White Pocket Overnight Photo Workshop
Aug 13-16, 2020
Monsoon season is the best time of year to visit White Pocket. This is when we have best chances for big clouds, storms, and water puddles. Camping overnight allows you to photograph sunset, the Milky Way, and sunrise! Join us for 4 epic days of shooting at a variety of Southwest locations. Post-processing instruction also included.
- Fully outfitted overnight camping trip to White Pocket during the height of monsoon season. Chances are good for dramatic skies and storms! This is also one of the best times to find water puddles at White Pocket.
- When skies are clear in the evening, we’ll go out and photograph the Milky Way. The workshop dates are timed to avoid moon interference.
- Learn many new photographic and post-processing techniques from pro instructors Ryan Smith and Johnny Adolphson, both highly experienced landscape photographers and workshop leaders.
- The itinerary is kept flexible so we can chase the best weather conditions. One day is being left “open” and we’ll decide as a group where we go. Several options are given in the itinerary section below.
- Post-processing sessions and image critique will be given throughout the workshop.
- Day 1 (Aug 13): Meet at 4PM at the Best Western in Kanab for a mandatory introductory session. After the session, we’ll go out and shoot sunset and Milky Way if skies are clear. If there are storms in the area, we might be photographing lightning!
- Day 2 (Aug 14): This is our "open" day. We begin with a post-processing session and then decide as a group where we want to go shoot that evening based on the weather forecast. We have permits to guide in Zion, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Grand Staircase Escalante, Lake Powell, and the Vermillion Cliffs. After shooting some dramatic monsoon light at sunset, we head back to Kanab. Since the skies have cleared on the drive back, we head over to the Great Chamber for Milky Way photos which is one of our premiere night locations.
- Day 3 (Aug 15): After a morning post-processing session, we head out to White Pocket. We quickly set up camp and then photograph into the evening & night hours. We will supply camp gear like tents, sleeping bags, pads, pillows, chairs, and food. While at White Pocket, we'll split the group up since many of the compositions will not allow for everyone to shoot at once. At night, we'll photograph the Milky Way if skies are clear and we'll teach you both natural and low-level lighting techniques
- Day 4 (Aug 16): Sunrise/Morning at White Pocket and then we break camp and return to Kanab for lunch. We'll have an afternoon post-processing session and then reconvene for our final group dinner before saying our goodbyes.
- Workshop Extension: If anyone is interested in extending the workshop by 1 or 2 days, or doing some additional night shooting, please let us know and we can put together some great ideas for you!
Please arrive in Kanab, UT prior to 4PM on Thurs, Aug 13 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. If you book with the Best Western, you will get a 10% discount by mentioning our workshop. You will need lodging for the nights of Aug 13th and 14th. There is no need to book lodging for the 15th since we'll be at White Pocket. We will finish the workshop around 9PM on Aug 16th. It's up to you if you want to stay in Kanab that night or head somewhere else.
All participants 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 heat can make short hikes seem much harder. You should be comfortable walking around 2-4 miles per day.
We timed this workshop for the best chance of monsoon storms and dramatic clouds. There won't be any moon interference on these dates so we can do night photography if skies are clear.
The weather can vary quite a bit in August. It can be sunny and very hot. If that is the case, we'll stay out of the midday heat. But if storms come in, it could be very wet with much cooler temperatures. See the gear list further down for specific recommendations. No matter what the weather does, we’ll get awesome photos. If it’s exceptionally wet, some of the dirt roads may be impassable. We'll modify the itinerary accordingly should that be the case. Transportation will be provided in 4WD trucks so we can handle most conditions.
Food and camping gear will be provided for the White Pocket overnight portion. Gear includes a tent, sleeping bag, pillow, pad, and chair. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.
$1595 per Person
- All ground transportation and photography guiding during the trip.
- Post-processing and image critique
- Camping Gear and Food while out at White Pocket.
- Group dinner on our final day in Kanab. Please note alcoholic beverages are not included.
Trip Does NOT Include:
- Transportation to/from your home to Kanab, UT.
- Hotel Accommodations.
- Alcoholic Beverages.
