August 12-15, 2021    Sedona, Arizona

Unleash Your Inner Artist!

If any of your desired workshops are sold out, click here to add yourself to the waiting list.


August 8th to August 12th, 2021

3-Day Pre-Symposium Workshop:  The Artist’s Voice: The Art of Landscape and Storytelling (and Beyond!)  with Karen Hutton  –  August 8th to August 11th, 2021

You love landscapes. Great! But how does YOUR landscape shot differ from a thousand others? What’s your story? Who are you behind the lens and why should anyone care?

You have to put your mark on your work. Embed it into the pixels of every shot so it becomes your “signature”.  How?  Glad you asked!

In this “inner meets outer game” workshop, you’ll learn to:

  • Prepare: how to set yourself up to succeed, every time, anywhere. (That’s the inner game)
  • Focus your brain in a very different way through the neuroscience of “soft fascination”.
  • Vastly enhance your creative thinking and ability to immerse yourself and expand your vision (literally!) as you draw upon the science of Awe.
  • Convey emotion and meaning by leveraging the tools of the craft with the Power of Specificity to your advantage.
  • Exponentially expand the scope of each shoot by telling a bigger story. Hint: it includes local history, culture, a sense of place and circumstances told in a whole new way.
  • Create a visual narrative of your entire immersive experience; from intimate, personal scenes – to the grand landscape and beyond.
  • Create your own unique approach to any subject as you apply the rules of classical Storytelling to your Visual Narrative.
  • Walk away from your next photo adventure with not just one – but an entire book of images that tell a multi-layered story of your own Awe-inspired experience.
  • Feel fist-pumpingly confident that you’re crushing it every time you pick up your camera!

3-Day Pre-Symposium Workshop:  PhotoPills Extensive  with Rafael Pons of PhotoPills  and Sean Parker  –  August 8th to August 11th, 2021

Rafael Pons (of the PhotoPills team) along with Sean Parker will be running a 3-Day PhotoPills and Astrophotography workshop in the beautiful Sedona (Arizona, USA).

In this workshop you’ll learn:

  • How to use every single PhotoPills tool to help you plan your Sun, Moon and Milky Way photos.
  • How to photograph and edit the Milky Way.

And we’ll be practicing in the field photographing the Milky Way in some of the most beautiful spots in Sedona.


1-Day Pre-Symposium Workshop:  Reach for the Stars: Night Photography  with Sean Parker  –  August 11th, 2021

Share in the excitement and inspiration Sean Parker can bring in this night photography workshop with internationally renowned astrophotographer Sean Parker. During this introductory course, you learn to reach for the stars: how to dial in your camera settings, focus at night, and capture remarkable photos of the beautiful universe that surrounds us!


1-Day Post-Processing Workshop:  Lightroom for Nature Photographers  with Brenda Tharp  –  August 12th, 2021

In this workshop, Brenda will begin with a discussion on how to evaluate your images so that you can decide on how to process them to bring out the feeling or mood that you sought to express when making the image(s).

We’ll then get right into the Develop Module and work through several examples step-by-step to discuss how to deal with a variety of situations in processing. You will gain an understanding of how the tools in Lightroom work so that you can use them to develop images that match your original vision – or take it in a new direction. You’ll also gain insights for developing a consistent workflow.

Topics covered will include:

  •  Arranging the adjustment panels – setting up your workspace
  • Using a “top-down” method
  • Basic Panel Controls
  • Selecting Camera Profiles
  • Adjusting White Balance
  • Default Settings – where to start
  • Handling high-contrast scenes
  • Using the Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush
  • Using the Spot Remover Tool
  • Sharpening Tools
  • Noise Reduction
  • Converting to Black and White
  • Using the HDR Merge feature
  • Creating Panorama Merges


1-Day Workshop:  PhotoPills Intensive  with Rafael Pons  –  August 12th, 2021

Join Rafael Pons (the PhotoPills Team) in this intensive 1-Day PhotoPills training

After this training you’ll be able to plan any Sun, Moon and Milky Way photo you imagine. And you’ll know how to use every single tool included in PhotoPills.

So get ready to use PhotoPills at its full potential.


