The Land Of Bisti
A PHOTOGRAPHY expedition in New Mexico
october 1 - october 5, 2020
$3,800 (per person, based on double occupancy)
The Land of Bisti and Sand
Tucked away in the heart of the U.S. lies the magical land of the Bisti wilderness, vast expanses of white sand dunes, dark skies beckoning us to the Milky Way — and the ethereal morning glows from the international hot air balloon festival. We invite you to capture it all with us in this photography expedition to one of America’s most striking secrets.
HAVE YOU VENTURED INTO THE WEST?
Here is what makes our special photo expedition stand out from all of the rest:
This adventure is exclusively limited to ten participants!
With two photographer guides and no more than ten participants, you will absolutely receive the one-on-one attention you and your photography efforts deserve!
Our local guides know this western frontier intimately and will be giving us the most authentic New Mexico experience - including an intimate look at the very landscapes which inspired world-renown artist, Georgia O’Keefe!
Our expedition includes everything that is iconically the magical New Mexico: dramatically bizarre landscapes unlike anything you’ve ever seen, wildlife authentic to the West, sunset horseback rides, staggering fall colors, sweeping vistas, rare white sand dunes, a hunt for the awe-inspiring Milky Way - not to mention, the international hot air balloon festival! That is a LOT of magic just waiting to be captured and experienced in our 5-day exploration.
LIGHT! We are chasers of the light. We know how golden hours have the ability to dramatically light up and alter our perspectives on a scene, so we chase many sights when the light is right! Why have a regular photograph when you can have one that glows?
Our expedition is a mixture of photography opportunities and experiences. We hunt these beautiful landscapes, and we also aim to experience this incredible land by offering engaging activities like horseback riding to Georgia O’Keefe’s restricted studio and enjoying authentic fine-dining amongst the setting of vast desert expanses.
We want you to feel something.
Because that is what makes a bewildering photograph.
solving a major photography tour problem...
opening your eyes (and lenses) to a new way...
We strategically organized this expedition so that it includes a mixture of beautiful photography opportunities and engaging moments. Because we believe the most stunning images are the ones that have special moments attached to them and messages dripping through them.
We think the most empty photography tours are the ones where you get plopped on a bus and shuffled from one spot to the next, given only "15 minutes in this spot!" to take your photos. How can you connect to your landscape, garner a feeling that you want to capture through your lens and translate into your photographs like that!?
So, to solve this unfortunate issue we see with other photography tours, I continually challenge myself and my partners to strategically pick a mixture of authentic and downright breath-taking landscapes, and experiences that snap our photographer participants out of their normal routines in order to open their eyes and lenses to seeing and capturing in a new way.
We do this through making a concerted effort to take you all the way from the visuals of rare white desert sand dunes to the authentic experience of the international hot air balloon festival, and activate new sensations within you by truly engaging with our photography subject, New Mexico, by the likes of horseback riding at sunset and dining incredibly in intimate settings.
We will not just plop you on a bus. We will chase moments. :)
Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
We begin our trip at the amazing Ghost Ranch and bask in the landscapes which bewildered and moved Georgia O’Keefe. At night we embark on a sunset horseback ride where we are taken to the very scenes and vistas which emboldened the indescribable power of her paintings — ones that have the potential to do the very same for our photographs from these areas, and a fresh outlook on our photography overall. We end our evening with a delectable dinner at the ranch and can stroll around the grounds for a night cap. Keep your eyes out for the stars — this is one of the darker areas to see the Milky Way, Andromeda Galaxy, and other celestial wonders, so we will be keeping our cameras ready for astrophotography should the conditions speak to us!
We have a slow and easy morning and breakfast can be had at each individual’s leisure in the ranch restaurant. Those that are up for it, we are ready to take a walk around the grounds for. more amazing photographs and intimate looks at the flora and fauna of the area. Perhaps we will have an opportunity to speak with the locals, take a few in-element portraits of the ranchers and learn more about their lives in this magical place.
In the early afternoon we pack our things and embark for the Bisti Wilderness. The images of this landscape speak for themselves. This is a perfect testament to why we are driven as photographers — there are no words to describe the bizarrely beautiful landscape and formations we see here: the badlands. We arrive for the perfect golden hour and sunset glows and spend the time to really hone in on and capture the mood of these poignant structures, for they have a message to speak. We stay in a lodge in the Bisti area tonight, for a quick retreat from our fulfilling night photography.
Today we embark for Albuquerque and have a rest day in this special city. Feel free to walk around and explore the area, meet the locals, do some shopping or get a message. We will be hosting a post-processing session in the afternoon if you would like to join us and go over the group’s photographs thus far, talk about our most favorite experiences yet, and excitement for the days to come! Included as part of every day with us, all meals will be provided in a group setting — although if you are more interested in spending the whole day on your own, taking time to yourself and exploring the town — you are more than welcome to (there are no refunds or discounts given in the event you would like to forgo your meals with us and instead have your own meals in the town). We stay in a cozy and beautiful Albuquerque hotel tonight, and aim to get some rest for tomorrow’s exciting day in the White Sand Dunes!
