Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail: info@visionarywild.com    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 6pm, EST).    •    Justin Black’s iPhone: 1-202-302-9030

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Limit 10 spaces | $2,950* Closed
Creative Core October 15 - 19, 2012 | View other workshops

Boulder, Utah with Jack Dykinga and Justin Black

Map via Google

Boulder Mountain rises to the west of Capital Reef National Park in the picturesque Aquarius Plateau of South Central Utah. It is the highest timbered plateau in North America, with over 50,000 acres of rolling forests of pine, spruce, fir, and aspen, as well as expansive meadowlands. The area features the dramatic red rock canyons and sculpted formations for which southern Utah is famous, but it is a little known and refreshing alternative to more heavily trafficked southwestern locations.

Situated immediately adjacent to the majestic Grand Staircase descending toward the Grand Canyon and the canyons of the Escalante, this place is a creative photographer's dream come true.

The author and desert wilderness advocate Edward Abbey once astutely observed:

There are more hills, holes, humps and hollows, reefs, folds, domes, swells and grabens, buttes, benches and mesas, synclines, monoclines, and anticlines than you can ever hope to see and explore in a lifetime.

We'll add that the quality of light and atmosphere here are superb.

Click "Read More..." below right to read on.

Jack Dykinga has become one of the greatest practitioners and teachers of nature photography, specializing in Southwestern landscape. This workshop combines eight field sessions to an array of locations that Jack knows like the back of his hand. Three critique sessions of participant photographs made during the session will build on Jack's highly effective projected lectures on composition, qualities of light, and working the scene to distill the essence of the image. Assistant instructor Justin Black will provide support thoughout the workshop and keep the itinerary on track. The class size is limited to fifteen to ensure that everyone gets the time and attention they need, both in the field and the classroom.

Basecamp: Our group will be virtually taking over the Boulder Mountain Lodge, an intimate arrangement of buildings and outdoor common areas located on a 15-acre bird sanctuary at an elevation of 6650ft. In addition to beautiful rooms, the welcoming and comfortable lodge offers an array of amenities. Our meals will be provided by Hell's Backbone Grill, a highly rated gourmet restaurant featuring southwestern flavors. Our group meals provide an informal setting to socialize and address specific interests that may not be covered during lectures and classroom discussion.

Jack and Justin will share specialized techniques and insights drawn from decades of experience in landscape photography to help you make this sublime landscape sing in your work. This Creative Core workshop deals heavily with composition, working a scene through changing light, exposure control, developing creativity, essential gear and creative tools, fundamentals of digital workflow, an introduction to digital exposure blending and stitching, and a great deal of photography in the field followed by highly constructive group critiques. Creative Core workshops are general outdoor photography workshops and the emphasis of any individual participant's work is up to them, whether they wish to focus on classic landscape, abstraction, color, black and white, HDR, panoramics, multiple exposures, or all of the above. Any enthusiastic photographer will feel right at home in this workshop.

We supply materials in advance of the session to get newcomers up to speed with basics having to do with digital camera set-up and techniques, essential equipment recommendations, and other guidelines to ensure that everyone is ready to make the most of the experience.

Lodging, all meals, and beverages are included in the package. Breakfast and dinner is served at the renowned Hell's Backbone Grill each day, and the grill provides box lunches as well.

Please contact us promptly to reserve your space. A deposit of 50% is required at time of booking to reserve space, with balance payable 60 days prior to workshop start date.

 

Jack Dykinga

Taste life and strive to make a difference.

Pulitzer Prize (1971 Feature Photography) winning photographer Jack Dykinga blends fine art photography with documentary photojournalism.  He is a regular contributor to Arizona Highways and National Geographic Magazines.  His ten wilderness advocacy, large format books include: Frog Mountain Blues, The Secret Forest, The Sierra Pinacate, The Sonoran Desert, Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau, and Desert: The Mojave and Death Valley.   He authored and photographed Large Format Nature Photography, a “how to” guide to color landscape photography.  Jack Dykinga’s ARIZONA, released in 2004 from Westcliffe Publishers, a compellation of Jack’s best Arizona images and: IMAGES:  Jack Dykinga’s Grand Canyon released by Arizona Highways, May 2008, reflect Jack’s love for Arizona. Jack’s latest book: “Capture the Magic” released November 2013, delves into composition and the creative process.

