Otherwordly Landscapes in the New Mexico Desert
September 2 – 8, 2024
Northwest New Mexico is an extraordinary place. The otherworldly formations of De-Na-Zin (Bisti) and Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah that define this area were shaped by ancient seas and extend for miles. The wind and rain have uncovered bones of dinosaurs that once roamed this area, and petrified cypress trees litter the ground. The hoodoos and buttes are like no other on this Earth. Thousands of compositional elements go along with the fantastic New Mexico skies.
We will spend the first few days and nights photographing the formations of Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah. Here we will learn composition techniques and how to light up these unique hoodoos without detracting from the night sky.
We will head into the wilds of the Bisti Badlands for a comfortable camping experience. With hoodoos outside our tents, we will spend time exploring and photographing instead of driving to our destination.
While camping, we will also head to nearby Chaco Canyon. We will visit, explore, and photograph the massive buildings that the ancestral Pueblo people built. These buildings were built between 850 and 1250 A.D. Chaco Canyon has been dedicated as an International Dark Sky Park, so the night sky above the ancient dwellings will be extraordinary.
After our return to Farmington, we’ll have time for rest and our signature image reviews and post-processing sessions.
You can expect easy two-mile hikes in the very comfortable high desert temperatures. We will explore some unique compositions for daytime shooting and make the landscape come alive using artificial light with a star-filled sky.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
September 1, 2024: We recommend arriving a day before the start of the workshop in Durango, Colorado, and spending the night at the Strater Hotel at your expense.
You will be responsible for driving to Farmington, NM, by 1:00 PM the following day. There are private taxis to transport you if you wish not to rent a vehicle from Durango. We will update you with all the possibilities before the workshop, including the name of our hotel in Farmington.
September 2, 2024: Arrive in Farmington, NM, by 1:00 PM. Expect an early dinner so we can make it out to our location to shoot sunset and stars at Bisti Badlands.
September 3, 2024: After breakfast, we will have our first processing session. After a late lunch, we will again head out to photograph the fantastic formations for sunset and stars at Bisti Badlands.
September 4, 2024: After breakfast, we will leave to go camping below Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah. This afternoon we will explore and photograph the amazing formations of Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah.
September 5, 2024: Sunrise shoot at the formations. After lunch, we will head to Chaco Canyon, where we will spend the afternoon and evening photographing the ancient dwellings. Overnight camping.
September 6, 2024: Sunrise shoot at Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah. We will spend the day exploring unique formations and preparing for an evening photographing formations under the stars. Overnight camping.
September 7, 2024: After breakfast in camp, we’ll return to Farmington and spend the afternoon processing and learning processing techniques. Evening shoot in the desert.
September 8, 2024: Breakfast and final image review before returning to Durango, CO. Flights home can be scheduled anytime after 2:00 PM.
Life in Camp
During this workshop, you will be camping for three nights in our fully outfitted wilderness camp. Each person will be in a large tent (large enough to stand up in) shared with another guest. Everyone is provided with a cot, thick comfortable pad, and sleeping bag, and some lighting is provided inside the tents.
A separate dining tent with tables for eating will be available for everyone at all hours. Plenty of cool or hot water is available at all times, along with snacks, including fresh fruits. The outfitters are trained in wilderness cooking and wilderness first aid. Sanitary hand washing stations are set up for use.
Moderate: Long days with hikes up to two miles in New Mexico desert conditions.
Arrive Durango–La Plata County Airport (DRO), Durango, Colorado anytime on September 1, 2024. Flights out can be made after 2:00 PM on September 8, 2024.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $350 supplement. (Hotel Only)
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop.
- All transportation during the workshop.
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides.
- Fully-outfitted, guided camping.
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros.
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction.
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- Travel to and from Farmington NM.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $350 supplement. (Hotel Only)
- Your deposit of $2,995 will hold your space in this workshop.
- The balance is due not later than May 1, 2024.
- All of our standard Terms and Conditions apply.
- Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.
“Kevin's extensive technical knowledge is a great complement to the team. The guys for sure give 110% every day. ”
“I choose Muench workshops as the quality of instruction is top notch and everything is taken care of (logistics, food, lodging) as soon as the workshop starts so I can focus completely on my photography and learning. This workshop was no different. ”