    MAIN Symposium

    August 12th to August 15th, 2021

    Thursday, August 12th

    2:00PM to 5:30PM   Main Symposium Registration

    5:30PM to 7:00PM    Main Symposium Kick-off Reception 

    7:00PM to 8:30PM  Keynote Address:  The Essence of the Image  with Deborah Sandidge 

    It’s not what you see but what you feel that makes for better pictures.

    Join Nikon Ambassador, author, and travel photographer Deborah Sandidge as she guides you through capturing experiences and creative imagery, giving you a sense of being there in the moment. My instinctive approach through my photography is to create an image that conveys what it feels like to be there—in other words, the experience. Sometimes we want to dig a little deeper than our initial reaction to capture an image, and to think about what we want to convey with the emotional essence of an image. With a first impression, we can get a shot for the record. But, if we stop and really think about our reactions, we’ll almost always see the other qualities, different options, and other elements to better illustrate the experience. Learn how I envision the subject, the message, and what steps I take almost subconsciously as the experiential photographer. My goal is to share with you a sense of what it feels like to be there in the moment.

    Friday, August 13th

    5:30AM to 10:00AM  Your Choice of Field Outings Below (via separate ticket)

    Field Outing:  Leave No Pixel Behind   with Karen Hutton

    Create your own “Book of Adventure”.

    No, this isn’t about writing a book. Or is it? We are, after all, the authors of our own lives. In that spirit, why should a landscape (or ANY) shoot be any different?

    When you go out to photograph a place, be it familiar or new, sunset or sunrise, include water, trees, mountains or what have you… do you ever think of walking away with an entire book of photographs to tell the divine story of your experience? Not just one shot: but a hundred of them? Full of variety, a myriad of perspectives, angles, expressions, perceptions and a soaring sense of AWE? Oh my. Are you in for a treat!

    In “Leave Not Pixel Behind”, you’ll see the natural world as one full of possibilities in a whole new way. Through unique exercises, drills and a mini scavenger hunt for images, you’ll walk away with the “book of your adventure” on your memory card – and you’ll leave no pixel behind in your wondrous exploration.

    Join us for a gorgeous early morning shoot in the Sedona countryside with a sense of adventure, an open heart and a desire to SEE DIFFERENT!

    Field Outing:  The Intimate Landscape  with Brenda Tharp

    We’ll head out in search of close-in scenes that express the beauty of nature around Sedona, without a horizon or wide angle view in the mix. Techniques to create meaningful intimate views will be discussed and applied in the field.

    Field Outing:  Creating Images That Reflect Your Vision  with John Barclay

    Vision doesn’t have to be a difficult or elusive entity, though it often feels like a struggle. What if you could make images that caused your insides to leap with joy? What if you found a new place to look to find your vision? Join John Barclay as he guides and encourages you to trust in your vision so that you are making images to make your heart sing.

    After attending, you will:

    • Feel more connected to your photography all the time
    • Appreciate the wonder and awe of each place you go to photograph
    • Learn more about your process and how you show up, which greatly affects your ability to express yourself through your photography.
    • Pay attention to your process, and to what turns your head.
    • Learn the photographic value of what turns your head.

    10:00AM -12:30PM Mid-day Break and Lunch on Your Own

    12:30PM   Main Symposium  Convenes with Welcome and Announcements

    1:00PM   Main Symposium Feature Presentation:  Talent is Over-Rated: Unlock Your Creative Potential  with Dan Ballard

    One of the most challenging aspects of photography is learning to be creative and see creatively. It’s easy to believe that some people are born with the natural talent, while many of us assume that we just don’t have it. However! This is not a valid excuse to not aim for a high level of achievement. In this presentation, Dan will share his philosophy on creativity – stemmed from many years of teaching, as well insights from studying scientific research on the brain. You will hear ideas on shifting perspective, breaking away from mindsets that hold us back, and ultimately… methods for unlocking your photographic and creative potential.

    2:00PM to 2:30PM  Break

    2:30PM   Main Symposium Feature Presentation: What Makes an Image Successful?   with Mike Moats

    With 15 years as a full-time pro nature photographer specializing in macro photography, Mike has studied and analyzed what makes his images successful. The concepts and styles that Mike has developed can be applied to any type of photography and will help take your photography to the next level and create your own personal style. 

