"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." - Psalm 19:1

Alumni & Friends Workshop ~ Custom Photographic Journey Through Monument Valley Tribal Park ~ May or September 2022


Take a 4 Night Photographic Journey through Native American Culture and Land as You Never Have Before!

Join us May 2022 or September 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, how to shoot star trails, image stacking and exposure blending plus 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.

Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park   Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park

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: May 29, 2022 (or) September 20, 2022 (or) September 24, 2022

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.

   
Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park   Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park

 

Our Second Night's Journey: May 30, 2022 (or) September 21, 2022 (or) September 25, 2022

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.

 Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park   Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park  

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.
  • After having an amazing Navajo dinner - we will set out for our night shooting under the stars, capturing the Majestic Milky Way over the entire Monument Valley Vista.
  • 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. 

Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park

Our Third Night's Journey: May 31, 2022 (or) September 22, 2022 (or) September 26, 2022

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
Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park

Our Fourth Night's Journey: June 1, 2022 (or) September 23, 2022 (or) September 27, 2022

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.

Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park

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. 

  • 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 or larger and a full frame equivalent of 14 - 24 mm
  • A sturdy tripod (long exposures require it to be very stable)
  • Shutter release cord or intervalometer (best option for exposure blending) 
  • Extra batteries
  • Headlamp with a red filter
  • Small flashlight

If you need to purchase or rent ANY of the required equipment - please, feel free to contact Craig at 520.732.1440 to help you get set up.

    Recommended Items:

    • Warm clothes (as the night gets later it does get cooler)
    • Gloves and hat
    • Hiking Boots
    • Sunscreen
    • Snacks and Beverages
    • Personal Toiletries for the overnight camping
    • Personal water bottle
    • Bug Spray
    • Folding camping portable chair. We do a lot of standing.

    What You Will Learn:  New For 2022 Alumni Workshops

    Techniques we will be focusing on: 

    • Single Shot Milky Way
    • Stacking and exposure blending
    • Low Level Light Painting
    • Star Trails and Processing
    • We will also be stacking images in Starry Landscape Stacker (Mac) or Sequator (PC) and exposure blending using Adobe Photoshop

    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.

    It is also the perfect location for learning stacking techniques because of this abundance of foreground subjects.

    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 

    What You’ll Need For Processing Class: 

    Digital processing is a crucial step in astrophotography for creating striking images.

    We will also spend an afternoon on post-processing techniques that can help you create striking images using Lightroom and Photoshop.
    We will also be stacking images in Starry Landscape Stacker (Mac) or Sequator (PC) and exposure blending using Adobe Photoshop.
    Make sure you have the latest version of Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC and Starry Landscape Stacker or Sequator pre-loaded.

    More Details: 

    Participants: Limit 8

    Experience Level:  Intermediate - Advanced This workshop is designated for those who are "Alumni & Friends Members" of Craig Wennersten.

    Endurance Level:  Moderate -  Light hiking is involved, but nothing too strenuous. Our guides will drive to each location then 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.


    Workshop Dates: 

    Spring Workshop Dates: May 29, 2022 to June 1, 2022  *SOLD OUT

    Contact us to be added to waitlist here.

    Hotel Arrival Date: May 28, 2022 or Morning of May 29, 2022

    **Welcome Reception Lunch is at 12 noon on May 29th.

    Departure Date: June 2, 2022

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    Fall Workshop Dates: September 24, 2022 to September 27, 2022  *SOLD OUT

     Hotel Arrival Date: September 23, 2022 or Morning of September 24, 2022

    **Welcome Reception Lunch is at 12 noon on September 24th.

    Departure Date: September 28, 2022


    NEW ADDED WORKSHOP: 

    Fall Workshop 2 Dates: September 20, 2022 to September 23, 2022  *Only 4 Spots Available

     Hotel Arrival Date: September 19, 2022 or Morning of September 20, 2022

    **Welcome Reception Lunch is at 12 noon on September 20th.

    Departure Date: September 24, 2022

      

    Lodging: 

    Desert Rose Resort & Cabins - A Boutique Style Resort offering Affordable Luxury!

    Our home base for this workshop will be at the beautiful 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. 

    **Please Book Early! 


    Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Bluff Utah
    Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Bluff Utah
    Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Bluff Utah
    Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Bluff Utah

    Price For Workshop: 

    $ 2,695.00  For Photographer Participant / Deposit $995.00 

    To Pay Your Balance - Click Here

    $ 1,395.00 For Non - Photographer Guest / Deposit $495.00

    To Pay For Your Guest - Click Here

    ( Non - Photographer 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 go 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 at Duke's 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) 
    • Stacking and Exposure Blending Techniques Instruction
    • Star trail photography instruction and processing 
    • Post processing instruction using Lightroom CC, Photoshop and stacking software
    • 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 me if you have any questions or need any help with your gear or equipment requirements. I am happy to help!