Desert Colors

Fire Wave in the Valley of Fire

Workshop Information:

Do you want to improve your photography skills or capture the magnificent beauty of the American desert but have limited time to spend at a workshop? Either way, this workshop is for you.

Join us on this 2 day workshop to explore the magnificent Mojave Desert.

You’ll be captivated by the palette of colors as we explore the diverse desert vistas! Fascinating, weathered Aztec sandstone structures in shades of red dominate the desert landscape. Giant rock domes, slot canyons, and natural arches in vibrant hues of yellow, orange, and pink are scattered amongst shimmering white dunes. Desert oases filled with lush, evergreen palms and Joshua Trees thrive under bright blue desert skies.

You’ll be immersed in a weekend of photography, shooting throughout the day, sunrise/sunsets, and at night. Capturing these rainbow vistas as the colors transform throughout the day will be an unforgettable experience.


  • Improving your Landscape, Astro, and Golden Hour photography skills in the field
  • Exploring the diverse landscapes and extraordinary rock formations of the Mojave Desert
  • Photographing the iconic Fire Wave – a fascinating slickrock with colorful, patterned sandstone
  • Experiencing the Valley of Fire as it becomes ablaze with color under the rising and setting sun
  • Capturing ancient petroglyphs that have rarely been seen
  • Learning composition techniques to transform your photos into compelling, creative, and engaging images
  • Understanding how and when to use filters and polarizers in the field to enhance colors, control the dynamic range of the light, and creatively create motion through long exposures
  • A small workshop so your experience is truly personal, and you get to know your guide and fellow photographers


14-15 November, 2020

Group size

Maximum of 12 participants

Level of fitness

Mild to hiking is required to reach some locations


$990 Single Occupancy (USD)
Double supplement may be available upon request.


  • 2 day workshop with overnight accommodation (single occupancy)
  • Award-winning, professional Photo Guide who will provide a combination of instruction and in-field guidance
  • Permits for parks/monuments included in the itinerary
  • Access to exclusive discounts on gear from our partners


  • Transportation to/from and during the workshop
  • Food and beverages
  • Items of a personal nature including (but not limited to) laundry services, clothing, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
  • Gratuities for Photo Guides, local guides and/or drivers
A 3% charge is added using this service. Please contact us if you prefer other payment options.


Day 1 – Secret Desert Gem

After meeting our guide in the morning in Mesquite, Nevada, we will start our workshop by traveling to one of the American South West’s best-kept secrets.

In a remote part of the Mojave Desert, there can be found an area with a striking landscape – a desolate, rugged stretch of desert accented by pockets of Joshua Trees and surrounded by mountain peaks that stretch into blue skies.

Scattered throughout can be found a spectacular array of formations shaped over millions of years by the incredible forces of wind and water – impossibly-shaped rock sculptures, undulating red sandstone mounds stained white by salt, and delicate leading lines of eroded rock fins. The brightly colored sandstone also provides the canvas for hundreds of beautiful, ancient petroglyphs carved around 3,000 years ago.

There are endless points of interest to photograph at this hidden gem. Throughout the afternoon and golden hour, we will take our time to explore the many creative composition options this unique landscape offers.

Given the remote location, this area also offers impressive dark skies free of light pollution.

The Joshua Trees make perfect foreground subjects, and so we will finish our day with astrophotography, capturing the iconic silhouetted trees under the starry skies.

Accommodations: Mesquite

The Fallen One

Day 2 – Valley of Fire

Today we will explore the Valley of Fire. This is one of the most stunning landscapes in America – an area full of exquisite, unusual landscapes that are as stunning as they are diverse.

We will start our day with a sunrise at the Fire Wave – an extraordinary sandstone formation of smooth slickrock that rises, falls and swirls like an ocean wave. We will spend our morning capturing this fascinating area while the red, white, and pink colors are at their most intense.

The Valley of Fire’s characteristic red Aztec sandstone and uniquely shaped, textured rock formations are a photographer’s dream. Everywhere you look, there is a stunning, vibrant vista!
We will spend our day exploring and capturing its sites, including the beautiful, delicate stone Arch Rock, Rainbow Vista, with its panoramic views over a valley of orange, pink, and yellow, and the intricately-shaped Elephant Rock.

For our last shoot of the day, we will visit Mouse’s Tank Road – perhaps the most famous road in Nevada!
This road winds through the Valley of Fire, enveloped on all sides by towering sandstone rocks as it stretches for miles into the distance. From a high vantage point, its undulating hills and leading lines make for some fantastic compositions.
We will stay here for sunset, capturing the scene transform as the distant mountains become illuminated with golden light, and the sandstone becomes ablaze, glowing a deep red as if on fire in the setting sun.

This is sure to be an unforgettable finish to our weekend workshop!

Valley of Fire

To maintain physical distancing during these uncertain times, participants will be staying in hotel/motel accommodations in single rooms.

Please contact us at the time of booking if you are attending the workshop with a companion and would like to share a room. A reduced workshop price is available for double occupancy.

We operate our workshops with the safety of our participants as our highest priority.
During these times of uncertainty, we have adopted practices to reduce close physical contact with people outside of the same household. This includes participants being responsible for their own transportation to photo locations during this workshop.

Our base for the workshop will be Mesquite, Nevada.
From here, we will be traveling along gravel, dirt, and some sand roads to get to our shooting locations.
Driving times will be up to 2 hours.

4WDs, high clearance, or special tires are not necessary.
As desert roads can be rough and rocky, we highly recommend that all vehicles have a spare tire (along with the necessary tools required to change it in the event of a puncture).

Please contact Viking International Phototours before booking this workshop if you have any concerns about your vehicle suitability.

Landscape photography is not without risk. Wind, rain, snow, mud, and the terrain are real dangers when photographing on location. You are expected to follow instructions to ensure you are kept safe and out of harm’s way.


You must advise Viking International Phototours at the time of booking and in writing of any illness, injury, or pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to affect your attendance and participation during the workshop.

Our workshop's itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of our Photo Guides depending on factors including but not limited to weather, road conditions, transportation delays, and other factors beyond our control. We will check the weather forecasts and road conditions and plan our day to optimize shooting conditions.

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to visit all the locations on the itinerary.

Please be aware that cell/mobile reception is intermittent throughout parts of the Southwest US. You can expect to be offline at times.

In the event of an emergency, our Guides are First-Aid, CPR/AED, and Wilderness trained and certified by the Red Cross. They will carry a satellite beacon, which allows them access to emergency services if there is no cell service available.

There are drone-friendly places in South West US, so if you own a drone, you are welcome to bring it along to the workshop.
Please note that you are solely responsible for your equipment and are expected to adhere to all rules and regulations specified by the Federal Aviation Administration (which can be accessed here) and any other applicable state, park, and monument-specific regulations.

Please refer to the Booking Terms and Conditions.

Booking with Viking International Phototours indicates acceptance of the Booking Terms and Conditions as outlined.

Meet the Guide

Sigurdur William