When: October 13-19, 2012
Cost: $975 (does not include lodging, meals,
transportation or fees)
Deposit: $200 (non refundable)
Discounts: See the
Have you experienced the joy
and wonder of photographing Zion and Bryce
Canyon National Parks? Join a Ralph Nordstrom
Photography workshop and explore the grand and
intimate landscapes of these truly inspiring
locations. Take your photography to the next
level with personalized instruction from an
award winning nature photographer. Expand your
creative and technical skills through
informative classes and valuable photo reviews.
You will join an enthusiastic group of like
minded people who share your passion for
photography. We’ll go hard from dawn to dusk and
when you return home you will be tired but
satisfied and your memory cards will be full of
great photographs. So join us. Others who have
come with us on the Southwest Utah photography
workshop have loved it and you will too.
There are a couple of things
worth mentioning. This is a photography
workshop, not a photo tour. We will be
photographing during the great light of the day.
That is generally sunrise and sunset although if
great light develops during the middle of the
day we'll be out there. But normally we'll
spend the middle of the day holding classes and
reviewing your photos. Also, the proper camera
gear is very important for a successful
photography workshop experience. This includes
digital (or film) SLR with a range of lenses from
wide angle to telephoto. Also, a sturdy
tripod is essential. A more complete
equipment list will be provided when you
A Little Background on
The Southwest Utah photography
workshop combines the Zion and Bryce Canyon
National Park workshops.
I offer this combined workshop so that
you can experience both of these magnificent
parks and at the same time get the most from
your travel dollar.
There is so much I am eager to
share with you.
Zion is known for its magnificent canyon.
The towering red walls are accentuated by
the graceful Virgin River that wanders the
Up on the plateau we will explore the
endlessly fascinating patterns of the petrified
sand dunes found there.
If you want grandeur I have that for you.
If you want magical out-of-the-way still
places Zion has that too.
We will cover the iconic locations and
I’ll take you to some of my favorite little
known, more intimate spots.
Middle October marks the
beginning of autumn in Zion.
The Gamble oaks up on the plateau are
already wearing their bright red foliage.
And the cottonwoods in the canyon are
just starting to turn.
They are a vibrant lime green going on
yellow that you have to see to believe.
I’m always inspired when I visit Zion and
am eager to share it with you.
Bryce Canyon is a lot like Zion
in some respects and totally different in
While the formations are different, both
parks share the same vibrant red in the
But the word ‘Canyon’ in its name is
Bryce is not a canyon at all but rather a
series of amphitheaters at the edge of a large
And instead of being at the bottom gazing
up we are at the top looking down.
The endless hoodoos are some of the most
intriguing formations you will ever see.
And the glorious sunrises at Bryce are
the best you will find anywhere.
There are so many great locations to
share with you including Thor’s Hammer, Sunrise
Point, Sunset Point, the Silent City and more.
Just a short drive from Bryce
are two more exciting locations – Red Canyon and
Kodachrome Basin State Park.
These are both ideal sunset locations but
dramatically different in character.
I’ll take you to both of them where you
can photograph the brilliant sunsets and the
incredible alpenglow that follows.
With so much going for these
two parks, it’s no surprise that these are
And most people that attend one also
attend the other (for which there is a special
These locations offer so much to see and
photograph and so many opportunities to learn
and grow as a photographer.
It’s no wonder that many people think of
this area as a little bit of heaven.
A Typical Day and
Our photography workshop will
begin in the town of Springdale, Utah just
outside Zion National Park on Saturday in the
early afternoon. After introductions and
an orientation I will conduct a class that will
set the tone for the days to follow and provide
a foundation for the special skills we will need
to photograph Zion and Bryce.
That evening we will get the
workshop off to a grand start by photographing
the iconic Watchman tower at sunset. In
the days to follow we will rise early for
sunrise, arriving on location a half our to 45 minutes before
the sun comes up. We will continue to
shoot through the morning while the light is
still good. In the middle of the day we
will have additional classes and review your
photographs. But if the light is good
we'll be out photographing. Each day will end with a
On Tuesday we'll wrap up Zion
with a sunrise shoot and then travel to Bryce
Canyon. We will arrive there in plenty of
time to get settled into our hotel and head out
into the park for sunset.
