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Bisti Wilderness: Capture to Print
with David Halpern
October 6 - October 11, 2011

This workshop has already begun or is a past workshop.

Thirty-six miles south of Farmington, New Mexico, on NM 317, a small sign points the way to the Bisti Wilderness Area. A mile-and-a-half to the east, down a gravel road, an extraordinary landscape lies waiting. Our approach gives only the slightest hint of the remarkable formations and textures lurking in the washes, and hidden behind the eroded hills. Your imagination is guaranteed to be inspired by this incredible locale.

Translated from the Navajo (Diné) language, Bisti means “a large area of shale hills” and is commonly pronounced (Bis-tie). The area is also known as the Bisti Badlands, and “badlands” doesn’t do justice to the character of this place. One might suspect that giving it that name was a way of discouraging visitors. Perhaps that is why it is typically uncommon to encounter many people when visiting this geological wonderland, and why adventurous photographers can enjoy the opportunity to quietly investigate, contemplate, and extract images from the striking and often bizarre sandstone formations.

During the first two-and-a-half days of this workshop, we explore the Bisti at a pace that allows your imagination to run free. Teaching and demonstrations take place in the field, where David, your veteran landscape photographer/instructor, shares his enthusiasm and his vision for the Bisti while encouraging self-expression. Sunday afternoon we return to Santa Fe to spend our final two days in the Workshops state-of-the-art digital lab, translating our raw images into expressive prints and participating in constructive discussions and reviews.

Hidden away in the high desert, a photographic adventure awaits. With hoodoos to left of you and hoodoos to the right, the images you capture and then print may make it seem your adventure was, in fact, to another planet.


David Halpern: David Halpern is a photographer, author, eleven-time National Parks artist-in-residence, and veteran instructor with more tha...

© David Halpern
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