Beyond the Badlands
May 3-7, 2023
Join us in Hanksville, UT for a foray into some remote and seldom photographed parts of the Utah badlands. Come witness one of the most spectacular and otherworldly landscapes on Earth! Many places here are perfect for drone & aerial photography. Dates are timed for best spring wildflowers. Even better, we'll get a few opportunities to photograph the full moon! This workshop is rated Moderate for physical intensity with 2-4 miles of hiking per day.
- The badlands of central Utah are filled with spectacular photo spots that will blow your mind! This workshop is designed for those who truly want to get off the beaten path and improve their photography skills.
- The workshop dates are optimized for great weather, spring wildflowers, and full moon shooting opportunities!
- With a small group, we guarantee plenty of individual attention. You will learn many new camera skills while visiting spectacular locations.
- 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 be scheduled throughout the workshop to help make the most of your images.
The itinerary is flexible based on weather, current conditions, and group interest. The workshop dates are timed for the best chances of finding wildflowers. However, wildflowers in the desert are not guaranteed and may not bloom during dry years. The following itinerary is just an example of what you can expect.
- Day 1 (May 3): Meet at 3PM in Hanksville, UT for a mandatory introductory session. After dinner, we head out to a nearby location for sunset photos.
- Day 2 (May 4): For sunrise, we find a nice area with emerging wildflowers! We head back to town for a midday break and meet up after lunch for a post-processing session. In the evening we venture out to shoot the badlands and capture the rising full moon.
- Day 3 (May 5): This is a special morning as we are perfectly positioned for capturing the full moon as it sets behind the landscape. After this, we photograph several other interesting locations and head back to town. After breakfast we do a short hike through a slot canyon. The afternoon forecast is calling for clouds, so we drive out to a seldom visited viewpoint in the stark badlands. We're in luck as the sky lights up brilliantly and even reveals the rising full moon!
- Day 4 (May 6): With good clouds forecast for sunrise, we wake before dawn to photograph one of our favorite morning locations. You'll get wide landscapes, abstracts, and much more. This is also the perfect place to take drone aerials. You'll know what we mean that this place is almost like being on a different planet! We find more locations with beautiful wildflowers before heading back to town. We do our final post-processing session and then venture out for our final sunset shoot.
- Day 5 (May 7).We wake up early and drive to one of our favorite overlooks for sunrise. We return to Hanksville and say our goodbyes. The workshop will conclude by 11AM.
Please arrive in Hanksville, UT prior to 3PM on May 3rd. 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 email@example.com or calling (435) 633-6655 and mentioning Action Photo Tours. You will need lodging for the nights of May 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th.
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 2-3 miles per day.
We are keeping the itinerary flexible since we can't control the weather. 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 is highly variable in early spring. It could be sunny and warm or a cold front might come in and bring some rain and snow. The nights will be cold, so you will want warm layers. It can also be windy in the spring so come prepared with a wind/rain jacket. 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 reveal certain locations when posting shots online.
Many of the areas we visit are perfect for using a drone camera. It's up to you if you want to bring a drone on this trip and we will let you know where it's possible to fly it. Please let us know if you intend to bring a drone so we can plan out the logistics with the other participants and the itinerary. We will be more than happy to help teach and instruct you on your drone photography.
We are authorized permit holders with the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We carry a satellite beacon in case we run into any emergencies in the backcountry.
We keep our groups small so we can give you adequate individual attention. Education and instruction is an important component of our workshops which is why we also schedule plenty of post-processing time throughout our days together. Come explore our amazing world with us!
$2095 per Person
- 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
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 Zoom Lens. Anything in the 14-24mm range will work well.
- Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
- Long telephoto lenses will come in handy for creating abstract images. We really like long zoom lenses like the 100-400mm, 150-600mm, etc.
- 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.
- 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 at night.
- Headlamp for night hiking
- Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Hat.
- Water bottle or hydration bladder.
- Hiking poles if you like having them.
Nickolas is a photographer and tour guide with 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
From an early age, Amy knew she had a wandering spirit. Her desire for adventure and passion for nature, stayed with her into adulthood, prompting her to pursue photography as an expressive art form.
The moments captured by Amy's camera are far removed from the "point and click" variety. She often spends hours and even days scouting possible shoot locations.
Amy loves exploring and photographing all the natural wonders that surround her hometown of St. George, Utah.
Amy's profile can be found at Nature's Eye Photography
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