The Wave Workshop

With Wilderness Photographer,
Chad Dutson


September 11-13, 2019

Join wilderness photographer, Chad Dutson, for a photographer's paradise visiting world-class sites within the Vermilion Cliffs, at the permit-only area of Coyote Buttes North. Yes, lottery permits to the Wave are included!


Workshop is for all photographic experience levels. Beginners will value the level of photography instruction, while advanced photographers will find benefit from a guide who know the area.


  • The Wave (Coyote Buttes North)

  • 4WD transportation in the backcountry

  • Limited to 2 participants

  • Group dinner

  • BLM-permitted photographer and guide


[Subject to Change]

Day 1: 7:00PM Meet-and-Greet in Kanab, over dinner. The group will meet to share stories. To bed relatively early, for the upcoming day at The Wave.

Day 2: All day at Coyote Buttes North. Permits are already secured. Plan for an all-day adventure to the Wave and surrounding sites. The day includes about 7 miles of moderate-to-strenuous intensity hiking, with an option for 2 to 3 more miles once your reach The Wave. Breakfast and Dinner on your own. Lunch provided in the backcountry.

Day 3: Morning Adobe Photoshop instruction. Goodbyes. Break by 11AM. Breakfast on your own.



  • Visit Coyote Buttes North, also known as The Wave! Yes, the permits are already secured by lottery.

  • Exclusive opportunity, limited to 2 participants

  • Learn advanced techniques from a professional wilderness photographer

  • 4WD backcountry transportation included.

The workshop begins and ends in Kanab, Utah -- our base of operations. Our first meet-and-greet will be in the evening on Wednesday, September 11th, over dinner. We will discuss workshop expectations, techniques, and photographic philosophy. Then the adventure begins.

Throughout the workshop, photography instruction will cover many of Chad’s techniques, including proper exposure and composition. Advanced techniques will also be shared, such as focus-stacking and HDR. When is it appropriate (or required) to use these techniques, and when is it wasting your time? Chad has used Nikon and Canon equipment professionally, and caters instruction to your photographic experience level.

The Wave is a full-day experience, about 7-miles round-trip of moderate to strenuous intensity. Coyote Buttes North is filled with red, orange, yellow, and white sandstone. You will see endless sandstone formations and teepees. The entire area contains incredible jaw-gaping scenery! Picture yourself standing atop sandstone structures, looking across desert valleys while the sun sets in front of you! The views are outstanding and the memories will last a lifetime!


What is Included?

  • All BLM permits and fees

  • SUV Transportation during the workshop

  • Personalized BLM-approved guide service and photography instruction

  • Dinner provided on Day 1 (group dinner). Lunch provided on Day 2

  • Trail snacks & water

  • Pre-Workshop online meeting

What is Your Responsibility?

  • Transportation to/from Kanab, Utah. Scheduled airline service and car rentals are available at the following locations:
      + 74 miles from Page, Arizona
      + 86 miles from Saint George, Utah
      + 209 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada
      + 317 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Lodging at Kanab, Utah. Your guide/instructor will notify you via email which establishment he will be using

  • Meals not specifically listed in the “What is Included” section

  • Insurance: Trip, Equipment, and Emergency Medical Evacuation

  • Gratuities (for the Workshop Team), if you desire

DSC_9425 Wave Vermillion Cliffs.jpg
DSC_0645 Vermillion Cliffs The Wave.jpg

Recommended Gear List

Camera Equipment

  • Camera body

  • Lenses: wide angle and mid-range telephoto

  • Filters: circular polarizer and ND filters

  • Tripod

  • Memory cards and spare batteries

  • Lens cleaning supplies

  • Trigger or remote

  • Camera backpack (with rain poncho or cover bag, in case of wet weather)

Personal Gear

  • Layered clothing (see FAQs, below)

  • Lightweight Rain jacket

  • Sturdy hiking footwear with good traction and hiking socks

  • Water bottle or hydration bladder. You will be carrying at least one gallon (four liters) of water on Day 4. A one-liter bottle will be made available at the trailhead, if needed.

  • Headlamp and spare batteries

  • Personal toiletries

  • Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, glasses

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Are the permits to Coyote Buttes included in the price? YES! Coyote Buttes North permits have already been secured via lottery. Entry into this section of Coyote Buttes is limited to only 20 people per day, and you will be one of them! Workshop is authorized by the BLM to be conducted in this area.

  2. What level of physical preparation is required? A hike to the Wave is approximately 7 miles round-trip over uneven sandstone and sandy terrain. The hike is moderate to strenuous and requires good physical stamina. You will be packing in your camera gear and at least one gallon of water. An optional 2 miles adds a couple more photographic sites to the list. This workshop does not include lifeflight service.

  3. What specific photo gear should I bring? Camera and tripod are a must, and we suggest you bring at least two lenses, with ranges from 16 to 200mm (full-frame) or 10 to 140mm (crop sensor). Due to the sandy and possibly wet, slippery environment, it is recommended you also bring camera cleaning equipment, such as an air blower, lens wipes, lint-free cloths, and a lens brush.

  4. What other gear should I bring? Be prepared with layered clothing for fall weather. Daytime high temperatures in the area average 75 to 90 degrees, nights around 45 to 60 degrees. We will be hiking regardless of weather, whether sun, wind, snow, or rain, so plan accordingly. In addition to the items listed above, you may consider extra socks and underclothing, in case you get wet. In the event of wet weather, you should bring a poncho for yourself and for your camera equipment.

  5. What photography experience must I have? Our workshops are geared toward all levels. Beginners will value the photography instruction while advanced photographers will appreciate the guide service.

  6. May I bring a non-photographer friend? Certainly, the more the merrier; however since space is limited you must purchase a slot for each attendee. Groups of two or more are discounted 10%. Inquire for a checkout discount code prior to purchase.

  7. May we carpool from Salt Lake City? Transportation to/from the Salt Lake City area may be arranged with the instructor on a cost-sharing basis. We may also be able to arrange a St. George pickup. Inquire, if interested.

  8. Is there cell coverage in the backcountry? There is some coverage, but most of the time, no. AT&T has limited coverage at Coyote Buttes North and White Pocket (unsure about other carriers).

  9. What type of insurance should I secure? We recommend travel, equipment, and emergency evacuation insurance to cover the what-ifs in travel. Air travel changes, vehicle breakdowns, and weather can all wreak havoc. Although unlikely, there is always a possibility of a workshop cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances. Travel Insurance provides peace of mind. We also recommend equipment insurance. Camera equipment is super sensitive, and being in the desert all day carries inherent risk. Cover your equipment with a policy sufficient to repair and/or replace your gear. Emergency evacuation insurance is optimal in remote wilderness settings, like Coyote Buttes and White Pocket, which are 2+ hours from the nearest medical facilities, in addition to any hiking distance.

The Workshop Team


Chad Dutson

Workshop Leader. Chad Dutson is an Alaska- and Utah-based wilderness photographer who deeply admires nature. He has been workshopping in the Southwest since 2014 and is a BLM-authorized guide into the Vermilion Cliffs and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

"Some say they lose themselves in one thing or another -- I find myself through photography -- losing only the sense of time." -- Chad Dutson

Portfolio www.chaddutson.com