    3:30PM to 4:00PM   Break

    4:00PM to 6:00PM   Your Choice of One Breakout Session (included with your Main Symposium general admission ticket)

    Breakout Session:   Infrared… The World of Invisible Light  with Deborah Sandidge 

    Infrared photography will expand your photographic horizons. It offers the photographer an alternative way to “tell the story” creating an image that is more surreal and enchanting than possible in color. Various subjects reflect and absorb infrared light differently than in color. The results may surprise you! Leaves from trees such as maples, are highly reflective of infrared light and are recorded as white by the digital camera with infrared filter. Clouds become wonderfully expressive and often the sky is quite dark, both key features of an infrared image. Infrared light also creates a flawless porcelain look to skin. This is why infrared photography is so attractive to wedding photographers.

    The way that infrared light is absorbed and reflected by various surfaces works beautifully to create a compelling image. Join author, instructor and Nikon Ambassador Deborah Sandidge as she guides you through creative techniques for photographing and post processing beautiful, one-of-a-kind infrared imagery.

    Breakout Session:  Impressions of Nature:  How to envision and create artistic abstracts, motion-blurs, multiples, and more   with Brenda Tharp

    Brenda will share images and discuss her technique and her ideas that went into each image. She will discuss specific techniques for making creative impressions of nature, and demonstrate those techniques. Attendees will also have the opportunity to practice the techniques in this session.

    Breakout Session:  Crafting Your Images with Topaz Plug-ins   with John Barclay

    Come hear John Barclay introduce you to the power of AI (Artificial Intelligence) through Topaz Plug-Ins like AI Adjust, AI Gigapixel, Denoise, as well as their Studio 2 product.. You will learn to supercharge your image processing and streamline your workflow with these tools to help you craft your images to meet your vision. With 32 Topaz Labs webinars under his belt, John is sure to inspire as well as inform.

    6:00PM    Optional sunset shoot on your own

    Saturday, August 14th

    5:30AM to 10:00AM  Your Choice of Field Outings Below (via separate ticket)

    Field Outing:  The Blue Hour  with Deborah Sandidge

    Tips and techniques to enhance your blue hour imagery

    Photographing during the blue hour can transform an ordinary subject into something beautiful and magical! Making pictures during the blue hour allows the photographer to create unique and colorful story-telling imagery. During this time the sky takes on a rich color, but only for minutes. The sky will soon lose its color, so you’ll need to work quickly.

    Deborah will discuss techniques to capture the most expressive color during the blue hour. She will provide tips on how to accentuate the color at twilight and to optimize what you capture. You will better appreciate how the color affects the mood, depth and feeling in an image.

    Your blue hour photograph is your unique story, a visual narrative of what you experience, and your interpretation of the scene. Deb will help guide you with creative techniques.

    Enjoy the creative perspective that Nikon Ambassador and travel photographer Deborah Sandidge provides as she shares exactly how to get the most out of the blue hour, giving you an opportunity to capture the drama of twilight.

    Field Outing:  Shifting Your Perspective  with Dan Ballard

    Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the hardest to master. This is especially true for landscape photography – where standing in one place means being surrounded by infinite options, angles and conditions. Add rapidly changing weather and you get the potential for chaos. In this field session, Dan will teach you about how your position in space relates to the location of multiple subjects in your scene and how changing your angle relative to your subjects can have a profound effect on the overall design of your image. The session will involve a series of assignments designed to help you truly grasp using these techniques in the field. You will leave extremely aware of how to effectively use the elements in your scene to create powerful works of art.

    “Dan’s artistic and technical expertise, patience, and ability to recognize the difficulties I was having, explain why I was having them, and provide instant solutions to those problems – were invaluable.” -Past student

    Field Outing:  Macro in the Field   with Mike Moats 

    Come explore Sedona’s tiny landscapes with the help of international award-winning professional macro photographer Mike Moats. We will explore the local area for wildflowers and desert plants perfect for macro-photography. With Mike, you will be searching out artistic designs and abstracts in the desert plant life.

    10:00AM -12:30PM Mid-day Break and Lunch on Your Own

    12:30PM    Main Symposium  Convenes with Welcome and Announcements

    1:00PM   Main Symposium Feature Presentation:  Finding Your Signature Voice in Photography  with Karen Hutton

    The power of embedding YOU into your photography.

