John Slot Photography: Blog en-us (C) John Slot Photography (John Slot Photography) Fri, 01 Apr 2022 19:14:00 GMT Fri, 01 Apr 2022 19:14:00 GMT John Slot Photography: Blog 120 80 Spring Photography Workshop Itinerary May 12-14

Spring Photography Workshop 

May 12-14 


  As our date gets closer, I know you are excited to explore Utah and Arizona with me. I have your 3 days laid out to get    the most from your adventure.

Light hiking will be done at most stops. Please bring a comfortable pair of hiking shoes/boots. The average temps for mid May high 85 low 52. Dress appropriately. 

I hold the right to change any part of this itinerary due to weather and safety of attendees. 

Please remember that distances from point to point will have us enjoying our beautiful scenery on the road. I have tried to group stops that will give more time photographing and less time driving. 

I look forward to this Workshop. This will be my first workshop since Covid and I am so excited to start them up again. It has been two years since my last workshop. 

Day 1 May 12 

I will pick each of you up at your lodging between 8am-8:30 

Our first stop will be Peek-a-Boo Canyon. This jeep ride is bumpy, sandy and fun. From the highway turnoff it is a 5 mile drive to the canyon entrance. You will need your tripods for this photoshoot. A 3 section slot canyon with many opportunities for the perfect shot. 

Lunch in Mt. Carmel (group decision where) 

Next we make our way into the East entrance to Zion NP. Have your long lens at the ready incase Bighorn Sheep, Buffalo, eagle or condor sightings. We will make several stops winding through the park for the beauty she holds. 

Zion overlook trail. We will grab our gear and make the 1.5 mile roundtrip hike to the canyon overlook. A good backpack that can hold your gear is recommended. I have several if anyone needs to borrow let me know. This is a fun easy hike that will amaze your senses. 

From there I know you want the iconic shot of The Watchman. This will be our next stop before we leave the park.

Next stop will be Grafton. One of the earliest settlements in Utah also used as backdrop for many movies (Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid) for one. The beauty of the old buildings against the the backdrop of Zions West Temple is why we are here.

This will be a full day and I expect to have you back around 6pm. 


Day 2 May 13

I will pick you up at 8-8:30 am (unless we can make arrangements for you both to meet me in Apple Valley) 

The long ride to the most amazing place, Toroweap Overlook. See a part of the Grand Canyon NP system that is the most remote there is. 65 miles of dirt road means very few put in the effort to get here. We will spend a few hours here exploring all the possibilities of perfect pictures. Please bring sandwiches or whatever your preference for lunch with a view. I will have a cooler with water and snacks on all days. 

After the long ride out we will stop at ancient Paiute People pictographs and petroglyphs. This place is sacred and simply amazing. The feeling you get when in the presence of 4000 year old writings can be spiritual. 

I should have you back by 5:30 or 6 to get plenty of rest for Day 3. 



Day 3 May 14

This is going to be a long day full of fun and adventure. We are headed to Arizona. I will pick you up at 8-8:30 (unless we can make arrangements for you both to meet me in Apple Valley) 
2.5 hour drive will put us at our first stop White Pocket. Part of the Vermillion Hills National Monument system is just a short distance from the more famous "The Wave" but no permit is needed, just a high clearance 4 wheel drive. This place is every bit as beautiful as The Wave with so many photographic opportunities. From parking lot a short hike to Slick-rock where the adventure begins. Plan on spending a few hours creating images to last a lifetime. A few snacks before we head out to our next stop Marble Canyon and Navajo Bridge. This will be a shorter stop but well worth it, possible Condor sighting and excellent back drop for a picture of the bridges over the Colorado River. Next stop is Page, Az. where we can grab a bite to eat before heading to Horseshoe Bend. Wide Angle lens is highly recommended for this iconic shot. I use a 14mm or 24mm depending on my shot. Depending on time we may have one more stop on the way home. Group decision on how tired you are. 2.5 hour drive back will get you to your lodging later than usual. Figure around 8pm give or take. This will be a long but unforgettable day. 

I will make every effort to adjust itinerary to accommodate spending as much time as you need at each location without feeling rushed. If at any time you see something you want to photograph speak up and we will stop. This workshop is about having as much fun doing what we love to do. I can't thank you enough for trusting me with planning an unforgettable experience for you.

Things to bring 

Camera with extra battery and charger. Charge each night. Fresh SD Cards

Lenses: landscape/wide angle/telephoto

Filters: I use a 6 and 10 stop ND for a lot of mid day shooting in this area

Tripod.....functional but light

Backpack for gear on short hikes

Good hiking shoes 

Hat .... you must keep the mid day sun off of you .... please use sun screen

A Smile ... please have with you as much as possible

any snacks or beverages you like, I will have a cooler with ice, water and light snacks each day for all to use. You can put anything you want in the cooler.

