Ironwood Forest National Monument Photo Workshop

4 Days - Marana, Arizona
Apr 4 - Apr 7, 2019
Activity Level


Discover the beauty of the southwest desert as instructor and Canon Explorer of Light, Ken Sklute teaches composition techniques, panoramas and night photography in the quiet skies of Ironwood Forest National Monument.  Registration deadline on April 1, 2019

Registration deadline: March 1, 2019

This workshop will bring photographers to the very quiet National Monument named Ironwwood Forest which is near Tucson.  During both field and classroom sessions instructor/photographer, Ken Sklute, will go over compositional techniques to help you best determine the best exposures and create light painted foregrounds during the late afternoon and evening. Ken will also instruct us in how to create landscapes in the dark with the Milky Way and how to best create panoramas. You will leave this workshop with new photographic techniques and unique perspectives on photographing the desert southwest.


During this workshop you will have the opportunity to capture images of the beauty of the southwest, using Saguaro cacti as the subject of your images both under the stars at night or during the early and late parts of the day.  We will be visiting Ironwood Forest during the New Moon (no moon) so we can capture the Milky Way.


This workshop is led by Canon Explorer of Light Ken Sklute. Ken will share his insight into being in the right place at the right time for the most creative photographs in this magnificent National Monument.


Workshop includes:

  • Photographic instruction
  • Three nights lodging based on double occupancy
  • Transportation from hotel
  • Entrance fees and permits
  • Water, snacks, and one group dinner
  • Pre-workshop webinar
  • Post workshop critiques

Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change depending on weather and lighting conditions. We want to give you the best possible photo opportunities.
Day 1 – Thursday, April 4

  • Arrive at hotel the La Quinta Inn and Suites at 1:00pm for an orientation and presentation by photographer, Ken Sklute.
  • Mid-afternoon participants will check into their hotel rooms.
  • Early dinner.
  • Late afternoon we will meet in the lobby to pack our gear and drive to Ironwood Forest National Monument for sunset and night photography.
  • Return to hotel by 10:00pm

Day 2 – Friday, April 5

  • We will meet in the hotel lobby at 5:30am to gather and begin our journey to the Ironwood Forest National Monument for sunrise. We will take breakfast to go with us.
  • Mid-morning we will arrive back at the hotel to debrief, answer questions before enjoying an early lunch together
  • From 11:30am to 3:30pm you will have time to rest, download and work on your images.
  • Convene in the meeting room at 4:00pm for a Q&A session prior to going to dinner.
  • Return to the park to photograph sunset and the Milky Way
  • Return to hotel late in the evening — as late as 11:30pm

Day 3 – Saturday, April 6

  • This morning we will depart at 5:30am for the Cactus Forest just outside of Florence for a sunrise shoot. We will concentrate on creating panoramas this morning so we may be able to capture pano’s of the Milky Way tonight.
  • Mid-morning we will return to hotel for rest, download images
  • Participants will bring their own lunch for a working classroom session from 12:30 – 4:30 where we will meet to share images and discuss results of yesterdays images and also images from this morning. We will learn to build panoramas in class
  • We will have a quick early dinner before heading back into the desert to photograph sunset and then wait until the skies darken so we can now capture 180 degree panoramas! Of course we will need cooperation from the weather.
  • Return late to the hotel – as late as 11:30pm.

Day 4 – Sunday, April 7

  • Sleep in late and enjoy brunch before meeting in the classroom at 11:00am to download images from the previous night’s shoot.
  • Select your best image(s) and we will process the images together to get the best balance of light and dark.
  • Workshop will adjourn at 4pm.

Strenuous Rating: Moderate

Participants will be walking in open desert and on non-maintained trails.  Much of our shooting time will take place after dark so it is important to understand camera settings and functions and to be able to operate in those conditions.

Workshop will be based at:

LaQuinta Inn & Suites
6020 West Hospitality Road
Tucson, AZ  85743
Tel:  (520) 572-4235

Three nights lodging based on double occupancy is included in your workshop fee.  Should you wish a single room you must select the single supplement during registration.  For pre- or post-workshop lodging you will need to contact the hotel directly and pay for these additional nights.  Be sure to reference Arizona Highways PhotoScapes 2019-A.

Ken Sklute
Ambika Balasubramaniyan
Photo Guide
Bob Blue
Photo Guide
There are a number of reputable companies who provide Travel Insurance.  For your convenience, we offer travel protection through TravelEx Insurance Services.  For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go to or contact TravelEx Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.
Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Compnay, NAIC #22276. W20


Should you find it necessary to cancel your workshop, the following fee schedule applies.
  • 90 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
  • Between 89 and 61 days prior to the start of the workshop, AHPS will retain your full deposit.
  • 60 days and fewer to the start of the workshop your entire workshop fee is retained.

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 60 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.