Know as Canyon De Chelly to the world. To the Navajo, it is Tséyi' - meaning "Deep In The Rocks" or "Far Into The Rocks/Canyons".
Canyon De Chelly is stunning, spiritual and remarkable.
The canyon, tree's, walls covered with desert varnish and the echoing sounds of nature is here for us to experience with the exceptional light and fall colors!
For over 5,000 years, many have survived inside these canyons from high in the canyon walls and drawing water from the natural source that flows at the base of the sandstone monoliths. Many of these sheer cliffs rise over 1000' in height!
IF there was a landmark that was to be the heart of Navajoland, it is Canyon De Chelly. Nestled near the middle of the Four Sacred Mountains that surrounds Diné country, I look forward to assisting you as a photographer to generate wonderful, if not, stunning images of Tséyi'!
Covering beyond 84,000 acres, over 40 families continue with daily life surrounded by these marvelous sandstone walls! It is a living canyon.
Though Canyon De Chelly is a place to visit, it is exceptional during the fall colors. The cottonwoods release their leaves into the wind as Autumn is in effect.
We will have plenty of time to photograph from the canyon walls and be at the floor where the ancient ones once walked.
Many elements from moving water, fast moving light and wildlife will be available to photograph. We will also be surrounded by sandstone foreground subjects, many opportunities to use telephoto lenses from high above the cliff edges and valley floors will also allow us to see minute details as we use different lenses.
The wonderful light will allow us to photograph many of Canyon De Chelly's formations throughout the afternoon. I will be assisting you and showing you "what I see".
Visually, if one has never been here, prepare for an experience that you will remember for a very long time. A gem like the canyon with the fall colors will forever be on your hard drive(s), memory cards and especially in your mind.
You'll return home having had a chance to make a visit to the the signs of past.
While on our photography tour, our excursions will take us to visit ruins, pictographs, caves and learn about the ancient ones. The ones who left their ways and signs of life centuries ago.
With the many shapes found in the canyon, our photographic opportunities will enable us to visually find subjects to include and or exclude to create wonderful images and ultimately, an image to present and be proud of.
Canyon De Chelly is also just over 30 minutes away from where I was raised. My grandparent's homestead, hogan, corn fields and spring is "over the hill". Growing up on the "Rez", I heard many stories of our recent ancestors who fled in and away from Canyon De Chelly during the 1860's. Many of these families that were very close to our's, made the long journey to Ft. Sumner - also known as The Long Walk.
I am grateful to know these stories so I can pass them onto my kids, friends, family and fellow photographers. I firmly believe as a photographer, emotion and message should be included in each exposure we represent and share. Whether that is on social media, in print or simply viewed with today's smart phone's, tablets and computers.
I look forward to having 8 attendee's join me in and around my home roots.
We will begin on October 31st in the afternoon for a short meet and greet from 3pm to 4:30pm local time. This will allow us to get to know one another and above all, review the itinerary and most likely, changes to location plans that will best suite our excursions.
I will cover important photography components when approaching Canyon De Chelly. Some of these items will be universal in landscape photography but a few items will be specifically unique to photographing Canyon De Chelly. Don't miss the meet and greet!
After the meeting, we will have a short break and then photograph our first sunset together and have dinner together.
We will arrive at our locations in 4 wheel drive vehicles. Some will be Jeeps and SUV's. We will also access other locations in our own vehicles since we will be photographing from the rims of the canyon. We will discuss these arrangements in our meet and greet session.
While the colors will be vibrant and alive, I hope the weather gets wild to add more drama. Could we get some snow? Yes! There is a possibility.
YOU WILL more than likely see a couple other visitors, tourists or those also enjoying the canyon. Though this isn't the peak season, some locations will only open for us to visit.
Having photographed the canyon many times, we will be going into the back country to visit families and friends of mine who live inside the canyon.
We will be assisted with local guides and though I have been to the Canyon many, many, many, many times, we will be with these guides who have the day to day knowledge of the back roads, short cuts and updates on potential wildlife sightings.
