Monumental Night Skies and Desert Landscapes - ColdSnap Photography

Monumental Night Skies and Desert Landscapes

4 corners region of the American SW

May 22-28, 2022

“Dark as night”, there aren’t too many places left where that saying is true. Bluff Utah, Cedar Mesa region and Monument Valley are a few places in the United States where “dark as night” means it is dark as night. This makes these locations ideal for night sky landscape photographs.

We will be photographing for 7 days and will combine night sky shoots with sunsets or sunrise. We will pace ourselves so there will be plenty of time for rests between shoots if needed.

This small-group tour (limited to 4 participants) is an automobile-based tour.  Long hikes to locations are not required. I have designed this tour to minimize the amount of exertion and maximize your photographic potential. I have made arrangements with native tour guides for the locations where we are going. This means that we will get to places that the non-guided general public cannot get to. For the locations around Cedar Mesa, I am a certified BLM (Bureau of Land Management) guide and have a comfortable high clearance 4WD vehicle to get us where we need to go. This tour includes a guided night sky tour of Monument Valley with Native guide Harry Nez.


This workshop is a combined field shoot and a computer classroom. During the early morning hours (when the Milky Way is at its peak) we will be in the field capturing beautiful night sky imagery.

These field shoots will provide the subject matter for classroom sessions. Classroom sessions will demonstrate post-processing techniques using Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. Instruction will include print resolution, color space, using ICC Print Profiles, paper/media selection, image sharpening for print output, and editorial post-processing manipulation.

Each participant will work on their own images and have the opportunity to make several 8×10 test prints.  Each student will leave with 1 finished 17×22, fine art print, that evokes the photographer’s excitement and vision as first experienced in the field. Participants must provide their own laptop computer with Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, and Adobe Photoshop.


We are based out of Bluff Utah. While this little town (Population 350) isn’t easy to get to—that makes it ideal for photography as you are not fighting the crowds. There are several hotels and restaurants in town which makes it ideal for a base of operations. The small and quiet nature of Bluff will warm your heart and add to your workshop experience.

We begin and end our tour in Bluff. The tour includes ground transportation during the workshop, (Chevy Suburban XL, so plenty of room). I have made arrangements for your rental car or your car to be parked at a safe location in Bluff while we are on tour. We will visit Valley of the Gods, Cedar Mesa, Monument Valley (native guided tour),  Shiprock, 4 Corners Monument, and countless other locations on the backroads of the region.

The nearest international airports are Durango CO, (2 1/4- hour drive, connecting flights might be a challenge), Phoenix  AZ (5.5-hour drive), Salt Lake City UT (5.5-hour drive), or Grand Junction CO (3.5-hour drive, connecting flights might prove challenging.) Stay in contact with us as we may be able to carpool you with other participants who are attending. While getting here is a challenge–it is well worth the effort!

Shiprock, Navajo Nation

Sample Itinerary

The tour begins at 9 am on Day One and ends the afternoon on Day Seven. We don’t have a fixed itinerary as locations and sites visited will depend upon weather and light conditions. The 7-day duration of the workshop will allow us to work at a steady but unhurried pace. We will be up before dawn and sometimes we will photograph after sunset, there will be ample breaks during mid-day for rest if needed.


Cost: $2195.00

A non-refundable deposit of $200 holds your registration until 45 days prior to the workshop when the balance is due. Please read our cancellation policy before registering.

Maximum of 4 participants.

For questions please call John at (218) 830-0767.

Includes ground transportation around the 4 corners region and guided
photography tours including native guides for Monument Valley. Lab fees for paper, inks, and use of the printer.

Does not include Accommodations, food, or transportation to Bluff Utah.


We have made special arrangements with Recapture Lodge in Bluff for special rates. This hotel is centrally located and is a wonderful place to hang your hat after a long day of photography.


This is a past workshop

To see our current list, see our workshops page