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Big Bend // Wildflowers + Stars

Big Bend National Park, Texas

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Book this tour through our partner: Andrew Slaton Workshops

Big Bend is one of the most remote and least visited national parks. It is also the best for seeing the night sky in all its glory! So on this exciting workshop, we will focus on night photography, but we will also plan to be there for peak WILDFLOWER season, when the desert really comes alive!  So that means we will be playing around with the exciting technique, light painting, capturing the heavenly bodies with colorful wildflowers. And as always, we will discuss and shoot landscapes & general nature.

Additional Information


Price - $1000 which includes your pre-workshop materials and Skype Q&A, 4 days of photography instruction, all park fees, 3 nights camping (Thurs. - Sun.), bottled waters and snacks in the field, and photo feedback and discussion sessions.  Transportation to and from the park and within the park, lunch, dinner, and all other expenses are not included.

Deposit - A refundable* $250 deposit is required to secure your spot.

Class Size - This class will have at most a 8 to 1 ratio of students to instructor.  A minimum of 4 participants is required for this workshop to occur.  Discounts may be available for multiple people in one party, and friend referrals.

Travel - Big Bend National Park is quite remote.  However, there are a few airports within a reasonable driving distance. The closest airports are Midland-Odessa Regional Airport (MAF), which is 220 miles away (3-4 hr drive) and El Paso International Airport (ELP) which is 315 miles away (4-5 hr drive). For reference, the drive from Dallas and Houston is approximately 10 hours for either.

Lodging - Group camping with instructor is included. But keep in mind, accommodations are extremely limited! We will do our best to get a group site within a 5-10 minute drive to the restroom, but this is not always possible. If you have any specific questions, please contact Andrew directly. If you are not comfortable with primitive camping, please consider other options. Lodging is also available in the Chisos Basin for around $125-175 per night, at the cost of the student. Rooms fill up fast, especially this time of year, so book early.

Meals - Snacks and water are provided, but meals are the responsibility of the student.  There is only one restaurant in the park, and that is where we will tend to eat as a group, so please make arrangements if you have special dietary needs.

Transportation – Once in the park, everyone will follow Andrew in their own vehicles to each location.  Students are encouraged but not required to consolidate into as few vehicles as possible.  Additional fuel within the park is the responsibility of the student.

* Please see Terms and Conditions page for refund policy.


  • Pre-workshop Personal Skype Session – Before all of our destination workshops, you can benefit from a personal Q&A Skype session at your convenience with Andrew, to ask any questions you might have about your upcoming trip. This is immensely helpful to gat to know your instructor, and to making sure you feel prepared for the great adventure ahead!

  • Welcome Packet - You will receive your personalized welcome packet 2-6 weeks before the workshop with maps, helpful local info, nature facts, FAQ’s, technical photography information on what we will be discussing, a comprehensive list of what to bring, and more.

  • Park Related Fees – We believe in and support our National Parks system, so we are proud Commercial Use Authorization Permit holders with Big Bend National Park! This provides us good standing with the Park and the rangers, and it helps to fund fantastic conservation projects that would not be possible without special use educators and their students! So a portion of your tuition goes right back to help protect the park you love!

  • Numerous Guided Hikes – We will embark on at least one hike per day through the intensely beautiful landscape of the Chihuahuan Desert and the Chisos Mountains. We will explore the myriad flora and fauna of both ecosystems, shooting anything and everything in nature, discussing a wide range of photographic tips and techniques.

  • Astro Photography - You’ll get very used to your siestas on this trip, as we will spend the first hour or two before sunrise and after sundown navigating the exciting night sky with our cameras. We will discuss and execute several techniques including night landscapes, star trails, painting with light, and more!

  • 3 Nights Camping, water, and snacks – Other lodging is available at the expense of the student. But If camping is your thing, then you will enjoy all three nights of group camping in the park with Andrew, giving you extra time to talk about photography! All you need is to bring your own camping gear! Regardless of if you choose to camp or stay at a nearby hotel, plenty of bottled water and snacks throughout the day will be provided.

  • Image Reviews + Post-Processing Instruction - We will spend some good time on image critiques plus help with post-processing and workflow.

  • BONUS! - Stretch out those sore muscles! One complimentary yoga session per day, with our lovely resident, certified yoga instructor, Ellen Slaton.

What’s NOT Included? Meals are not included, though we will try to eat together as much as possible, since it's a great chance to continue talking shop. Transportation to and from our campsite in Big Bend are also not included, as well as anything not specifically listed above. Travel insurance can be purchased separately, HERE, but not necessary.


Due to unpredictable changes in weather and movement of wildlife, etc., our schedule remains flexible and subject to change.  However, our start and end times are set in stone so each student can plan their travel accordingly.

Thursday -  We will be meeting in Big Bend National Park at Panther Junction promptly at 4:00pm, we will then head out into the field as quickly as possible to have some fun! Please be sure to give yourself enough time to check in (if lodging in the basin) prior to our initial meeting, as we will hit the ground running and not finish until later Thursday night, after an introduction to night photography.

Friday - Rise early to photograph sunrise in the Chisos.  Break for lunch together with discussion.  Nap time!  Regroup at 3 to head to the next location to shoot afternoon/ evening light.  Break for dinner together.  Head out to shoot star pictures in the mountains.

Saturday -  Rise very early to photograph the stars before dawn.  Shoot at several locations throughout the morning.  Break for lunch together with discussion.  Nap time!  Regroup at 3 to head to the next location to shoot afternoon/ evening light.  Break for dinner together.  Head out to shoot star pictures in the desert.

Sunday - Rise very early again to photograph the stars before dawn.  Shoot at several locations throughout the morning.  Break for lunch together with our laptops to discuss and critique our work from the trip!  We will then head out to shoot and learn throughout the afternoon and evening.  The workshop officially ends after sundown, but students are highly encouraged to stay in the park as long as possible to continue exploring the amazing landscape of Big Bend!

Itinerary subject to change by Slaton

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