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The Great Canyons of the Southwest

6 Days, 5 Nights   |  6-12 People   |  $1750   |   November 2-7, 2020

Tour Highlights

  • Zion National Park
  • Grand Canyon – North Rim
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Private Slot Canyon Excursion
  • Lake Powell – Alstrom Point
  • Horseshoe Bend – Colorado River
  • Local Guides and Instructors
  • Friendly small-group atmosphere (6-12 guests)

Itinerary

Day 1 | Zion National Park

Meet at Zion National Park at noon and join us for a welcome lunch and short orientation before we check into our rooms in Springdale.

In the evening, photograph under the towering Court of Patriarchs with its meadows, brooks and reflections in the Virgin River.

Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants in Springdale.

Day 2 | Zion National Park

Rise early to photograph Zion at sunrise, from pre-dawn stars and the soft glow of dawn until the fiery orange, reds and pinks light up the cliffs.

A morning workshop session and working breakfast will allow us to download and see the results of this fascinating lighting exercise.

After a little time to relax and regroup we’ll head back into the canyon to learn about challenging lighting conditions with fantastic views of the majestic cliffs and fall colors.  We’ll enjoy an iconic Zion sunset and shoot till we can’t see any more, then back to town for dinner on your own.

Day 3 | Grand Canyon

After another early morning adventure in Zion National Park we pack up and head to Page, Arizona with a couple of stops along the way.

Our first stop is for lunch at a fabulous 5-star European bakery and photo gallery!  After this fun treat we’re on our way to the Grand Canyon for a sunset shoot from the North Rim.  

After sunset we’ll head for a warm dinner, then on to Page for a late arrival and a well deserved night’s rest.

Day 4 | Lake Powell

Finally, a morning to sleep in!  After a good rest we will gather for a relaxed morning workshop session and working lunch.  

Afternoon will bring another great adventure as we enjoy a private tour with a local guide to one of the most spectacular viewpoints over Lake Powell.  We’ll shoot the evening light as the sun shows off again on the red rocks surrounding the always beautiful Lake Powell.

As the night sets we’ll return to Page and each can enjoy dinner on their own or with some of your new friends.

Day 5 | Horseshoe Bend

No more sleeping in, we’re up early again to chase the beautiful morning light!  We’ll start the day with an early and brisk walk to Horseshoe Bend.

After a late morning workshop and instruction, we’ll gather our gear for a midday private excursion into Secret Canyon. As one of the most exquisite naturally carved creations, you can look forward to what people have called a “photographic orgy” of color and design.

A fantastic Mexican dinner will finish off our week of memories as we prepare for one more slot canyon in the morning.

Day 6 | Antelope Canyon

After we enjoy breakfast we’ll head out with a Navajo guided tour for yet another awesome slot canyon, Lower Antelope.  Because tripods are no longer allowed, we’ll be practicing some high-ISO hand-held skills and maybe even some cool motion technique.  

We’ll return to the hotel for a late checkout and wrap up the workshop with hugs and promises to share the terrific images of this week.  With another week of memories to last a lifetime we say goodbye and depart from Page, Arizona around noon.

About the Workshop

In the field

You can expect patient and personal instruction and encouragement as you shoot magnificent scenery and improve your skills in landscape photography.  With small group sizes we average one instructor to each six guests so there is plenty of personal time for everyone.  We’re always nearby to answer your technical questions and help you master your own equipment.

In the classroom

 

In addition to photographing together in the field, this workshop gets down and dirty in the classroom, teaching essential skills in post-production editing.  Instructor led discussions and group reviews are part of the learning experience.  Classroom time is devoted to reviewing your daily images and offering helpful suggestions.  Group reviews are fun and inspiring learning experiences that bring much more than simply photographing as a group.  We’ll primarily demonstrate Adobe Lightroom tips and tricks, but we dive into Photoshop sometimes too.

Trip activity level – Easy to moderate

Most of our shooting locations are accessible with a short walk or hike, generally on improved trails.  There are some requirements to navigate uneven or soft trails.  Our longest hikes are just under a mile each way on trails with some short “stair step” sections.  We provide an alternate activity to our longest hike to accommodate those who may not be comfortable with the terrain.  Please feel free to call with any concerns you may have and we’ll be happy to discuss the specific details with you.

Our mission

Is to place you in outrageous locations at the best times of day (or night), providing you with every opportunity for the images everyone dreams of.  We will work side by side with you in the field, to ensure you go home with solid images and new post-production skills to edit them.  You will have time to enjoy just enough rest to keep going, great meals every day, and at the end of the week as we say goodbye you will be inspired and tired and looking forward to your next photography adventure! 

