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Kerry Stewart on the White Sands Photography Workshop

In November 2009, I participated in an Eloquent Light Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Being very inexperienced, Craig Varjabedian helped to ignite a passion within me for photography. The workshop was an incredible experience! It served as great motivation to move forward in learning new skills and to discover the beauty and significance of light in photography.

Almost five years later, I rejoined Eloquent Light for a White Sands Photography Workshop. Our small group hiked across the gypsum sands enjoying and photographing the beautiful scenery. White Sands put on a magnificent show for us and Craig guided us to the “best seats in the house!”

Thank you, Craig, for another wonderful experience! I look forward to our paths crossing again in a future adventure.

-Kerry Stewart

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Taste of New Mexico Workshop: Santa Fe

Our Taste of New Mexico Workshops (sm) are abbreviated versions of some of our popular New Mexico offerings and are generally two days long. They are a kind of delicious amuse-bouche or delightful smaller serving of our regular workshops. These workshops are designed for photographers with limited time, yet a strong desire to make wonderful pictures and are priced accordingly.

SANTA FE: People and the Land

Santa Fe was called the Dancing Ground of the Sun by early Native Americans and nicknamed The City Different by town fathers at the turn of the 20th century. By any name, Santa Fe is one of the world’s top award-winning and most beloved destinations—four centuries of history, surrounded by a majestic landscape of juniper and piñon-covered hills, cottonwood groves with deep blue skies and radiant light . . .  Award winning photographer Craig Varjabedian will share his favorite places and people with you and guide you to the best locations to capture the magical light that has inspired artists here for centuries.

Award winning photographer Craig Varjabedian will share his favorite places and people with you and guide you to the best locations to capture the magical light that has inspired artists here for centuries.”

Learn more this workshop experience this August in Santa Fe.

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Photographs by Workshop Participants Robyn & Walter Mehmke

It was a pleasure to share White Sands National Monument with Robyn & Walter Mehmke. Ranchers and farmers by vocation and photographers by passion, Robyn and Walter made some beautiful images. We thank them both for sending along a few images as well as these kind words about their time with us:

What a fantastic workshop we were treated to at White Sands National Monument. Thank you, Craig, Tye, and Cindy, for sharing this wonderful adventure with us and for being so patient. We carried home memories that will last a lifetime. Our eyes were opened to things that we had not seen before.

We came home with not only images of the stark beauty of White Sands, but knowledge learned in the classroom and in the field, plus friendships. This was my third workshop with Craig Varjabedian and my husband’s first. It was a wonderful experience for both of us and did not disappoint.

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Notes from Behind the Lens: Go West Young Man

I have been thinking a lot lately about the places we live in and how a place relates to the work we do and the happiness we hopefully find there. I myself am fortunate to have found my place, New Mexico, answering a call from the great beyond—from someone who seemed to embody Horace Greeley himself when he told me “Go West young man!” And 32 years later I am still here . . .

Now, as is true for so many others who have been called to this place, many of the stories of my life are New Mexico stories. Once you gain some sense of the genius of the land, you begin to count your blessings. That journey of counting each blessing, recalling it, and cherishing it is a personal experience people have here. The great thing is, seeing this land is like seeing a prayer: a dream of the future made visible, made real, and set loose across a magical sky. You can be overcome by it. It changes you.

—Craig Varjabedian

Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L EF L-Series lens
Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Tripod with BH-40 LR Ballhead
Processing: Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop
Lighting: Overcast Diffused Natural Light
Photographer: Craig Varjabedian

This photograph captures one of Georgia O’Keeffe’s favorite places. Check out our Photographing the Land of Georgia O’Keeffe workshop.

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Eloquent Light’s Slot Canyons workshop, first-hand

Arizona’s slot canyons are renowned for their beauty, especially the Antelope Canyons, both Upper and lower, located near Page, Arizona. Formed by flash floods that eroded the Navajo Sandstone, eons of erosion by wind and water have created intricate and sensuously curving patterns in the rock.

Eloquent Light Photography Workshops’ Craig Varjabedian took a small group of adventurers on a week-long trek that included three days exploring the canyons. Travel writer and photographer Lee Daley was there, and wrote about her experience. Here are some excerpts from her account:

“More than just an opportunity to take great photos, a visit to the slot canyons comes pretty close to being a spiritual experience. Having photographed extensively in both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons, Craig felt we should concentrate our time in Lower Antelope, where lighting is better in the early hours and late afternoon. Craig spent time with each member of the group. Because of the wide range of light, we worked a lot of images in HDR (high dynamic range.)

After many years of conducting photography workshops in the Southwest, Craig has developed personal and often unique relationships with places and people all over the region. One evening, everyone was invited to the home of a Navajo elder for dinner and the opportunity to photograph. Another evening, we hiked over the reservation to a magnificent overlook where we photographed and lingered until the last light was extinguished. We reluctantly traipsed back to the van with only starlight and a crescent moon to light our way.

An unexpected benefit of traveling with a photo group was the camaraderie of our small band of like minded photographers. Over dinner each evening, we reviewed the day’s challenges and accomplishments with shared insights and tips. For anyone wanting to come away from a visit to Arizona’s slot canyons, I would highly recommend a photography workshop as a memorable learning vacation that will reward you with skills lasting a lifetime.”

—Lee Daley, Antelope Slot Canyon workshop: Part I, Part II

Note: Eloquent Light will be returning to the Slot Canyons November 2017 as part of workshop On the Road: Photographing the American Southwest.

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