This past week was full of photography, amazing scenery and Photoshop training. I taught with the Digital Photo Workshop gang in Page, Arizona, home to some of the most spectacular vistas in the Southwest. We came here from Mira Loma, CA (where the bus was parked for a few weeks) and stopped to visit friends in Lake Havasu City on the way. When we arrived, we parked at the Wahweap Marina Campground on Lake Powell, which is where we’ve stayed in the past while visiting Page.

The Digital Photo Workshops are 4-day photography events run by Jeff Leimbach and Randy Van Duinen, and I was the guest instructor for this event. They combine a lot of in-the-field shooting with in-the-classroom Photoshop/Lightroom training so that students not only learn how to take better photos, but they also have some nice final pieces to take home with them.

Me, Randy and Jeff at Monument Valley.

The workshop started off on Thursday evening with a 3-hour meet-and-greet and some introductory lessons. All of the attendees were great, and I knew they’d be a lot of fun to work with. The next morning, we set out at a reasonable time (8:30) to shoot in Lower Antelope Canyon. I have shot the slot canyons a few times in the past, but I always enjoy it. It’s just an amazing place to photograph, and I was nice getting to see the workshop attendees experience it for the first time.

I got this shot of one of the students in Antelope Canyon.

We got photographer passes in the canyon, so we were able to wander around on our own without being on a tour. I spent a lot of time helping the students with their camera settings and giving composition tips and, of course, I did a bunch of shooting myself. When we wrapped up, we all went to lunch and then headed back to the classroom for some lessons and photo editing.

Karen’s shot of me in Lower Antelope Canyon.

Later that day, we headed out for an evening of light painting at a place called Cliff Dwellers, which was about 45 minutes out of Page. On the way, we stopped at the Navajo Bridge. Jeff intended this to be a 10-minute stop, but the scenery turned out to be great and everyone wanted to stay much longer! When it finally got dark out, we did a lightpainting shoot at Cliff Dwellers. This style of shooting was new to a lot of the folks attending and they really enjoyed seeing the results.

My lightpainting from the Cliff Dwellers location.

The next morning we were up at 3 a.m. to shoot Horseshoe Bend at dawn. Karen and I are not morning people, so this was pretty rough. We eventually came to life when we started shooting. It’s about a 3/4 mile walk to get to the edge of Horseshoe Bend, and we got there around 4:30. The light was just starting to appear over the horizon and everyone set up as best they could. We shot for the next two hours, capturing the soft light before things got too contrasty.

My image of Randy at Horseshoe Bend.

We also made the 2-hour drive to Monument Valley, where we shot late afternoon and sunset. The scenery here is spectacular and some of the workshop folks said they were just waiting for John Wayne to ride into their frame. We had some beautiful clouds to complement the rock formations, and everyone got some nice images.

In this shot I took at Monument Valley, you can see some of the photographers in the top right of the frame, as well as my shadow in the middle/right.

On the last day of the workshop, we met at 5 a.m. to shoot an area at Lake Powell/Glen Canyon. It was a very different kind of scenery from what we were shooting the past few days, and the dramatic morning sky played a big roll in our shots. I used my 17mm tilt shift lens to make things look even more dramatic. Aside from the sky, the main photo subjects were the swirly patterns in the rock, the water itself and the formations in the distance. I also got some nice shots of the other photographers.

The event wrapped up around 2 p.m. on Sunday and we all said our goodbyes. Overall, Karen and I were both really impressed with the way this workshop was run. Jeff and Randy are great to work with and the schedule was very flexible. The locations were great and everyone had a blast and went away with some great images. I’ve got some more workshops scheduled with these guys and we’d love to have you at one of them! Check out the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta workshop HERE and the Zion National Park workshop HERE.

More to come!