Don Smith Photography Workshops

Winter Big Sur – January 2017 – The lack of fog means colorful skies and incredible waves with incoming Pacific storms.

I know you have a choice of many workshops. Let me tell you what makes mine special.

I run workshops in locations ranging from Eastern Utah and New Mexico to Kauai.

First, a bit about who I am. I have made my living as a professional photographer for the past 39 years. I started in the newspaper business as a photojournalist, then matriculated into the field of professional sports. I worked for seven years for Sports Illustrated and have worked for the NBA, MLB and the NHL. I have been the co-team photographer with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks for the past 25 years.

Prior to making a living in sports, I gravitated toward landscape photography, first as a black-and-white enthusiast and then later transferring my skills to color photography. Though I paid the bills with my sports work, I was slowly building an impressive body of landscape images.

Getty Images had represented my sports work, and in 2008, they began representing my landscape images.

In 2006, I began offering my knowledge via my now popular landscape workshops.

My workshops are meticulously planned. I scout a new workshop a year in advance at the time I plan to run it, allowing me to know when and where the best light will be. I will never take a student to a location that I have not personally photographed for myself.

My groups are limited between 10-12 students depending on the conditions specified in the permit, and all of my workshops are run with proper permits and insurances in place.

I always have a second instructor with me, so our ratio is never more than six students to one instructor. This ensures you as the student will get the full attention you deserve.

It is my goal to have you on location 45 minutes prior to sunrise, and there are usually multiple locations. If the light stays good, we keep shooting. We do the same on the other end of the day, staying out until the last light is gone after sunset.

The afternoon is dedicated to teaching workflow, using the latest techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop along with some of my favorite third-party plug-ins. I also teach the basics of luminosity masking.

Moreover, I offer a minimum of two image review sessions where we discuss a wide range of image topics: light, composition, form, flow, eye-movement, shadow/highlight, reading light, finding photographic light, etc.

Most of my workshops include an evening of night photography.

Once someone takes a workshop with me, oftentimes they return—many times over. Over 60% of my workshops are made up from returning students, and I listen to all of my participants’ input to help me continually improve upon what I am offering.

Every student is important to me, from a first-time beginner to a seasoned veteran. I often will get professionals from other genres interested in landscape photography joining me.

Here are some samples from my current 2016-2017 offerings:

Spring Big Sur – March 2017 – I base this workshop around the full-moon cycle and the first blooming of flowers (including wild calla lilies) along the headlands.

Northern Arizona – March 2017 – This workshop offers the best of northern Arizona. It begins at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, then moves to Page where we visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons along with Horseshoe Bend, then finishes off in beautiful Sedona.

Springtime in Columbia River Gorge – April 2017 – This is another co-run workshop with Gary Hart. We photograph incredible northern Oregon and southern Washington mountainsides of carpeted wildflowers along with many of the best waterfalls of the gorge. Moreover, we visit some incredible lakes with vistas of both Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood.

Northern Arizona Monsoon Workshop – August 2017 – I co-teach this workshop with Gary Hart. We offer two workshops that deal with lighting photography and the dramatic sunrise and sunset skies during Arizona’s peak monsoonal season!

Fall in Grand Teton National Park – September 2017 – I hold this workshop during the heart of fall color. The native aspens and cottonwoods along with the awe-inspiring scenery is a must. This workshop is limited to 10 people.

Arches/Canyonlands/Monument Valley Workshop – October 2017 – If you love the grand scenery of Utah, then this workshop is for you! I even include a full moonrise between Monument Valley’s Mittens at sunset!

Fall in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks – November 2017 – Experience the best of fall in two incredible National Parks. We begin photographing the otherworldly hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, then move along to Zion during the peak of fall color. This is a very popular workshop!


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