Big Bend National Park is home to one of the most diverse ecological systems in the country. Woodlands, desert grasslands, and winding rivers meet to create stunning landscapes with diverse plant and animal life.The rocky, wooded Chisos Mountains tumble down to low desert grasslands dotted with cacti and giant yuccas. Deep, narrow canyons cut by the Rio Grande boast towering limestone walls. This location in West Texas is a study in contrast and for more than 100 years photographers have traveled there to capture its natural beauty.
Parent has been a professional landscape and nature photographer for more than 25 years, being featured in publications such as Arizona Highways, Texas Highways, National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, and many more.
Each day in the park will offer interesting and diverse photo settings. Santa Elena Canyon, with its towering 1,500ft high canyon walls, will provide a unique location for an early morning sunrise photo-shoot. To capture even more of what Big Bend has to offer, we will follow the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, stopping at iconic sights such as the Sam Nail Ranch homestead. Parent will show you the best spots and techniques for photographing sandstone hoodoos, picturesque badlands, and soft light plant subjects.
When you aren’t in the field shooting, you will participate in image critiques at the Chisos Lodge. As a special treat, we may even enjoy a soak in natural hot springs on the bank of the Rio Grande if time allows.
You will leave this workshop having expanded your photographic skill, with the quality images to prove it. Don’t miss this chance to explore one of the most diverse landscapes in the Southwest with one of its best photographers.
- Photographic instruction
- Roundtrip transportation from El Paso, TX
- Four nights lodging based on double occupancy
- Water, snacks, boxed dinner and group dinner
- Entrance fees and permits
- Post-workshop critique
Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on lighting conditions, in the hopes of giving you the best opportunities possible.
Day 1 – Wednesday, October 14
- At 8:00 am the group will meet in the parking lot of the hotel to load gear and head through West Texas on the journey to Big Bend.
- Enroute we will stop for a lunch break and to stretch our legs.
- Continue south into Big Bend National Park
- Mid-afternoon we will arrive at Chisos Lodge where we will check-in to our rooms and unload our luggage.
- Late afternoon we will grab our gear and a boxed dinner and head out on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to photograph late afternoon light at Sam Nail Ranch and sunset at Sotol Vista.
Day 2 – Thursday, October 15
- Day two finds us hitting the road very early to catch the sunrise and early morning light at Santa Elena Canyon.
- Here we will spend a couple of hours photographing the sheer rock cliffs that rise above the Rio Grande.
- Then we’ll head back to the Lodge for some downtime and downloading images.
- Break for brunch.
- Late morning into the early afternoon we will hold our first image critique.
- Mid-afternoon, the group will embark to the eastern edge of the Park near Langford Hot Springs and the Sierra del Carmen, where the distant mountains glow orange at sunset and the Rio Grande brings life to the desert floor. Here we’ll enjoy a picnic dinner as we photograph a beautiful Texas sunset, and, depending on water levels and the group’s energy level, we’ll enjoy an evening soak in the hot springs.
- Return to lodge and turn-in.
Day 3 – Friday, October 16
- On day three, we’ll be up and out early, traveling to Grapevine Hills where we will take a short brisk mile hike (one way) to photograph the sun rising over balancing boulders.
- Returning to the lodge late morning for downloading images, personal downtime, and lunch.
- Early afternoon, Laurence will be available for one-on-one assistance.
- Following our critique, we take a break and have an early dinner before heading out for sunset at Window and Chisos Basin just adjacent to the Lodge. We’ll stay out through nightfall to capture the moon rise over the West Texas desert.
- Return to the lodge and turn-in.
Day 4 – Saturday, October 17
- Sunrise on day four takes us a short distance from the Lodge as we photograph rugged sandstone bluffs and buttes rising from the desert floor near Panther Junction.
- Back at the lodge, we’ll take a break for brunch, download, and downtime.
- Early afternoon we will meet for our second image critique.
- Late afternoon the group will head out to a stark, beautiful badlands area on the west side of the park for sunset photos followed by a group dinner at the historic Starlight Theater in Terlingua.
- Return to lodge and turn-in
Day 5 – Sunday, October 16
- Our last morning finds us at Green Gulch for sunrise before returning to the lodge for breakfast, packing and heading home.
- Arrive El Paso late afternoon.
- Workshop Concludes
Activity Rating: Moderate.
Short hikes mostly on graded, maintained trails with some modest climbs for up to 2 miles round-trip. Some scrambling on rocks. Sturdy shoes or hiking boots recommended.
The Workshop will Depart from / Return to:
Wyndham El Paso Airport
2027 Airway Blvd.
El Paso, TX 79925
Phone: (915) 778-4241
The workshop will depart and return to the Wyndham El Paso Airport. Pre-night and post-night rooms are available for workshop participants. Participants are required to make their own reservations and pay for these dates.
Lodging During the Workshop
Chisos Mountain Lodge
Big Bend, TX
During our visit to Big Bend participants will stay at the Rio Grande motel at the Chisos Mountain Lodge. This lodging is included in your workshop fee. All lodging is based on double occupancy unless you specified a single room supplement and paid the additional fee.
- 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
- 90 days full payment is due
- 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $100 administrative fee. Voucher is good for 18 months.
- * 60 days or less until departure – No refund.
* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less $100 administrative fee.
NOTE: Workshop bookings including, but not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging and more are requiring firm financial commitments at 90 days. Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can some time be unavoidable that is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.
Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel any workshop if our minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event AHPS cancels a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund for the workshop components booked directly with AHPS. Please Note: we are not liable for the additional expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations or any other components booked outside of the workshop.PAYMENT TERMS: A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space. Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit. Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure. Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.