Otherwordly Landscapes in the New Mexico Desert
October 3–9, 2023
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. Bones of dinosaurs that once roamed this area have been uncovered by the wind and rain and petrified cypress trees litter the ground. The hoodoos and buttes are like no other on this Earth. There are thousands of compositional elements to go along with the amazing 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 amazing hoodoos in a way that is not detracting from the night sky. On our third day we will head into the wilds of the Bisti Badlands for a comfortable camping experience. With hoodoos literally right outside our tents, we will spend our time exploring and photographing instead of driving to our destination. On our second day of camping, we will head to nearby Chaco Canyon. We will visit, explore, and photograph the massive buildings that were built by the ancestral Pueblo people. 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. On the following day we will explore more of the amazing Bisti. We will spend our last evening at Bisti shooting the stars around camp. After we return to Farmington and a good rest, we will spend the afternoon after lunch, processing and learning new techniques. We will spend our last evening in a beautiful location in the desert around Farmington. The last morning we will eat a nice breakfast together, have one final image review and say our goodbyes.
You can expect easy two mile hikes in the very comfortable high desert temperatures. We will explore some of the most unique compositions, not only for daytime shooting, but also when they come alive using artificial light with a star-filled sky.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
October 4, 2023: After breakfast we will have our first processing session. After a late lunch, we will again head out to photograph the amazing formations for sunset and stars at Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah.
October 5, 2023: After breakfast we will leave to go camping below Bisti. There we will have our first evening of camping out. That afternoon we will explore and photograph the amazing formations of Bisti.
October 6, 2023: Sunrise shoot at Bisti formations. After lunch we will head to Chaco Canyon where we will spend the afternoon and evening photographing the ancient dwellings. Overnight camping with the outfitter.
October 7, 2023: Sunrise shoot at Bisti. We will spend the day exploring amazing formations and preparing for an evening of photographing formations under the stars. Overnight camping with our outfitter.
October 8, 2023: After breakfast in camp, we’ll return to Farmington and spend the afternoon processing and learning processing techniques. Evening shoot in the desert.
October 9, 2023: Breakfast and final image review before returning to Durango, CO. Flights home can be scheduled for any time after 2:00 PM.
Moderate: Long days. Hikes up to 2 miles in New Mexico desert conditions.
Arrive Durango–La Plata County Airport (DRO), Durango, Colorado before 12:00:00 on October 3, 2023. Flights out can be made after 2:00 PM on October 9, 2023.
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 $495 supplement.
- 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 Durango, Colorado.
- 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 $495 supplement.
“Wayne is a people magnet with a natural way of making everyone feel welcome. This is a rare gift to find. He was also very thoughtful. When he noticed I was having arm issues he carried my camera and tripod for me. He also checked up on me to make sure I was ok. I will look for workshops with him as a guide. ”
“You run a super organization where every detail is professionally attended. From initial contact to a farewell hug. ”