Enjoy a 4 Night Photographic Journey through Native American Culture and Land as You Never Have Before!
Join us in June or July 2022 on this Navajo-guided adventure to photograph the night sky over the restricted regions of Monument Valley, and discover for yourself the untouched splendor of Navajo land.
Monument Valley is one of the most majestic and impressive places on earth. This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces towering at heights up to 1000 ft. off the desert floor.
The pinnacles of rock are surrounded by miles of mesas, buttes, arches and windblown sand. The landscape overwhelms, not just by its beauty but also by its size.
We will teach you in the most memorable and breathtaking places - Monument Valley - how to capture the Majestic Milky Way, shoot star trails and techniques using low level light painting.
3 nights of this amazing photographic journey, we will travel through Monument Valley with a local expert Navajo guide ~ who will fill you in on the secrets of the area and answer any questions you might have about Monument Valley and Navajo traditions.
This custom 4 night photographic journey covers restricted parts of the valley, from sandstone arches to famous monuments.
We will immerse ourselves in Navajo culture and the history of the valley from start to finish. This will be the most memorable trip and Astrophotography Workshop you will ever take!
Our First Night's Journey:
Getting Our Bearings and Fine Tuning Our Gear
On our first night together we will spend some time outside of Monument Valley photographing Aglatha Peak (thought to be the center of the universe by the Navajo), the Forrest Gump Road (Hwy 163) and the Mexican Hat, a sombrero-shaped rock outside of Mexican Hat, Utah.
This will be a great time to fine tune our gear for the next three nights.
Our Second Night's Journey:
Camp Under The Stars in Hunts Mesa and Capture Amazing Photos
With incredible views and breathtaking scenery, the journey to the secluded Hunts Mesa is a MUST for adventurous photographers looking for a rewarding experience.
We will immerse ourselves in the beauty of Hunts Mesa Monument Valley, with this overnight photographic camping tour.
Hunts Mesa is often referred to as the jewel of the Monument Valley, but accessing this remote destination makes for a rough but exciting off-road 4×4 experience over sand dunes and rocks.
Once we arrive, the majesty of Hunts Mesa overwhelms you, and photo opportunities abound. Views overlook the entire Monument Valley, and there are plenty of amazing spots to set up your camera.
Recommended for amateur or professional photographers, this Monument Valley journey offers award-winning photo opportunities in a landscape unlike any in the world.
- We will begin this safari five hours before sundown. The two-hour drive takes you to the scenic Hunts Mesa overlook.
- At 6,795 feet above sea level, the photo camp overlooks the whole of Monument Valley!
- We will arrive approximately three hours before the sun begins to set. During that time, our Navajo guide will familiarize us with the area including some of the best places to capture sunset photos. Time to get our cameras ready!
- Visitors to Hunts Mesa take great pleasure in marveling at its unspoiled beauty; rich, colorful, dramatic and sheer cliffs, and magnificent panoramas.
- On this photo journey, we will take advantage of the mesa’s many opportunities, you must be willing to “rough it.”
- While we capture the amazing sunset, our Navajo guide will set up camp and make a cedar-wood fire.
- Our Navajo Guide provides everything for your comfort, including clean sleeping bags, a large spring bar tent, reclining camping chairs, toiletries, and 2 meals.
- Dinner and Breakfast - Navajo style dinner and a continental breakfast the next morning.
- In the morning, we will have plenty of time to explore the area and take once-in-a-lifetime sunrise photos.
- On our descent from the mesa, we will visit some of the area’s natural arches and Anasazi ruins tucked away in labyrinthine narrow canyons and alcoves.
** We will arrive back to the hotel at around 12 noon for some rest and a shower before heading out again for tonight's photographic journey.
Third Night's Journey:
Exclusive Journey Through The Monument Valley Floor
Capturing Monument Valley's Most Iconic Landmarks Under The Milky Way
On tonight's journey we will travel to restricted parts of the valley, from sandstone arches to famous monuments like:
- East & West Mitten Buttes
- John Ford’s Point
- The Three Sisters
- Totem Pole & YeiBiChei spires
- Big Hogan Arch
- Ear of the Wind Arch
- Sun’s Eye Arch
Fourth Night's Journey:
Photograph The Mystery Valley’s Secluded Arches
On this night we will be photographing the lesser-known section of Monument Valley, home to labyrinth canyons, sandstone arches, and ancient ruins.
