The Four Corners Region

$2,695

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Photograph some of the most iconic landmarks of the American Southwest, meditate in sacred Navajo lands, and delve into a world of eerie and alien rock landscapes!

The Four Corners Monument marks the quadripoint in the Southwestern U.S. where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. It is the only point in the United States shared by four states, and as result, this area has been known as the Four Corners Region.

The Four Corners Region is also the home of many iconic landmarks in the American Southwest, and this landscape photography workshop will include some of the most iconic, spectacular, and remote destinations in the region:

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park – This red-sand desert region on the Arizona-Utah border, is home to some of the most iconic images of the American West, and the Valley is also the sacred heart of the Navajo Nation. Combined with the towering sandstone rock formations, surrounding mesas, and flat top buttes that have been sculpted over time, the Valley is truly one of the natural wonders of the world. Some of the landmarks we’ll photograph include The Mittens and Merrick Butte, Elephant Butte, Three Sisters, John Ford’s Point, and Camel Butte. The most famous monuments in the valley are the mittens (east and west), where you have seen many stunning landscape images, movies, and TV shows. The mittens themselves are worth the visit, but there is so much more in this sacred Navajo valley.

Goosenecks State Park – This incredible 1,000-foot-deep canyon includes six miles of the San Juan River tightly looped into multiple goosenecks within a one-and-a-half-mile viewing landscape. Adding to the uniqueness of the location, you can view the entire landscape from a single lookout point. This location offers a very different perspective and photographic experience not found at the other popular meanders such as Dead Horse Point or Horseshoe Bend Overlook.

Shiprock Pinnacle – One of New Mexico’s most iconic landmarks. This unique towering rock formation can be seen for miles in all directions. Shiprock is known to the Navajo as “Tsé Bit’ A’í”, or rock with wings. The peak tip stands at 7,178 feet above sea level and is at the center of three volcanic pressure ridges that pushed the rock skyward millenniums ago.  As this rock formation is sacred to the Navajos – hiking and/or climbing on the sacred peak or its surrounding rocks are forbidden.

Bisti Badlands – The Bisti Badlands is one of the most unique places you will ever visit and definitely one of the coolest places nobody has ever heard of. This unworldly place was once a coastal swamp of an inland sea – and it provides views of some of the most amazing sandstone rock formations you will ever see. The Badlands offer some of the most unusual scenery in the American Southwest and National Geographic Travel listed it as one of their “must visit” adventure destinations in 2019. This wonderland is a special place for hikers, explorers, and photographers (especially astrophotography) and it is probably the closest thing to Mars you’ll ever see. Although we’ll spend time exploring and photographing the endless abstracts, hoodoos, desert spires, arches, and amazing formations, we’ll focus our attention on two of the most unique formations: the Wings and the Alien Throne.

Coal Mine Canyon – Coal Mine Canyon is another one of the unique destinations in the American Southwest that seems to appear out of absolutely nowhere, leaving you wondering how it all happened. The most intriguing feature of Coal Mine Canyon is the vivid magenta and yellow striations that pop out of the rocks. At sunset, the canyon’s glow can provide for a spectacular vista. Shared by both the Hopi and Navajo Reservations, the Canyon is a long way from any famous attraction, and it is one of many remote, little-visited sites in the Southwest where the main interest comes from the detail of the rock (e.g., the colors, forms, and textures of the eroded sandstone) rather than from the large scale appeal of such grand places as Zion and Monument Valley. There must be dozens more similar places as yet unpublicized, hidden away in the high desert plains of this part of Arizona.

Horseshoe Bend – Horseshoe Bend is one of those amazing places where pictures simply don’t do justice to the reality. When you first walk up to the rim of Horseshoe Bend one is amazed at unbelievably large the bend is, and it often takes a few minutes to wrap your mind around what is in front of you. The horseshoe-shaped river sits 1,000 vertical feet directly below you and the bend is over a mile long. It is understandable why thousands of tourists from all over the world visit this location each year. And from a photographic standpoint, you will not be disappointed.

 

Itinerary & General Information

  • Day 1 – Arrival at hotel in Page AZ / 2 PM Meet-and-Greet / Sunset shoot at Horseshoe Bend / group dinner / for those arriving earlier in the day, we’ll take a trip out to the Glen Canyon Dam and Overlook
  • Day 2 – We’ll start our second day with an early morning drive to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park for sunrise. We’ll split our time during the day between the overlook at the Visitor Center and driving the Valley Loop below. We’ll then head to Goosenecks State Park for sunset. Depending on the weather and night sky, we may shoot the stars into the evening.
  • Day 3 – Our third day will start with a short drive to the Four Corners Monument before heading to the Shiprock Pinnacle. We’ll also spend time reviewing our images in our hotel in Farmington.
  • Day 4 – The fourth day will be a hiking day – with a one-mile hike to the Wings and a three-mile hike to the Alien Throne. The scenery in Bisti is mesmerizing, the terrain is quite flat, and this will be one of the most rewarding days of the entire workshop.
  • Day 5 – We’ll use the morning of our fifth day to work on our images in the classroom and relax from the previous day. After lunch, we’ll head back over to Coal Mine Canyon for a late afternoon shoot before heading back to Page, Arizona.
  • Day 6 – We’ll spend our final morning critiquing our images in the classroom before concluding our adventure.

John Bosma Fine Arts Photography is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service.

What to Expect

The majority of our days will start early, before sunrise. After a quick cup of coffee or tea, we’ll be off to get into position at a location in the best light of the day with breakfast in the field in order to maximize our shooting time. We’ll often continue until mid-to-late morning before heading back to Basecamp.

Back at Basecamp, we’ll have time for off-loading memory cards, classroom lectures & instruction, working on our images, one-on-one guidance, or time to relax. Then, in the mid-to-late afternoon, we’ll head out again to capture the evening skies, getting the most out of the sunset and/or shooting the stars in the night sky.

More important than just getting you to some of the best and most remote areas of the park at the best times of the day, this five-day landscape photography workshop will challenge you to take your photography to the next level and to develop your own photographic voice.

In the Field:

Out in the field, we’ll explore different approaches to scene visualization, ground/sky/sea compositions, and how to manage complex highlight and shadow scenes using techniques such as dynamic bracketing, focus stacking, framing, and neutral density filters.

In the Classroom:

In the classroom, we’ll spend time developing your post-production workflow – learning when Lightroom is enough and when you need to move your work into Photoshop – using techniques such as luminosity masks to create and solve contrast, color, and blending issues.

You’ll benefit from our guidance, hours of capture time in the field with an instructor by your side, and classroom instruction as you learn new techniques and strategies for creating dynamic images. We’ll help you take your photography to the next level.

 

Tuition & Payment Terms

What’s Included in Your Tuition:

  • 5 nights lodging / 5.5 training days
  • Field meals and snacks
  • All ground transportation during the workshop
  • Workshop course materials
  • In-the-field photographic training
  • Post-production classes during the workshop
  • Pre-workshop planning & research sessions
  • Post-workshop post-production sessions

What’s Not Included in Your Tuition:

  • Transportation to/from your home to Basecamp
  • Lodging beyond the 5 nights included in the workshop
  • Meals