2022 October Capitol Reef National Park

With Matt Suess October 16 - 22, 2022

Join me this autumn in an extremely remote location filled with beauty, light, texture, and shadows. Photograph what has instantly become one of my favorite National Parks during this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

October 16 - 22, 2022
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

"You have the utmost patience and instead of just telling me to do something, or how to do something, you helped me to think about solutions. 

Many instructors/leaders have an ego and those individuals are difficult to learn from. 

You don’t. You are a top-notch instructor."
Jill E.
2019 Spring Grand Teton Photo Workshop Student

The Basics:


7 Days!
Sunday October 16 - Saturday October 22, 2022


Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

The closest airports are Salt Lake City International Airport & Grand Junction Regional Airport

Class Details 

Open to any skill level from beginner to professional. 

Limited to ONLY 6 photographers.

We will be out photographing from sunrise through sunset.

I am an authorized CUA permit holder of the National Park Service and conduct my workshops based on the permit’s guidelines.

Are you ready to experience a Southwest landscape that has instantly become one of my favorites AND has epic photographic potential?

Join me for some amazing days exploring and photographing the remote Capitol Reef National Park this fall.

In July of 2021 I spent 5 days photographing and scouting in a location in south-central Utah that has instantly become one of my favorite locations to photograph in the South. Since then I've led 2 other photo workshops there.

Imagine Zion, Monument Valley, Sedona, Northern Arizona, and Canyonlands all rolled into one! 

And with far less people!!

Capitol Reef is located in the heart of red rock country and is filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) that extends almost 100 miles. It is dominated by red cliffs of Wingate Sandstone and white domes of Navajo Sandstone and laced with canyons.

We will spend our time exploring and photographing some amazing areas including remote areas that see very little traffic. In some 4WD backcountry routes I traveled while scouting I would often go hours without seeing another car or person. 

We will travel these same roads, sometimes traveling 100 miles in a day - half of which are on backcountry dirt roads - chasing the light and photographing incredible rock formations, shadows, and textures.

In the photo below you can get a sense of the remoteness - as well as the unbelievable scenery - you will be experiencing. Some 30-40 miles away from any paved road it is hard to describe how quiet and peaceful it is out there.

Imagine yourself there in a small group of only 6 photographers, experiencing the photographic trip of your life!
For this workshop we will be maximizing our photographic time by being out in the field from sunrise through sunset - with some breaks for a late breakfast or early lunch, and dinner in town. Some days we will be out all day and will pack our breakfast/lunch.

Instead of wasting midday hours sitting in our hotel rooms or huddled around computers reviewing photos or watching post processing demos, you will be out in the field with me as I teach you how to photograph the obvious and especially the not-so-obvious during those difficult midday lighting situations. You'll return with more photos, and more understanding on how to create amazing photos, as a result.

When you return home, take advantage of the awesome BONUS material that features me showing you how to post process and enhance your photos from Capitol Reef. I'll be able to cover way more information this way, and you'll have the recordings to rewatch too! 

With so much to photograph and explore, you'll be grateful for all this time out in the field.
Scroll down for more information and to register, and I'll see you in Capitol Reef National Park this October!

Hi - I'm Matt Suess - and I'm Here to Help You!

Join me in the epic & remote landscape of Capitol Reef National Park photographing and exploring the beauty of this area. I will be there to teach you all I know about photographing nature. The proper camera settings are essential to getting the right shot, and I will share with you my techniques for proper exposure. Composition is equally important and I will be working with you throughout the workshop enhancing and fine-tuning your composition skills.

This is a shooting-intensive landscape photo workshop with both one-on-one and group instruction in the field. We will also be doing hikes up to 5 miles or so and requires attendants to be in very good physical condition.


Capitol Reef encompasses the Waterpocket Fold, a warp in the earth's crust that is 65 million years old. It is the largest exposed monocline in North America. In this fold, newer and older layers of earth folded over each other in an S-shape. This warp, probably caused by the same colliding continental plates that created the Rocky Mountains, has weathered and eroded over millennia to expose layers of rock and fossils. The park is filled with brilliantly colored sandstone cliffs, gleaming white domes, and contrasting layers of stone and earth.