Featuring majestic geological formations and ancient artifacts, Mystery Valley offers breathtaking views of wide open spaces and some of the darkest skies you have ever been in.
All of Mystery Valley is only accessible with a Navajo guide who is eager to share an insider perspective of this iconic area and teach you about Navajo culture and tradition.
We also visit and photograph many breathtaking arches, like the Honeymoon Arch, Skull Arch, Half Moon Arch, Tear Drop Arch and more all under the brilliant night sky.
Traveling around the Mystery Valley, with its red rock formations, often reminds people of a Martian landscape.
What you will Learn:
Techniques we will be focusing on:
- Single shot Milky Way astrophotography
- "Low Level Light" Painting Techniques
- Introduction to star trail photography
Against the vast expanse of the starlit sky, the Milky Way provides a spectacular background to the miles of mesas on the desert floor of Monument Valley.
We will also take a look at:
- The best times to photograph the Milky Way
- How to find the best dark sky location
- Best equipment to use
- How to focus in the dark
- How to set exposure and ISO
- Rule of 400 / 500 / 600
- Identifying other lights in the night sky
Required Equipment and Accessories :
Astrophotography requires a professional level camera and lens in order to be successful and get the image results you are looking for.
If you do not have a professional level camera or lens, we would highly recommend purchasing or renting them. You can work with our rental department to see if we have what you need available. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- DSLR or mirrorless camera with non-Extended "native" ISO to at least 12,800 and shutter speeds to at least 30 secs
- Wide angle lens with a aperture of f/2.8-4 or larger and a full frame equivalent of 14 - 35 mm
- A sturdy tripod (long Exposures require it to be very stable)
- Intervalometer, wireless remote or shutter release cord
- Extra batteries
- Headlamp with a red filter
- Small flashlight
- Warm clothes (as the night gets later it does get cooler)
- Gloves and hat
- Hiking Boots
- Snacks and beverages
- Personal Toiletries for overnight Camping
- Personal Water Bottle
- Bug Spray
- Folding camping portable chair, We do a lot of standing
What You’ll Need For Processing Class:
Digital processing is a crucial step in astrophotography for creating striking images.
- Laptop computer
- Notebook paper and pen for keeping notes.
- You will be given a 4 page "cheat sheet" on the things we covered for you to take home.
We will also spend an afternoon on post-processing techniques that can help you create striking images using Lightroom Classic CC.
Participants: Limit 8
Experience Level: Who will benefit from this workshop?
This workshop is designed for the beginner to intermediate photographer as defined below:
- Beginner I : Someone having a strong knowledge and firm understanding of their camera with "little to no" experience in astrophotography.
- Beginner II : Someone having a strong knowledge and firm understanding of their camera and have "tried" their hand at astrophotography.
- Intermediate : Someone having a strong knowledge and firm understanding of their camera with "some" experience in astrophotography.
Endurance Level: Moderate - All age levels are welcomed. Light hiking is involved, but nothing too strenuous. Our guides will drive us to each location then we'll hike to the best position.
Transportation: We will car pool to the tribal park and meet up with our guides / outfitter who will provide transportation within the park.
NEW JULY Workshop Dates:
July 23, 2022 to July 26, 2022 - LAST OPPORTUNITY FOR 2022!!
