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Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon Photo Workshop

Event Phone: 479-414-6889

  • Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon Photo Workshop
    August 27, 2017 - September 2, 2017
    12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon Photo Workshop

August 27 to Sept 2 , 2017

This workshop will give you the opportunity to photograph some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet at the peak time of year, and in a way very few people ever get to experience and with expert instruction for any level of photographer.  We will be photographing Monument Valley from atop Hunt’s Mesa which rises 1000 feet above the valley floor offering a birds eye view of magnificent sandstone formations sculpted by wind and rain over thousands of years.  Not only will we photograph from here, but we will actually spend the nigh camping out on the Mesa.  We will photograph and sleep under stars and the Milky Way, as  seen only from the remote dark locations of the American Southwest.

Monument Valley is a dry desert climate with a lot of sunshine and little rain.  The average summer highs are in the 90’s, although it does cool off quite a bit at night especially after an afternoon thunderstorm.

The monsoon season begins on June 15 and ends on September 30, but the storms peak between mid-July and mid-August. On average, about half of Arizona receives about half of its annual rainfall during the monsoon. The summer monsoons create the most spectacular photography, with clouds, fantastic sunsets and sunrises, thunderstorms and lightning, and the amazing beauty of the wet red rock after a storm.

Much of Monument Valley can only be seen on tours conducted by official Navajo guides. This policy protects the traditional land-use patterns of Navajo families who have lived in the valley and surrounding areas for generations. But it also guarantees a richer and more complete experience to visitors from around the world – unusual views at the best times of day, stories and legends of the Navajo people, ancient ruins, and an insider’s view of the most spectacular landscape in the Navajo Nation.

For the most of our time in Monument Valley we will have a Navajo Guide who has worked with many professional photographers and knows the changing light of Monument Valley like no one else. A custom guided photographic tour is the best way to realize the full photographic potential of this spectacular and legendary landscape.  A Navajo guide is required to enter most of Monument Valley and ours is a specialist in photographic tours and will allow us the time needed for spectacular photography.

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About the Workshop

Our workshops are based on digital photography, the assistance that I can provide and the immediate feedback of digital make “in the field” workshops one of the most effective teaching formats available.  Whether finding the correct exposure, looking through the viewfinder for the perfect composition, or learning how to use the equipment, you can’t beat real world experience.  Classes are kept small, it’s all about personal, individual attention. Digital offers a number of benefits for learning photography including:

  1. Immediate feedback on exposure and composition
  2. Immediate critique from the instructor an other participants
  3. Ability to do reviews and projection
  4. Automatically capturing all shooting information (Meta Data)
  5. Ability to manage work flow while still on location

Night Photography

During this workshop we will cover techniques for photographing the moon, stars, star trails, light painting and other night photography techniques.

On the night we spend on Hunt’s Mesa in Monument Valley the sun will set at 7:50pm, we will reach Astronomical dark at 9:39 with the moon setting at 1:00 am giving us time to photograph with moonlight (33% Waxing crescent) and the setting moon, before total darkness for fantastic Milky Way photos (if you want to stay up that late).  On the other hand it could storm and we could get some fantastic lighting photos over Monument Valley.

Workshop Itinerary

Changes to the Itinerary

In order to offer the best experience possible for the workshop participants we reserve the right to alter the itinerary when our judgment warrants it.  This could be due to unforeseen circumstances, closures, weather or other conditions beyond our control.  We may also alter due to new or unexpected photographic opportunities that may arise.

Proposed Itinerary

Sunday 8-27

12 noon arrive in Mexican Hat Utah at  the San Juan Inn where we will eat lunch and get acquainted with other members of the group.

We will drive along a self-guided route that passes some of the most famous buttes and spires, we will spend much of this day learning how to shoot in Monument Valley, and covering principles of landscape photography.

 Monday 8-28

We will begin our day with a sunrise tour, we will leave the Visitor Center an hour before sunrise. After sunrise, we then move on to one of three sand dune locations, and depending on available time we might visit two arches. We will finish up at around 11:00 and return to our rooms where we can download and process our images using Adobe Lightroom, I will be happy to  critique your photos to be sure you are on the right track to capture fantastic images. For our sunset guided photo-shoot we will leave at around 4:00 pm from the visitor center and explore a new location.

Tuesday 8-29

We will drive the 16 mile tour loop of Valley of Gods which is a hidden gem with scenery similar to that of nearby Monument Valley.  Valley of the Gods is a scenic backcountry area is southeastern Utah, near Mexican Hat. It is a hidden gem with scenery similar to that of nearby Monument Valley. Valley of the Gods offers isolated buttes, towering pinnacles and wide open spaces that seem to go on forever.

