The Dynamic Nude 2011 – a Phenomenal Trip!

We just had the most beautiful, inspiring and productive week-long workshop at Lake Powell.  !!  It was a pleasure teaching with Kim Weston… we rounded out a phenomenal itinerary and excellent instruction that helped take each photographer’s work to the next level – and we’re looking forward to bringing this exiting course to the lake again next year.  Also – we produced an amazing High Definition instructional DVD during the workshop… we’ll let you know as soon as it’s available.  🙂












We will announce the dates for next year’s workshops in December… make sure you are on our mailing list so you don’t miss out.  !!

Forgotten Canyon at Lake Powell

Forgotten Canyon at Lake Powell is one of my favorite areas we visit during The Dynamic Nude Workshop.  Home to the best set of Anasazi Ruins on Lake Powell, as well as secret canyon nooks with amazing lines in the rock!  Just a few of the images possibilities…

Forgotten Canyon at Lake Powell has an incredibly diverse visual palette… From the Towering Grand Landscape, to intimate corners of reflection, these locations make for amazing backdrops with the human form.


Come explore Forgotten Canyon at Lake Powell with us this fall!  Join us for our Dynamic Nude Workshop, and experience these inspiring locations, while making some of the best images of your life.

Smith Fork Canyon Hike at Lake Powell, Utah

Smith Fork is one of my favorite canyons that we visit during our fall Dynamic Nude workshop. Though the slot is not as picturesque as Labyrinth Canyon, Smith Fork has a much greater diversity of locations in the canyon… from the slot, to an amazing grotto with a pool (rain dependent), to towering walls with desert varnish – this is an amazing canyon!


Smith Fork Canyon is probably on of my top two favorite canyons on north Lake Powell.  I’ve probably hiked it at least 10 times, and every time is as amazing as the first.  !!  Adding the nude human form to the phenomenal locations in Smith Fork just make it that much better.

Join us as we venture up Smith Fork Canyon as part of our Dynamic Nude workshop, October 2-8, 2011.  Experience one of the most beautiful places on earth, learn from world-class instructors (Joel Belmont, Bert Pasquale, and Kim Weston), and create your own magical images in these stunning locations!  Register now:

Kim Weston joins us for The Dynamic Nude!

Hot off the wire… Kim Weston will also be joining us as a guest instructor for The Dynamic Nude workshop at Lake Powell! An excellent teacher, talented photographer and meticulous printer, who specializes in photographing the nude.

Kim has been a fine art nude photographer for over 30 years. He is a third-generation member of one of the most important and creative families in photography. He learned his craft assisting his father Cole in the darkroom making gallery prints from his grandfather Edward’s original negatives. Kim also worked for many years as an assistant to his uncle Brett, whose bold, abstract photographs rank as some of the finest examples.

Kim uses an 8×10 Arca Swiss, and also uses a Mamiya 67 that he inherited from his father. His main body of work consists of silver gelatin contact prints made from 6×7, 4×5 and 8×10 negatives. In addition to the 8×10 format he prints in 11×14 and 16×20 sizes. He also prints in Platinum and lately he has added paint to his photographs.


Kim and his wife, Gina, live at Wildcat Hill, the former home of Edward Weston where they specialize in teaching several unique photography workshops throughout the year.

We’ve known Kim and Gina for several years, and are really excited to have them on the trip.  It’s poetic that Kim and Joel will be working together, as Kim’s dad Cole and Joel’s dad Charles also worked together many years ago, in a production at Carmel’s famous Forest Theater in which Cole directed and Charles acted.

If you haven’t registered yet – don’t miss out on this amazing adventure through the grand landscapes of Lake Powell.  7 days, 4 models, 3 instructors, and endless stunning locations.  Register today!

Bert Pasquale joins us for The Dynamic Nude Workshop

Bert Pasquale will be joining us for The Dynamic Nude Photography Workshop, Oct. 2-8 at Lake Powell, Utah!

Bert specializes in artistic “storytelling” photography, combining the nude human form with stunning landscapes, creating riveting visual photographs that convey ideas and tell stories. Bert has worked on location in 21 states, the Virgin Islands, the High Sierras (up to 11,000 ft), the Arizona wilderness and across Northwest.

