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

E-mail:    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email:

Jennifer Woolley – Director of Operations • Email:

We look forward to hearing from you!


Limit 10 spaces | $5,695* Closed
Expedition May 16 - 24, 2015 | View other workshops

Lake Powell with Gary Ladd, Jeff Foott and Justin Black

Map via Google

The sinuous channels, sculpted slick rock, red rock formations, abstract glowing reflections, and sublime canyon light of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon await you on this eight-day, seven-night photographic exploration with Gary Ladd, Jeff Foott, and Justin Black. A professionally crewed deluxe 75-foot houseboat will be our base camp, and three motorboats will provide access to the quiet corners of the sprawling lake, including sections of Glen Canyon that haven't been seen since it was flooded. We'll also have a few kayaks along for accessing slot canyons so narrow that one can touch both sides with arms outstretched.

The trip will begin at Comfort Inn and Suites in Page, Arizona, with an afternoon meeting and orientation before going out for an inaugural group dinner. The next morning, we'll drive across Glen Canyon Dam to Wahweap Marina to board our boat and cruise out to onto the lake. From pre-dawn to post-sunset each day, we will make the most of the light, including mid-day use of bounced canyon light. Instructors Gary Ladd, Jeff Foott, and Justin Black will guide excursions by motorboat to explore and photograph while the houseboat crew cruises from one anchorage to the next. We will make short, easy hikes into side canyons and across the slickrock landscape to access mind-bending locations. Each evening, we will spend the night at anchor in a secluded cove beneath the amazing starscape of the  clear southwestern sky.

Accommodations on the houseboat include five staterooms with queen beds, plus two large pull-out beds (all suitable for single or double occupancy), as well as the option of sleeping out under the stars on the sun deck (the crew and leaders will share this space). The boat also features two full bathrooms with showers, spacious common areas, hot tub, fireplace, and more.

Hearty meals will be prepared by our friendly boat crew: captain Randy Tucker – a Coast Guard-licensed and experienced Lake Powell and Grand Canyon guide – and his wife Barbara, a certified Grand Canyon raft guide. Randy and Barb are some of the finest people we know, and we are very pleased to have them join us for this trip. We hope you will too!






Gary Ladd

Gary Ladd is a free-lance photographer specializing on the wilderness interior of Grand Canyon, the pristine sandstone landscapes surrounding Lake Powell and the slickrock terrains of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Until 2012 his camera of choice was a 4x5 field camera. Digital now dominates.

His photographs have appeared in Life Magazine, Air & Space, Omni, Nature Conservancy, Reader’s Digest, Newsweek, Geo, Professional Photographer, National Geographic Adventure, The Wall Street Journal, Modern Photography, Plateau Journal / Sojourns, Sierra Press books, National Geographic books and many other periodicals, books, posters, cards and National Park Service displays. His most well-known image shows a spectacular lightning storm over Kitt Peak National Observatory, an image that was on “permanent display” at the Smithsonian Institution for many years.

His work has appeared in over 70 issues of Arizona Highways, ten as an article author. The December, 2011 issue of the magazine featured the 50 greatest photos ever published in the magazine’s 85-year history. Five of the 50 were Mr. Ladd’s.

Other recent book projects include Along the Rim (published by Grand Canyon Association), Lake Powell—A Photographic Essay of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, The Mormon Trail, The Oregon Trail, Rainbow Bridge, and Landforms—Heart of the Colorado Plateau, the last two as photographer and author. Grand Canyon, Views Beyond the Beauty was published in July, 2008 by Grand Canyon Association.

 He has self-published several books for local distribution: Page, Arizona—Hub of the Visual Universe, Grand Canyon—the Bare Essentials of Geology, Lake Powell + Glen Canyon—the Bare Essentials of Geology, Lake Powell Unchained and Time Sculpture—the Eloquence of Stone.

In July, 2008 Grand Canyon, Views Beyond the Beauty was published by Grand Canyon Association and in May, 2010 Arizona Highways released Lake Powell, both authored and photographed by Mr. Ladd.

Many of his photographs were made on a 40-year-long series of backpacking trips through Grand Canyon and on many river excursions in Grand Canyon and on Lake Powell in his wooden dory, Tatahotso.

Gary has taught for some of the most highly regarded photo workshops programs in the Southwest and is highly regarded as an instructor. He has lived in Page, Arizona for over 33 years.

Jeff Foott

Having had the good fortune to work and play in nature most of my early life, it became obvious to me I had to spend my life outside. After working as a National Park Ranger, a mountain climbing guide, ski patrolman and a few other lesser jobs, I went back to school in marine biology – doing research on sea otters – which at the time were in trouble.

I had come to love these creatures and set out naively thinking that if I could only portray to the public how they survived the ocean storms, raised their young and the danger of extinction they faced, then the otters would be saved. This was my entry into photography.

I first took still pictures for lectures and magazine articles, and then started a film about this unique creature. The film was eventually shown in over 100 countries to an estimated 100 million people. I had found a platform to speak from. Forty-five films later, for National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, BBC, etc., I am still working to portray what we have in the natural world and its importance to our spiritual direction in a time where the calm of nature is less reflected in our beings than at any other time in the history of man.

