Navajo Canyons Photography Workshop



Hidden Canyons of the Painted Desert Photography Workshop

This workshop is Sold Out. We had an incredible response to this workshop and will schedule another in 2018.

October 23-27, 2017

At first Glance the Navajo Reservation might appear as a vast featureless landscape, but for the intrepid traveler he/she might describe it as a wonderfully colorful land of deep canyons, twisted taffy like rock formations and a maze of stunning beauty. This description is only half of what you might see, the other half is the palette in which the landscape is colored and how this high desert region got its name “Painted Desert”. There are many well known locations throughout the Painted Desert, the slot canyons, Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Zion N.P, to name a few, but there are indeed countless others.

Two old friends are coming together, Adam Jones and William Manning, to co-lead a workshop together in one of the lesser known regions of the Painted Desert. This is a workshop you don’t want to pass up. We are excited to offer a tour of Coal Mine Canyon, Ha Ho Geh Canyon and Blue Canyon in the first of a three-part itinerary.

After these three awesome canyons we head to Mexican Hat and explore this gem hidden beyond the beaten path. We’ll photograph the stunning views from Muley Point and the winding goosenecks of the San Juan River below. This region is loaded with striped rock formations, a perfect location to explore telephoto pattern extractions, and much more.

Our final location has been used as a backdrop for many western movies, Monument Valley. The first evening we photograph classic views of the two mittens at sunset. The next morning we explore by car, the 17 mile Monument Valley Scenic Road, making numerous stops such as: Elephant Butte, Three Sisters, Jiohn Ford’s Point, Camel Butte, and North Window.

The grand finale gives participants an option:

Option 1:

The grand finale for this tour is an overnight high on top of Hunts Mesa for incredible views of the valley and towering buttes at sunset and sunrise. Our overnight on Hunts Mesa is a guided adventure with camping gear, steak dinner, and breakfast included. Fee for this option is included in workshop fee. (You may want to bring your own sleeping matte).

Option 2:

Or, for those who don’t want to camp, we have arranged a guided sunrise and sunset tour of Mystery Valley for you. Our guided tour is led by the Philips family, a well-known Navajo family, familiar with the needs of serious photographers. You will see and photograph spectacular locations off limits to the general public. The fee for this guided tour is also included in tour fee. You may choose to do one or the other of the two options listed above. Participants who choose this option will be responsible for their own lodging on this evening.


What you can expect. You can expect to be the focus of attention. Your photography is paramount and it’s my job to provide the answers that allow you to grow as a photographer. Participants receive lots of one on one instruction in the field along with group discussions. You’ll discover the artist within and build on your skills. Mastering your tools in the field and knowing what they can do for you is the foundation to a successful photo journey. Photographers want to be behind their camera therefore I make every effort to maximize our time in the field and teach with a hands on approach. Learning to see and knowing what to do once you identify your subject is the stepping stone to building a work of art. Classroom sessions will be kept to a minimum. We’ll have an afternoon session on the third day giving us time for a critique and an opportunity for me to introduce participants to my workflow from beginning to end. You’ll be introduced to processing software such as DXO Optics Pro, Lightroom, Photo Mechanic and Adobe Bridge and you can decide which works best for you. For those interested and time permitting we can look at several creative software programs that provide the photographer the creative freedom to explore beyond the standard photograph, (i.e. Nik Collection, Topaz, Alien Skin, Auto FX and MacPhun). HDR photography will be explored both in the field and in post processing. We’ll look at the different HDR programs and let you decide which one best fits your style, (i.e. Aurora HDR Pro, Photomatix and Nik HDR). Join me and let your creativity flow.

Itinerary. Our daily schedule will vary depending on location and weather. Light is the most important ingredient to a rewarding photo shoot. You can expect early mornings and photograph throughout the good morning light. If the weather conditions are favorable for photography throughout the day you can bet we’ll take advantage of it. When afternoon light works against us we’ll take in a critique session and classroom instruction. Late afternoon and into early evening we’ll be back out in the field for more hands on photography instruction and shooting opportunities.

Workshop schedule.
• The first day we’ll meet at 6 p.m. We’ll have a greet and meet, a Q & A session and a discussion of the following day’s schedule.
• The next three days we’ll spend much of our time on location photographing as much as possible with hands on instruction. This is your opportunity to ask me all the questions you want. I’m happiest when I know your learning. I want to help you and this is what your paying for when you join me on a workshop. When we are not in the field we may be in a classroom having critique sessions and learning something new.
• The last morning we’ll be either in the field or a classroom for one final critique or a last minute recap about what we learned during the workshop.

Fee: $1495
Deposit: $250
Participants: Maximum of 12
What’s Included:
• Workshop instruction
• Hunt’s Mesa or Mystery Valley
• Photo Walks • Photo Critiques and Instruction • Small Group Size

Not Included:
• Transportation • Lodging • Meals • Entry Fees when applicable

Please arrange your lodging as follows:
Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites (Tuba City, AZ) for 3 nights; Oct 23, 24 and 25. Price $90 per night plus tax. Phone number for reservations 928-283-4500. (Reserve your rooms under the William Manning Photography Room Block).

Goulding’s Lodge (Monument Valley, AZ) for 1 night; Oct 26. Price Single $136.71, Double $145.77 plus tax. Phone number for reservations 435-727-3231. (Reserve your rooms under the William Manning Photography Room Block).
Last night for those spending the night under the stars at Hunt’s Mesa a sleeping bag will be provided but they suggest you bring a sleeping mat because theirs are not very comfortable.

If you are not camping at Hunt’s Mesa and decided to join in on the sunset and sunrise tour of Mystery Valley you will need to arrange overnight accommodations at Goulding’s for evening of October 27th.

2017 Navajo Canyons