Today is the day! Can you tell what we are most excited about? We embark for an exploration of White Sand Dunes National Monument. The inspiring expanse of these rare white gypsum crystal dunes is situated in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, an area the largest of its kind anywhere on Earth. You see, we must be open to the reality that these incredible wonders can be found in our very country — and we are proud to be exploring them with you!
We begin the final day of our journey together with the once-in-a-lifetime sights of the International Hot Air Balloon Festival. We enjoy the ethereal sights of the illuminated balloons taking off in the early twilight hours and enjoy capturing photographs that bring us awe for a lifetime — just like the moments and photographs we have had on our expedition together.
Departures out of our Albuquerque hotel can be as early as 11am, so plan your flights accordingly to accommodate for the shuttle to the airport, flight check-in, and boarding.
We know we will see you again on another amazing adventure, soon!
Per person in double occupancy room
Single room accommodation is available for an additional fee of $350 per person
All accommodations as per itinerary
Private-to-our-group transportation to all locations in New Mexico
Georgia O’Keefe sunset horseback ride
Two expert photographers' guidance
All necessary commercial permits and permissions to photograph these areas (we respect the land that provides so much to us, so we make sure we are permitted and contributing to keeping these places the way that they are… a way that continues to offer us these inspiring moments)
National park entrance fees
price does not include
Airfare to and from New Mexico
Shuttle service to and from preferred airport in New Mexico (we recommend flying into either Albuquerque or Santa Fe, then taking one of the shuttle providers, White Buffalo or North Central, to Ghost Ranch. We will conclude our journey in Albuquerque on October 5th, so it may be most convenient to fly out of Albuquerque)
Optional guide and vendor gratuities
What is not mentioned as included
ABOUT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY MENTORS
Marisa is an explorer, photographer and journalist with a passion for connecting people to the unknown.
Her passion for documentary photography has lured her to remote corners of the world to experience the fire and ice of Iceland, ice-driving across the world’s deepest lake in Siberia, zodiac-riding over the world’s strongest current - Saltstraumen - in the Arctic circle, and more.
Marisa’s work has been featured in AFAR magazine, Ink magazine, and Palm Beach Illustrated magazine. Her photography has been included in the first exhibition juried by infamous Cecil The Lion photographer, Brent Stapelkamp, written about by The Palm Beach Post, and hung on the walls of various galleries throughout the East Coast.
She is the founder of Marisa Marulli Photography Expeditions, leading all levels of photographers on journeys to awe-inspiring landscapes. When she is not on expedition, Marisa creates photoessays of journeys for national and regional publications, hunts deep space astrophotography with her new astro gear, and loves seeing her favorite bands perform live.
As a former student herself, Marisa is appreciated by all levels of students for her tactful ability to break down the elements of photography and post-processing, and convey them in a simplified way.
a few highlights of marisa's photographic career
Siberia photoessay published in AFAR Magazine
Alaska photoessay published in INK Magazine
Various interviews on ESPN radio regarding photography and entrepreneurship
10-page feature story and cover of Palm Beach Illustrated magazine
Featured in Palm Beach County's newspaper, The Palm Beach Post (article and image of United Launch Alliance Delta IV Rocket Launch out of Cape Canaveral)
(When she could stay in one place…!) Photojournalism instructor at Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, Florida
Exhibited in infamous Cecil The Lion photographer Brent Stapelkamp's first juried exhibition, Ivoryton, Connecticut
Exhibited in Armory Art Center's "New & Now" exhibition
Christine has always had an interest in the arts. She pursued her passion at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied painting. It took less than a semester of study to discover her true love… photography.
Christine studied SLR, medium and large format, digital, and experimental photography. In addition, she studied photography and art history abroad in Florence, Italy. After graduating with a BFA in photography, she was one of three graduates to be awarded a travel grant to pursue her photographic vision.
She worked as a photography research assistant at the Chicago Historical Society, an Art Handler in the photography department at The Art Institute of Chicago, and a wedding photographer before starting her own photography business.
Christine’s work has been exhibited in several galleries and has been internationally published in fine art photography magazines. She is most appreciated for her special knack for teaching and mentorship related to enhancing an individual’s photographic art and also the ability to turn it into a valuable business, and has been involved in leading local photography clubs and artist guilds.
HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO BRING TO New Mexico
At least two camera batteries
At least two memory cards
Your favorite lens (We recommend bringing at least a wide-angle, mid-range and telephoto lens so you are able to seize all photographic opportunities)
Shutter release cable
Laptop (If you would like to follow along with us during our post-processing discussions, we recommend that you bring a laptop to be able to participate and edit your photographs while with us.)