    Karen Hutton presents (and lives!) a philosophy of photography that weaves art, life, soul and the Power of Awe to create signature work. 

    As artists, we have an opportunity to shift perceptions and uplift our audience with our work through unique ways of looking at the world. The challenge: with light and time as our media, we have mere moments to do it! How do you crack the code?  

    Developing “signature” in your work is one way. It sets you apart as an artist; it identifies your images as  having a unique “voice”. When the essence of YOU is embedded into the very pixels of your images, they become unique, regardless of photographic genre. Signature work tells a powerful story, it conveys emotion, harnesses the creative force of your soul’s genius – and yes, it makes a highly specific statement! 

    Through thought provoking imagery, Karen takes you on a personal journey.  Along the way, she reveals a system for transforming your world into consistently and creatively awe inspiring imagery. It’s an approach that leaves you feeling more grounded, focused and less distracted by your own mind chatter. More than just “inner game”… it’s a practical approach that brings your soul’s voice and creativity to bear in your imagery, informing each decision, resulting in consistently awe-inspired personal and professional work. 

    2:00PM to 2:30PM   Break

    2:30PM  Main Symposium Feature Presentation:  Enhancing Creativity, the Natural Way   with Brenda Tharp

    Creativity is the use of the imagination, it’s about applying your inspiration and pre-visualization to the scene before you to create a more expressive photograph. Developing an awareness of your creative self requires practice, and attention to what you are naturally inspired by. Yet translating what we see into a final image that expresses what we want takes an understanding of the creative concepts.

    In this exciting visual presentation, Brenda will share images and discuss how composition, light, visual depth, gesture, when combined with personal vision, can create images with more impact.

    3:30PM to 4:00PM   Break

    4:00PM to 6:00PM   Your Choice of One Breakout Session (included with your Main Symposium general admission ticket)

    Breakout Session:  Creating Movement, Energy and Drama  with Dan Ballard

    What does it take to create a truly powerful image? And how do we go from raw file to masterpiece? In this breakout session, Dan will share his method for creating  movement, energy and drama in a photograph – digging into how certain combinations of elements can influence the eye and mind in a profound way. The session will focus 100% on the artistic side of shooting and editing, with examples and demonstrations that breakdown the art of visual storytelling into a recognizable pattern that can be used as a tool to create great images. All levels of photographers welcome.

    “I have been shooting for 30 years and one day with Dan has literally changed the way I shoot, select and edit and my photos forever.” -Past student

    Breakout Session:  The Well-Equipped and Prepared Macro Photographer  with Mike Moats

    Learn what are the best cameras, lenses, tripod/head, accessories, and camera functions for the beginner to advanced macro photographer.  Lensbabies, focus stacking, creating backgrounds, high magnification macro photography and more will be covered in this session. 

    Breakout Session:  The Power of Specificity  with Karen Hutton

    When photographic art misses the mark, it’s usually suffering from “Wandering Generality Syndrome”. Choices that aren’t specific enough. A point of view that isn’t thought out well enough, committed enough or worse yet, missing altogether. What’s more, we often doubt ourselves and the choices we DO make, which muddies the whole process even more! Ack! What’s a mother to do??

    This crazy-fun 3-hour session gets back to basics. I mean, play-like-a-kid basics. And we do it (some would say) in highly unlikely ways. (Those are the best!) It’s about creating awesomeness outside the box, having a laugh-out-loud good time doing it! Without giving TOO much away (keeping a few things under the hat is, after all, part of the fun), know that this session is full of delightful surprises, take-pictures-like-a-ninja action and “WHO KNEW?? I’M AN ARTIST!” realizations.

    How does this happen in 2 hours? Well, suffice it to say you won’t be bored. 😉 Join us and find out how The Art of Specificity in photography can be more fun than you ever imagined!

    Sunday, August 15th

    9:00AM to 9:30AM    Main Symposium  Convenes with Welcome and Announcements

    9:30AM   Main Symposium Feature Presentation:  Dream – Believe  Create   with John Barclay

    John Barclay believes photographers bring their own journeys, their sense of the world, their experiences and their passions to each of their images: what is essentially their vision. Photography to John is simply another medium of artistic expression. Visual poetry if you will.