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We will visit the Goosenecks State Park to Gaze at the results of 300 million years of time, where the San Juan River winds and carves its way through the desert 1,000 feet below. This primitive park offers a spectacular view of this amazing and rare geologic formation, known as an entrenched meander.

We will then drive the The Moki Dugway which is a staggering, graded dirt switchback road carved into the face of the cliff edge of Cedar Mesa. It consists of 3 miles of steep, unpaved, but well graded switchbacks (11% grade), which wind 1,200 feet from Cedar Mesa to the valley floor near Valley of the Gods. This route provides breathtaking views of some of Utah’s most beautiful sites. Scenic views of Valey of the Gods and distant Monument valley open at every turn of the dugway. The Moki Dugway was constructed in the 1950′s provide a way to haul ore from the Happy Jack Mine on Cedar Mesa to the mill in Halchita, near Mexican Hat.

We will return to our rooms for download and processing of our photos.

 

Wednesday 8-30

Lunch at the View Restaurant:
With a great expanse of windows looking out into the grandeur of Monument Valley, The View Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner from a complete menu of Navajo inspired dishes and classic American cuisine created by our Navajo chefs—who combine their sophisticated Le Cordon Bleu culinary training with their unique heritage of Navajo cooking learned at the wood stoves of their grandmothers, enjoy your meal and the breathtaking views.

We will depart for Hunt’s Mesa at 3pm, this is a very rough road and not good for people with back problems. It takes 2 to 2.5 hours to drive to the top of Hunt’s Mesa. It takes the same amount of time to get off the mesa. We will arrive at the top Hunt’s Mesa at 5pm and photograph till sundown. Dinner will be ready at sundown, we  will have a steak dinner cooked on an open wood fire by our Navajo guide.  We will then camp on the mesa, under the stars and the Milky Way and shoot the night sky.  We can provide everything like tents, sleeping bags and mats. Do bring your own flashlight and good hiking boots and pillows..

 

Thursday 8-31

We will wake up early on the top of Hunt’s Mesa leave for our sunrise location at 5am, we will have a hot breakfast provided by our guide, then break down camp by 9am and head down the mesa visiting three way arch and be back at Monument Valley Park by 11am.

We will head to Page Arizona for the night.

 

Friday 9-1

We will begin our day with a Sunrise shoot at Horseshoe Bend followed by upper antelope canyon photo tour, and finish up the workshop in the early afternoon.

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Antelope Canyon is one of the must visit locations for photographers. Yes it is one of the most photographed canyons in the United States, but there is a good reason for that. Antelope Canyon is absolutely a gorgeous place for photography.

Antelope Canyon is at once one of the most breathtaking and tranquil places on earth. Gently carved from the Navajo sandstone over the course of countless millenniums, the slot canyons are majestic and narrow passages, just enough space for a small group to walk the sandy floor – and for the occasional shafts of sunlight to shine down from above.

To older Navajos, entering a place like Antelope Canyon was like entering a cathedral. They would probably pause before going in, to be in the right from of mind and prepare the protection and respect. This would also allow them to leave with an uplifted feeling of what Mother Nature has to offer, and to be in harmony with something greater than themselves. It was (and is) a spiritual experience.

 

Saturday 9-2

Return travel day

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Workshop Policies and Information

Cost

The workshop fee per session will $1695.00 per participant.

What is Included

Your workshop fees include full instruction and location guiding.

Included in the workshop fee is the cost of our Navajo Guide and entrance fee’s in Monument Valley and the steak dinner and breakfast on our overnight stay on Hunt’s Mesa in Monument Valley. We will need dietary requirements for the overnight camping trip. We normally do steak dinners and hot breakfast (bacon, eggs, hash).

Also included is the Antelope Canyon Tour in Page AZ.

What is Not Included

Transportation to and from the workshop, lodging, meals, incidental expenses, gratuities, and items of a personal nature are not included. My philosophy on lodging and meals is that by not including them in the workshop each participant is free to choose their own level of accommodation and choice of meals.  I have some participants stay in high end motels, while others prefer camping or RV’s.

Lodging

For most of our trip we will be in Mexican Hat Utah with the central location being the San Juan Inn where I will be staying and have some rooms reserved.  let me know if you want to stay there and we will work out roommates and accommodations, or you are free to stay anywhere you like (You will be responsible for all travel, rooms, and meal cost).  Lodging fills up very quickly (there’s not much) so make reservations early.  We will need a room for the 27th, 28th, and 29h and spend the 30th camped in Monument Valley, leaving for Page AZ on the 31st where we will need a room for 1 night.  In addition there will be lodging getting to and from the workshop for those who travel with us.

Transportation During Workshop

We do not provide Transportation on field trips, carpooling will be done among participants for these workshops.  If you do not have a car let us know and we will be sure there are  enough seats with other members during the workshop if possible.

