Badlands Photo Workshops
Instructor: Ian Plant
Where: Wall, SD
Price: $2495 ($500 deposit required at booking)
Class size: 8
My 2023 workshops are full
May 14-17, 2024
May 18-21, 2024
Email Ian at email@example.com to register.
There's no better place than Badlands National Park for learning landscape composition. Although the Badlands are beautiful, the compositions here aren't as obvious as they are in other scenic locations. All the raw materials are present, but you have to work hard to find compelling compositions, forcing you to think critically about visual design. In this Masterclass workshop, I'll teach you the techniques necessary to make landscape images that rise above the rest. The skills you will learn here will allow you to make incredible landscape photos no matter where you go.
Join me in beautiful Badlands National Park for this Landscape Masterclass workshop!
Benefits of this Masterclass workshop:
Amazing locations: I'm not just going to take you to the popular overlooks off the road, like you would get with most Badlands workshops. Instead, we're going to visit some of my favorite "secret spots" that I have discovered during my many years exploring the Badlands.
Flexible and advanced learning: This workshop focuses on making compelling landscape photos, with an emphasis on landscape composition. We'll discuss in great detail both theory and practical application, and together we'll take these concepts from the classroom to the field. We'll discuss a range of topics including classic near-far landscape compositions; successful use of leading visual elements; visual progression; extreme perspectives; scouting techniques; depth-of-field and focus stacking techniques; and the importance of weather, light, and dramatic skies. We'll also discuss digital darkroom techniques for optimizing your landscape photos. My goal is to ensure that the photographic opportunities are intense and rewarding, the critique sessions constructive, and the overall experience friendly and enjoyable.
Workshop location: The workshop is based in Wall, South Dakota (just outside Badlands National Park), where we will conduct all classroom activities. We'll make several daily trips into the National Park for photography.
Physical requirements: Since we will get a bit off the beaten path, we will be doing hiking during this workshop. Although we won't go more than three to four miles on any given day (and usually it will be much less), the terrain in the Badlands can be uneven, and we will have some short but steep climbs. People in decent physical condition will find the hiking to be easy to moderate. People who are in poor shape or who have mobility issues will find this workshop very difficult. You don't have to be an athlete for this workshop, but if you have physical limitations, please contact me before registering so we can discuss whether this workshop is appropriate for you.
Skill level: Photographers of all skill levels will benefit from this workshop, but if you are new to photography, you might want to learn basic skills elsewhere before signing up for this class. You don't have to be an advanced photographer to take this workshop, but we're going to be focusing on the artistic aspects of visual design, so participants are expected to have a working knowledge of their camera and other photographic equipment.
General schedule: Please note that each day’s schedule might vary according to which locations we visit that day, how long we shoot, and what the weather conditions are like (if the weather is conducive to photography on a particular day, we might stay in the field longer, and if not, we might emphasize classroom work that day instead). Flexibility is key to successful landscape photography, so expect that plans might change.
Day 1: We meet in the afternoon for an initial "meet and greet" event (time and place to be determined prior to the workshop start). I will give an opening presentation, provide an overview of the workshop activities, answer questions, and make plans for the morning shoot. After, we'll head out for a quick sunset shoot.
Days 2-4: Be prepared for three full days of intense workshop activities! We will go out to photograph sunrise every morning, spending 2-4 hours in the field working on composition techniques. After the morning shoot, we return to Wall for classroom activities throughout the day (with meal and personal breaks as appropriate). Classroom activities will include presentations about landscape composition techniques, digital darkroom processing, and daily critique sessions. In the late afternoon, we head back into the field for our sunset photography session. Sometimes we spend more time in the field if storms are sweeping through to capture dramatic stormy skies. Please note that we'll be leaving for sunrise very early (sometime shortly after 4 a.m.) and sunset is very late (we won't be back until past 9 p.m.), so you won't be getting much sleep at night. We schedule extra breaks during the very longs days so everyone can nap and try to catch up on lost sleep!
On Day 4, we conclude the workshop after our sunset shoot. This gives everyone a chance to sleep in the next morning before traveling back home or to their next photo destination.
Lodging: Lodging is not included in the workshop price. There are plenty of lodging options in Wall. As Wall is an extremely small town and all of the hotels are within a block or two of each other, feel free to chose lodging that best fits your needs and budget.
Transportation: Participants are responsible for their own transportation to, from, and during the workshop. The closest major airport to Wall is Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) which is 55 miles away. Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD) is another option, just over four hours away.
Payment policy: The workshop fee is for instruction only. All other expenses, including transportation, accommodations, National Park entrance fees, and meals are the responsibility of the participant. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to secure your spot on this workshop. The remainder will be collected 90 days prior to the workshop start.
If you cancel within 90 days before the start date, a partial or full refund of the workshop tuition might be available as long as we are able to find a replacement (minus a non-refundable $500 administration fee). We try to be flexible about emergency cancellations; just contact us and we’ll do our best to work it out!