Canyons Photo Workshop

Zion | Grand Canyon | Slot Canyons

Canyons Photo Workshop

With Drake Busath & Sean McFarland

Canyons Tour

Photo Tour & Workshop with Drake Busath



The Great Canyons of the Southwest

The Great Canyons of the Southwest

6 days, 5 Nights      6-12 Guests     Price: $1750        Nov 2-7, 2020

Tour Highlights:

  • Zion National Park (stay in the heart of the park at Zion Lodge)
  • Grand Canyon North Rim
  • Antelope Slot Canyon
  • Secret Canyon private excursion
  • Horseshoe Bend private excursion (Colorado River)
  • Lake Powell Alstrom Point
  • Local guide & instructors
  • Friendly small-group atmosphere (6-12 participants)
canyons photo tour itinerary map

Tour Itinerary

Canyons Photo Tour Day 1

Day 1 | Zion National Park

Meet up at Zion Lodge inside Zion National Park at noon (a very special stay, right in the heart of the park) and join us for a welcome lunch and short orientation before we check into our cabins.

In the evening, photograph under the towering Court of Patriarchs with its meadows, brooks and reflections in the Virgin River.

Dinner is on your own at the lodge or in nearby Springdale.

Canyons Photo Tour Day 2

Day 2 | Zion National Park

Rise early to photograph the Towers of the Virgin, from pre-dawn stars and the soft glow of dawn until the fiery orange, reds and pinks light up the cliffs.

A late morning workshop session will allow us to download and see the results of this fascinating lighting exercise.

After lunch, take a walk with us along the Virgin River to some favorite views of the majestic cliffs and fall colors in the canyon.

Canyons Photo Tour Day 3

Day 3 | Zion National Park

This morning we drive the switchbacks into the Upper East Canyon.

Those up to a short pre-dawn hike can photograph sunrise over Zion, a surreal experience. Or opt to stay closer to the cars and shoot layers of “rock art” in the canyon, even some hidden petroglyphs if you want.

Enjoy some downtime at the lodge and afternoon class time to review images.

Then grab your tripod and water shoes for classic sunset views along the Virgin.

A group dinner will finish off this very full day.

Grand Canyon Toroweap Point

Day 4 |Grand Canyon North Rim

Sleep in or shoot sunrise right outside your cabin door before breakfast.

Travel by car to the North Rim of he Grand Canyon for a evening shoot.  Closed to tourism this time of year, the rim will be quiet and uncrowded.  We’ll arrive late and check in to the Marriott in Page AZ.

Canyons Photo Tour Day 5

Day 5 | Secret Canyon & Private Horseshoe Bend

After breakfast we’ll review our images and prepare you to shoot in the slot canyons.

Then gather our gear for a midday excursion into Secret Canyon. This is one of the most exquisite naturally carved creations, so you can look forward to what people have called a “photographic orgy” of color and design.

After returning to the hotel for reviewing and editing time, grab a snack and the evening will find us at Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River, one of the most dramatic overlooks on the planet.

A Mexican dinner finishes off this amazing day.

Canyons Photo Tour Day 6

Day 6 | Antelope Canyon & Lake Powell

Enjoy breakfast then head out with a Navajo guided tour in yet another awesome slot canyon, Lower Antelope.  Because they’re not allowing tripods this year, we’ll be practicing some high-ISO hand-held skills and even some cool motion technique.

We’ll return to the hotel for a late checkout and wrap up the workshop with hugs and promises to share the terrific images of this week.

This is an Actual Workshop

In addition to photographing together in the field, this workshop gets down and dirty in the classroom, teaching post production editing.

Daily image critique on the big screen is by far a better learning experience than simply photographing as a group.

Workshop Sessions

Classroom time (one-hour sessions) is devoted to reviewing your daily images on-screen and offering helpful suggestions.   We’ll primarily demonstrate Adobe Lightroom tips and tricks, but we dive into Photoshop sometimes too.  In the field, we’re always nearby to answer your technical questions and help you master your own equipment.

One on One Workshop Training

Sean McFarland photographer

Workshop Leader

Sean McFarland, native Utah photographer, will be the instructor for this workshop. Sean has been involved with Italy Workshops for over a decade, both in Europe and on our US Canyon tours.  He’s an amazing instructor, drawing on skills from his day job, Head Broadcast Engineer for a worldwide network.

Sean has a second home near Zion Nation Park so he knows and loves the area.  More importantly, he’s hilarious and fun to travel with!

Our mission is to place you in outrageous locations at the best times of day, and to work side by side with you in the field, to ensure you go home with solid images and new post-production skills to edit them.


Tour Manager

Kristin Poulsen is a native of St. George, UT.  Her entire life has been spent in red rock country next door to Zion National Park.  For several years she and her husband operated restaurants in both St George and Page, Arizona (slot canyons and Lake Powell).  She has a deep love for the southwest and seems to know everybody in Southern Utah, which comes in handy arranging our trips for us!

Kristin will be your host, staying with the group at all times to make sure you’re comfortable and well fed!

Special Guest Instructor

For groups over 8, we make it a point to invite a second instructor as a special guest, so you never know who you’ll be rubbing shoulders with.

Ask if there will be a special guest attending your workshop.

Office and Registration

Italy Workshops offices are located in Salt Lake City, UT in the historic downtown mansion of Busath Studio & Gardens.  Please feel free to stop in and visit.

We are open and reachable by phone Tues-Friday 10AM to 6PM MST.  801-364-6645

Sheryl Bird handles all registrations from her office in Boston, MA.  Sheryl is reachable by email at

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Camera Should I Bring?