Hotel Arrival Date: July 22, 2022 or Morning of July 23, 2022
**Welcome Reception Lunch is at 12 noon on July 23rd.
Departure Date: July 27, 2022
June Workshop Dates: June 28, 2022 to July 1, 2022 - SOLD OUT
Hotel Arrival Date: June 27, 2022 or Morning of June 28, 2022
**Welcome Reception Lunch is at 12 noon on June 28th.
Departure Date: July 2, 2022
July Workshop Dates: July 28, 2022 to July 31, 2022 - SOLD OUT
Hotel Arrival Date: July 27, 2022 or Morning of July 28, 2022
**Welcome Reception Lunch is at 12 noon on July 28th.
Departure Date: August 1, 2022
August Workshop Dates: August 28, 2022 to August 31, 2022 - SOLD OUT
Hotel Arrival Date: August 27, 2022 or Morning of August 28, 2022
**Welcome Reception Lunch is at 12 noon on August 28th.
Departure Date: September 1, 2022
Price For this Exclusive Workshop Opportunity:
$2,995.00 For Photographer Participant
(Your are welcome to pay in store to avoid the Eventbrite Registration fee)
$1,495.00 For Non - Photographer Guest
(Non - Photographer guest is a person that is not carrying a camera. For this specific workshop everyone attending needs a space reserved for them. Everything below will be included in the non - photographer guest price with the exception of going to the photography instruction. )
The cost of the workshop includes:
- 4 Nights of Sunset and Astrophotography Instruction By Craig Wennersten
- Welcome Reception Lunch on our first day
- Dinner Together on one night
- 3 Nights of Navajo Guided Adventure
- One night under the stars camping photo journey in Hunts Mesa with Navajo Outfitter
- 2 Navajo Meals in Hunts Mesa (dinner and breakfast)
- Star trail photography instruction and processing
- Post processing instruction using Lightroom Classic CC
- Transportation within the park
- Local Guide Fees and Gratuities
- Permits, park entrance fees
- Plus...all the Milky Way Bars you can eat! :-)
This workshop DOES NOT included: Transportation to/from Bluff, Utah, flights or car rental, lodging.
Hope To See You There! ~ Keep Looking Up!
Please feel free to contact Craig by email if you have any questions or need any help with your gear or equipment requirements. Craig will also reach out to each attendee to introduce himself.
All images are copyright Craig Wennersten.
Lodging: Desert Rose Resort & Cabins - A Boutique Style Resort offering Affordable Luxury!
Our home base for this workshop is Desert Rose in Bluff, Utah where we have reserved a block of rooms at a reduced rate for you to make your own reservations. Hotel number is 435-672-2303. You are free to stay anywhere in the area but we really enjoy the sharing of ideas during our downtime.
Call and tell them you are with the Mike's Camera / Craig Wennersten Workshop.
**Please Book Early!
Arriving In Monument Valley By Air:
*Please plan on arriving in Bluff no later than 12 noon on the first day of the workshop. This may require you to arrive the day before the start of the workshop.
THE DURANGO - LA PLATA COUNTYAIRPORT (DRO) is the primary regional airport for southwest Colorado, northwest New Mexico and the Four Corners.
Durango Airport is 2.5 hours from our base hotel in Bluff, Utah
THE FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM AIRPORT (FLG), Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff Airport is 3.5 hours from our base hotel in Bluff, Utah
There are rental cars available at both airports.
About Your Instructor: Craig Wennersten (Image 10 Photographic)
Image 10 Photographic began in 1988 with a passion for landscape photography and a desire to experience God's creation and capture God’s handiwork.
My first experiences with photography began in high school in journalism class as a yearbook photographer and also for the local newspaper in my home town, Holland, Michigan. It was at this time I began my extensive journey and education in manual cameras, black and white film and printing in the darkroom. During this time I built a strong foundation and learned the true “art of photography”.
In the 90’s – completely self-taught – I worked at refining my photographic techniques using my trusty Nikon SLR and transparency film before finally moving over to the “digital world” in 2012.
Now, I enjoy all the creative doors digital photography has opened and all it’s post-processing challenges – similar to that of my early years in the darkroom but now using computers and software.
Seasoned professional business owner, photographer and instructor who is passionate about all things photographable. I am a dark sky defender and member of the International Dark Sky Association. The night sky is disappearing worldwide at an alarming pace. As a dark sky defender I am dedicated to advocating for its conservation and protection. The brilliance of the Milky Way isn’t the only reason to protect dark skies. What else is at risk ?
While specializing in capturing all things looking up, my photography is a collaboration of astrophotography, cityscapes, abstracts and landscapes. I am a global traveler and have taught, led and organized numerous photography workshops, clinics and classes throughout the US .
Photography has always been a way for me to slow down my life, a way to stop and reflect on what is important. A time to refuel, refresh and recharge – I am grateful for it in my life.
Time is a precious commodity for all of us with busy lives, so whenever you can immerse yourself in God’s country, engage with your surroundings under the majesty of the galactic grandeur of the Milky Way and enjoy the “recharge” that outdoor photography can provide – I highly recommend it.
~ Keeping Looking Up!
> 90 days prior: Fully refundable.
< 60 days prior: 1/2 of Tuition refundable as credit.
< 30 days prior: No credit or refund.