Dykinga’s fine art images were featured along with the work of Ansel Adams in an Arizona Highways Magazine retrospective shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, The Center for Creative Photography, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. 

Recent work includes:

Texas/Mexican border highlighting the biological diversity of protected areas along the Rio Grande River, appearing in the February 2007, National Geographic Magazine.

His illustration of the wilderness lands of Native American Tribes is featured in the August 2010 National Geographic.

Jack has donated his talents to the International Leagure of Conservation Photographer’s RAVEs (Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions) El Triunfo, Mexico, 2007; Balandra 2007, Baja Sur, Mexico; the Yucatan 2009, Yucatan, Mexico; the U.S./ Mexico Borderlands 2009, as well as the 2010 Patagonia, Chile RAVE and the September 2010 Great Bear RAVE in B.C. Canada.

In each case, Jack and teams of celebrated photographers from all over the world pooled their collective talents to highlight potential environmental degradation.

 In April 2010, Jack’s image: “Stone Canyon” was selected as one of the forty best Nature Photographs of all time by the International League of Conservation Photographers and he received: The 2011 Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award from the Nature Photographers of North America in March 2011.

 He and his wife Margaret live in Tucson, Arizona.  His daughter Camille Bralts lives in Champaign-Urbana. His son Peter Dykinga lives in Tucson and manages Jack’s image collection.

Arizona PBS Interview with Jack:

An Interview with pre-digital Jack:

The Nature Conservancy's Director of Photography interviews Jack

National Geographic gallery of Jack's Native Lands project

Video: Profile of Jack Dykinga

Video: Interview with Jack Dykinga

Learning to See: an interview with Jack Dykinga

Visit Jack's website

 

Justin Black

One of my great joys is helping a photographer move beyond the fundamentals, building on an accumulated visual vocabulary that leads to something new – or at least renewed – as opposed to recycled, that they can truly call their own.

JUSTIN BLACK is a nature photographer, writer, and photo workshops organizer, and an affiliate member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Through both Visionary Wild and Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography (1999 – 2009) he has created inspiring and effective educational photographic experiences for thousands of passionate photographers. He is widely recognized as one of the world's leading photo workshops organizers.

A professional photographer since 1995, before founding Visionary Wild he served the ILCP as Executive Director, and for seven years was General Manager and Curator of Mountain Light Gallery.

Justin's photographs have been published by magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Sierra, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Rock & Ice, and Nature Conservancy.

Among conservation NGOs that have used his photographs in their campaigns, publications, and annual reports are The Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Land Trust Alliance, Earth Justice, The Wilderness Society, Conservation International, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ILCP, and the Wild Foundation.

Justin has also served as an editor and contributor to numerous award-winning photo book projects, including Galen Rowell: A Retrospective; Freshwater: The Essence of Life; The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being; Our National Parks: America's Natural Heritage; as well as Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey by Barbara Rowell. He is represented by the G2 Gallery in Venice, California.

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography, founded by world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer Galen Rowell and his wife and business partner, Barbara, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Beginning in May of 1999, Justin managed marketing of the Rowell image collection, assisted Galen on assignments and in his workshop program, and taught seminars on nature photography. In April 2002, Galen and Barbara invited Justin to relocate with them as Mountain Light's General Manager at the present location in California's scenic Owens Valley. Justin agreed and eagerly embraced the sublime Eastern Sierra Nevada landscape as his new home.

Four months later, Galen and Barbara perished in the crash of a chartered plane, leaving behind a tremendous creative and visionary vacuum. Justin went to work, building on the impressive Rowell legacy to reinvigorate Mountain Light by establishing a seasonal series of guest photographer exhibitions, expanding the image collection, and relaunching the highly acclaimed photo workshop program through collaboration with Galen's leading professional peers, including Frans Lanting, Pat O'Hara, Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, and David Muench. In May 2008, Justin's successful efforts were recognized by both Sunset and American Photo magazines, as each magazine featured editorial recommendations of his workshop program at Mountain Light. As of May 2013 Mountain Light website continued to display positive workshop client testimonials contributed exclusively under Justin's watch.