Workshop Staff

Drake Busath
Workshop Instructor

Drake is a professional photographer of 40 years, a native of Utah and keeps a home near Zion.  He currently guides workshops in Utah, Italy and France and has presented at national photographers’ conventions in 8 countries and most U.S. states.

These days he describes his favorite photographs as “little epics”, preferring intimate views of both landscape and street photography.

He also operates the famed Busath Studio & Gardens. Credits include several Professional Photography Magazine covers and Best of State award 10 years running. Last year he was singled out by Professional Photographers of America for the Tom MacDonald Award for teaching in the industry.

 

Sean McFarland
Workshop Leader

Sean is a life-long landscape photographer with a love for photographing and hiking the Southwest canyons and national parks.  He also has a second home near Zion National Park so he knows and loves the area.

Sean is the Chief Engineer for a worldwide broadcast network, and has designed broadcast facilities across the United States.  It’s hard to imagine a technical question that he can’t fully answer.

You’ll also find Sean to be a generous teacher, with a great ability to explain as much (or as little) as you need. From the workings of your camera to digital files in your computer, Sean freely offers his help to each individual in the field and the classroom.

Sean has been a part of the Italy Workshops team both in Italy and in the U.S. for over 10 years.  More importantly, he’s hilarious and fun to travel with!

Kristin Poulsen
Tour Manager

Kristin is a native of St. George, Utah.  Her entire life has been spent in red rock country next door to Zion National Park.  For several years she and her husband operated restaurants in both St. George, Utah and Page, Arizona (near slot canyons and Lake Powell).  She has a deep love for the southwest and seems to know everybody in Southern Utah, which comes in super handy arranging our trips for us!

Kristin is everyone’s friend and is happy to talk with you about any questions you may have or specifics about the workshop.  She will help you with any arrangements and has great advice as you make your plans for Southern Utah.

Kristin is the tour manager and will be your host, staying with the group at all times to make sure you’re comfortable and well fed!

All Skill Levels are Welcome

Beginner and Intermediate Photographers

We enjoy helping you master those buttons and menus on your camera! Short, daily field lessons will tackle one technique at time. Further individual attention in the field helps you lock in the concepts.

Any camera is welcome (yes, even smartphones!).

Non-photographer partners are welcome to sit in on all discussions and participate at their own level of interest. (Beginners often make some of the best images we see!)

Advanced Photographers

As an advanced photographer you’ll be encouraged to:

  1. Build your portfolio, adding strong images every single day of the trip.
  2. Focus on style development, lighting and composition.
  3. Work in “concentrations” to produce a collection of work suitable for a gallery showing or book project.

You will return home with a body of work suitable for a gallery showing or book project that will express your personal style, as opposed to a random collection of travel photos.

Any camera is acceptable here.  This is not a meeting of gear heads.  For landscape photography we do suggest you bring a medium and wide angle lens, a sturdy tripod, and a cable release (so you can shoot in low light).  Although a trip to the camera store is always fun, we do not want you to feel like you have to go buy a bunch of new equipment just for this trip.  As we get close to the workshop date we’ll provide a list of suggested equipment to consider.

Participants who are very comfortable with their computer are encouraged to bring it along. Editing your images during the week can enhance your learning experience. We currently use Adobe Lightroom CC for our on-screen review sessions. You will learn new Lightroom editing methods and workflow shortcuts during classroom reviews and critique. Even if you’ve used Lightroom, we highly recommend brushing up before the workshop by watching the free tutorials available on Adobe.com.

If you are not fluent downloading and managing digital images, you might consider leaving the computer behind and just focusing on camera work. You can still submit images daily for review, and perhaps find more time to learn about your camera and develop a discerning eye (not to mention sleep happily while others are editing into the night).  Feel free to give us a call to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

Observer Participants may be beginner photographers, attending all instruction and field trips, but not required to submit photos for critique. This is a fun way to learn without pressure. You’ll still photograph the same things and we’ll still want to review your work on the back of your camera and offer individual instruction in the field.

Deb-Ward-7721

I am still in awe over our wonderful workshop in Zion National Park & Page Arizona. It was the most fun I have ever had in a workshop of any kind. The staff made every person feel very special and took care of us like we were their family members! I left feeling so blessed to have been with everyone at the workshop, staff and students. I learned so much and witnessed such beauty. I can’t wait to do it again!

