Beyond the Badlands Fall Photo Workshop

Oct 24-28, 2023 - Sold Out!!

Join us in Hanksville, UT for a 5-Day adventure into some remote and uniquely beautiful parts of the desert.  October welcomes the advent of cooler temperatures and dates are timed for optimal fall color which really pop against the blue badlands!  This area is absolutely stunning from the air as well - if you have a drone, bring it along!  We'll photograph everything from narrow slot canyons to huge views and everything in-between. Come witness one of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth!


  • $2095
  • 50% Deposit

Max Group Size

  • 4-5 Students per Instructor
  • Max 8 Students


  • Nickolas Warner
  • Wendy Casey
Beyond the Badlands Utah Photo Workshops


  • The badlands of central Utah are filled with spectacular photo locations that will blow your mind!  This workshop is designed for those who truly want to get off the beaten path and improve their photography.
  • The workshop dates are optimized for the best fall color and dark skies for Milky Way photography.  The galactic core won't be visible but we can still get great shots of the River of Darkness.
  • With 2 instructors and a maximum of 8 participants, we guarantee plenty of individual attention.  You will learn many new camera skills and techniques.
  • Transportation is provided so you don't have to worry about navigating the rough roads.
  • Post-processing and image critique sessions will be scheduled throughout the workshop to help make the most of your images.
  • The itinerary is kept flexible so we can chase the best weather conditions. Our job is to get you the best photos possible!


  • The itinerary is being kept flexible to allow us to chase the best conditions. If skies are clear, we'll stay out later to photograph the Milky Way. 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:  Meet at 2PM in Hanksville, UT for a mandatory introductory session.  Next, we head out to photograph the brilliant yellow cottonwood trees against the stark background of the badlands. Soft sunset light illuminates the subtle textures and ridges. We continue shooting through blue hour in this austere and otherwordly landscape.
  • Day 2:  We wake before sunrise to photograph some impressive hoodoos in golden light. After breakfast we photograph a beautiful slot canyon, looking for that soft reflected light. In the evening we hike out into the badlands and capture some impressive light and clouds!
  • Day 3:  It's another early morning departure to an amazing viewpoint of the badlands. This place is almost like being on a different planet!  We photograph more of the golden cottonwood trees and then return to Hanksville mid-morning for a rest break. In the afternoon we head up to Capitol Reef and photograph the fall colors up that way and stay out past sunset and blue hour.
  • Day 4:  We're out again at dawn to capture first light on stunning sections of badlands. The angled light will make the landscape come alive!  During the day, we meet for post-processing and image critique.  At sunset, we'll get out our telephoto lenses and shoot abstract compositions of the blue hills.  Since it's cloudy tonight, we skip night photos and get to bed early for some much needed rest.
  • Day 5: We wake up early and drive to one of our favorite overlooks for sunrise. We return to Hanksville and say our final goodbyes.  The workshop will conclude by 11AM.
Utah Badlands Photography Workshop Southern Utah Fall Colors Hanksville Utah
Utah Badlands Arch
Beyond the Badlands Photo Workshop Utah Photography Tours


Please arrive in Hanksville, UT prior to 2PM on Oct 24th for a mandatory orientation session. We didn’t include hotel stays on this trip to allow you the flexibility of a lodging option of your choice.  We highly recommend you book a cabin at  Duke's Slickrock.  Take advantage of our special workshop rate by emailing them or calling (435) 633-6655 and mentioning Action Photo Tours.  You will need lodging for the nights of Oct 24th, 25th, 26th & 27th.

Participants should have their own vehicle to get to Hanksville.  All transportation during the workshop is included. Everyone on this trip should be in reasonably good physical condition.  We aren't planning any long hikes, but the uneven terrain, sand, and steep uphills can make short hikes seem much harder.  You should be comfortable walking around 2-4 miles per day.

We timed this workshop for optimal fall colors. But fall colors can be a fickle thing and can always come earlier or later than expected.  But not to worry - no matter what the conditions are, we'll find amazing places to shoot and help you learn as much as possible!