The area was named for a line of white domes and cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, each of which looks somewhat like the United States Capitol building, that run from the Fremont River to Pleasant Creek on the Waterpocket Fold.

The fold forms a north-to-south barrier that has barely been breached by roads. Early settlers referred to parallel impassable ridges as "reefs", from which the park gets the second half of its name. The first paved road was constructed through the area in 1962. State Route 24 cuts through the park traveling east and west between Canyonlands National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, but few other paved roads invade the rugged landscape.

The park is filled with canyons, cliffs, towers, domes, and arches. The Fremont River has cut canyons through parts of the Waterpocket Fold, but most of the park is arid desert. A scenic drive shows park visitors some highlights, but it runs only a few miles from the main highway. Hundreds of miles of trails and unpaved roads lead into the equally scenic backcountry.

- source Wikipedia
"Matt is the best instructor I've had for any creative activity, but especially photography. He is patient in explaining things, and really helps you focus on the areas that YOU want to develop rather than focusing on what he thinks you need improvement on. 

 He also is the only instructor I've had in creative endeavors that is so supportive of you owning your unique style - I've always been one to do things my way, and most instructors struggle with students who don't "do as you're told," but Matt teaches to help you learn rather than trying to get you to do things his way. 

Matt also is great about making sure that each person gets heard and gets time for their questions to be answered, which requires facilitation of the discussions in such a way that people aren't talked over but also that people don't feel like they are being shut down...this is not an easy thing to do. Plus, he has a great sense of humor, which is always appreciated!

The Milky Way Workshop felt more about learning some techniques, setting up the shot, then waiting to see if it worked. This was more thinking on your feet and instantly applying things and adjusting (which was likely part of my challenge...my brain wasn't ready). 

 I would recommend both trips, and have so loved showing people the magic that was captured both times. And it's fun to be able to brag about the great teacher we had each time."
Emily L.
2018 June Tetons Milky Way and 2019 Spring Grand Teton Photo Workshop Student


  • How to Achieve Perfect Exposures By Understanding the Histogram
  • Finding the Best Composition & Framing
  • ​Maximizing Your Composition Through Light, Shadow & Texture
  • ​How to Choose the Correct Focal Length Lens for the Situation
  • ​How to Choose the Correct ISO, F-Stop, Shutter Speed and White Balance
  • ​Photographing Stitched Panoramas
  • ​Working a Scene to Create Numerous Photos & Compositions from One Location
  • ​Long Exposures up to 10 Minutes in the Daylight for Creative Cloud Effects with Solid ND Filters
  • ​Techniques for Reducing Noise
  • ​Using Split-Neutral Density Filters to Control Exposures
  • Proper Camera Settings for Landscape Photos
  • ​Finding Things to Photograph Even in the Middle of the Day
  • ​How to Work a Scene from Multiple Angles & Focal Lengths
  • ​How to Photograph the Obvious, and Especially the Not So Obvious
  • ​And Much, Much More!!
With a small class size of just 6 students there will be plenty of time to work with me on a one-on-one basis.

Learn How to Use Camera Filters

Using Camera Filters to Control Exposure & For Creative Effects Can Dramatically Improve Your Photos

I was using at least one camera filter for pretty much every photo you see here on this page. From a circular polarizer to enhance color & reduce glare/reflection, to a split neutral density filter to help balance exposures, to solid neutral density filters to allow me to shoot long exposures of the clouds - I used them all. 

Prior to our workshop we can arrange a private Zoom call to go over your specific filter needs to make sure you have the right setup for this workshop.

Even better, I am an Official NiSi Reseller and you can safely & securely order whatever filters you need direct from me!

I even have an exclusive discount just for my workshop students 😊.

I shoot exclusively with NiSi Filters due to their lack of color casts and quality of products. Of course you are free to use and bring whichever filters you already have even if they are not NiSi Filters.

Who Is This Workshop For?

This workshop is designed for any skill level, yet a DSLR/Mirrorless or equivalent camera with interchangeable lenses AND a sturdy tripod are required, as well as a basic working knowledge of your camera.