-Deborah Ward

I came from Holland to Drake’s Utah Workshop, so I had pretty high expectations. All I can say is: What a breathtaking experience! We saw so many marvelous spots and were accompanied by very capable, kind and fine people. Drake’s staff arranged everything so well – they even brought their boat to go on Lake Powell. It doesn’t matter what level photographer you are or where you come from, Drake and his people can bring everyone to a higher level. If photography is your passion, this workshop is your ‘Mekka’! You really should experience it.

-Wendy Janssen

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Dates and Details

Arrive: November 2nd – Zion National Park
Depart: November 7th – Page, Arizona
Group Size: 6-12 People

 

Six days, workshop instruction, guided hikes and classroom reviews.

Price:  $1,750 per participant

Six days workshop instruction, all National Park fees, private guides and excursions, many meals, and lots of snacks are included.  

Hotels are not included in the workshop price, and paid directly by each guest upon checkout.

Non-Photographer participants

We find that most non-photographer companions still want to experience all of the activities and adventures of the workshop.  As such, we do not offer a standard “reduced rate” for non-photographers.

If you have a companion that would like to join, who would prefer to take it easy and relax while you’re out shooting in these great places, please talk to Kristin to discuss a possible reduced rate.

Included:

  • Welcome lunch and farewell dinner, along with select working meals
  • Daily workshop instruction in the field
  • On-screen review and critique sessions
  • Really great instructors and staff who love what they do
  • All instructors and staff maintain current First Aid and CPR certifications
  • National park entrance and photography fees  (we pay full National Park workshop permit fees)
  • Private guided and driven tour for views on Lake Powell
  • Private guided and driven tour to Secret Canyon
  • Private guided tour of Lower Antelope Canyon
  • Our own travel guide available at all times with snacks and water

Not Included:

  • Hotel accommodations (We will make reservations for you and you will pay the hotel directly upon checkout.)
  • Transportation outside of the workshop itinerary.
  • Ground transportation is available by request for an additional charge.  Most people drive their own car or rent a car from Las Vegas or St.George, UT.

Payment Schedule

  • A reservation fee of $500 will hold your spot.
  • The balance of payment is due 120 days prior to your workshop.

Rooms

Room reservations are made for you by our staff.  Payment for hotel rooms are made by the guests upon checkout, directly to the hotel.  Rooms are assigned in order of reservations received, so early signup is recommended.

Single Supplements

There are no single supplement fees.

Cancellation fee schedule 

  • There is no charge for cancellation within ten days of booking your workshop.
  • After ten days, reservation fees are non-refundable but may be applied to a future workshop event.
  • Cancellations less than 90 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 25% of the total workshop cost.
  • Cancellations less than 45 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the total workshop cost.
  • Cancellations less than 15 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 75% of the total workshop cost.
  • No partial refunds will be given for unused portions of a workshop.

We highly recommend that all workshop participants purchase trip cancellation insurance independently.

Cancelled Workshops

Utah Photo Workshops reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient signup (fewer than 6 guests), logistical problems that may impede a workshop or jeopardize the safety of our guests, hotel closures, or acts of God.

Refund of all fees paid shall release Utah Photo Workshops from any further liability.  Utah Photo Workshops is not responsible for any expenses incurred by workshop participants in preparing for a cancelled workshop.  In the case of insufficient signup to make a workshop feasible, notice and refund will be sent 60 days prior to the workshop.

COVID-19 Policy

As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak is an ongoing and developing situation, Utah Photo Workshops encourages all participants to monitor publicly available information.  In the event a government mandated travel restriction prohibits attendance or participation, all workshop fees may be applied to any event offered by UtahPhotoWorkshops or ItalyWorkshops in 2021 without penalty.

Photographic Release

Utah Photo Workshops reserves the right to photograph and record its trips in entirety.  Participants should be aware that images of them may be used for promotional purposes or joint marketing efforts with third parties, without remuneration.

Feel free to contact Kristin at 435-313-3424 with any questions about the Canyons tour.

Utah Photo Workshops is a member of the Italy Workshops family.  Offices are located in Salt Lake City, UT in the historic downtown mansion of Busath Studio & Gardens.  Please feel free to stop in and visit.  Offices are open Tuesday through Friday, 10am-6pm or call 801-364-6645.

Busath-Photography-Exterior-2859-HDR-Edit

More Information Please

Are you ready to improve your landscape photography

while you enjoy the Canyons of the Southwest?

This is a limited annual event for a small group.

Please sign up early to guarantee you don’t miss it!

You may contact us with any questions or to reserve your spot

by filling out the form below, or by calling 435-313-3424.

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