southwest landscape photography resources
Photo by Bob Kulon

If you live in southern Utah, you know how great the scenery is around the Southwest. So does the rest of the world. If you are a hometown photography enthusiast with an interest in landscape photography, you probably have a few spots that you discovered to work your skills to the greatest effect. Visitors may not have time to develop a catalog of great visuals due to time constraints and lack of advice.

Many of the visiting photographers are familiar with a set of three books that are well-known guides and resources to photography in the Southwest. These go way beyond a casual listing and as such, are every bit as useful to local folks as to visitors.

Landscape Photography in the Southwest

I first moved to St. George about seven years ago. I couldn’t wait to get out there and explore the natural sites and vistas. That’s still the case. If you are a landscape enthusiast, I’m guessing you feel the same way. I already had an affiliation with Bob Hitchman, the publisher of Photograph America newsletters. I knew the value of “insider information.” These newsletters were handy resources in that they provided all the information a visiting photographer might want to make efficient use of their time, but more on the newsletters later.

Along with the 100+ issues of the newsletters, I wanted an all-in-one resource for Southwest landscape photography that contained similar information of the entire geographic area, something I could read at home, toss into the car, or check through at night while traveling.

Amazon had a highly praised book available that seemed to address this very need. I ordered a copy of “Photographing the Southwest, Volume 1 – A guide to the natural landmarks of Southern Utah” by Laurent Martres. This was exactly what the doctor ordered. This book is not a coffee table book, nor is it a travel guide. It contains photographs, maps, and diagrams, but most of all, it contains information that can save days of discovery on a photo trip. Heretofore, I was accustomed to losing the first day or so at a new location just to get my bearings and determine where and when to be in specific locations. Between Bob Hitchman’s Photograph America and Laurent Martres’ Photographing the Southwest – Southern Utah, I had a leg up and went right to work. I knew the landmarks to watch for and the turns to make to find the hidden landscape treasures (as well as simply where to stay, gas up, and eat).

When I was a vendor at Art in Kayenta, I actually met Laurent. He was a visiting vendor. I noticed a small table with “Photographing the Southwest” in a pile and was surprised to find that that author himself was visiting. In our discussion, I learned that Laurent worked for 20 years to finish the second edition of the book. He lives in southern California. That’s dedication to the cause!

The book on Southern Utah was volume one of a three book set, and they are all amazing resources for Southwest landscape photography. The other two are Photographing the Southwest, Volume 2 – a guide to the natural landmarks of Arizona and Photographing the Southwest, Volume 3 – a guide to the natural landmarks of Colorado and New Mexico. (Volume 1 also includes the nearby parts of Nevada.) I recommend you consider these as guides on your Southwest trips.

The Photograph America Newsletter

As the website tagline states, this newsletter provides the “when, where, and how to discover the best Photography in America.”

The Photograph America Newsletter is a quarterly 12-page travel newsletter for photographers that has been published since 1989. Each issue of the newsletter describes in detail where to photograph spectacular landscapes, interesting wildlife, hidden waterfalls, remote beaches, slot canyons, and colorful wildflowers of North America. You can learn where, when, and how to discover the best nature photography in America.

southwest landscape photography resources
Image by Bob Hitchman

These awesome resources are available individually, in regional collections, as complete collections, or by subscription. A one-year subscription includes four issues either as PDF files via email download links, as printed newsletters, or both. PDF files are now being published with color photographs. Users get researched suggestions to cut travel costs and minimize planning. They avoid aimless driving through unknown territory and reduce gas costs.

Over 135 locations are covered, one per issue. You may purchase single issues for a specific location, a discounted collection of issues for a region, or the entire collection at major discount.

Want to be amazed? Check out the complete issue catalog to get the full impact of the information available. The collection that pertains to our surrounding landmarks is the Southwestern Collection. This is a “collection of the newsletters you will need to plan your photo explorations of the Southwest. Thirty-four newsletters of Robert Hitchman’s Photograph America Newsletter, covering the Southwest, from Arches to Zion.” Yes, it’s in there!

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