I have seen bear, turkey, mule deer and quite a few wild horses inside the canyon.
Every October, I help, sponsor and have run in the Canyon De Chelly Ultra - this is a 55k (38 miles) celebratory run where we begin at the mouth of the canyon and run throughout the majority of it and celebrate life, running, body, mind and spirit. Canyon De Chelly hold many roots...
While in "photography" mode, we will focus on controlling the strong colors with sweet light. We will also approach the subject matter and think in monochrome - yes, think black and white!
Though the color will be vibrant, thinking in monochrome will help you expand your knowledge of tones and to better understand and control light. With the variations of exposure values from foreground to possible sky, the range of light will dramatically vary from canyon floor to what light is above us.
We will also spend quality time procession the files with how I see the canyon. This is where others will show their images and provide artistic and positive insight with your images. We will focus on processing the files around the message, environment, Navajo influence and certainly, your feelings.
We will process the majority of the images using Lightroom - I recommend using Lightroom for workflow and some Photoshop. The discussions, image improvement sessions and meetings will take place at the Holiday Inn.
*IMPORTANT: IF you are new(er) to photography, DO NOT feel overwhelmed or inadequate. I promise to take you under my wings. I've helped tens of thousands of photographers over the past decade learn, understand and grow in photography.
I print the majority of my personal work around 38" and the panoramic images usually measure 5 feet. I will highlight the importance of processing workflow if printing is what you also desire to do with these images or others you have.
The Field Work
Canyon De Chelly will speak for itself - how we "speak" or interpret the canyon through imagery will vary. The approach to photography in the field will consist of reading the exposure values, inviting compositions and understanding our histograms in depth to create the best file possible for processing.
Most of my images are taken with my 4x5, 8x10 and Fuji 617 panoramic film cameras - I share this so you know that I look for minute details, slow down and still use the same fine tuned approach in digital photography. While by you in the field, I will walk you through and "show" you how to better photograph what you see and what you want to present to others.
Photo by 3x Workshop Attendee Brandon D.
Total Workshop Attendee's: Maximum of 8 attendee's.
Workshop Days: October 31to November 3, 2018 with a meet and greet on Oct 31 from 3-4:30pm local time. We will end the workshop on November 3rd at sunset. We may have a final dinner before departing our separate ways. We will have 3.5 days together so we won't rush through the workshop.
Cost: The workshop is $1,597 which will include lodging from Oct 31 to Nov2, 2018 and tour fee's for our back country guides. IF you would like to spend the night of Nov 3rd, please make your own personal reservation.
*Previous Workshop Attendee's receive a 10% discount. Cost does not include meals due to the different dietary needs. We will stay at the Holiday Inn which is near the mouth of Canyon De Chelly. Within the hotel is a conference room where we will process the files and cover additional information as a group.
To reserve your spot for the workshop in 1 (one) payment of $1,597.00, click here.
To reserve your spot and pay in two (2) payments, click here. *Half ($799.00) of the workshop fee will be initially charged. You will receive a 2nd invoice 45 days after your initial payment unless if you prefer a different date for your 2nd payment, please contact me. If your initial payment is made after September 10, 2018, your second payment will be processed 25 days after your initial payment and prior to the start of the workshop.
To reserve your spot and pay in three (3) payments, click here. *One Third ($533.00) of the workshop fee will be charged. You will receive a 2nd invoice 45 days after your initial payment and a 3rd invoice 90 days after your initial payment unless if you prefer a different date for your 2nd and 3rd payments, please contact me.
Other Pieces of Important Information
Hotel and Workshop Training will be taking place at:
Holiday Inn Canyon De Chelly - Bia Garcia Trading Post, Rte 7 Chinle, AZ 86503 (928) 674-5000.
The workshop will end on November 3rd at sunset. We can have one last dinner before we depart or head to our rooms. You are more than welcome to check out that day/night or spend an additional night if you choose.
Additional itinerary, lodging, weather and photography information will be sent to you as we get closer to the workshop dates.