Headlamp (We recommend something like this because it can switch between a regular and a red, night vision light. While having a regular light will be important for hiking or seeing paths, having red lights are important for night photographers because this type of light preserves your night vision and does not negatively impact other photographer's exposures in the way that regular light does.)
Camera bag (At certain places we will be walking distances from parking areas to the viewpoints, and therefore you will need to have a bag that can hold the gear you'd like to shoot with. Keep in mind that this usually includes your tripod. You will also want to have some extra room for a water bottle and a packed meal on the days we take our meals to-go.)
TAKE YOUR New Mexico PHOTOGRAPHY TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH THIS GEAR:
A cable release will allow you to take exposures longer than 30 seconds and multiple successive exposures (for star trails), help prevent camera shake, and more.
(These can be purchased on Amazon for approximately $9 and arrive within two days. Make sure you are getting the one that is appropriate for your particular camera. This one is for a Canon Rebel t6i. You can search Amazon or Google for the terms "remote cable release" + [your camera name and model].)
Neutral density filter for your wide-angle / landscape lens
An ND filter will allow you to take longer exposures when you normally wouldn't be able to because the scene is too bright. This is the key to nice soft clouds in landscapes, milky waterfalls, etc.
(I recommend anywhere from a 3-stop to 10-stop ND filter, but make sure it is of decent quality. I use B+W brand, but HOYA also makes great filters. LEE square filters are good too.)
Graduated neutral density filter for your wide-angle / landscape lens
A graduated ND filter serves the same purpose as the ND filter described above, however the darkening effect takes place only on the top half of the filter, which allows your lighter sky to be exposed more similarly to your darker foreground. A 2-stop GND is a good start.
Polarizing filter for your wide-angle / landscape lens
A polarizing filter will help deepen colors.
Hand warmers (approximately $7 on Amazon or $5 at your local Walmart) and rubber bands
As your camera is brought from warm interiors to cooler settings, dew can accumulate on your lens glass and completely fog up your images! Photographers have come up with the ingenious solution of securing a couple of hand warmers onto the lens with a rubber band, which keeps the lens temperature regulated enough that it prevents the condensation from occurring!
THIS TRIP IS FOR
*All* levels of photographers
Those looking for a nature photography *experience*
Those looking to translate their connection with nature into their images
October 1 - October 5, 2020
$3,800 (per person, based on double occupancy)
Restricted access to Georgia O’Keefe’s studio and the very landscapes that inspired her world-renown paintings
White Sand Dunes Nat’l Monument
Wildlife (sunset Georgia O’Keefe horse-back riding trail)
International Hot Air Balloon Festival
meet your Photography Mentors:
What makes our excursion stand out from all the rest:
Exclusivity: Limited to eight participants only!
One-on-one attention: Two photographer guides for no more than ten participants promises you the attention you deserve.
Immersive experience: Each step of this itinerary has been hand-picked by Marisa, offering her signature immersive and intimate experiences of the landscapes we aim to photograph.
Everything iconically New Mexico: We make sure to bring it all to you in one expedition: cultural immersion, gorgeous landscapes, our nightly hunt for the Milky Way, and more!
Light: We chase many sights when the light is golden and right!
Experience: Our expedition is a mixture of photography opportunities and engaging experiences.
RESERVE WITH A 30% DEPOSIT
Level 2 of 5
GETTING TO New Mexico
We recommend flying into either Albuquerque or Santa Fe, then taking one of the shuttle providers, White Buffalo or North Central, to Ghost Ranch so that you arrive at Ghost Ranch by 3 p.m. This will allow you to get settled, relax a perhaps even walk around a bit to take in the gorgeous scenery before our 5 p.m. gathering ahead of our sunset horseback ride!
departure from New Mexico
We will conclude our journey in Albuquerque on October 5th, so it may be most convenient to fly out of Albuquerque. We recommend planning your flight out of Albuquerque so that you are leaving our hotel no earlier than 11am. Keep in mind, you can always stick around in Albuquerque for the remaining days of the International Hot Air Balloon Festival!
100% of Marisa's students rate her teaching as "EXCEPTIONAL."
* * * * *
of Marisa's students
feel that Marisa provides
effort helping them
and their projects.
* * * * *
of Marisa's students
feel they understand the subject
"very well" after her lesson.
MARISA'S INSTAGRAM FEED
SEE WHAT SHE'S CURRENTLY SHOOTING!
CHRISTINE’S RECENT IMAGERY
This itinerary is subject to change. The opportunity for photography and astrophotography is based on proper weather conditions. If the weather conditions are in any way hazardous or unfavorable, the photography guides reserve the right to cancel in-the-field instruction for affected days.