Most students who take my workshops are beginners to advanced amateurs. My workshops are filled with hands-on instruction & demonstrations. I encourage & help find and develop each students unique personal style of photography.

Physical Difficulty: EASY To MODERATE

Each workshop student needs to be in good physical condition. While some locations will involve short and easy walks from our cars 1/4 miles away, other hikes could be a little bit longer up to a mile or two. No serious climbing is planned.

The park is at approx. 6,800 feet in elevation.

Unique Features of This Workshop

  Very Small Class Size: Only 6 Students! Some teaching photo workshops allow as many as 12 students. This one is limited to just 6 which means more one-on-one time with me and less distractions from a large group.
  It's All About the Light & Location: We will be going to some popular iconic locations but also many less known and less visited but stunning locations that exist in Capitol Reef National Park. 
  Bring Your Camera Filters: We will be shooting quite a bit with filters on this workshop. From CPL's to split-neutral density to solid neutral density filters. Don't worry if you've never even heard of some of them! I'll provide a list of filters to bring, and by the end of the workshop you'll be creating photos like a pro with them! I am also an Official NiSi Reseller and you can order your filters direct from me.
  Special Group Study: This workshop features 3 Unique Focus Areas: Technique, Composition, and Personal Style. With such a small group I will be able to work with you individually to help you begin to develop or to refine your own personal style, which will be accomplished through the use of various camera techniques, composition, & post processing.

     $1,146 In BONUSES Included

These Bonuses are Unique to My Workshops.

You will not find another instructor providing so much extra value to move you forward with your photography!!

Bonus #1

  • 1.5hr LIVE Online Group Welcome Party: Approx. 2-3 weeks prior to the start of the workshop we will all meet online for a welcome party. I'll cover where we will be going, discuss safety, show you some photos of what to expect, discuss what to bring, and will go over some basic camera settings. Bring your questions and meet your fellow workshop students in this informal social gathering. ($175 Value)

Bonus #2

  • What to Do With These Photos! You will get access to my mini course on organizing your photos, captioning, adding keywords, and storing your photos. ($37 Value)

Bonus #3

  • ​How to Post Process Your Fall Capitol Reef Images: An online course teaching you my secrets to post processing fall Capitol Reef photos. ($197 Value)

Bonus #4

  • 1.5hr LIVE Online Group Review and Q&A: Approx. 2-3 weeks following the workshop we will all meet online again. I know that a few weeks following a workshop, a bunch of questions come up from what was learned (and sometimes forgotten). Most other workshops, once you leave that final day, you are on your own. This isn't the case here! Use this as your opportunity to get all of those questions that come up following a workshop answered, get feedback on your photos, and connect with your fellow students once again. ($175 Value)

Bonus #5

  • ​Special $175 Savings on Your Next Workshop: You will receive a Special Alumni Credit that can be applied to any future field workshop that starts within 2 years of this workshop's start date. ($175 Value)

Bonus #6

  • ​Special 15% off NiSi Filters: You will receive a Special Workshop Student Discount of 15% off your first order of NiSi Filters. ($155 Value on Average)

Bonus #7

  • ​Special Savings on Fotopro Tripods: You will receive a Special Workshop Student Discount towards your purchase of a Fotopro Tripod. ($135 Value on Average)

Bonus #8

  • ​Access to a Private Online Portal: You will receive access to a special private online community portal where you can get to know your fellow students, share photos from the workshop, get up-to-date workshop info, and watch the bonus videos. ($97 Value)

Each BONUS is specifically designed to help you with your photography journey beyond the short time we are all together in-person.

     Total Value In BONUSES: $1,146


We will be at our locations photographing just before sunrise and ending our day just after sunset. Plan on long shooting days of around 12 hours or so with breaks for meals. This means we will be leaving the hotel in the morning on average a couple hours prior to sunrise.

Sunday Evening October 16, 2022

Be sure to arrive at our hotel before 5pm to allow time for hotel checkin and to get ready for our evening group dinner. 

We will have a complementary group dinner (alcoholic beverages not included) at a local restaurant in town to kick off the workshop. If the light is right we'll head out for a sunset shoot too!

