Utah Redrock and Canyon Landscapes Photography Workshop and Canyoneering Adventure, 4/20-4/22, 2018

landscapes • slot canyons • composition • lighting • post-production instruction

$1,295 + tax per participant  •  Space Limited to 8 participants


Stephen Matera is partnering with Get in the Wild Adventure Guides for a unique three day combination photography workshop and guided canyoneering adventure in the Dirty Devil/Robber's Roost area of the Southern Utah desert. The Dirty Devil/Robber’s Roost Wilderness is a wild and remote desert wilderness that was the last area to be mapped in the Lower 48, and one of the few places protected for solitude.  The area provides endless photo opportunities for adventurous photographers looking to capture seldom-seen slot-canyons, hidden arches and waterfalls and stunning vistas. You’ll not only learn the technical details of landscape photography, but explore the creative process to expand your photographic vision.

Each day will be a combination of photography, exploration and exciting canyoneering adventure.  It is the best of both worlds - you get to experience the challenge and excitement of canyoneering and professional photographic instruction at some of the wildest, least visited and most beautiful landscapes in the United States.

Few places can compare to the dramatic and rugged beauty of the desert of southern Utah. Combining subtle and dramatic beauty along with typically beautiful spring weather, the photo opportunities are overwhelming. We'll explore and photograph the open desert landscape, remote slot canyons, and closeup details of the incredible desert of the Dirty Devil and Robber's Roost area near Hanksville. 

Stephen will teach you his creative process from previsualization, composition, lighting, and image capture, to digital darkroom workflow. This intensive 3-day workshop and canyoneering adventure will include the option of camping at basecamp in the desert or local hotel accommodations. Choosing the basecamp option will provide the opportunity for deeper and extended interaction between Stephen and workshop participants. Evenings will be filled with further teaching and discussions of the creative process as well as image sharing critique.

The workshop is limited to a eight to one ratio of participants to instructor to ensure each participant receives personal attention and guidance. At least 5 participants must sign up for the workshop to take place.

The workshop will be structured to be beneficial to all attendees from beginners to advanced photographers. However a basic understanding of photography will help you get the most out of any workshop. Stephen can suggest some good sources of information before the workshop.

Transportation to and from Hanksville, Utah, local hotel accommodations, breakfasts, dinners, and transportation to basecamp from local accomodations are the responsibility of the workshop attendees. 

This is a physically challenging tour suitable for all experience levels.  Participants should be in good physical condition and capable of carrying a pack full of gear up to 5 miles over challenging terrain. 

Discussed Topics Include:

  •  composition

  •  previsualizing images

  •  lighting

  •  exposure, white balance & understanding histograms

  •  filters - polarizers and graduated neutral density

  •  star/night photography

  •  lenses, focal length

  •  aperture & shutter speed

  •  depth of field

  •  camera operation and settings

  •  post-processing in Photoshop and Lightroom

  •  file formats - JPEG and camera RAW

  •  color space

  •  stitched panoramas

  •  tripod

What's Included

·        A personal photography workshop experience along with individual instruction. With a max of 8 students, there will be plenty of time for Stephen to give personal instruction to each student.

·        Lunches and snacks

·        Prior to the workshop, Stephen will host a one on one Skype session with each participant to discuss expectations and for Stephen to learn what you are looking to learn from the workshop

·        Pre-workshop packet with information about what to expect, suggested gear, and how to get the most from the workshop.

What to Expect

Each day will bring something different. Stephen will coordinate with Get in the Wild to select shooting locations based on location, light, weather, what Stephen will be teaching, and the canyoneering locations. We could find ourselves shooting details of an slot canyon one morning and grand landscapes the in afternoon. We will let the weather and light help us decide what to shoot each day. Conditions permitting, days will be long as we will plan to get up and shoot sunrise, canyoneering midday, then shoot until sunset to take advantage of the best light and make the most of each day.

At the end of each day, we'll do an image critique. Each evening will also be a time for a lesson in post processing, including RAW processing and conversion, stitching panoramas, or final touches to improve an image.

Some shooting will be from close to the road and basecamp, while other times we may be hiking to shoot at a prime location.

What to Bring

You'll enjoy and take better photos after the workshop, but you'll get the most out of it if you have the following gear and equipment.

  • digital camera with creative modes (Manual, aperture priority, shutter priority and bulb modes)

  • dSLR camera with mirror lockup capability or mirrorless camera

  • lens or lenses with a range of focal lengths, from wide (24mm or wider) to telephoto (200+) zoom or primes

  • extra camera batteries and memory cards

  • sturdy tripod

  • photo backpack suitable for hiking and carrying personal gear (Stephen can recommend some options

  • wireless remote or cable release

  • polarizing filter

  • graduated neutral density filters (1, 2 and 3 stop, hard edge)

  • warm clothes including hat, gloves, puffy coat, and raincoat

  • hiking shoes

  • headlamp

  • reusable water bottle

  • laptop computer