Location - San Juan Badlands Basin, North-West of New Mexico
Dates: April 26 - 30, 2019
Tuition - $1350 per participant (limit: 7 participants)
Instructor: Alex Mironyuk
Deposit: $400 (PAYMENTS ACCEPTED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE BALANCE)
This 5 day workshop may be in the most unusual and weird destination the world has to offer: in the North-West of New Mexico at San Juan Badlands Basin you can find at least 10 major badlands areas with absolutely unusual rock formations. If you want to know how other planets may look- this is the place that you’ll want to visit!
You will get a chance to photograph the San Juan Badlands Basin like you have never seen it before. I will lead you to photograph my favorite places all around the entire badlands desert.
This workshop is designed to master your photography skills and also to boost your creative process. This entire workshop is hands on and I will be with you every step of the way covering composition, camera settings, chasing the light, night time photography, focus stacking, panorama shooting and much more.
We will see: world famous Bisti Wilderness Badlands, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area, Valley of Dreams Badlands. Those places are unique photo-destinations where you have to have your camera ready 24/7 to capture different hoodoos, mounds, petrified woods, etc. We will perform a couple of overnight hikes to see and photograph beautiful hoodoos and mounds not just at “golden hours” but at night with the Milky Way over our heads. You will be guided by yours truly and my team.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to strength. This Workshop Involves every day hikes over sandstone and through clay in some locations. The longest hike is a 7-8 miles in the Bisti Wilderness and featuring anywhere from 0 - 75 ft of elevation gain
Fitness Level: Like any outdoor nature photography workshop, a reasonable degree of fitness is ideal. We will not be engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
Transportation: The closest major airport is Albuquerque, NM, where you can rent a car. We strongly suggest you rent reasonably high clearance, and AWD/4WD are a MUST. Driving conditions will consist of paved and unpaved roads. When possible we prefer that participants carpool with each other to help limit our impact and get to know each other.
Lodging: I recommend you camp all nights at the shooting locations and sleep in backcountry camping (I’ll provide camping tents). In that case we can perform night shootings to capture the Milky Way over the badlands and learn some of the light painting techniques. Otherwise you can stay at a hotel in Farmington, NM and every morning come back to us for a sunrise shooting. But be prepared to spend about 1-1.5 hour driving time one way.
If the weather will not cooperate - all of us will stay at a hotel. It’s not necessary to book your hotel in advance due to the fact that Farmington is beside all of the major tourists routes and you can always find a last minute deal.
April 26th, Friday: The Workshop Will Begin at 4 PM On Friday April 20th with a short orientation meeting at the intersection of US-550 and NM-57 (GPS: 36.359777, -107.809618). I’ll start driving to that location at about 1 PM from Albuquerque, so we can meet there too.
We will drive approximately 20 miles on unpaved roads and hike for about 1.5 - 2 miles with our photo and camping gear and to our sunset / camping / sunrise site. All participants need to take 2 meals, snacks and at least a gallon of water.
April 27th, Saturday: For the first half of the day will explore and shoot the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area. In the afternoon we will relocate our camping to the Valley of Dreams and will photograph some of the best locations in the wilderness. The total length of the hike can be about 4-6 miles. All participants need to take 2 meals, snacks and at least a gallon of water.
April 28th, Sunday: For the first half of the day we will explore and shoot the Valley of Dreams badlands and some parts of the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area. In the afternoon we will relocate our camping to the Bisti Wilderness and will photograph some of the remote locations in the wilderness. The total length of the hike can be about 5-7 miles. All participants need to take 2 meals, snacks and at least a gallon of water.
April 29th, Monday: We will have a 1.5 - 2 hour sunrise field session at the Bisti Wilderness, after that we will drive to Farmington to get some food and charge our batteries. In the afternoon we’ll go to another part of the Bisti Wilderness where we will take our sunrise and night pictures. The total length of the hike can be about 3-4 miles. All participants need to take 2 meals, snacks and at least a gallon of water.
April 30th, Tuesday: We will have a 1.5 - 2 hour sunrise field session at the Bisti Wilderness and after that we will break up our camp and our workshop will be over.
I will take into consideration weather conditions, safety concerns, as well as our participants' personal goals, and I will make decisions to put everybody in the best position possible to create compelling images. For the duration of the workshop, we will be out in the field each day, photographing before dawn, and late into the evening, breaking late night.
What we do in between depends upon the weather. If conditions are conducive to making images throughout the day, we will most likely do so. If they are not, we will hold informal theory sessions, going over basic and advanced digital workflow topics (as mentioned above.)
We will break for meals, and we will also be certain to plan for a few hours each day to nap, relax, and backup images as needed.