Monday - Friday

Our locations and times will vary depending on the weather. But expect on being at our locations photographing just before sunrise and ending our day just after sunset. Sunrise is at approx. 7:35am and sunset is at approx. 6:47pm.

Plan on long shooting days of around 11 to 12 hours or so. This means we will be leaving the hotel in the morning on average a couple hours prior to sunrise.

During the day we will take a group break for a late breakfast or lunch, either at a restaurant or out in the field with a pack-your-own lunch. (lunches are not included - only the 1st night dinner).

Saturday Morning October 22, 2022

We will go back out for sunrise on Saturday, October 22 and workshop will end by 10am. 
"As with any outside landscape/wildlife workshop, a lot depends on the weather, animal behavior/time of year and other factors (crowds) that the workshop has little control over. 

However, when circumstances weren't 'great' for where we were and what we were trying to do, you always brought up the concept of looking for something else to work on while at the location. And many times, just plain patience was all that was needed to bring in that 'AHHHH' moment.

I think the way you handled the workshop was as near perfect as any student could ask for."
Harley M.
2019 Fall Grand Teton Photo Workshop Student


What is Not Included

Lodging, transportation, food (except for the complementary group dinner on October 16), and park passes are not included in this workshop and are the responsibility of each student. 

Regarding car rental, it is highly advised to rent a high-clearance 4WD vehicle, or AWD. We will be on rough dirt roads for good parts of this workshop. I will need 2 volunteers to drive for carpooling purposes - those drivers in particular need such vehicles. Once I have those 2 drivers, others can rent whatever car. After registering let me know if you want to be one of the drivers.

What Airport and When to Arrive

Depending on where you're coming from, there are two airports that are recommended near Capitol Reef National Park:

GRAND JUNCTION REGIONAL AIRPORT: Flights from Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix and Dallas. A 3-hour drive to the park.

SALT LAKE CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Major airport with direct flights from many foreign and domestic destinations. A 3.5-hour drive to the park.

Note: Some visitors choose to fly into Las Vegas and visit other Utah national parks on their way to Capitol Reef. Las Vegas is a 5-hour drive to Capitol Reef.

Driving Directions to Capitol Reef National Park

FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UT (218 miles): Take I-15 S toward Las Vegas. Take exit 188 for US-50 E and follow this for 24.4 miles. Turn right onto UT-260 S for 4.2 miles. Turn right on UT-24 E for 68 miles.

FROM LAS VEGAS, NV (327 miles): Take I-15 N toward Salt Lake City for 205 miles. Take exit 95 for UT-20 E for 20 miles. Turn left on US-89 N for 21 miles. Turn left on UT-62 E for 26 miles. Turn right onto UT-24 E for 41 miles.

Schedule your flight so you arrive at the hotel by 5pm on Sunday, October 16, 2022, factoring in drive time from your airport.

Where to Stay

I have a room block reserved at the Red Sands Hotel & Spa in the town of Torrey, UT. 

Full information on how to reserve your own room there and other details will be provided following registration.

What to Bring

A complete list of What to Bring will be provided. This list will mention required and suggested items regarding camera equipment and clothing.

Carpooling & Covid

For this workshop carpooling is mandatory and in a total of 2 vehicles in addition to mine. I will need 2 volunteers to drive, high clearance 4WD or AWD car is necessary. Drivers must be comfortable on washboard backcountry roads.

We will follow all local regulations regarding covid. If you have specific requirements or questions/concerns regarding covid and carpooling don't hesitate to reach out to discuss any other options.

Terms & Cancellation Policy

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. Payment is due in full at time of registration or you may choose to make a partial payment now with the remaining balance due 90 days prior to the start.

Tuition does not include park admission which is paid at a ranger station upon entering the park and good for 7 days. If you already have a National Park Pass, they are of course accepted here.

Hotel / lodging, meals (except for the complimentary group dinner October 16), car rental, any needed gear or equipment rentals, etc. are not included and is the student’s responsibility. 

Enroll Here!

This workshop is limited to ONLY 6 photographers!

