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

Alumni Workshop ~ Custom Photographic Journey Through Monument Valley Tribal Park ~ May 2023


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

Join us May 2023 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 plus low level light painting. 

4 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 19, 2023

Camping at The Totem Pole and YeiBeChei

We will immerse ourselves in the beauty of the Monument Valley backcountry, with this overnight photographic camping adventure. 

  • Our day begins with meeting our outfitter and guides who will drive us to our backcountry camp.
  • 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 Totem Pole and YeiBeChei.
  • Our Navajo Guide provides everything for your comfort, including clean sleeping bags, sleeping pads, 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 take once-in-a-lifetime sunrise photos before heading to Desert Rose Inn to check in.
       
               

     

    Our Second Night's Journey: May 20, 2023

    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

          

      

    Our Third Night's Journey: May 21, 2023

    Photograph Monument 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, Monument Valley offers breathtaking views of wide open spaces and some of the darkest skies you have ever been in.

    The Monument Valley backcountry 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 and more all under the brilliant night sky. 

    • Ear of the Wind Arch
    • Big Hogan Arch
    • Sun’s Eye Arch

    Image 10 Photographic Astrophotography Workshop Monument Valley Tribal Park     

    Our Fourth Night's Journey: May 22, 2023

    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 Monument Valley around 12 noon for departure for home.

     

    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 camping pillow
      • Personal water bottle
      • Folding camping portable chair. We do a lot of standing.

      What You Will Learn:  

      Techniques we will be focusing on: 

      • Single Shot Milky Way
      • Low Level Light Painting
      • Introduction to Star Trails 
      • Post - Processing

      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.
      Make sure you have the latest version of Lightroom Classic CC.

      More Details: 

      Participants: Limit 8

      Experience Level:  Intermediate to Advanced - This workshop is designated for those who are "Alumni 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: 

      Workshop Dates: May 19, 2023 to May 22, 2023

      Arrival Date: May 19, 2023

      Departure Date: May 23, 2023


      Hotel / Camping Itinerary Details:

      May 19, 2023 - Day 1: Camping under the Stars - No hotel this night

      Plan on meeting at the homesite in Monument Valley at noon to depart for our first night of camping.

      May 20, 2023 - Day 2: Hotel night

      Return from camping by noon and check in to Desert Rose Inn for some rest and a shower before heading out again for tonight's photographic journey.

      May 21, 2023 - Day 3: Hotel night

      After a group dinner we will head out for our night of shooting.

      May 22, 2023 - Day 4: Check out of hotel - Overnight Camping at Hunt's Mesa

      We will depart from the hotel at noon to meet our guides for our drive up to Hunt's Mesa.

      May 23, 2023 - Day 5: Return to Monument Valley by noon to depart for home. 

       

      Arriving In Monument Valley By Air:

      *Please plan on arriving in Monument Valley 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.

      Closest Airports: 

      The Durango - La Plata County Airport (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

        

      Rental Cars: 

      There are rental cars available at both airports.

       

      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. 

      When making your reservation book your room for May 20, 2023 and May 21, 2023.

      *Note: To receive your reduced rate tell the hotel you are booking with Craig Wennersten's Workshop.

      **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 $495.00 

      $ 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 of the photography instruction part. ) 

      The cost of the workshop includes:

      • 4 Nights of Sunset and Astrophotography Instruction By Craig Wennersten
      • Dinner Together at Duke's on one night
      • 4 Nights of Navajo Guided Adventure
      • 2 night under the stars camping photo journey in the Monument Valley backcountry and Hunts Mesa with Navajo Outfitter
      • 4 Navajo Meals (2 dinner and 2 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 me if you have any questions or need any help with your gear or equipment requirements. I am happy to help!