    Why Dream – Believe – Create?  There was a time when John felt he could not create.  His self-talk was “I am not a creative person, I’m not smart enough, I can’t do this.”  After seeing images projected at the first workshop he took, he dreamed of becoming a good photographer. Primarily with the help of well-known accomplished photographers, he was able to chip away at the negative self-talk, and, believe that he could create worthwhile images.  Thus Dream – Believe – Create has become the centerpiece of what he teaches in his workshops. Everyone has dreams and can achieve their dreams. And when you truly believe, you will be freed to be able to create. 

    John’s goal in this presentation is to inspire you to capture the essence of the subjects you are drawn to using the creative medium of photography. 

    10:30AM to 11:00AM    Break

    11:00AM to 12:30PM   Main Symposium Panel Discussion

    Join all 9 presenters in one forum to answer your questions and hear them speak about how they approach their craft and vision.

    12:30PM   Main Symposium Bon Voyage!  See you next year!!



    August 16th to August 20th, 2021

    1 Day Post-Symposium Workshop:  Macro Photography  with Mike Moats  –  August 16th, 2021

    Join macro-guru Mike Moats for a topically-expansive 1-day deep dive into macro photography. Covering gear and beyond, you will learn the ins-and-outs of crating admirable macro or close-up images. Expand your potential with how to work with your images in the digital darkroom. Take your close-up work to a new height of artistry in just 1 day!

    You will learn about:

    • Which tools are best to have with you
    • Proper depth of field
    • Composition and elements of design
    • Locating good subject matter in any setting or season
    • Mike’s post processing techniques using Photoshop, Smart Photo Editor, Nik Software, and Topaz software programs.


    3 Day Post-Symposium Workshop:  Magic of the Monsoon Part I   with Adam Schallau – August 16th to August 18th, 2021

    Photographing the South Rim of Grand Canyon 

    The summer monsoon season can be one of the most exciting times to photograph the majesty of Grand Canyon. Afternoon thunderstorms are common, bringing cooling rain showers that can add a painterly sense of atmosphere to the canyon. The monsoon season is the time when the canyon truly comes alive. During this three-day field workshop, we will photograph from some of Adam’s favorite locations on the South Rim of the canyon. The compositional opportunities will be varied, and you will have the chance to work with wide-angle grand scenics and compressed landscapes using telephoto lenses. Adam will be sharing both his technical and creative approaches to photographing the landscape, including capturing the best exposure possible, maximizing depth-of-field, and working with filters. 

    This workshop is limited to no more than 7 participants to allow everyone the opportunity to photograph the canyon without feeling crowded, and to ensure that you receive personal instruction from Adam. This workshop begins on Monday afternoon, August 16th, with a reception, orientation, and slide show presented by Adam. Following this, we will move to the rim of the canyon for the first field session. The workshop concludes on Wednesday morning with a final sunrise field session. 

    Note: The techniques taught in Part I of this workshop lay the foundation for the more advanced methods that will be taught in Part II on the canyon’s North Rim. 


      3-Day Post-Symposium Workshop:  Magic of the Monsoon Part II   with Adam Schallau – August 18th to August 20th, 2021

      Photographing the North Rim of Grand Canyon 

      The summer monsoon season can be one of the most exciting times to photograph the majesty of Grand Canyon. Afternoon thunderstorms are common, bringing cooling rain showers that can add a painterly sense of atmosphere to the canyon. The monsoon season is the time when the canyon truly comes alive. During this three-day field workshop, we will photograph from some of Adam’s favorite locations on the North Rim of the canyon as we build upon the techniques and creative styles that were learned during Part I of this workshop on the South Rim. This includes more advanced techniques such as working with strong foreground elements in the compositions, focus stacking, and panoramic stitching. 

      This workshop is limited to no more than 7 participants to allow everyone the opportunity to photograph the canyon without feeling crowded, and to ensure that you receive personal instruction from Adam. The workshop begins on Wednesday afternoon, August 18th, with a meet and greet and orientation at the lodge on the North Rim, followed by the first field session. It concludes on Friday morning with a final sunrise field session. 

      Note: The techniques taught in Part I of this workshop lay the foundation for the more advanced methods covered in Part II.


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