2/15/2017 UPDATE: Early this morning we were notified by Mike Hill from the Utah National Park Service, that ALL roads leading into and within Arches National Park will be closed to ALL traffic from 7pm to 7am Sunday thru Thursday during the entire 2017 season. With that being said, we have modified our workshop schedule to visit incredible destinations near Moab, Utah AND added additional days to the itinerary so you can still experience the wonders of Arches National Park.

“After our initial shock from this news, we thought about all the other incredible locations this area of Utah has to offer and completely revised the workshop schedule. Did we mention we’re adding an additional night of shooting at no additional cost? Instead of the traditional Arches/Canyonlands trip, we’re taking you on a new adventure into an endless desert sea of hoodoos, spectacular red rock overlooks from Canyonlands, and much more under some of the darkest skies in the US!”

This workshop includes Goblin Valley State Park, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park destinations. While these areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character. On our first night, we’ll explore the strange and colorful landscapes of Goblin Valley State Park. This area is a unique showcase of nooks and gnome formations sculpted by millions of years of eroded mud, sand, and silt, creating a desert sea of bizarre goblin shaped formations under the stars. The Arches offer an unparalleled experience as you hike up-close to gravity-defying rock structures that seem to act as portals to another planet. The Canyonlands are filled with brightly colored rock formations that have eroded into countless canyons, mesas, and buttes. Ariel views of windblown sand dunes in Dead Horse Point State Park, 2000 feet above the swirling Colorado River offers a panoramic backdrop under the night sky. Certified as a Dark Sky Park, the position above the sandstone canyon walls makes for a spectacular, virtually unobstructed viewing of the night sky with sweeping, 360-degree panoramas. Next door are the dark skies of Canyonlands. Edward Abbey, a frequent visitor, described the Park as “the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth”. A rare resource with very little artificial light pollution, you will capture the brilliance of the Milky Way amidst brightly colored rock formations that have eroded into countless canyons, mesas, and buttes. And finally, we’ll guide you into Arches National Park and show you something that will change your perspective as you hike up-close to gravity-defying rock structures that seem to act as portals to another planet.

Just like the forces of nature have acted in concert to create these unique landforms, you will leave this workshop with the skills and knowledge to connect this unearthly landscape with the drama of the night sky in your image creations. This workshop is structured around all skill levels from beginners to professional photographers desiring to learn more about capturing the night sky.

May 1 – 6, 2017

Class Size:
6 Participants Maximum

Spaces Available:
1 Space Remains


Physical Difficulty:
Moderate. Our longest excursion will be a 2 mile round trip hike.

“To provide you with the best personal learning environment possible, I limit my class size and NEVER bring my own camera to a class.”

Brad has gone beyond the call of duty to provide each of us individualized instructions. –Dr. Wong”

Topics Covered

This 5.5 day workshop begins with a 3 hour ‘Introduction to Landscape Astro-Photography’ class at a nearby indoor facility in Moab, UT. In addition, we will shoot three nights at numerous locations throughout Arches and Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and Goblin Valley State Park with two 4-hour post processing in-class sessions.  During this workshop, we will be concentrating on capturing the Milky Way and moonlit landscapes, creating star trails, light painting, panoramas, focus stacking, compositing and much more. You will also learn about depth-of-field shooting techniques and advanced post processing methods. You will receive a more comprehensive, 65+ page booklet with step-by-step instructions about all phases of post processing for personal reference. You will receive with this course a much deeper understanding of the night sky and a thorough combination of skills, tools, and resources to move forward with your abilities after leaving the workshop. During all field work, we will follow “Leave No Trace” principles to minimize any impact on the desert environment. With over 70 topics you will:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the night sky (Earth’s orbit, location of the Milky Way, meteor showers, moon cycles, etc.)
  • Appreciate the importance of planning for your shoot
  • Understand the differences between shutter speed/aperture/ISO/white balance, and more
  • Learn how to focus your lens at night
  • Begin to master the art of capturing the Milky Way, create star trails, panoramas, composites, and more
  • Learn about light painting
  • Understand noise reduction (how and when to use it)
  • Receive personal tips and special techniques
  • Learn how to blend multiple exposures together in post processing using Adobe Photoshop
  • Gain new skills with advanced post processing methods in Bridge & Photoshop

What equipment do I need to bring?

We encourage you to visit our ‘Workshop FAQ’s Page’ for required equipment during your workshop, itinerary examples, and much more.


Arches & Canyonlands Night Photography Workshop: 5/1 – 5/6

* Must be 18 or older to participate. Prices do not include meals, accommodations, gear, transportation, or incidentals. You are responsible for supplying your personal necessities. Please visit our terms & conditions for more info.

Accommodations & Transportation

Accommodations, transportation, and park entrance fees are not included in the workshop fee. We understand each person has different needs and may want to stay in a hotel or campsite. For those who prefer to stay in a hotel, we recommend arranging your accommodations near Moab, UT. The group will meet for introductions and at that time, arrange to carpool, exchange information, etc. We generally try to arrange our classroom instruction in hotel meeting rooms similar to a Best Western or Holiday Inn Express when available. You will receive a detailed itinerary well before the workshop date to assist you as you make your travel arrangements. 


If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by sending an email to info[at]goldpaintphotography.com.

Email Policy: We never share your email address with anyone. Period.

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