For those travelling from Fort Smith and Northwest AR region we will work out car pooling for the trip.

Meals

Meals, drinks, and snacks are not provided, and are the responsibility of the participant.  I some cases we may need to pack a lunch for the day and at other times we will stop when and where convenient for the group.  Many meals may be at the San Juan Inn simple because it is convenient and and there is not much else.  The group will normally eat together, this gives us a chance to discuss the days shoot and make plans for what’s next, but you are free to eat on your own.

Group Size

We keep our group size small, this provides for a high degree of personal attention and a great amount of flexibility in making the workshop the best possible experience for the participants. This workshop is limited to a maximum or 6 participants.

Health and Physical Considerations

All participants should be in generally good health, walking and moderate climbing may be necessary in outdoor workshops and you will be responsible for carrying of your own equipment on location shoots.  If you are taking any medications be sure to bring a supply sufficient for the duration of the workshop. If you have any concern about your ability to participate in a workshop please contact us before registering.

Equipment Needed

To get the most from the workshop you should have a Digital Single Lens Reflex  (DSLR) camera, tripod and an assortment of lenses.  That being said, it is the photographer not the camera that makes the photo.  You will need a laptop computer to use, remember to bring all software, drivers, cords, and camera manuals when attending any workshop.

A good sturdy tripod is an essential piece of equipment for doing night and landscape photography along with a cable release or timer to keep the shutter open.  A tripod will also be a must have for the Antelope Canyon Tour.  For photographing star trails and the milky way a very wide angle lens is recommended.  We have a great variety of subjects and shooting situations so a good selection of lenses is suggested.  Be sure to bring a camera backpack or bag to carry and protect your equipment on the overnight trip.

Registration, Payment, and Refund Policy

You can register any way you like, just so I get your information, you can use the online registration, the contact formemail,  postal mail, or call me on the phone (479-414-6889) either to register or just ask a question.  Registration is done on a first come basis, so register early to secure your space.   A deposit of $750 is required to reserve your space, and full payment is due 30 days prior to the workshop. Enrollment is limited in our workshops, so once you have been accepted your participation is important to us – we are counting on you to attend. If you must withdraw from a course, we must receive written notice of your cancellation, and then apply the following refund policy:   We do not make refunds on workshop fees. We do not make partial refunds for unused portions or services of a workshop for any reason whatsoever. If we are able to fill your space in the workshop we will give full credit towards another workshop. If we are not able to fill your space we will issue 50% credit towards a future workshop.  If there are openings I will accepts last minute registrations when possible.

We can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in the services to be provided. We reserve the right to change our arrangements should conditions necessitate, or to cancel any aspect of the workshop due to exceptional circumstances.
In the unlikely event that we need to cancel a workshop we will refund all monies paid, in full. Notification of our cancellation will be made via either a telephone call or an e-mail to you at least 14 days prior to the beginning of a workshop other than an emergency. We cannot be responsible for phone messages and e-mails not being received in a timely matter due to your service providers. We cannot be responsible for non-refundable airline tickets unused or other travel arrangements because of a workshop cancellation. All workshops have a minimum participation level which must be met or the workshop will be canceled.

Non Photographer (Spouse, significant other, or friend)

We welcome spouses to join you on the workshop experience however “workshop activities” are limited to registered, paid attendees.  You may have a non photographer accompany you to all activities but they must pay for the workshop.  If they wish to accompany you on the trip but not attend the workshop activities, but stay with you, finding other activities during the day,  and  meet for meals and social type events that is perfectly acceptable.

 Liability Waiver

All participants will be required to sigh a liability waiver before beginning a workshop.  As there is always an element of risk in any adventure associated with the outdoors, participants must read the liability release form carefully. Participant’s signed/dated release will certify that said participant is physically fit and capable of participating in outdoor photography exercises in field locations, and is fully and completely aware of any associated risks created by field locations and weather.

Weather

The more the better, at least as far as the photography goes.  Workshops will not be canceled and no refunds will be made due to weather, we will not be responsible for any additional costs that may be incurred by weather delays or cancellations due to weather, flight delays, or other. Participants should come to the workshop prepared for all weather conditions. We will generally update everyone within a few days of the workshop so that they know what type of weather to expect.

Trip Extensions

We may be able to extend your trip in the area, if you would like more time and personal instruction.  Please contact us for more information and rates before the workshop.

Smoking

We prefer that you do not smoke, however if you must please abide by the following guidelines.  Smoking is not allowed in or near vehicles, during instructional sessions, during group meals, or at other times when in close quarters with other workshop participants.

 

 

 


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Greg Disch
479-414-6889
1918 N. 7th Street
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72904
gdisch@gregdisch.com

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