After ten years with Mountain Light, Justin was recruited for the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental conservation. At ILCP, Justin oversaw an explosion of productivity in expeditions, publishing, multimedia production, and the achievement of successful conservation outcomes. He contributed photographic coverage to ILCP's Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVE) program, including Flathead (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project documenting the Dragon Run watershed on Virginia's Middle Peninsula for The Nature Conservancy. One of Justin's photographs of the Flathead River appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threats facing the watershed had any prominent coverage in that regionally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the U.S. Senate for display in the Capitol Building.

Justin left his position at ILCP in late 2010 to establish Visionary Wild, building on his successful leadership of the Mountain Light workshop program and applying expertise gained at ILCP to provide superlative workshops and expeditions for passionate photographers seeking to advance to the next level of creativity, quality, purpose, and meaning in their work. His own work continues to evolve in new directions, driven by the ongoing search for extraordinary qualities in our world's dynamic landscapes.

Justin lives in Washington, DC, with his brilliant wife, Lena (Visionary Wild's Director of Operations), and their son Philippe.

Justin Black's limited editions portfolio

Justin's Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project

 

Justin’s Camera Bag

After using an array of 35mm, medium format, and 4x5 film cameras for most of his career, Justin has switched fully to Nikon digital SLRs and Nikkor lenses. His current gear includes:

 

Camera Bodies:

2x Nikon D810

 

Lenses (all Nikkor)

18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S ED

24-70mm f/2.8 G AF-S ED

70-200mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR

200-400mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR

24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift

35mm f/2.8 PC shift

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift

85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift

85mm f/1.8 AF-D

105mm f/1.8 AI-S

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

500mm f/4 AF-S VR

TC-14EII teleconverter

TC-20EIII teleconverter

 

Flash

Nikon SB-900

Nikon SB-700

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels

 

Filters

Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

 

Tripods

Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead

 

Photo Packs

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Panorama

Think Tank Photo (TTP) Streetwalker Harddrive

TTP Streetwalker Pro

TTP Airport Addicted V2.0

TTP Airport Acceleration

TTP Airport Antidote V2.0

TTP Urban Disguise 50 V2.0

TTP Speed Racer V2.0

Highlights

  • Eight field photography sessions, pre-dawn to mid-morning and mid-afternoon to twilight
  • Composition and creativity
  • Working the scene through changing conditions and light
  • Understanding and using various qualities of light to best effect
  • Exposure and tonal control
  • Essentials of digital workflow
  • Three projected group critique sessions

Accommodations & Travel

Package includes single-occupancy lodging, all meals, and adult beverages with dinner. Prorated fees are available for double occupancy and for those who do not require lodging. Boulder Mountain Lodge is an oasis of calm, comfort, and luxury in the middle of Utah's scenic red rock canyon country and mountain forests. It is perfectly located for quick access to the unparalleled natural wonders of the Boulder-Escalante region, and as if that weren't enough, it features a superb restaurant on its premises – The Hell's Backbone Grill.

airplane iconcar iconfoot iconweather icon
For those traveling by air, the nearest major airport is in Salt Lake City, UT, 4.5 hours drive away. There are also flights into Page, AZ which is slightly closer, and the drive from Page is stunning. We will carpool to field locations no more than an hour from the lodge. Access to locations on foot is easy. Highs will likely range from the low 60s to the low 80s, with lows ranging from the high 20s to the low 40s first thing in the morning. Precipitation is unlikely.

Expectations

Participants in this workshop should expect inspiring,  enthusiastic, effective, and generous instruction from Jack and Justin, both in the classroom and hands-on in the field. Early morning and afternoon/evening field sessions will make the most of our familiarity with the phenomenal locations available in the area, and we will work with each participant to ensure their goals for the workshop are met and exceeded. Three constructive group critique sessions will do wonders to refine your composition and techniques in the field, while allowing you to learn from the unique eye of each of your fellow participants. Most of all, this will be a fun, positive, and inspiring workshop that will exceed your expectations, provide new understanding and the keys to continue your development, and will leave you energized and excited to apply what you learned.