Zion Narrows Photography Workshops
Join us for an experience of a lifetime in the Zion Narrows. We will be photographing during peak fall colors and showing you our favorite locations to also capture the elusive ‘glow’. This will also be an educational experience with two professional instructors who will show you how to photograph everything from grand landscapes to small scenes.
November 3-6, 2021
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Zion National Park is an amazing photography destination any time of the year, but in the fall, this park shines with fall colors and glowing canyon walls. The most famous feature of this park is the Narrows. This tall, deep sandstone canyon follows the Virgin River through twists and turns, enchanting photographers as they chase the light around each bend. Join us for a photography adventure as we lead you through the Narrows, and help you photograph the familiar, and some of our favorite lesser known views of the canyon. We will be focusing on chasing the light through the canyon and taking time to shoot some smaller, more intimate scenes as we go.
If you are looking to maximize your photographic potential in the Zion Narrows, this is the workshop for you. This is a unique opportunity to be expertly guided into the Narrows. David and Jennifer have been exploring the Narrows for many years each autumn, finding when the optimal light happens to get the infamous “glow” created from reflected light at certain times of the day.
Unlike other workshops, we only take very small groups into the Narrows (only four people) to ensure you are not fighting over spots with other workshop participants. Each stop has limited spots to get the best photograph, and the glowing light does not last long. We want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to capture great pictures. Without a large group, you can photograph in a quieter setting, listening to the sounds of the river and nature as we help you photograph one of the most stunning features in Zion National Park.
What is Included
What is Not Included
What You Will Learn
In the Field
- How to read a scene to create compelling compositions using shapes, lines, visual mass, texture, and more
- Reading weather and lighting conditions to know when to go out on your own in the right light
- How to use apps to scout out your own locations and plan your next shoot
- When and how to use lenses to bring focus to your subject
- How and when to use a polarizer to make colors pop
- Depth of field and hyperfocal distance to help you create sharp photos
- Achieving maximum sharpness using focus stacking
- Creative use of ND Filters to create motion in clouds and water
- Creating panoramas without using expensive equipment
- How to take correct exposures for bright skies; to be later used for exposure blending
- Identifying the best light and how to expose correctly
Post Processing for Beginners
- Making dull RAW files pop in Lightroom and keeping files organized
- Use of local adjustments for dodging & burning, and many more creative opportunities
- Using white balance to create mood in your images
- Properly sharpen and reduce noise for maximum image quality
- Stitching panoramas easily in Lightroom
- Exposure blending using HDR for natural looking results
Post Processing for Advanced users
- Exposure blending using luminosity masks to create balanced, natural looking images
- Focus stacking using Photoshop and/or Zerene Stacker for maximum depth of field
- Blending different focal lengths to correct for wide angle diminishment
- Creative burning and dodging techniques to bring focus to your subject
- Using the Orton Effect to add glow to your highlights
- Creating drama with Light Bleed
- Using Midtone Contrast to make images pop off the screen
- Sharpening for web and print
Safe, Legal, Responsible.
We are proud members of Nature First Photography. This movement is dedicated to responsible nature photography. At its core are seven principles that we abide by and promote to our clients. We hope you will join the movement!
The Nature First Principles
- Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
- Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
- Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
- Use discretion if sharing locations.
- Know and follow rules and regulations.
- Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
- Actively promote and educate others about these principles
Concerned about your safety.
We understand how important your safety is when we’re in remote locations. This is why David and Jennifer are both certified Wilderness First Responders, we are prepared for any situation large or small. We also carry satellite communication devices should we need rescue assistance in remote areas.
We always run our workshops on the up and up. For this workshop Exploring Exposure operates under a Commercial Use Authorization with Zion National Park. We are also an equal opportunity service provider.
We encourage you to find your unique style of creativity with focused training based on your style and skill level. You will experience a rigorous learning experience in the field and the classroom to take your photography to the next level.