Any camera is acceptable here.  This is not a meeting of gear heads. We do suggest you bring a wide angle lens, a sturdy tripod and cable release (so you can shoot in low light) .  As we get close to the workshop date, we’ll provide a list of equipment if you’re interested.

Should I Bring a Computer

Participants who are very comfortable with their computer are encouraged to bring it along. Editing your images during the week can enhance your learning experience. We currently use Adobe Lightroom CC for our on-screen reviews sessions. You will learn new LR editing methods and workflow shortcuts during classroom reviews and critique. Even if you’ve used Lightroom, we highly recommend brushing up before the workshop by watching the free tutorials available on

If you are not fluent downloading and managing digital images, you might consider leaving the computer behind and just focusing on camera work. You can still submit images daily for review, and perhaps find more time to learn about your camera and develop a discerning eye. (Not to mention sleep happily while others are editing into the night)

Observer Participants may be beginner photographers, attending all instruction and field trips, but not required to submit photos for critique. This is a fun way to learn without pressure. You’ll still photograph the same things and we’ll still want to review your work on the back of your camera and offer individual instruction in the field.

All Skill Levels Are Welcome

Beginner and Intermediate Photographers

We enjoy helping you master those buttons and menus on your camera! Short, daily field lessons will tackle one technique at time. Further individual attention in the field helps you lock in the concepts.

Any camera is welcome (yes, even smartphones!).

Non-photographer partners are welcome to sit in on all discussions and participate at their own level of interest. (Beginners often make some of the best images we see!)

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“I learned as much in a week with you two as I learned in two semesters of photography classes.” Read More

-Jeri Petersen | Tuscany

Advanced Photographers

As an advanced photographer you’ll be encouraged to:

  1. Build your portfolio, adding strong images every single day of the trip.
  2. Focus on style development, lighting and composition.
  3. Work in “concentrations” to produce a collection of work suitable for a gallery showing or book project.

You will return home with a body of work suitable for a gallery showing or book project that will express your personal style, as opposed to a random collection of travel photos.

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” I was delighted to end the week with not only hundreds of excellent images but nine new friends as well.” Read More

– Jim Pierotti CRA, 30 yr. pro photographer | Tuscany

Canyons Photo Workshop Reviews

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“I came from Holland to Drake’s Utah Workshop, so I had pretty high expectations. And after all I can only say: what a breathtaking experience!!!” Read More

– Wendy Jansson | Canyons Tour

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“They don’t forget a thing! Each and every day is well-planned with great places to see and photograph. They are so knowledgeable and are right there helping you and teaching you to be a better photographer. It was the best! “ Read More

-Kay Winn | Canyons Tour

Canyons Photography Workshop Dates

Canyons | Nov 2-7, 2020

Arrive: Nov 4th – Zion National Park
Depart: Nov 9th – Page, Arizona
Tour Group Size: 6-12 People


$1750 / Participant

Six days workshop instruction, guided hikes and classroom reviews. Includes three private Navaho guided tours, welcome and farewell dinners and working lunches.  Hotels are not included, and paid directly upon checkout.

* This trip starts at Zion National Park and ends in Page, Arizona. Flying into St. George, Utah (1-hr. drive to Zion), is recommended. Alternatively, arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada (3-hr. drive to Zion)


  • Welcome dinner and farewell dinner, along with a couple of lunches
  • Daily workshop instruction in the field
  • On-screen review and critique sessions
  • National park entrance and photography fees  (we pay full National Park workshop permit fees)
  • Private guided and driven tour for views on Lake Powell
  • Private guided and driven tour to Secret Canyon
  • Private guided  tour of Lower Antelope Canyon
  • Our own travel guide available at all times with snacks and water

Not Included:

  • Hotel accommodations (We will make reservations for you and you will pay the hotel directly upon checkout.)
  • Airfare
  • Ground transportation is available by request for an additional charge.  Most people drive their own car or rent a car from Las Vegas or St.George, UT.

Payment Schedule

  • A reservation fee of $500 will hold your spot
  • The balance of payment is due 120 days prior to your workshop


Room reservations are made for you by our staff. Payment for hotel rooms are made by the guests upon checkout, directly to the hotel. Rooms are assigned in order of reservations received, so early signup is recommended.

Single Supplements

No single supplement fees

Cancellation fee schedule 

  • There is no charge for cancellation within ten days of booking your workshop.
  • After ten days, reservation fees are non-refundable but may be applied to a future workshop event.
  • Cancellations less than 90 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 25% of the total workshop cost.
  • Cancellations less than 45 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the total workshop cost.
  • Cancellations less than 15 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 75% of the total workshop cost.
  • No partial refunds will be given for unused portions of a workshop.

We highly recommend that all workshop participants purchase trip cancellation insurance independently.

Cancelled Workshops

Italy Workshops reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient signup, logistical problems that may impede a workshop, hotel closures or acts of God. (We have never yet had to cancel a workshop.)

Refund of all fees paid shall release Italy Workshops from any further liability. Italy Workshops is not responsible for any expenses incurred by workshop participants in preparing for a cancelled workshop. In the case of insufficient signup to make a workshop feasible, notice and refund will be sent 120 days prior to the workshop.

Photographic Release

Italy Workshops reserves the right to photograph and film its trips in entirety. Participants should be aware that images of them may be used for promotional purposes or joint marketing efforts with third parties, without remuneration.

Reserve Your Workshop Experience Today

Group sizes are limited and sell out quickly. Please reserve early.

You can reserve your spot by filling out the form below,
or by calling us at 435-313-3424

Hold My Spot

    How many people in your party?

    An invoice will be sent to your email for $500/person reservation fee.