This time of year the temps are mild during the day with cooler nights.  There is always a chance rain and cold temps may move in. You'll need to bring warm layers to ensure you don't get cold photographing early in the morning.  Please see the gear list further down.

This area definitely has potential to become the next photography hotspot. We don't want to see that happen since it is such a delicate area that can't handle a lot of traffic. We will ask all participants to not the reveal the locations of many places we shoot when posting their photos.

Additional Notes

Many of the areas we visit are perfect for using a drone camera and it is absolutely spectacular from the air.  It's up to you if you want to bring a drone on this trip.  However, the focus of this trip is on still camera shooting and there may not be time to both fly a drone and operate your still camera.

The workshop is capped at 8 participants so that we can give you adequate individual attention.  We are licensed commercial guides for the areas that we'll take you too. We carry a satellite communication device and safety equipment in case we run into any emergencies in the backcountry.


Utah Badlands Photography Workshop Fall Colors Hanksville Utah
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Slot Canyon Photo Workshop


$2095/person + Tax

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Trip Includes:

  • 5-Day Intensive Photo Workshop
  • All ground transportation and photography guiding during the trip.
  • Post-processing and image critique
  • Park entrance fees.


Trip Does NOT Include:

  • Transportation to/from your home to Hanksville, UT.
  • Hotel Accommodations.
  • Alcoholic Beverages.
  • Meals and snacks.
  • Gratuities for Photo Guides.


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. Ultra-wide angle lenses can also come in handy if you have one.
  • Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
  • Long telephoto lenses will come in handy for creating abstract images. We recommend lenses in the 100-400mm range. You can even use lenses in the 600mm range!
  • Drone if you wish to capture aerial shots.
  • 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. An intervalometer will be especially useful for doing long exposures at night.
  • Laptop if you wish to backup your photos or follow along during the post-processing instruction.

Personal Gear List

  • Sturdy hiking footwear, hiking socks, and long pants .
  • A rain jacket and several warm layers since it can get cold at night.
  • Headlamp for night photography.
  • Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Hat.
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder.
  • Hiking poles if you like having them.

The Utah Badlands offer a stunning variety of shooting opportunities.  And autumn is one of my favorite seasons to visit!  Our group really enjoyed shooting this lone tree at peak fall color.  It's really unique how it stands alone in such an unforgiving landscape. Want to join us this fall?  Spots are available but filling fast:
Nickolas Warner Alaska

Nickolas Warner

Photography Instructor

Nickolas Warner is an award-winning photographer with recognition by the Epson Pano Awards, International Landscape Photographer of the Year, and Outdoor Photographer. He has a particular interest in extreme and unusual locations.  His travels have taken him to some fascinating locations, but the American Southwest is his favorite place to photograph.

Nickolas spent the past decade guiding in Alaska, where he provided instruction on photographing the aurora borealis, and shared his knowledge of the far north’s rugged terrain and resilient wildlife.

When not guiding, Nickolas enjoys long distance hiking and extended backpacking trips through remote wilderness areas.

Nickolas's portfolio can be found at Nickolas Warner Photography



Wendy Casey

Wendy Casey

Photography Instructor

Wendy is proud to be a Utah Native and began hiking and camping with her parents at a very young age. She has many fond memories hiking to amazing viewpoints and taking in the grandeur that is Utah. Her interest in photography began in the 80’s where she made her film images come to life in a darkroom.

She now enjoys the creativity of the digital world by photographing a wide range of interests, from Landscape, Wildlife, Portraits, to Sports. Her favorite is capturing epic scenery with a human interest.

When Wendy and her husband Randy are not at home on their farm, they are out on a trail somewhere, exploring, photographing and creating videos of their adventures.  Wendy has a lot of experience with horses on their ranch and will be an instructor on some of our wild horse and ranch workshops.

Over the years, she has participated in many art shows. Her local favorites are the Kimball Arts, Park City Art Festival and Midway Swiss Days. She has shipped her art around the world  and has her work hanging throughout the state in hospitals, clinics and many large and small businesses. Her images have also been featured in and on the covers of local magazines.

Wendy loves to help others develop their passion for photography and capture through the viewfinder, winning scenes to last forever and an epic story to go with it.

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