Bryce/Zion Photo Workshop FAQ's - Don Smith Photography
  • FAQs
  • Bryce/Zion Photo Workshop FAQ's

What’s the closest airport? You have two major airports (Las Vegas and Salt Lake City) and two smaller airports (St. George and Cedar City) to choose from. Here are the mileage and extimated times to both Parks.

Zion: Las Vegas (160 miles, approximately 2 1/2 hour drive), Salt Lake City (307 miles, 4 1/2 hour drive), Cedar City (60 miles, 1 hour drive), and St. George (42 miles, 45 minute drive).

Bryce: Las Vegas (270 miles, 5 hours), Salt Lake City (270 miles, 5 hours), Cedar City (87 miles, 1 1/2 hous), and St. George (150 miles 3 hours).

How much time will be spent in the field? I will have you on location 30 minutes prior to sunrise and up to 30 minutes after sunset. Depending on weather, we will add secondary shoots on both ends of the day (optional). There will be one evening for star photography in Bryce (time TBA - weather dependent).

Will you be discussing composition? Yes, and more. With each location, I will offer suggestions and go over technical (craft) questions. We will be there to assist you in finding and fine-tuning your compositons.

What are the times for the class sessions? We will start with an orientation and some classroom training on the first day of the workshop (at 2 pm), followed by a sunset shoot. Class times for the remaining three days are: 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm (class tutorials).

What topics will you cover? We will discuss RAW conversion, basic workflow, HDR, blending differently exposed images with layers and masks, and vision related presentations which will emphasize composition techniques.

Will the latest software be discussed? Yes, we will work with Lightroom 5, Photoshop CC and the Nik Plugins!

Will there be student image reviews? Yes, two review sessions are scheduled where instructors will offer review and advice for improvement.

When do we eat? We generally eat as a group but this is not mandatory. Generally we eat a late breakfast after the morning shoots and our dinner will be after the susnet shoots. The hotel in Bryce has a nice restaurant and we will eat meals there. Springdale (our hotel location in Zion) has a lot of restuarants to choose from as well as one at the hotel itself.

Will there be night training sessions? Yes (one night photography session is scheduled - weather dependent).

What’s the weather like? Typical weather in early November in Bryce is a high of 51 degrees and a low of 19 degrees. Average rainfall is 1.2 inches for the month. Typical weather for Zion in early November is a high of 63 degrees and a low of 32 degrees. Average rainfall is also 1.2 inches. Be aware that it can snow in both Parks at this time of year so pack accordingly. I also recommend participants check with the National Weather Service website prior to leaving for the workshop.

What camera should I bring? Most participants will have a digital SLR, but bring the camera or cameras with which you’re most comfortable shooting.

Do I have to shoot digitally? Much of the training will assume you’re shooting digitally, but digital isn’t required.

What lenses do you recommend? Lens choice is a very personal thing. You could probably find a use for every lens in your bag. So bring as much as your luggage will hold, even if you won’t take it in the field for every shoot. We suggest at the minimum you have the range from 24mm to 200mm (full frame) covered.

What filters should I bring? Polarizers are the number one recommendation. Beyond that, GND filters are useful but not necessary. We will show you alternate ways of solving expanded dynamic range without filters. A variable neutral density filter can be useful for motion blur with water, but is nor required.

Is a tripod required? While not required, a tripod will greatly enhance your opportunities and your images.

Will I need a laptop? A notebook is recommended but not mandatory. Classes deal with instruction that some participants like to follow using their laptops and Photoshop, but this is not required.

I’m a beginner—is there a minimum skill level required? All skill levels are welcome. Some of the material may be beyond your current level, but much will benefit photographers of all abilities.

Can my wife/husband/friend join me? You’re welcome to share your room and all meals and non-workshop activities with a friend or loved one at no charge. Only paying participants will be able to join the workshop activities. With all there is to see and do in the area, there will be plenty to occupy any non-participating guest during workshop hours.

How much hiking will there be? There will be some walking to and from our shooting locations but nothing too strenuous except for the hike down through the hoodoos (whcih is optional). I recommend good soled hiking shoes/boots and a headlamp. Alternate locations will be suggested.

Will there be time for sightseeing? Each day will be pretty full, but there will be a little down time too. And no workshop activity is required.

Will I need to rent a car? While not required, a car will give you the most mobility and flexibility.

Can I carpool with another workshop participant? Any carpooling needs to be arranged by the carpoolers themselves.

Can I share a room with another participant? You’re welcome to share a room with another workshop participant, but we’re not able to arrange that for you.

Will accommodations be made for people with mobility limitations? The host hotel offers full handicapped access in accordance with Utah law. Many of the locations we’ll photograph are close enough to parking that very little mobility will be necessary. We’ll do our best to offer alternatives.

Liability Disclaimer: Due to the inherent nature of outdoor photography, participants agree to join the workshop at their own risk. We will never lead you to an area that is dangerous, and certainly, we need to know if you don't feel comfortable at any time.

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