5PM.
Reflection Canyon Photo Workshop Lake Powell Photography
Reflection Canyon Photo Tour Workshop
Reflection Canyon


Please arrive in Kanab, UT prior to 10AM on Thurs April 8th or Sat April 10th for the orientation session at the Best Western Hotel. We will finish the workshop around 5PM the following day so it's up to you if you want to stay in Kanab that night or head somewhere else.

IMPORTANT: This workshop is rated difficult. All participants on this trip need to be in reasonably good physical condition. When we go in via boat, the hike up to Reflection Canyon is steep and strenuous. It's only a half mile long, but it's not recommended for those with poor mobility and fitness. The overnight trip will include all your camping gear and food so pease let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

We timed this workshop for optimal Milky Way and water levels. However, we can't control the weather and if skies are cloudy overnight we may not be able to photograph the Milky Way.

The water levels in Lake Powell can change drastically one year to the next. If levels change unexpectedly, we may not be able to dock the boat, making it impossible to access Reflection Canyon due to sheer cliffs. We will know around March should this happen will make alternative plans. The weather is also a factor. If it's rainy or windy, the boat will not be able to go out.

If we are unable to take the boat to Reflection Canyon, we will reimburse participants their share of the boat costs and organize an overnight trip to an alternate location that also has good Milky Way shooting.

Expect extremely variable weather in April.  It can be warm and temperate or cold, windy, and possibly even snowing. You need to come prepared for the worst conditions. Please see the gear list below.

Recommended Camera Gear

  • A lightweight tripod and ballhead you don't mind hiking with.
  • Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body. We recommend full-frame cameras for best night photography.
  • Wide Angle Lens f/2.8 or faster for night photography in the range of 14-24mm.
  • Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
  • Circular polarizer filters are useful.  Bring any ND filters if you have them for creating long exposures.
  • 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.
  • Warm gloves and hat.
  • Headlamp for night photography.
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder.
  • Hiking poles if you like using them.

Reflection Canyon Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tour
Reflection Canyon Photo Workshop Lake Powell Photography
Reflection Canyon Photo Workshop Lake Powell Photography
Photographing Reflection Canyon


$1295 per person


Trip Includes:

  • All ground and boat transportation.
  • 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.
  • Light snacks and water.


Trip Does NOT Include:

  • Transportation to/from your home to Kanab, UT.
  • Hotel Accommodations.
  • Meals while we are in town.
  • Alcoholic beverages


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.

David Swindler

David Swindler

David Swindler is a National Geographic award-winning landscape and wildlife photographer. He received a degree in chemical engineering and worked in the semiconductor industry specializing in optics and photolithography. Back in 2014 he quit his day job to follow his true passion. He has traveled to many locations around the world and has extensive experience photographing a wide variety of subjects and conditions. He finds great satisfaction in helping others learn photography, especially in the wild desert environment near his home in Kanab, UT.  David is an expert in night photography and loves to get out and shoot the starry night skies. Catch a glimpse of David's work in the slideshow, and follow the links below to see more!

Gallery   Media Coverage    500px     Flickr

David has been leading guided photo tours for many years. He is very familiar with many different types of cameras and how to capture the best photos. And most importantly, his clients are the top priority while out in the field.  Just read what others are saying here: Trip Advisor.

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