Big Bend National Park

10/31/2019 - 11/6/2019

Join us for this exciting trip to one of America’s best-kept secrets. Named for the curving path of the Rio Grande river marking the border between Texas and Mexico, Big Bend National Park is one of the largest and most diverse parks in the country. Most major ecological zones exist side by side here, ranging from arid deserts to verdant mountain forests.

Where the rocky Chisos Mountains meet the Chihuahuan Desert, we find extraordinary landscapes, rare plant species, and scenic views that will knock your socks off. From Santa Elena Canyon on the western edge to Boquillas Canyon on the east and all the wide-open valleys and mountain splendor in between, landscape photographers are bound to find plenty of captivating subject matter. Outside the park, we’ll visit the ghost town of Terlingua, a funky, picturesque oasis that’s alive with history and a great place to relax and have a delicious meal.

When it comes to one-on-one attention, Doug's teaching skills are unmatched, and we are certain you’ll walk away from this experience a better photographer because of it. Doug will take you to the best places at the best times. He’ll help you create the best possible pictures of this area, and he will look at your camera with you while you’re trying to create them.

This gorgeous location is not complete without a serious amount of time spent on photographic techniques that you can use anywhere, not just in Texas.

Instructor Doug Johnson will cover:

  • A review of exposure
  • Landscape photography
  • Hyperfocal focusing
  • Zone System
  • Lightroom
  • Composition
  • Shooting panoramas and HDR’s


This workshop begins Thursday, October 31, at 7 p.m. and ends Wednesday, November 6, at noon.

Tentative schedule for Big Bend National Park workshop:

Thursday, 10/31

Evening: This workshop begins at 7 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions
Friday, 11/1
Morning: Field Shoot

Edit / Critique


Evening: Field Shoot
Saturday, 11/2
Morning: Field Shoot


Evening: Open Evening
Sunday, 11/3

Field Shoot


Edit / Critique


Evening: Field Shoot
Monday, 11/4

Field Shoot



Evening: Field Shoot
Tuesday, 11/5
Morning: Field Shoot


Edit / Prepare for Final Critique

Evening: Group Dinner
Wednesday, 11/6
Morning: Critique / Final Slideshow

Workshop ends at noon



Meeting Space

The workshop will be held at the Chisos Mountain Lodge. Your class will meet regularly in a meeting room at the hotel. This workshop starts on Thursday, October 31, at 7 p.m. and ends Wednesday, November 6, at noon.


There is a room block for this workshop set up at the Chisos Mountain Lodge for the nights of October 31 through November 6 (7 nights, departing November 7). 

Chisos Mountain Lodge
1 Basin Rural Station
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
(432) 477-2291

Rates: Guest rooms have been blocked at the rate of $147 per night + tax (Casa Grande Lodge Rooms - 2 double beds) or $145 per night + tax (Rio Grande Motel Units - 2 double beds.)

Cutoff date: Be sure to make your reservation by September 30, 2019. After this date, reservations will be based on availability.

Cancellation Policy: Please check with the hotel for their cancellation policy.

Big Bend Resorts rooms do not have telephones, televisions or WiFi. There is no cell phone service in the Chisos Basin. A pay phone is available by the lobby building. All rooms require going up and down some stairs, but some may have fewer stairs or easier access options. When you make your room reservation, please inform Big Bend Resorts of any mobility issues so that they can try to accommodate you to the best of their ability. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly. Be sure to indicate that you are a student of Rocky Mountain School of Photography.

Air Transportation

RMSP is not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets/hotel rooms in the event of a course cancellation. Please consider the purchase of trip/travel insurance.

The closest major airport for this workshop is the Midland International Air and Space Port in Midland, Texas located approximately 230 miles from the hotel. Visit the airport website for information on carriers and flight schedules.

Midland International Air and Space Port
9506 La Force Blvd.
Midland, TX 79706

Transportation during the Workshop

You are responsible for your own transportation during the workshop. For transportation to and from field shoots, we suggest that you carpool to get to know fellow students.

Major car rental companies are available at the airport website.

Any additional fees and/or supplies will be the responsibility of the participant. Big Bend National Park requires a $30 entrance fee per vehicle for a seven day pass. Entrance fees to Big Bend National Park can be found here.


We want your experience at an RMSP workshop to be full of learning and fun. We recognize that preparation is one important key to success. The following is meant to be a packing aid, not a shopping list. If you have questions about what’s needed, please call Bob McGowan, our Student Services Associate, at 800-394-7677.

For RMSP’s general list of recommended gear, click here:

Note: Not everything on the website linked above is required for the workshop. Use the list below as your guideline and the link above if you would like a recommendation on a lens, body or accessory to purchase. Also, please register for the workshop before buying gear, as registration will make you eligible for the B&H EDU program which will potentially save you hundreds of dollars on gear. Learn more here:

  • Digital SLR camera or interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera
  • Sturdy and reliable tripod
  • You’ll need at least one lens. The “kit lens” that came with your camera (most likely an 18-55mm) will be fine
  • Bring any other lenses that you own (a variety of focal lengths is always helpful)
  • Laptop
  • Memory Card Reader
  • Flash drive
  • Spare batteries for equipment (especially for your camera) 
  • Extra memory cards
  • Camera manual
  • Camera bag or backpack 
  • Note taking materials
  • Cable release wireless remote
  • Camera and lens cleaning supplies
  • Polarizer
  • 600mm lens (long telephoto)
  • Dedicated Flash
  • Filters (split neutral density, neutral density)
  • Lens shades for all lenses
  • Gray card
  • Professional air blower for sensor cleaning (eg. rocket blower)
  • Camera & lens cleaning supplies
  • Ground cloth, cushion or knee pads 
  • Camera rain cover if your camera and lens are not water resistant 
Personal Items
  • Weatherproof clothing that can be layered underneath for warmth. Please note that evenings and mornings can be chilly.
  • Medium to heavy jacket
  • Sturdy footwear for walking on uneven ground or trails
  • Umbrella
  • Sun protection – hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks for between meals in the field
  • Travel alarm clock and wristwatch – or smartphone with an alarm 
  • Pocket sized flashlight
Tuition: $1,695
Deposit: $300
Possible Discounts:
Friend of RMSP:$50
Early Registration:$50
if registered before 8/2/2019


Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson is a Colorado native now living in Missoula, Montana. Before a life-changing pursuit of photographic art, he was an outdoor educator for more than 20 years, passionately teaching people backcountry skills in navigation, mountaineering, avalanche awareness and wilderness first aid. Since graduating from RMSP’s Summer Intensive program in 1996, Doug’s work has covered many diverse projects in the documentary, commercial, fine art and educational fields. Assignments have taken him from coyote shooting in Wyoming to the last stages of a woman’s life to the graffiti-covered alleys and abandoned buildings of Denver. He is currently involved in an ongoing project called Art Music, which fuses the art of photography with live musical performance. His educational philosophy is fun, intuitive and full of creative persistence. No matter where you are in your photographic journey, Doug’s balance of the aesthetic with the technical can help you further express your unique vision.



Perks of Registering For A Workshop

EDU Advantage Program

By registering and completing any course with us, you will automatically be eligible for EDU status with B&H Photo. EDU members can save money on select items sold by B&H.

Creative Cloud Subscription

The software you use in your workflow is almost as crucial as your camera. Register for any RMSP course and you will receive a code to save 15% on a Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for the first year.

What Gear Do You Need?

Want a specific lens for a workshop? Need some extra gear for your next shoot? Renting gear from Lens Pro To Go allows you to try before you buy! Upon registering for a course, you will receive a discount code for 10% off your next rental.