2016 Zion National Park Fall Foliage Photography Workshop

Dates: Thursday, November 3 – Sunday, November 6, 2016   Location: Zion National Park, Utah
Skill Level: Any Class Size: Limited to 8 students
Type: Field Workshop
Status: Registration is now Open. Scroll down to register or click here.

I am an authorized CUA permit holder of the National Park Service 
and conduct my workshops based on the permit’s guidelines.

Impressive light for sunrises and sunsets.

Impressive light for sunrises and sunsets.

When sunlight first hits the canyon walls in Zion the colors are powerful and amazing, and you will be taken to some of my favorite locations to photograph this impressive light.

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

This workshop is scheduled for when it is normally at or near peak colors for fall foliage. Yellow, red, orange and green leaves provide the perfect color palette to complement Zion's canyon walls and rivers.

Composition and Exposure

Composition and Exposure

With high contrast scenes, photographing in Zion can be challenging. I will work hands-on with you perfecting your compositions and exposures.

Intro & Details

Imagine being in beautiful Zion National Park in Utah at or near peak fall foliage, in a small group of just 8 students, photographing amazing sunrises & sunsets along with striking fall foliage color!

There isn’t a better time to photograph Zion than in early November. The sun is low, the crowds are lower, and the photographic possibilities are never higher.

I have been photographing Zion National Park since 2007 and have been teaching workshops there since 2013. I will bring you to some of the best locations to photograph the most dramatic light in addition to some other locations that I love to photograph based on my experience photographing there during the fall.

This workshop is designed for any skill level, yet a DSLR or equivalent (like the Sony Mirrorless cameras) with interchangeable lenses and a sturdy tripod are required, as is a basic working knowledge of your camera. Most students who take my workshops are beginners to advanced amateurs. This workshop is filled with hands-on instruction, demonstrations, and even a session or 2 in the field with my laptop going over some processing tips.

We will be at our locations photographing just before sunrise and ending our day just after sunset. During mid day when the light isn’t great we will be taking a break for a couple hours to recharge batteries, download images, and rest up for the evening sessions. This is a landscape photography workshop and that will be our primary focus. However we are sure to come across some wildlife in the park at this time of year and we will certainly keep an eye out for and photograph any wildlife we come across.


Zion National Park in Utah.

Zion National Park in Utah.

You will learn and improve your skills in the following areas: getting perfect exposures, composition, lens selection, the use of split neutral density filters and solid density filters to control exposure and for effect, how to photograph stitched panoramas, exposure bracketing (HDR), working a scene to create numerous photos & compositions from one location, and more.

With a small class size of just 8 students there will be plenty of time to work with me on a one-on-one basis. I can assist you individually on composition, exposure, your own personal style, shooting techniques, and more. My students have absolutely loved this aspect of my photo workshops and it has led to great discussions and learning opportunities.

My students have told me that some of the workshops they have taken have been disappointments as the photographer was more concerned about getting his/her own photos. This doesn’t happen at my workshops as I rarely take photos and when I do it is to demonstrate certain techniques and help with exposure settings & composition. Rest assured that with my workshops my students are my number one priority and I will be there to help you create amazing photographs.


"Fall Colors of Zion"


This is a field photography workshop and there is no classroom (computer) time scheduled. However there will be time for one or two presentations by me using my laptop computer in the field where I will show post processing tips using Lightroom, Capture One Pro and ON1 Photo. Students are encouraged to bring their laptops for any image processing questions that can be answered during one-on-one time during the workshop.

Some of the more popular locations we may photograph (depending upon weather & scheduling) are: the Watchman, Court of the Patriarchs, Towers of the Virgin, Checkerboard Mesa, the Virgin River, Temple of Sinawava, Big Bend, The East Side, Observation Point, and more. In addition I will be bringing you to some less popular locations that I have found from our years of scouting and shooting in Zion.

Note that I teach photo workshops in Zion National Park with permission granted from Zion via the Commercial Use Authorization Permit. This permit comes with some restrictions on exactly where we can and can not photograph. For example I am not permitted to take students to the Subway. These restrictions are the same for any photo workshop there and are not much of an issue. This permit is required for all photo workshop instructors in Zion. I am also first aid/CPR certified as well.



This is a highlight of our planned itinerary. As we get closer to the workshop I will email more specific itineraries to those registered.

