Southern New Mexico Winter Photography Workshop

7 Days - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jan 19 - Jan 25, 2020
Activity Level
Skill Level


Registration deadline: December 18, 2019

New Mexico is legendary for its enchanted light and the low sun angle of winter combined with the possibility of snow can offer truly magical moments in all three of our workshop locations.  Bosque del Apache, in a normal year is one of the best places to photograph majestic sandhill cranes, roosting, feeding and in flight.  The shallow ponds of the refuge make for great reflections of frequent colorful sunrises and sunsets.  White Sands needs no introduction.  In winter, the crowds are thin, the air is clear and cold and the alpenglow is at it’s best.  From Aguirre Springs on the east side, The Organ Mountains are a gem with their steep jagged granite peaks and ponderosa pine forest, reminiscent of something you’d find in the Eastern Sierra.   These mountains rise to 9000’ off the Chihuahuan Desert floor and can be easily photographed at first and last light on the same day.


Departing from Albuquerque, our first stop is the migratory ponds at Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge.  Tens of thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese can be found roosting in the ponds or taking flight in mass accession to search for food.  This grand display of winged activity can only be surpassed by the cacophony of sound present from this throng of birds.  Here, Michael will guide you on how to photograph birds in flight, using both slow and fast shutter speeds for different effects, panning to capture the essence of flight and using the morning mist and light to create dramatic images.  After two sunrise and sunset  photo opportunities under our belts we will then depart for our next destination further south.


A few hours south of Socorro is White Sands National Monument where undulating gypsum sand dunes stretch to the horizon.  Wind swept dunes give way to intriguing compositions through the use of texture and lines.  Crisp winter days often bring beautiful hues of blue and pink as the sun rises and sets across your field of vision.  Michael will provide one on one assistance in the field to help you create mesmerizing images.  When not in the field, Michael will conduct image critiques and assist participants with creative image making.


Our last destination, a favorite of Michael’s,  is often overlooked by many photographers yet offers spectacular views of  rugged mountainscapes particularly if we are lucky to have a dusting of snow.  The steep, angular Organ mountain range is pronounced by its rocky spires that jut majestically above the Chihuahuan Desert floor.  Located just east of Las Cruces, this range has elevations reaching to  9,000 feet.   Our group will make its way to the Dripping Springs area for sunset and the Aguierre Springs area for sunrise.  These locations will give you the best vantage points for capturing these jagged desert peaks.


Join resident travel and adventure photographer Michael DeYoung on this seven-day photo journey throughout southern New Mexico to capture this enchanted land in winter.

Workshop includes:

  • Six nights lodging based on double occupancy
  • Round-trip transportation from Albuquerque
  • Photography instruction and image critique
  • Entrance fees and permits
  • Water, snacks and one group meal
  • Post-workshop critique


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 –  Sunday, January 19, 2020

  • Participants meet in the conference room mid-morning at the Best Western Inn & Suites Albuquerque Airport for a few hour orientation and presentation.
  • Pack luggage and gear and travel to Socorro for lunch and to check into the Best Western Socorro.
  • Mid-afternoon through sunset will be spent at the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge capturing snow geese and Sandhill cranes.
  • Dinner

Day 2 –  Monday, January 20, 2020

  • Sunrise through mid-morning we will continue capturing roosting birds and birds in flight at the refuge.
  • Returning to the hotel for lunch and a mid-day break.
  • Early afternoon Michael will host the first critique session.
  • Then we will return to the refuge for late afternoon and sunset photo opportunities.
  • Dinner

Day 3Tuesday, January 21, 2020

  • After our last sunrise and morning shoot at the refuge we will return to hotel for check out.
  • In route to our next destination we will stop at San Antonio for lunch at the famous Owl Café before continuing our drive to White Sands National Monument.
  • We will go out to the monument for sunset and then return to Alamogordo to check into the Holiday Inn Express & Suites.

Day 4 –  Wednesday, January 22, 2020

  • We will have our sunrise and morning shoot in White Sands National Monument before returning to our hotel for a mid-day break.
  • Lunch and down time for downloading images.
  • We will return to White Sands for one last sunset.
  • Dinner

Day 5 – Thursday, January 23, 2020

  • We will take in a final sunrise at White Sands before returning to hotel for check out.
  • Depart for Las Cruces and check into our last hotel.
  • We will head out for an evening shoot of Organ Mountains from the Dripping Springs area.
  • Group Dinner

 Day 6  – Friday, January 24, 2020

  • We will begin our day with a sunrise shoot of Organ Mountains from Aguirre Springs area.
  • After returning to hotel we will have a mid-day break, edit session and critique.
  • Then it we are out for our sunset shoot at Dripping Springs, Baylor Pass road area.
  • Optional night time and star shoot if clear and not too cold.

Day 7 – Saturday, January 25, 2020

  • Optional sunrise at Organ Mountains, or sleep in with casual transfer back to Albuquerque.
  • Along the way we can make a stop in funky Truth or Consequences to visit hot springs.
  • We will arrive late afternoon in Albuquerque.
  • Workshop Adjourns

Strenuous Rating: Moderate to Slightly Difficult (mostly weather related)
Light hiking in White Sands and in the Organ Mountains at Aguirre Springs and Dripping Springs. Hiking is not necessary and participants can travel as far as they want during the prescribed time on location.

Weather: Almost always below freezing at night with lows near 10F.  Extremes can range from below freezing in the mornings to the low 60’s in all the afternoon.

Lodging During the Workshop:

Best Western Albuquerque Airport Inn and Suites
2400 Yale Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Phone: (505) 242-7022

The workshop begins and ends at the Best Western Albuquerque Airport Inn & Suites.  The lodging at this location is not included in your workshop fee.  To secure pre- or post-workshop lodging on January 19 and/or January 25, please contact the hotel directly.  A courtesy block of rooms are available and must be reserved no later than December  31, 2019 to guarantee availability.  Be sure to mention you are traveling with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes.


Best Western Socorro Hotel & Suites
1100 N California St
Socorro, NM
Phone: (575) 838-0556

Our first two nights we will be based in Socorro, New Mexico close to Bosque del Apache.  This lodging is included in your workshop fee based on double occupancy.  Single room options are available for an additional fee.


Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alamagordo
100 Kerry Ave
Alamagordo, NM
Phone: (575) 434-9773

While at White Sands National Monument we will spend two nights in Alamagordo at the Holiday Inn & Suites.  This lodging is also included in your workshop fee based on double occupancy.


Holiday Inn Express North
2142 Telshor Ct
Las Cruces, NM
Phone: (575) 522-0700

Our last two nights of the workshop will be spent at the Holiday Inn Express North in Las Cruces close to the Organ Mountain National Monument.  Again, this lodging is included in your workshop fee based on double occupancy.

Michael DeYoung
Ron York
Photo Guide
Rick Sprain
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 Company, NAIC #22276. W20




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.