- All other meals and snacks outside of White Pocket and the 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 60-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. A full-frame camera is recommended for night photography.
- Backpack to comfortably carry your camera gear. Make sure you have a rain cover for your backpack.
- Wide Angle Lens. We recommend a 16-35mm lens. If you have wider lenses in the 11-15mm range, bring them along! For night photography, you will want a wide angle lens that is at least f/2.8 or faster.
- Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
- Telephoto lenses will come in handy if we go to Bryce, Alstrom Point, or the Grand Canyon.
- 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 (keeps sand out of your shoes).
- A rain jacket and one warm layer since it can get cooler at night.
- Personal toiletries for the overnight trip.
- Headlamp for night photography.
- Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Sun Hat
- Water bottle or hydration bladder
"David and Ryan took us on an amazing photo adventure on the border of Arizona and Utah. They were helpful and there to guide us every step of the way. They took us to some amazing places. It was so nice to have everything set up when we went camping. They were thoroughly familiar with the photo locations and were able to provide helpful composition tips."
"Action Photo Tours really helped make the experience great. With photo post processing help, setting up lighting for the area and putting together a great little camp site to rest your feet after shooting the Milky Way."
"Great workshop! Both the instructors (Ryan Smith and David Swindler) were great and even a seasoned photographer like me, who thinks he knows it all learned a thing or two! Would do another workshop with Action Photo Tours again."
"Fantastic workshop. Super knowledgeable instructors providing precise expertise in photography and post processing techniques. Highly recommend and will be attending many more workshops in the future."
"I attended a long weekend workshop with these guys and it was fantastic. They took us to some out of the way places that I otherwise wouldn't have seen. The photography instruction was very helpful. I learned a lot, especially about night photography. They made it a hassle-free weekend, and all I had to do was get the shots."
"I have never learned so much about shooting in night and low light conditions as I did in this class. In addition to the superb field instruction plenty of time was spent showing has to post process images in LR and PS. Guides make it easy regardless of you experience level. You will also learn new field shooting and post processing techniques even if you are very experienced. Guides have access to venues that in some cases are permit only or not yet discovered which adds to the experience. Already planning my next adventure with these great photo professionals."
"Third trip with this photo travel outfit and again easily surpassed my high expectations and I have sampled 4 other similar photo guiding companies both domestic and international; this one is “The Shot” of them all so far!"
"I took the overnight White Picket workshop with Action Photo Tours and it was an incredible experience. We photographed in remote places that I would never have the courage to visit on my own, places that at times required a few hours driving at night on challenging off-roads. I also appreciated the assistance and guidance of David and Ryan, both of whom are outstanding teachers and guides."
Ryan Smith developed early on in his life a love and passion for the outdoors, which fueled an obsession for landscape photography. Growing up in the beautifully diverse state of Utah Ryan has consistently traveled through the west and beyond capturing iconic views, which spark emotion and tell a story. Ryan's artistic style is unique and unmistakable which has led to prestigious awards and work featured within publications. His work is also found within various high-end galleries throughout the west including Jackson Hole Wyoming.
Combining his professional experience as a corporate trainer with his passion for photography, Ryan has a knack for sharing the technical aspects of photography in an easy to understand way through various workshops, tours, and events through the west and the Hawaiian Islands. He enjoys adapting to the various needs of his attendees whether its in the field learning the technical side and composition techniques, or if its in the classroom focusing on perfecting post editing techniques and helping achieve a print ready image. Check out more of Ryan's work in the links below:
Johnny is a published, landscape and fine art photographer. His primary residence is in Heber City, Utah where he and his wife Sherry raise their two boys. Johnny's award winning landscape art can be found on the walls of clinics, hospitals, airports, hotels, other various business's and private homes. Other than photography, Johnny has worked as a ski guide, ski patroller, and wild land firefighter. When not chasing the light throughout the American West, Johnny guides powder skiing in the Uinta Mountains. Landscape photography is his passion, he has devoted a large percentage of his time and energy searching for vast vistas and good light throughout the Desert Southwest. Johnny has an intimate familiarity with the desert environment and loves to share his eye for composition and ability for using light and shadow with others.
See more of his work here and follow him on Instagram: