Photography Workshops Offer Glimpse of Wild Desert and Spring Blooms, March 4th and 17th

Local award-winning author offers expertise to showcase photography tips; conservation advocates to discuss initiative to protect Sonoran Desert lands.


Due to demand, this workshop
is currently full. If you wish to be placed on a waiting list in case of a
cancellation, please contact Meghan Mix at 520-326-4300.


Please note that the March 4th event has been cancelled.  Sorry about the inconvenience!


PHOENIX-Spring fever is upon us! The Arizona Wilderness Coalition (AWC) is working diligently to raise statewide awareness about our flagship campaign to protect some remarkable Bureau of Land Management Lands in western Maricopa County. The Sonoran Desert Heritage proposal continues to gain momentum, most recently featured in January's Phoenix Magazine

Many of the areas in the proposal are ideally situated in terms of slope and vegetation to support an abundant array of native wildflowers. Hoping that winter rains have allowed seeds to sufficiently germinate, AWC is planning two separate wildflower photography workshops to help generate enthusiasm for the proposal, showcase their tremendous beauty, and increase the base of support among outdoor-lovers to see these unique Sonoran Desert lands safeguarded by Congress for future generations. Participants will also enjoy top-tier instruction on photography techniques, lighting, and method for capturing stunning wildflower photos.

On Sunday, March 4th, a workshop will be led in the Belmont Mountains from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; on Saturday, March 17th another workshop will be held at Saddle Mountain from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Both areas are proposed for new wilderness designation in the Sonoran Desert Heritage conservation initiative. Details on registration and each event below.

To maximize the benefit of the workshops, AWC has partnered with Colleen Miniuk-Sperry, award-winning, Arizona-based international outdoor photographer and co-author of the new book, Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona's Wildflowers-A Guide to When, Where, and How (2012, Analemma Press). Colleen will be offering her time and expertise for the 5+ hour, afternoon-into-sunset workshops, with AWC staff and coalition partners along to talk to attendees about the unique attributes, wildlife, and cultural significance of the lands in the Sonoran Desert Heritage proposal.

"There's no better way to celebrate the arrival of spring and the value of these special lands than to experience them first-hand," says Miniuk-Sperry. "As we learn more about these scenic areas rich with photographic opportunities during these workshops, we'll share tips and tricks to capture great images at each location, no matter the camera or skill level."

Colleen's work has been published in National Geographic calendars; Arizona Highways magazine, books, and calendars; AAA Highroads; Native People; Pop Photo; Golf Illustrated; Lighthouse Digest; Vancouver View; Experience AZ; InsideOutside Southwest;  and a broad variety of other publications. Colleen enjoys leading photography outings for Arizona Highways, Arizona Wildlife Federation, Through Each Others' Eyes, and numerous private workshops, where she has become known for her inquisitive storytelling approach, instruction intensive style, and enthusiasm for exploration.


The workshops are scaled to suit a variety of skills and interests-from amateur photographers seeking additional guidance, to more seasoned veterans looking to get into rugged terrain. Each event requires pre-registration! All registration fees go to supporting AWC and its programs; fees are non-refundable. For more details on the workshops, contact Kate Mackay at 602-252-5530.


Belmont Mountains, March 4:  

This session has been cancelled.  Please consider the March 17th event.  Sorry about the inconvenience!

 Saddle Mountain, March 17:

Geology and archaeology highlights; hiking along graded road. Participants carry all camera equipment. Snacks and water provided by AWC. 2p.m. to 7p.m.

$65 by March 11, $75 from March 11th-16th.


1.      Fill out the registration/donation form on AWC's website. We need all contact information entered so that we can contact you with workshop details.

2.      Under the "Other Amount" box, please fill in your required fee ($65 for early bird, or $75 for week before).

3.      In the "Comments" box, please note which photography trip you are registering for so we sign you up for the correct event.

Photos: Cover jacket courtesy of Colleen Miniuk-Sperry.

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