Bert is a Kodak Gallery Award recipient, he was awarded ‘Photographer of the Year’ by the Maryland Professional Photographers Association, and has instructed for the PPA on topics such as “Environmental Figure Images”.

Join Bert and Joel Belmont October 2nd – 8th, 2011 for an unforgettable photographic adventure into the heart of the Southwest landscape: Glen Canyon, also known as Lake Powell.  We’ll explore beautiful mix of sculpted red sandstone, deep blue waters, anasazi ruins, arches, petroglyphs, waterfalls and towering rock formations.  We’ll work with the female form against these backdrops, both on the large scale of the grand landscape, and the more intimate landscape of the slot canyons, where the curves of the canyon walls resonate with the lines of the human form.  In addition to focused projects collaborating with models each day, there will be plenty of opportunities to make a wide range of landscape images.

Registration closes August 31st, and spaces are filling up quickly.  Register today!

Anasazi Ruins at Lake Powell

One of the coolest things about the southwest landscape are ruins.  The anasazi ruins at lake powell are some of the best I’ve ever seen (including those at Mesa Verde).

Imagine a history museum in a big city, where they have an exhibit behind glass of a native people that lived in the southwest united states in the 1200’s.  You read a pamphlet and admire their dwellings from a distance.

Now imagine that you in the desert landscape in southern utah with a small group of fellow adventurers. There is no museum glass.  In the back of a canyon with towering Navajo sandstone walls sculpted by water, sand and wind over millions of years, you hike a short distance from a sandy beach along the lake’s edge up to a cliff dwelling that has been there since it was made by hand over 800 years ago.  You admire the wall paintings and petroglyphs carved into the stone.

You explore around inside the ruin, admiring the craftsmanship, and imagine them grinding corn beside a small fire.  You climb down a wooden ladder into their Kiva – a sweatlodge where they held religious or spiritual ceremonies.  You wonder how many winters and how many fires it took to char the log and thatch ceiling of the kiva.

You climb some mild “moki steps” (small steps carved into the sandstone) up to Three Roof Anasazi Ruins in the Escalante Arm of Lake Powell, and imagine living here – in this very spot – long before Christopher Columbus set foot on this continent.  You admire the well chosen location, which provides shelter from the rain, and shade from the hot desert sun.

Want to see more?  Come explore the Anasazi Ruins yourself May 8th to 14th at Lake Powell, Utah during our Dynamic Landscape photography workshop.  Why go to a museum when you can experience these cultural treasures in person – along with all the other amazing locations along the over 1900 miles of shoreline of Lake Powell. (more shoreline than the entire western coast of the United States!) But don’t delay… these workshops fill up quickly, and there is only one landscape workshop offered every year. Register today.

The Stone Rainbow – Largest in the World

Rainbow Bridge is the largest known natural bridge in the world.  Spanning 275 feet across, and 42 feet thick at the top, this towering work of natural art is quite simply breathtaking.  Considered a sacred location by Native Americans, natural bridges are very rare, whereas arches can be more common in the western landscape.  Carved by a unique chain of events over millions of years, water sculpted this massive icon of the southwest landscape into this present day National Monument.  If you would like hike up to and underneath this Rainbow made of stone, join us on our Landscape Photography Workshop in May at Lake Powell, Utah.

Lake Powell Slot Canyons

Lake Powell has amazing Corkscrew Slot Canyons... you have to see them to believe it.

Lake Powell Slot Canyons are one of the best-kept secrets of the southwest landscape!  Imagine hiking a canyon that’s only 3-4 feet wide, hundreds of feet tall, and is beautifully sculpted by tens of thousands of years of erosion.

Lake Powell slot canyons can go on for miles, with a new and beautiful view around every single corner.  A warning to those with a camera: you may run out of film/memory.  !!

These particular Lake Powell slot canyons are found in Labyrinth Canyon and lower Antelope Canyon (upper antelope canyon is probably the most photographed slot canyon in the world).  As part of our May Landscape Photography Workshop, we travel to the canyons that no one else gets to see, and where you’ll be free to make images unencumbered by tourists.

Labyrinth Canyon has always been my favorite slot… you can tell why from some of these images…

Soft light makes for excellent slot canyon photography

The unique feature in lower Antelope Canyon is where water has carved a hole though the rock over thousands of years.