Our passion is seeing you grow in your photographic journey. We put your interests ahead of our own. Early on in the workshop, we will not photograph at all. Our focus is your learning experience, and we will not run off to chase the light and leave you behind. As the workshop progresses, we will take a few photos in a limited manner. This is so you can see how we approach a scene, demonstrate techniques, and create comradery with the group. Our focus will always remain with YOU.
We understand everyone comes to workshops at different points in their photography journeys. We will be there to guide and help you, whether you are a beginner or advanced shooter. There is always something to learn about photography, and we will do our best to help you find your creative vision.
Above all, we want this to be a fun experience for you. With our small group size, we get to know our clients very well, and we feel like they are part of our extended family. We do this for the love of photography, and there is nothing that gives us greater joy than seeing our clients grow and find their artistic vision.
This workshop is a moderate level. You will be hiking in and out of the Virgin River throughout the day, but you will not be wading in the water the entire time. A fair amount of the hike is on dry, solid ground with river rock and hard packed sand that you will be walking on. The water is generally ankle to calf deep and is thigh deep in some very short sections, the dry pants will keep you dry through these areas.
The river rocks can be slippery when walking in the water, but we will have special canyoneering boots with sticky rubber meant for this, along with a pole to help you keep your balance. You will not be hiking with your camera out the whole time, we leave ours in the bag until we arrive at a specific location, then take them out and leave our bag on the dry shore of the river.
Below is a video from YouTube which will give you a better idea of what the hike is like. In general, it is a very fun, peaceful experience. It will leave you tired by the end of the day and you need to be able to hike 6 miles/day with relative ease. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns before signing up.
The best option for getting to Springdale, Utah is to fly into Las Vegas. From Vegas it is a 3 hour drive, be sure to note the time change as Vegas is PST and Springdale is MST (Springdale is 1 hour ahead of Vegas). The other option is to fly into Salt Lake City, from there it is a 4.5 hour drive.
Are spouses/partners welcome?
Yes, but you will be responsible for their gear rental and transportation. They must also be physically able to keep up with the group.
Will I have cell signal during the Workshop?
Cell signal is extremely intermittent in most of the locations we will visit, you should not expect to be connected all the time, at certain locations you may be offline for long periods, enjoy the silence. There is cell service and wifi available in Springdale.
Will the instructors take photos during the Workshop?
The instructors will take a few photos in a limited manner, this is so you can see how we approach a scene, create comradery with the group, and to show you the same type of images you will be taking for our post-processing session. Our focus will always remain with you.
Will weather cancel the Workshop?
If there is rain the Narrows can close due to the risk of flash flooding. The chance of rain is low this time of year and we do not anticipate it closing, but it is a possibility. If this were to happen we will take advantage of everything else Zion has to offer and go out for sunrise/sunset instead.
- If you cancel 90 days prior to the workshop we will refund your initial payment minus a $100 fee.
- 90 days before the start of the workshop, we will refund your initial payment only if we can fill your spot.
- The full balance is due 60 days before the workshop. There will be no refunds on the full amount owed. We will attempt to fill your spot, if filled there will be a $100 administrative fee charged and the rest of your payment will be refunded.
There are NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY, even for medical emergencies. All cancellation requests must be in writing and received either by US mail or E-mail. We encourage participants to purchase refundable airline tickets and trip cancellation insurance. We strongly recommend trip insurance to protect you in the event of an unexpected situation that prevents you from attending the workshop. We recommend Travelguard or World Nomads.
We reserve the right to cancel any workshop if the minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event we cancel a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund. we are not, however, liable for expenses incurred such as airfare or accommodations, and for this reason we also recommend the purchase of trip insurance.
Private Zion Workshops
If you are looking for a private guide to show you around Zion and the Narrows, look no further. We spend every fall in Zion and have spent a vast amount of time exploring all Zion has to offer. We can be your private tour guide or we can turn your experience into a full workshop training you on composition, vision, post-processing with Lightroom and Photoshop, all without the group.