BIG BEND ~ 2017

March 24 ~ 27, 2017

Big Bend Photo Tour with Jeff Parker

~ One spot left ~

By day during my “Big Bend Photo Tour ~ 2017” we’ll create photographs of those famous Chihuahuan desert landscapes. And by night we’ll blaze digital star trails through this International Dark Sky Park (one of only 13 in the world!).

With its unique geology, Big Bend provides lots of turns, twists, grooves, and ridges to make our lenses happy. Diversity abounds here, from 500 million-year-old formations, to evidence of the shallow sea covering this land some 135 million years before, to the dunes at Boquillas Canyon, which remain under perpetual construction.

This national park provides plenty of photographic fodder and we’ll take advantage of it during my Big Bend Photo Tour 2017 as we find creative ways to highlight some of its famous sites as well as some of those not-so-well-known. Rising more than 7,500 feet from the desert valley below, the Chisos Mountains form the heart of Big Bend National Park, providing additional image-worthy scenery.

March makes the perfect time to go because the cacti and yucca are usually in bloom. If we get lucky and rain conditions are right, we’ll find Big Bend Bluebonnets and Ocotillo flowers, too.

Once it grows dark, we’ll create star trails and learn light painting techniques. The International Dark-Skies Association (IDA), a Tucson-based non-profit dedicated to more thoughtful use of light at night, awarded Big Bend National Park Gold Tier status, which requires a Bortle Class rating of 1, 2, or 3. The scale ranges from 1 (pristine night skies) to 9 (strong light pollution). With a Bortle rating of 2, Big Bend’s night skies rank nearly pristine, which will allow us to generate some amazing nighttime imagery.

Big Bend Photo Tour ~ 2017 with Jeff Parker

Seventy-five mammal species make their homes in Big Bend National Park, including Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Mule Deer, Javelina, Pronghorn, Bobcat, Weasel, Jackrabbit, and many more. While we’ll focus on photographing landscapes, we’ll also keep our eyes open for the park’s plethora of wildlife. Photographing them would be —admittedly— tough since, except for the Javelinas in one of the campgrounds, these animals aren’t acclimated to humans; however, just knowing they’re there with us adds something special to this journey.

Cost is $745.00 ~ lodging and food not included (EXCEPT your “Welcome Dinner — it IS included).
Limited to six (6) participants.

Friday evening, March 24, 2017 ~ Monday morning, March 27, 2017

Basic Itinerary ~ Big Bend Photo Tour 2017:

  • Friday evening, March 24th: Meet at 5:30 for our first meal together – dinner at the Starlight in Terlingua ghost town. THIS dinner is INCLUDED in the price of the tour (remaining meals are self-pay). Following dinner, plan on a light painting lesson and an evening of light painting and night photography under the stars.
  • Saturday, March 25th: Early-morning landscape shoot. Expect a small hike to our shoot location. Optional expedition across the border to Boquillas, Mexico for lunch. Evening photo shoot.
  • Sunday, March 26th: Early-morning landscape shoot. Optional mid-day hike to The Chimneys. Evening landscape shoot. Night photography: Star trails.
  • Monday, March 27th:Landscape shoots at Desert Mountain overlook and Santa Elena Canyon overlook. Tour ends following shoots. Thanks for joining me!

Big Bend Photo Tour with Jeff Parker

What Is Included in Jeff’s “Big Bend Photo Tour 2017”:

  • Three nights and two full days of photography fun, including instruction and guidance by award-winning nature photographer, Jeff Parker
  • Instruction in light painting and night photography techniques (including how to make star trails)
  • Two (2) night time photo shoots
  • Three (3) evening (dusk) photo shoots with Jeff’s guidance & instruction
  • Three (3) morning (dawn) photo shoots with Jeff’s guidance & instruction
  • Water and snacks
  • Park entrance fees
  • “Welcome Dinner” at the Starlight Theatre (meal & non-alcoholic beverage included)

What Is NOT Included:

  • Lodging
  • Meals* (except “Welcome Dinner; it’s included)
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Transportation (we will rely on carpooling to get us to our photo shoot spots in the park)

Lodging Assistance:

When you join Jeff for his “Big Bend Photo Tour ~ 2017” we recommend you stay in the park if possible (this requires procuring reservations FAR ahead of time). You can CAMP or stay at the Chisos Mountains Lodge (listed below).

The next best choice would be Terlingua/Study Butte and we’ve listed some lodging options there as well.

The closest place with “chain” hotels is Alpine –80 miles away– so we have not included that info (too far to drive for the purposes of this tour).

We DO NOT endorse any of these in particular; we’re merely providing this list as a convenience to you:

Getting There:

The two closest major airports are Midland-Odessa (about 3 1/4 hours drive away) and El Paso (about a 5-hour drive). Amtrak also stops in Alpine (80 miles away). Visit this site ( for some great, detailed info about how to best get to the Big Bend Region.


    • DATE: Friday evening, March 24 through Monday morning, March 27, 2017
    • PRICE: $745.00
    • SPACE FOR: Six (6) photographers ~ One spot left ~

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