Along the way, I added art to the biology. My last film for The Living Eden series, Patagonia, was a finalist for an Emmy for cinematography. I have continued to shoot still pictures, now often focusing on the simple beauty and design of nature. I have changed mediums from large format 4x5 to shooting digital. I have never lost touch with the original motivation of using the photography medium to show people the wonder and beauty of nature, and making a plea for sanity in dealing with our natural environment. Pristine natural environments provide optimum opportunity for each of us to experience the calm and wholeness of our being, which is really our natural state. While searching for photographs, I rely on what touches my center, and then with logic and camera I make the effort to pass on to the viewer the original feeling that drew me to the scene. – Jeff Foott


Jeff has been widely published in the U.S. and internationally.  National Geographic magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Audubon, National Wildlife magazine, Nature's Best, Outdoor Photographer, Sierra Club calendars, Audubon calendars are a few of the publications that use his work. He is an Associate of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has donated his time and photographic talent to the ILCP Borderlands and Patagonia Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVEs).

Video: Jeff's project to fight the pine bark beetle invasion

Video: Jeff gets an amusing endorsement deal! (circa 1982)

Justin Black

JUSTIN BLACK is a photographer, writer, editor, expedition leader, photo workshops instructor, a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers (ILCW), and a former executive director of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Since 2011 with Visionary Wild and for ten years at Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography, 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 when he signed his first picture agency contract, 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 others. His work has also been published by major news outlets in print and online, and has been used in advertising for brands such as MasterCard, Patagonia, Nikon, and Fujifilm.

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

In 2017, he entered the world of motion pictures as an Executive Producer on the award-winning documentary film, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas, and Camera, produced and directed by Michele Westmorland. Justin was invited to serve as a judge for the 2015 and 2017 Nature's Best Photography Africa competitions. He has also been 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. His limited edition fine prints are available through his portfolio website at

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area, founded by Galen Rowell – a world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer – and his wife and business partner, Barbara Cushman Rowell. 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, the Rowells invited Justin to relocate with them to California's scenic Owens Valley as Mountain Light's General Manager. Justin eagerly embraced his new responsibility, along with 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, David Muench, and Jeff Foott. 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.

After ten years with Mountain Light, Justin was recruited to take over the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental and cultural 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 Valley (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project for The Nature Conservancy, documenting the Dragon Run wetland on Virginia's Middle Peninsula. One of Justin's photographs from the Flathead River project appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threatened watershed received significant coverage in that nationally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the United States Senate for display in the U.S. Capitol Building, as Canada and the USA reached an agreement to protect the Flathead.

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, and their children Philippe and Alexandra.

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 Conservation Photography Projects


Justin’s Camera Bag

After using an array of 4x5, medium format, and 35mm film cameras in the first two decades of his career, Justin fully embraced digital cameras in 2010. His current gear includes Nikon DSLRs and Fujifilm mirrorless systems.


Fujifilm Medium Format Mirrorless:

GFX 50S camera

23mm f/4 GF Fujinon

32-64 f/4 GF Fujinon

120mm f/4 GF Fujinon


Nikon DSLR:

Nikon D810 cameras (x2)

24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

24mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

85mm f/1.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor

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

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

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

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

Nikon TC-14EII teleconverter

Nikon TC-20EIII teleconverter

Nikon SB-900 flash

Nikon SB-700 flash

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables


Fujifilm APS-C Mirrorless:

X-Pro2 Cameras (x2)

14mm f/2.8 XF Fujinon

23mm f/2 XF Fujinon

35mm f/1.4 XF Fujinon

50mm f/2 XF Fujinon

18-55mm f/2.8-4 XF Fujinon

55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 XF Fujinon


Filters and Light Modifiers

Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

Photoflex reflectors and diffusers

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels



Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead or Arca-Swiss D4 geared head

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead


Photo Packs

MindShift Backlight 36L

MindShift Backlight 26L

Mindshift FirstLight 30L

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon

Mindshift Rotation 180 Panorama

ThinkTank Airport Addicted V2.0

ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 V2.0



  • Explore hidden canyons and channels of Lake Powell
  • Expert guiding and generous instruction by Gary, Jeff, and Justin
  • Spacious excursion houseboat with comfy beds and hot showers as our base camp
  • Three fast motor boats for quick and easy access to photo locations
  • Expert boat crew who we know and respect deeply, and who understand our photographic priorities
  • Excellent catering by our boat crew
  • A truly marvelous group bonding experience
  • Includes hotel in Page, Arizona the night before we embark

Accommodations & Travel

Package includes one-night lodging at Comfort Inn and Suites in Page, Arizona, for the night before we embark, accommodation onboard our 75-foot houseboat throughout the trip, and all meals from, dinner on May 16th to lunch on May 24th. Prorated fees are available for double occupancy or for those who prefer to sleep under the stars on deck.


airplane iconcar iconboat iconfoot iconweather icon
For those flying into the area, Page Municipal Airport (PGA) is served by flights from Denver, Phoenix, and Kingman, AZ. Those driving to the area from the south should be aware that HWY 89 has been detoured onto temporary HWY 89T. On Lake Powell, our base camp will be a 75-foot deluxe houseboat, with three motor boats for making excursions. Hikes into side canyons at landings along the way. These will generally be no more than a mile, mostly much less. For the most part the hiking is easy, though accessing certain spots can involve steep uphill sections, the occasional scramble, and somewhat precarious footing in places. A reasonable level of fitness and ability to hike rugged, undeveloped terrain while carrying your photo gear is required. Average temperatures for this time of year range from the low 50s to mid 80s F, with little chance of precipitation.