Placing people in your slot canyon images can help emphasize the impressive scale of the canyons.Because Lake Powell slot canyons are so amazing, and are so visually intense, we often devote an entire day of our Landscape Workshop itinerary to exploring and photographing these magnificent and unique geologic features.  And while it’s true that the main potential hazard in any slot canyon is from flash floods, the monsoon season isn’t until June and July, plus we always check the weather ahead of time via a real-time satellite weather device to confirm that there is no inclimate weather anywhere nearby while we’re hiking.  The only thing you’ll have to worry about is whether or not you brought enough batteries and memory cards.  !!

One of the most beautiful things about Lake Powell Slot Canyons is the quality of light, as it bounces around the walls, making its way deep into the canyon, creating beautiful purples, reds, and yellows.

Joel Belmont spends a lot of time exploring the landscape so you get to experience the best of the best!

A classic example of a magnificent slot canyon.

Lili Belmont explores the lower section of the Antelope Canyon Slot

The soft glow of afternoon light is seen through the recesses of a Lake Powell Slot Canyon

A sculpted masterpiece, tens of thousands of years in the making.

Joel Belmont admires some of nature's most breathtaking work.

If you would like to explore Lake Powell Slot Canyons for yourself, fill out an application for our upcoming May Photography Workshop.  But get it filled out and turned in ASAP, as we only have a few spots left on this amazing trip through the southwest landscape.  !!

Hole In The Rock Hike

Hole in the Rock is one of the hikes we do during our May Landscape Photography Workshop at Lake Powell, and the history of the hike is as interesting as it is visually.  !!

Hole in the rock trail was made famous by a mormon expedition in 1880 that used this steep 1200 ft. (400m) descent (with slopes up to 45°!) as a shortcut to their destination.  They moved 250 people, 83 full sized wagons,  and over 1000 head of cattle!  You really have to hike this to appreciate the gravity (pun intended) of this undertaking.  After spending months blasting areas and hand chiseling anchor points into the sandstone, they used ropes, men and oxen to lower their entire party (also using wooden tracks supported by posts drilled into the sandstone).  You can see in some of the photos above the original anchor holes, as well as stairs that miners later cut into the rock.


Hole in the rock is impressive, and offers a beautiful view of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area from the top, yet it’s only one tiny point of interest during our week long trip through some truly amazing locations.

Sign up (while you still can) for our May workshop, and you can hike this amazing trail yourself.


Find more interesting and helpful articles on the Dynamic Photography Blog.


Lake Powell Night Photography Tips

Lake Powell Night Photography Tips can bring your images to life... especially using natural and artifical light

Lake Powell Night Photography is one of the most exciting ways to capture the desert landscape.  Take an already amazing location, and add wild fill light, and the milky way above – and you’ve created something magical.

Of course Night Photography Tips can be used more places than just Lake Powell… anywhere you can get away from the city light.  Where I first learned about night light painting exposures back in the 90’s was from a photographer working near Barstow, CA, photographing abandoned and stripped out airliners.  He would use a camera flash with different colored gels to turn an old piece of trash metal into a glowing orb of awesomeness.

Lake Powell Night Photography Tip #1: Experiment with fill light!  The green you see in the image above was from a 4′ long submersible green fluorescent light made to attract fish at night.  It also makes an awesome fill light, especially when contrasted with a color like the orange glow of a campfire.

If you don’t have a 4′ light, you can improvise.  Bring a large mag-lite, and use colored gels over the lens to literally ‘paint’ things in the image, while the camera is on a tripod, the lens is opened for 30 seconds (less if you want to have people with no blurring… unless they are REALLY good at holding still), and play around with the exposure settings.  ISO of 400-800 is a good place to start, and maybe a stop or two down from wide open.  If that’s greek to you, consider coming to our workshop… I’ll give you a crash course in how to get the best out of your camera.

Also, when ‘painting’ in light, remember to leave some parts dark… too much of a good thing, is well, too much.  And one of my other favorite things to do is to walk into the composition during the exposure, and turn the flashlight bulb to the camera, and move it in sweeping motions, producing spectacular light trails in the image.

It’s like anything… the more you do it… learn what works and what doesn’t… the better you’ll get.  The most important part is just to keep experimenting.

Stay tuned for more Lake Powell Night Photography Tips.  !!