Workshop students learn to photograph water movement in a Bruce Hucko workshop. [Photo courtesy of Bruce Hucko]

“The Art of Landscape, Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Canyonlands National Park,” is the theme of the 11th-annual Moab Photography Symposium. The symposium runs Thursday to Sunday, May 1-4, and features workshops and presentations from leading national photographers. Symposium director Bruce Hucko invites all participants and presenters to show images from Canyonlands, “one of America’s finest National Parks.”

This year’s program will feature workshop topics ranging from “Creating an Inspired Image” and “Finding Meaning in the Field,” to “Building Strong Composition,” and “Painting with Light in the Landscape.” Hucko said that while “most photographers come here to photograph the landscape,” the primary purpose of the symposium, “is to stimulate personal creativity.”

Hucko said he and former Moab Arts and Recreation Center director H.L. Weber started the symposium after noticing how many out-of-the-area photo groups were coming into town.

“We decided that a home-grown event could offer something unique,” he said. “The first year we had 45 participants and three speakers. For the past six-plus years, we’ve have about 90 people attend to hear eight feature presentations plus the keynote, attend workshops and generally share their work.”

Hucko said his favorite part of the event “seeing everyone gathered together to share in the joy of photography.”

“Our event is not about size, but about camaraderie,” he said. “(The instructors and I) all enjoy spending time with individuals in the field, helping folks to realize more personally meaningful images made in the landscape.”

Brooks Jensen, a fine-art photographer, publisher, workshop teacher and author of six best-selling books about photography and creativity, is this year’s keynote speaker. He will give a presentation entitled, “The Challenges of our Generation,” where he will discuss traditional milestones in photographic technique and presentation in relation to modern technology.

“So many of us began our commitment to photography in an earlier age … but there may be a considerable difference between the pursuit of excellence in the mid-20th century compared to today’s state of the art,” Jensen said on his Web site.

Other topics include, “Intimate Earthscapes, Merging Psychology, Painting and Photography” by Judith Zimmerman, and “Driven by Demons,” by Guy Tal. Tal will discuss the why’s of what people do as artists, and he quotes the author, William Faulkner in saying that, “An artist is driven by demons. He doesn’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why.”

Moab’s local rock-art aficionado, Rory Tyler, will guide participants to ancient indigenous rock art sites and offer interpretation. Tyler has been visiting rock sites, “and studying their imagery in relation to space and each other,” for over 10 years.

“Photo Jam” on Friday and Saturday night will provide participants an opportunity to share, and view other’s work, as well as an opportunity to socialize. It is Hucko’s hope that after the symposium people, “will return home with a new sense of self, propelled by the tools, techniques, stories and anecdotes shared.”

Jerry Dodrill, of MindShift Gear, said he enjoyed the 2013 symposium.

“I was very impressed with the high-caliber presentations, dedication to conservation photography, and community enriching spirit in which the event was accomplished,” Dodrill said.

Except for the keynote, which is free and open to the public, the event requires registration. People can register at Registration costs $310 and includes access to speakers, the participant exhibit reception and Photo Jam. Workshops each cost an additional $65. Grand County residents may pay for individual workshops without registering for the entire event, which can by done by emailing Hucko directly at

Photo symposium celebrates Canyonlands National Park’s 50th anniversary

When: Thursday through Sunday, May 1-4

Where: Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 E. 100 North.

Cost: $310 for the event, plus $65 for each workshop. The keynote presentation is free and open to the public. E-mail Hucko directly directly at