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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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Photograph this summer in Santa Fe

It’s always a treat to show off Santa Fe and locations in northern New Mexico to photographers. It’s our home and our backyard and we know how and where to make exceptional photographs of this incredible place.

Join us this summer for a Santa Fe photography adventure you will never forget. Learn more about these exciting workshops:

SANTA FE PEOPLE AND THE LAND

THE ESSENCE OF SANTA FE

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Really great stories on the Really Right Stuff Blog!

The good folks at Really Right Stuff (check out their tripods!) asked workshop director Craig Varjabedian if he would be willing to share the stories behind his favorite photographs on their terrific blog. Check out The Past and Present Omaha Indian Dancer Anthony Parker. And we invite you to leave a comment if you like the story.

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Sponsor Shout Out: Sirui Tripods

If you are interested in improving your compositiona skills, making pictures from a tripod is a must. Legendary photographer and teacher Fred Picker used to say he could see a difference in the quality and feeling of a photograph made by someone who used a tripod. I think he was right.

Sirui (pronounced sur-ay) make some of the best tripods out there including our favorites models, the N-3204 w/ K-30X head and the N2204X w/ K-20X head.

Check ’em out at the links above at our favorite photo retailer, B&H Photo.

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From Behind the Lens: Finding my bliss . . .

My photographic work at White Sands National Monument is nearly coming to an end. It has been a gift to walk among those dunes, photographing those breath-taking confluences of light and feeling and upon occasion hear the sound of my own heartbeat echoing from the dunes themselves.

As I enter the home stretch, the words of Joseph Campbell have been running through my mind. Campbell once said, “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”

I was reminded of my bliss at White Sands.

-Craig Varjabedian

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED 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

Check out the next Eloquent Light White Sands Workshop.