Bisti Badlands of NM - Oct 11-14 - miketaylorphoto
The Valley of Dreams area of the Bisti Badlands in New Mexico has unlimited potential for Milky Way photography.

Bisti Badlands of NM - Oct 11-14, 2018

Sunset • Moonset • Milky Way - 4 Day Workshop with 3 Instructors

Please read our Mission Statement for info regarding Mike's teaching style.

Visit the General Overview & Itinerary Info page for more information about gear specifics, clothing, weather, etc.

While no knowledge of night photography techniques is required for this workshop, please understand this is not a Photo 101 class - you should have a decent working knowledge of your camera gear and how the Exposure Triangle (aperture, shutter speed & ISO) works. Please contact us with any questions or concerns BEFORE signing up for this workshop. Thanks.

The team at Taylor Photography is thrilled to announce that we are teaming up with our good friends and photography instructors David Kingham & Jennifer Renwick of Exploring Exposure to co-host a 4 day photography workshop in the Bisti Badlands of New Mexico. David & Jen have spent years traveling full-time in an RV exploring the American West, searching out iconic and lesser-known mountain and desert locations to share with their clients on workshops.

The high plains desert area of northwestern New Mexico is truly sublime - colorful and scenic, amazing and desolate - and it contains some of the most unique hoodoo arrangements found anywhere in the US southwest. Time and natural elements have etched a fantasy world of strange rock formations made of sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal, and silt. During this workshop we will be visiting the iconic Shiprock volcanic area, the Valley of Dreams section of the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah wilderness area and the famous "cracked eggs" in the Bisti Wilderness Area, among others. We'll be heading out to our shooting locations well before sunset to photograph sunset, moonset and the Milky Way. We have procured all necessary permits and a Navajo guide where needed. 

This is a comprehensive workshop with an emphasis on post-processing that will consist of 3 nights and 4 days - approximately 12 hours of in the field photography and 12 hours of classroom tutorials & processing time. Check out our Processing page for some examples of what we will be covering in class.


Oct 11: Afternoon meet and greet, discuss camera settings - travel & in the field photography 3:00PM - 11PM

Oct 12: 10AM-2PM classroom instruction & image processing - travel & in the field photography 3PM - 11PM

Oct 13: 10AM-2PM classroom instruction & image processing - travel & in the field photography 3PM - 11PM

Oct 14: 12PM-5PM classroom instruction & image processing

In The Field Photography: We will be covering the entire skill set of shooting during sunset and all facets of night photography including the techniques involved in using moonlight and taking very long exposures for foregrounds to blend with sky shots and how to use LED panels strategically to illuminate landscape features. We will also be covering the process of shooting horizontal & vertical panoramas as time permits. David, Jen, Mike and Sonia will help each participant with composition, lighting, troubleshooting, etc.

Classroom Instruction: Our classroom time will mainly consist of processing tutorials and techniques via Lightroom & Photoshop and some of our favorite plug-ins to create remarkable images. Bring your laptop with Lightroom and Photoshop installed to learn techniques for processing in the digital darkroom. We will cover David, Jen and Mike's digital darkroom workflow from RAW file to finished image - from the basics of adjusting highlights & shadows, white & black levels, contrast, clarity, noise reduction, color balance, sharpening, lens corrections, graduated & radial filters, etc. to the more advanced techniques involved in layering, masking, transforming and blend modes in Photoshop. We will also go through detailed instructions regarding the capturing & processing of images featuring exposure blending, horizontal & vertical panoramas and star trails images as time allows. David, Jenn and Mike will work with each participant on their images as we progress. Check out our Processing page for examples. The planning and scouting of night sky shoots, including the apps that are instrumental for reconnaissance, will be covered as well.

Home Base: Our home base for this workshop is the Home2 Suites in Farmington, New Mexico where we have reserved a block of rooms at a reduced rate. To reserve your room, call 505-325-1500 and tell them you are with the Exploring Exposure Photography Workshop in October 2018. You are of course free to stay anywhere in the area.

Lodging, transportation and meals are not included in the investment amount. We will be carpooling to the photography locations. We have reserved the conference room at the Home2 Suites for all our classroom and meeting needs.   

More specific information regarding meet up time & location and a PDF covering the essentials of night photography will be sent out to participants via email well before the workshop date. All participants will receive a hard copy of the PDF handout to go over during our meet-and-greet session.

Availability: This workshop is limited to 12 participants - for a client to instructor ratio of 4:1 plus an assistant. We will breaking up into smaller groups to photograph certain areas.

Physical Requirements: This workshop is somewhat strenuous and will involve hikes of 2-4 miles total daily. Most of the hikes are over fairly level ground with a bit of up and down on solid packed ground. The most strenuous hike is a total of 3 miles out and back with some sandy sections going up and down through washes and some minor climbing up some rocky sections. Those in reasonable health will have no problems with this. Anyone who has balance issues should contact us before signing up.

NOTE: Getting to our shooting locations requires a high clearance vehicle and 4WD is recommended in certain spots. Some of our clients who have already signed up will be driving their own Jeeps/SUVs and will be accepting other passengers. Anyone who can attend this event with a high clearance vehicle with 4WD and room for other participants would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

Investment: $1995 per participant - Alumni discount of 20% if you've taken a previous workshop with Taylor Photography or Exploring Exposure. A non-refundable 50% deposit is required to reserve a spot or you may pay in full. The full balance is due 60 days before the workshop or your reservation will be subject to cancellation. Please contact us ASAP if issues arise.

If you have any hesitation about signing up, check out the Testimonials page where clients have shared their experiences.


PaymentSIGN UP at the EXPLORING EXPOSURE website - use discount code MTBISTI for the Taylor Photography Alumni 20% discount. 

We're looking forward to seeing you out there!

  • A close up of the Cracked Eggs area in the Bisti Badlands of New Mexico.
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