Pay in Full Today


  7 Days - October 16 - 22, 2022
  Limited to ONLY 6 Photographers
  1-on-1 & Group Coaching
  Complementary Group Dinner Evening of October 16
  BONUSES Valued at $1,146

   Important Covid Information

Safety is always my #1 priority for everyone attending my workshops, and especially in regards to Covid. 

All current local guidelines regarding Covid and Capitol Reef National Park will be followed as per the condition of my permit to teach there.

Should this workshop get postponed due to covid, or you are not able to attend due to your own concerns over safety, any and all fees paid in advance will be transferred to a future workshop or coaching program of mine of your choice up to two years in the future at no additional charge. Full details can be found on my policy & cancellation page.

FAQ's Regarding This October Capitol Reef Workshop

Here are a few answers to my most common questions regarding this workshop.

Is there a lot of walking/hiking during this workshop?
There is a little bit. Each workshop student needs to be in good physical condition. While some locations will involve short and easy walks from our cars 1/4 miles away, other hikes could be up to a mile or 2. 

The park is at approx. 6,800 feet in elevation.
I am a pure beginner (or advanced) photographer. Is this workshop for me?
This workshop is open to all photography levels from beginner to pro. I have had students who didn't know what an f-stop was and I have had those who are just about ready to or are already selling their own prints. Being a small class, I am able to work with each student individually no matter their experience level to help them improve and reach their individual goals.
What is your experience photographing in Capitol Reef National Park?
This will be my third photo workshop there and at least my 4th time overall. In my time there I have been able to find some incredible locations - many that are infrequently visited! 
Will we work on our computers and learn how to process our photos?
No - this workshop is a shooting intensive workshop with no time for any group computer lessons. That is what my Bonus material is for where you can watch pre-recorded videos in the comfort of your home. You can even download the videos to watch again and again.

Besides, wouldn't you rather be out shooting instead of inside the hotel room on your computer?

An exception to this would be if the weather is bad enough that it prevents us from creating any meaningful shots. Should that happen we can spend some time on the computers.
Is this primarily a landscape or wildlife workshop?
This is primarily a landscape workshop. There are some wildlife in the park so if you want to bring a long lens just in-case feel free to do so. But I wouldn't recommend bringing such lenses along on our hikes.

General FAQ's Regarding My Photo Workshops & Tours

Here are a few answers to my most common questions regarding my photo workshops & tours.

What sets your workshops apart from other workshops?
I absolutely love teaching! I have over 30 years of experience making my career with my cameras and teaching & sharing my experiences along the way.
I am detail orientated and put the needs of my students first. I have extensive experience dealing with all types of situations and people and love answering all of my students' questions.
I have a unique photo background with experience creating and selling my work in such diverse fields as photojournalism, sports, portrait, wedding, editorial, and commercial photography. My specialty since 2006 has been fine art landscape photography.
I draw from all of those life experiences to provide you with whatever technical and artistic guidance you need. With my help, you will grow and expand your visual expression as well as your technical skills. In addition, I hope you have a great time in the process, immersing yourself in the total experience and sharing in my passion for photography.
Why should I attend one of your workshops?
I will teach you how to create inspiring and amazing fine art quality photographs. You will learn how to see more creatively and how to translate that vision into a final image that has emotional impact.
I make it easy to learn techniques and concepts that you will take with you every time you walk out the door with your camera. I have extensive experience shooting and selling my fine art photography as well as teaching the concepts of photography. I am a hands-on learner myself and teach using a hands-on approach that will give you the best opportunity to retain information and further your photography skills long after the workshop has concluded.
Lastly I love teaching small groups. Most of my workshops feature small sizes with up to 10 students on average. This allows for extremely low teacher to student ratios and provides valuable one-on-one opportunities to work with me during the workshop.
Can my spouse, relative, friend, pet, etc. attend any or all of the workshop?
Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, I have a no tag-along policy. Spouses, family members, friends, etc. who are traveling with you and who haven’t registered are unable to partake in any group functions. Workshops are also not a location for pets and as such are not allowed with the exception of guide dogs. If a spouse or friend wants to attend they will need to register.
Do you photograph during field workshops?
Yes I do on occasion and only when the light is amazing or when I need to photograph certain subjects for later classroom use. When I do photograph along with my students, the goal is to inspire them to learn to see an image the way I do. It can be extremely valuable watching me work a scene. Rest assured however that I am far more concerned that my students get the shot and ALWAYS put their needs first.
What level of photography experience do I have to have in order to attend one of your workshops?
It depends upon the workshop, so please check with the specific workshop you are interested. I especially love teaching beginner and intermediate photographers.
Do you provide travel insurance for your workshop participants?
I do NOT provide travel insurance as part of my workshop fees, but definitely recommend it. I highly recommend trip insurance that also includes travel health insurance. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating (although note I have no personal experience with this company). The cost for travel insurance is typically 4-7% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other variable factors.
What’s included in my tuition? Rooms, transportation, meals?
Tuition includes all lectures, fieldwork, guiding, classroom instruction and critiques of your digital files during our classroom sessions. Travel costs, lodging, entrance fees, and meals are not included in the cost of admission unless otherwise specified.
What should I bring with me to one of your workshops?
You will receive a workshop welcome kit before the start that will contain detailed information regarding the proper gear to bring with you.
What happens in bad weather?
I love weather of all sorts! Great photos can be found under some seemingly dreary skies. Many times we will be out in stormy weather, provided it’s not putting you or your equipment at risk. Great pictures can happen during fog, snow, rain and mist. If conditions are too extreme, we will find a location to wait out the weather. During this time, we can work on our images on our laptops while I assist you and give demonstrations.
Do you provide transportation?
I do not supply transportation for my workshops unless otherwise specified. I encourage participants to carpool once the program has begun, to minimize our impact on the environment and to facilitate parking. Please come expecting to share your car with others or to jump in and share someone else’s.
What is your cancellation policy?