Unofficial First Day: Wednesday, November 2
While not officially part of the workshop we will meet in Springdale, UT just outside the western entrance to Zion early in the evening so we can all meet and go over the workshop itinerary, schedule, exact times and locations, goals for the workshop, and other items. Exact time and location of this get-together will be emailed as we get closer to the workshop date.

Thursday, November 3
Meet at a location TBD at approx. 5:30am for sunrise photography. We will take a break starting anywhere from 11:00 to noon, and ending anywhere from 1 to 2. We will meet following the break at a location & time TBD for afternoon and sunset photography. Workshop will end at approx. 6pm after sunset.

Friday, November 4
Meet at a location TBD at approx. 5:30am for sunrise photography. We will take a break starting anywhere from 11:00 to noon, and ending anywhere from 1 to 2. We will meet following the break at a location & time TBD for afternoon and sunset photography. Workshop will end at approx. 6pm after sunset.

Saturday, November 5
Meet at a location TBD at approx. 5:30am for sunrise photography. We will take a break starting anywhere from 11:00 to noon, and ending anywhere from 1 to 2. We will meet following the break at a location & time TBD for afternoon and sunset photography. Workshop will end at approx. 6pm after sunset.

Sunday, November 6
Meet at a location TBD at approx. 5:30am for sunrise photography. Some time after sunrise we will do a group critique of images till around noon when the worksop will end.


Tuition and Registration

Tuition: Registration is $1095 and you can register here


Have you taken a workshop with me before? If so email me and I will send you a special code good for 10% off the full-price for this workshop.*
*(Registration discount can not be combined with any special offers)

Don't delay as this workshop is limited to just 8 students.

Registration for this workshop is now open!

Click to Register Here

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. Payment is due in full at time of registration, or you may elect to register today with a partial payment of $550. The remaining balance is due no later than 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. I can bill you monthly for the remaining amount if you desire.

If you are unable to register online, you can register and pay by phone by calling Matt at 480-818-9566. All major credit cards are accepted or you can pay by check as well. Contact me and I will call you back at the time you desire.

Tuition does not include park admission which is paid at a ranger station upon entering the park and good for 7 days. Hotel / lodging, meals, car rental, any needed gear or equipment rentals, etc. are not included and is the student’s responsibility. A list of area accommodations can be emailed to you following your registration upon request. You can view my workshop policies and faq’s here.

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What to bring

This workshop takes place in the fall when the weather is cool and crisp. Overnight lows can be just above or below freezing and daytime temps can be anywhere from the 40’s to 60’s on average. Light snow is rare but possible this time of year, and one year we had ice along the river in the morning. With that in mind you will want to dress appropriately with waterproof winter clothing, dressing in layers, and make sure you have your gloves and hat. Hand warmers are a great idea too. Hiking boots – preferably waterproof – are also highly recommended.

In regards to camera gear you will want to have lenses that cover wide angle to telephoto and lots of memory cards and batteries. A tripod is a must and a cable release is highly recommended. Polarizing filters, split neutral density filters, and solid neutral density filters are recommended but not required. You can contact me directly with questions regarding these filters. Note that my workshops are sponsored by Singh-Ray filters and students receive a 10% discount on their purchase. You will also want to bring a headlamp as we will be walking in the dark before sunrise and possibly after sunset.

You will also want to bring your laptop computer to download images. On our last day, Sunday, you may want to bring it with you for a scheduled critique session following our sunrise shoot.


Lodging is not included in this workshop. Once you have registered you can contact me for a list of area hotels & RV parks.

Nov 06 2013-0171



Students will receive a 10% off code from me good towards their purchase of any filter(s) from Singh-Ray Filters.

Photo Gallery

The following photos showcase the photo possibilities that can happen during the time of year that this workshop is scheduled for.

About Matt Suess

About Matt Suess

I have been a full-time professional photographer for over 25 years. I was a photojournalist for the first 17 years and since 2006 I have been a full-time fine art photographer and workshop teacher. I have been using digital imaging since the mid 1990's. Be sure to read more about be by clicking on the link above.

Why choose my photo workshops

Why choose my photo workshops

I have over 25 years of professional photography experience and love teaching and sharing my knowledge. Read more about what makes my workshops & classes stand out.

Student Testimonials

Student Testimonials

Read some testimonials from my students.

The Fine Print

The Fine Print

I strive to create a safe and fun environment during my workshops & classes. Be sure to read The Fine Print regarding my workshop policies, terms, cancellation policy, liability limitation, and FAQ's by clicking on the link above.

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