Ironwood Forest Night Photography

4 Days - Marana, AZ
Apr 20 - Apr 23, 2020
Activity Level
Skill Level


Twisted gangly saguaros, clear night skies and desert solitude are the perfect recipe for this workshop.

Registration deadline: March 5, 2020

Pay a deposit of $500.00 per item

This workshop will bring photographers to the very quiet National Monument named Ironwood Forest which is home to some of the most interesting gangly and twisted-armed saguaros.  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 evening.   Ken will also instruct us in how to create landscapes in the dark with the Milky Way and how to best create panoramas.   We will spend one evening at Picacho Peak where the monolithic spire and saguaros will provide interesting foregrounds in your night sky images.  On one of the evenings following sunset, Ken will help you get light-painted images of cactus.   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.  This workshop is timed to coincide with the New Moon (no moon) so we can capture the Milky Way.


Ken Sklute will share his wealth of knowledge and 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

Workshop Prerequisites

This is an intermediate to advanced night sky workshop. Participants must be intimately familiar with their camera’s menus, dials and function buttons to operate them seamlessly in the dark.

Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on light and weather.  We want to give you the best photo opportunities possible.


Day 1 – Monday, April 20, 2020

  • Meet at the hotel conference room for a presentation by Ken Sklute on night photography and shooting the Milky Way.
  • Mid-afternoon we will break for an early dinner.
  • Later afternoon the group will leave the hotel for a sunset shoot and Milky Way.
  • Return to hotel approximately 1:00 am

Day 2 – Tuesday, April 21, 2020

  • Group will have a leisurely morning to sleep in and enjoy a late breakfast.
  • Late morning Ken will hold a debriefing to address any questions and conduct a short review.
  • Participants will have a couple of hours to download images, select 5 images to process followed by a critique.
  • Mid-afternoon the group will break for a late lunch-early dinner.
  • We will grab our gear and departure for a sunset shoot late afternoon.
  • Return to the hotel by 1:00 am.

Day 3 – Wednesday, April 22, 2020

  • Another leisurely morning followed by another debriefing late morning.
  • Participants will again have an opportunity to download, select 5 images, critique and process imagery
  • Break for an early dinner before departure for a sunset shoot into the early morning hours.
  • Return to the hotel around 1:00 am.

Day 4 – Thursday, April 23, 2020

  • Sleep in!
  • Late morning Ken will hold a classroom for critique and post-processing
  • Workshop adjourns around 4:00 pm.

Activity Level: Moderate

Participants will be riding in vans on washboard roads and walking through the natural desert at night.  Headlamps with the red light mode are required to minimize the distraction of other photographers.  A camp stool is nice to have, but is optional.  The group will be out late evening into the early morning hours so participants should take advantage of downtime during the day to rest.

The workshop will be based from:

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tucson North – Marana
8373 N. Cracker Barrel Road
Tucson, AZ  85743
Tel:  (520) 572-4777


Three nights lodging is included in your workshop fee. For pre- or post-workshop lodging, please contact the hotel directly to secure those room nights. Lodging is based on double occupancy. You may opt for a single supplement at an additional fee should you wish a private room.

Ken Sklute
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 www.travelexinsurance.comor contact TravelEx Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.  Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20


CANCELLATION POLICY: – Effective Apri 1, 2019
Should you find it necessary to cancel your workshop, the following cancellation policy applies – NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • 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.