Each morning in Bryce we will
explore a different vista for sunrise. The
remaining two afternoons we will travel to Red
Canyon and Kodachrome Basin for sunset.
An optional shoot we will
offer in Bryce is starry sky and star trails
photography. The amphitheater is perfectly
situated to do some stunning night photography.
Usually not everyone joins in. We go very
hard all day long. But for those that are
interested we'll be out there. It's a
It is important to point out
that this is not a photo tour. We will not
be photographing every hour of the day.
We will confine our photographic activities to
the best light. The rest of the time we
will spend reviewing photographs and studying
various aspects of landscape photography.
We go for quality, not quantity when it
comes to our photographs.
I'll be sending you a more
detailed equipment list when you sign up but
here are the essentials.
SLR camera (digital or
Lenses: an assortment that
range from wide angle (17-24 mm) to
telephoto (200 mm)
Filters: polarizing and graduated neutral density and variable
Laptop computer (if you're
shooting digital) with image processing
software such as Lightroom or Aperture.
Misc. camera gear: extra
batteries, memory cards, chargers, backup
The weather in Zion is very
pleasant this time of year. The average
high for October is 78 and average low is 49.
Average rainfall for the month is 1.3 inches.
The sunrises up on the plateau will be five to
ten degrees cooler and wind is always possible this
time of year.
Bryce Canyon is several
thousand feet higher than Zion and it is colder.
The average high is 58 and the average low is
32. Below freezing temperatures are not
uncommon in the morning. Average
precipitation is 2.0 inches which can consist of
rain, sleet and snow.
You will need to make your
own lodging arrangements and we recommend you
make them as soon as possible.
Bumbleberry Inn (recommended)
There are many other lodging
options in Springdale. Tripadvisor has
contact information and reviews.
Bryce Canyon, Utah
Best Western Bryce Canyon
There are not as many lodging
options in Bryce as there are in Zion.
Roby's is the other main hotel. You can
check Tripadvisor for alternativse here also.
Meals and Dining
You will be responsible for
your own meals but we will eat as a group.
We will have breakfast and
dinner in the local restaurants.
Springdale has a wide variety of restaurants to choose
from including some very fine ones. The options in Bryce are a bit more
limited but I know an out of the way place that
serves excellent Navajo taco pizza. It's a
must for me every time I get within 20 miles of
Lunches are often on the go.
Because we start so early in
the morning I have a tradition of bringing along
Nature Valley granola bars to tide us over during sunrise
until we can get a proper breakfast.
Traveling to Zion and
Out of State
If your coming from out of
state the best airport to fly into is Las Vegas,
Nevada. You can rent a car there and drive
to Springdale. We don't travel on any
challenging roads so a regular sedan is quite
You will driver north on I-15
to St George, Utah and from there go east on Utah
9 for the last 20 miles. The total
distance is about 170 miles and travel time
about 3 hours. There can be a bit of
traffic getting out of Las Vegas depending on
the time of day but generally the
traffic is not bad heading north.
Returning from Bryce is a bit
longer. The total distance is about 250
miles and travel time between 4 1/2 and 5 hours.
You leave Bryce heading west on Utah 12 to
US-89. South on 89 to Utah 14 where you
head west to Cedar City and I-15. From
there it's a straight shot to Las Vegas.
From Southern California
take I-15 all the way to St George and then Utah
9 to Springdale. Total driving distance
from LA is 427 miles with a driving time of 7 to
The return trip from
Bryce to LA is about 520 miles with a travel
time of 9 to 10 hours.
From the Bay area the
distance to Springdale is about 725 miles with a driving time
of over 12 hours. The return drive from
Bryce is over 800 miles with a drive time around
14-15 hours. You probably want to consider
Doing Zion and Bryce together
is an extraordinary experience packed with
inspiring photography. Early autumn is a
very special time of year. The light is
fantastic and if we're lucky there may be an
early winter storm. But you are my main
focus. I want to be sure you get the high
quality photographs you want. And I want
to help you be a better photographer when you
Your satisfaction is very important to me.
If you have any questions
please don't hesitate to email me. Click
on Contact for
my contact information.