Matt's Sponsors, Partners & Friends

I am an Official NiSi Reseller and you can order your NiSi Filters direct from me here.
I am an Official Fotopro Tripods Reseller and you can order your Fotopro tripods direct from me here.
DxO makes some of my favorite photo processing software such as: PhotoLab 5, PureRAW, FilmPack 6, & the NIK Collection.
Topaz Labs makes popular plugins like: Sharpen AI, Denoise AI, Mask AI, Gigapixel AI and more.
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Mylio Photos is a really awesome photo management cataloging program that comes highly recommended from me. Check out a Free Trial with special savings.
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SmugMug Photo Hosting 14-Day Free Trial
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About Matt Suess

I am honored to be sponsored by OM SYSTEMS as an OM SYSTEM Ambassador

Even though I now shoot with Olympus full-time, it doesn't mean that you have to as well. I am quite experienced with many cameras (especially Canon, Nikon & Sony which I have shot with before) and all brands are welcome on my workshops 😊
Fine Art Photographer, OM SYSTEM Ambassador & Fotopro Ambassador

Photography has always been a huge part of my life starting at the age of 12 when I had my own black & white chemical darkroom. That early interest launched a full-time professional photography career that began in 1990 and continues today.

For the first 17 years of my career I was a photojournalist based in New England. I am a digital photography pioneer and began teaching digital photography to photojournalists in the late 90’s, helping bring digital cameras to two different newspapers. I was awarded the 2003 New England Press Associations Photographer of the Year award for my work at the Cape Cod Times. During my time as a photojournalist, I also photographed weddings & portraits, as well as corporate & commercial assignments.

In 2006 I decided to leave all of that behind and move West, where I am now a fine art landscape & nature photographer, educator, and publisher. In addition, I also accept select luxury resort & architectural photography assignments. 

I teach numerous field & classroom workshops throughout the year as well as online courses and I provide occasional free online webinars. You may have already seen my videos for software companies such as Skylum and ON1. My passion for sharing and teaching what I have learned during my long career is evident in my down-to-earth and encouraging approach with my students.

I am sponsored by OM SYSTEMS as an OM SYSTEM Ambassador. One does not need to shoot with Olympus gear though to take my workshops.

I am also a Fotopro Ambassador and you can purchase Fotopro tripods direct from me.

I live in Bozeman, Montana with my fiance and fine art painter Whitney Hall and our two blue heeler cattle dogs. 

You can find me online on Instagram and YouTube at @mattsuessphoto
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