The Utah Photo Tour 2019 will focus on landscape photography in and around Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. The Capitol Reef area boasts some of the United States’ most unknown geographic formations and pristine, underrated opportunities for iconic landscape photography. The fall colors peak in the river bottoms in early November, adding new color tones to an already rich color palette.

As a group, we will explore these enriching desert landscapes and lesser-known locations providing everyone the opportunity to create showcase-worthy photography. In addition, the area offers extraordinary clear night skies allowing countless astrophotography compositions. We will give this a go as well.



6-8 participants + 2 instructors

Intermediate photography level. Moderate hiking involved.


During the photo tour, we will take advantage of the best light—shooting mostly sunrises and sunsets. Midday will be a great opportunity for free time in which you may rest, do classroom courses, or explore on your own.

If the weather allows, we will also try our hand shooting astrophotography with the Milky Way. If conditions allow astrophotography, we may adjust the next morning’s shoot the following day to allow more rest.

Day 1 - 3: Capitol Reef National Park

During the first half of the photo tour, we will be based in Torrey and shooting in Capitol Reef National Park. Our first photo excursion will be sunset on day 1.

On day 2, we will venture back into the national park and shoot both sunrise and sunset (and possibly also astrophotography). On day 3, we will shoot the last sunrise in Capitol Reef, check-out and drive to the Hanksville area.

Day 3 - 5: Hanksville Area

Hanksville will become our base for the remainder of the photo tour. We will photograph in Goblin Valley and around Caineville. Caineville offers great opportunities for astrophotography, abstract landscape photography as well as aerial photography.

On day 5, we will head back into more remote parts of Capitol Reef National Park to photograph. After this morning shoot, the photo tour will end.


All scheduled photoshoots are subject to change. We will do our best to utilize given weather conditions to maximize shooting opportunities for each day.

Classroom courses

Each midday when the light is harsh, we will pause for a couple of hours to rest and learn. Classroom lessons on various topics such as post-processing and Adobe Lightroom photography management will be discussed through Q&A sessions. Learn how to better manage your image library and to streamline your back-end process.

If so desired, we will also be holding portfolio reviews on a one-by-one basis providing honest and constructive feedback.

Planning Your Trip

The closest airports are Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) and Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC). Capitol Reef is right in-between the two cities and approximately 4.5 hours drive from each airport. For those wanting to explore the landscape and other national parks, Las Vegas would be an appropriate choice. For those wanting a quicker in and out, Salt Lake City to Capitol Reef is an easier drive.

Car transportation

We recommend renting a vehicle (an AWD or SUV type) at whichever airport you will be flying into as this photo tour is held in a remote location of Utah. Renting your own vehicle will also give you the ability to explore other unique locations around Utah before and/or after the photo tour.

During the tour, each participant will be responsible for their own transportation to and from each shooting location. It is advised that participants carpool to and from locations to minimize the impact on the roads and environment. We will have a central rendezvous point before each scheduled shoot where we will share shooting location information and caravan to the shooting location.


We will be staying the first two nights in Torrey and the last two nights in Hanksville. Upon photo tour reservation, we will recommend hotels where we have booked out a certain number of rooms. However, you are free to secure your own accommodations if you so desire. Be advised, options are limited so do not postpone securing lodging accommodations.

Food and beverages

Since we will be shooting sunrises and sunsets (and astrophotography), normal eating schedules may be compromised during this photo tour. We may go as a group for a dinner here and breakfast there (after photographing), but for the most part, each participant will be on their own food-wise. We will provide complimentary water and snacks at each shoot location.

Included & Excluded


  • Guidance and instruction from two professional photographers
  • Classroom lessons
  • Portfolio feedback sessions
  • Snacks and water


  • Flights
  • Transportation
  • Hotel
  • Food and beverages
  • Capitol Reef National park entrance fee
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Visa (if applicable)
Meet your instructors
Jan Miřacký

Jan is an award-winning landscape and travel photographer based in the Czech Republic who has a passion for long exposure photography. Jan regularly runs photography tours in Prague, Iceland, and Scotland as well as more adventurous photo expeditions in places such as Peru and Myanmar. Jan’s instruction on multi-day tours focuses on training each participant in seeing hidden compositions otherwise not seen. Jan’s goal is to ensure each participant comes to understand proper metering and exposure yielding in more desirable results.

A.J. Rich

A.J. is a professional Getty Images photographer specializing in conceptual photography. Along with his photography experience, A.J. works full-time as an art director for Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. A.J. is a native Southern Utahn who loves hiking and has been exploring desert mesas ever since his early days. He brings his knowledge of the local geography providing places to photograph during this photo tour. A.J.’s goal is to provide participants opportunity to experience Utah at its greatest.

A.J. Rich
Final notes
Difficulty & Terrain

Moderate. This photo tour involves some trail hiking and elevation gain to arrive at certain shooting locations. Some shooting locations will be easily accessible from a parking lot or roadside. The trail hiking may be deemed vigorous activity based upon the participant’s physical condition. Trail hiking surfaces and those beyond the parking lot are generally uneven—thus hiking boots are recommended.

Participants do not need to be in prime physical shape, but one’s enjoyment will be based on good health and preparation. Participants should expect to walk up to 4 miles per day. Please consult with your doctor before attending our photo tour or venturing on your own before and/or after the photo tour.

Proper hydration is a must in desert locations. It is expected that each participant fully understands they will be out in remote desert locations. Please bring plenty of water (which will be provided) and drink often.

Experience level

Intermediate. We expect you to know the basics about the exposure and composition and be comfortable handling your own camera.

Weather & Clothing

Come prepared with clothing layers as mornings can be quite chilly. We plan on arriving up to an hour before sunrise and staying beyond sunset and into the crisp nights when temperatures can rapidly shift in this desert environment. Weather can also be unpredictable, so please plan accordingly.

November is a temperature swing month in the high desert as winter begins to set in. Highs average around 52°F (11°C) during the day and regularly dip below freezing (32°F) at night. The elevation of the surrounding area where we will be shooting is between 4,000 and 7,000 feet (1,220 and 2,134 meters).

Sunrise & Sunset Times

Sunrise is approximately at 7:52 a.m and sunset is approximately at 6:24 p.m. on November 1st and 2nd. Due to Daylight Saving Time ending (where we gain an hour), sunrise will be approximately at 6:53 a.m. and sunset will be approximately at 5:22 p.m. starting on November 3rd.