Getting to Chinle/Canyon De Chelly:
Page, AZ to Chinle: 170 miles (Approx: 2.5 hours)
Flagstaff to Chinle: 175 miles (Approx: 3 hours)
Phoenix, AZ to Chinle: 300 miles (Approx: 5 hours)
Las Vegas, NV to Chinle: 420 miles (Approx: 6.5 hours)
Albuquerque, NM to Chinle: 235 miles (Approx: 4 hours)
Salt Lake City, UT to Chinle: 435 miles (Approx: 7 hours)
Moab, UT to Chinle: 200 miles (Approx: 3.5 hours)
Denver, CO to Chinle: 555 miles (Approx: 9 hours)
Basha's is the local grocery store full of many amenities located "in town". The next nearest Wal-Mart will be a couple hours away. Bring what you need or purchase additional items on your drive in. There are several restaurants, fast food joints in town as well. With food and nutrients in mind, we'll makes sure you have plenty on hand for your needs. For some of our longer drives and excursions that may take us further into the canyon, we will coordinate food, snacks, water and drinks. Our longest walk will be about 20 minutes. IF you have concerns about being able to walk, hike or anything regarding "getting there", please contact me to have a better conversation. Email: email@example.com
Climate and Weather Condition:
The weather around this time of year will yield cooler evenings and nights along with possible brisk mornings. The nights may get around the low 40's and the afternoon highs in the mid 60's. Bring adequate gear, clothing and items to help with the sun such as sun screen, sun glasses, hat's gloves and certainly, hiking shoes. Our longest walk will be about 15 to 20 minutes. *IF you have concerns or questions about being able to walk or hike any distance, please contact me ASAP to have a better conversation. Send me an email with any and all questions. Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Camera Gear and Recommendations:
* Tripod. There is a reason this number one. IF you are in search for a tripod, let me know. I use different tripods that range and differ from using my 8x10, 4x5, Fuji 617 Panoramic, Nikon D810....If you need some help with a right tripod/camera head, contact me as well. I also have 5 different systems I use for specific images and cameras. Bring a tripod!
*Lenses: Anything from 24mm to 300mm will be fine if you have a full frame camera. We may not use the focal ranges from 200mm-300mm as much as the wider angle lenses but there will be opportunities to bring them out. If you have wider lenses than 24mm, I highly recommend bringing them especially a 14-24 lens! IF you don't have those lenses, I highly recommend looking into renting them for this workshop. Renting will be a valuable thing to do. (You can contact Pictureline in Salt Lake City if needed. They've helped me a ton when my attendee's need lenses they don't have. Pictureline: (800) 748-8200 www.Pictureline.com )
*Filters: Polarizer, a 2 or 3 "soft stop" GND (Graduated Neutral Density). I personally use these two filters the most when photographing. If you are looking to invest in filters, I absolutely live and breath Singh-Ray Filters. I've personally tested many and know the optical quality is spot on but above all, the color accuracy is best which is minimized by the color cast! As my workshop attendee, you will receive a discount code for your purchase(s).
*Everything to charge your gear. Camera's, GoPro's, laptop's, tablets....etc. I will have my Goal Zero Sherpa 100W and Yeti 400W with me if you need to charge anything, I've got you covered. These are the best systems on the planet to "power anything anywhere" - the beauty of solar power!
*Cable Releases. Some of our locations will require long shutter speeds. Especially in the slot canyons. With some new filters from Singh-Ray Filters such as the 5, 10 and 15 stop, we may work on having long exposures even in afternoon light. Most camera's also come with built in 2 or 5 second shutter release. The only set back is you may be limited to only a 30 second shutter speed. IF we need more than 30 seconds, you're going to need a cable release.
As we get closer to the workshop date, I will send you more information with updates, road and route conditions, itinerary changes (if needed) and overall, more communication for your time on the workshop.
I want to make sure all is in order for you to have a great time photographing places I've been many times - especially Canyon De Chelly.
See you on Navajoland,