Voice.... use your voice if not comfortable with any situation please let me know and I will alter to accommodate you, if I don't know I can't fix. We will be on ledges very high up at Toroweap and Zion Overlook. Please safety is first always. Do not get close to the edges. If you want to wander and do your own thing at times please let me know where you will be. Most places we visit have spotty to no cell service so don't depend on that for communicating between us in the field.

Thank you for choosing John Slot Photography 


(John Slot Photography) Fri, 01 Apr 2022 19:13:30 GMT


Columbia Air Attack Base

The high pitch click of the mic gets everyone's attention as it sends instructions over the loud speaker. Strike Team needed, car fire reported in Jenny Lind, vegetation fire imminent. 

6 CAL FIRE Helitac members meet in the Heli Hanger to dress in their NOMEX,  grab a fresh radio and load onto the waiting Helicopter 404. The team is secure as the blades whip into a synchronized frenzy, about to lift off, taking the team and dropping them at the incident in the fastest most efficient way possible. Mic click, the abort mission signal comes through. " Local responders secured the scene, no further assistance needed."



So goes the life at the base, training and waiting, to be given a moments notice to be in the air and on the front lines, or to fight the beast from the sky. Day-to-day it takes 10 personnel to staff the helicopter, One pilot, two captains, six firefighters and one engineer to drive the fuel tender. It takes a crew of 22 to staff it seven days a week. The fixed wing aircraft have a crew of 10-12.



The base consists of 1 Helicopter 404, 1 OV-10 Bronco spotter plane and 2 S-2-T tankers; the 82 and 83 planes. All of us in the foothills have seen this equipment perform extraordinary tasks by extraordinary men and women. Columbia is only 1 of 2 CAL FIRE Attack Bases that supports both Helicopter and Tanker Attack operations. The schedule during fire season is grueling, with as many as 150 calls per season. C.A.A.B. is truly a fine tuned and trained machine, with every support person knowing and doing exactly what it takes to keep these aircraft and personnel operational to their elevated ability. 

The high pitch click sounds starting the process in motion again. This time, it’s a call for Tanker support to the Donnell Fire. The smoke ceiling has finally lifted so planes can be operational. Watching it all come together reminded me of the finest NASCAR pit crews tending to the needs of their team. 



High above the runway, mostly unnoticed by passerby, sits a small tank farm; the life blood of fighting these massive California fires. The tank farm is where Phos-Chek retardant is delivered by semi-truck at 40,000 pounds per truck. The retardant is unloaded by air pressure into a waiting vat. From there, it is syphoned into a blending tank mixing it with water to give us the proper mix for the Tankers to lay on the fire lines, then moved to one of the storage tanks where it waits to be loaded into the belly of the planes. The capacity of the Tanks are 76,000 gallons of storage and during a busy day can pump up to 120,000 gallons per work day. Each S-2 Tanker can hold up to 1200 gallons with most loaded at 1000 gallons per trip. At around $3.63 per gallon you can understand where our tax dollars are spent each fire season. At the tank farm you work hard, sweat a lot and go home pink. They have pride in knowing they are part of a team that is very important to a lot of people.



On this day four S-2 Tankers were rotating like clockwork to the Donnell Fire. One goes up, one lands, and the rotation continues until day turns to night or any other reason to ground the flights occurs.  The ground crew works non-stop, relishing in their precision to fill a tanker and get it back up in the air with in 3 minutes. It is amazing to watch. 



I may not be the best person to write an article like this due to my bias. I must confess that I am a fan of CAL FIRE personnel and all first responders. I love the fly boys/gals, the strikers, pilots.  I have found there is so much more we don’t see. I now have admiration and respect for the guys and gals busting their butts in 100 dg.+ heat in the tank farm mixing and pumping to get these planes in the air delivering their product to save our homes, our ranches our forests; and the team members fueling, loading the retardant on the tarmac and even tossing a couple of cold waters thru the window to thirsty pilots; and the person in the Control Tower monitoring the AIMS “Aviation Incident Management System”: the eyes and ears of the sky.  They all bring this little city to life. They all are part of the team. As one pilot told me, “I get thanked a lot by folks I meet. When I say your welcome it comes from all of us.”


Now we all know just a bit more. Thank you for the invite to visit, the friendship and all you do. And it was an honor seeing one of my pictures hanging in the flight room.


John Slot 

The Valley Springs News. 








    5 – PILOTS






    1 – ENGINEER

    3 – PILOTS 




    4 – CAPTAINS 

    2 – ENGINEERS 








    3 – PILOTS




    1 – PILOT






                                                                                              ROTARY WING - 194


                                                       AIR ATTACK - $743.00 / HOUR

                                                       HELICOPTER - $1548.60 / HOUR


                                       OVER 100,000   GALLONS - $2.58 PER GALLON


                                                                    2017 - 437,710  GALLONS

                                                                    2016 - 551,285  GALLONS

                                                                    2015 - 345,579  GALLONS



(John Slot Photography) Tue, 14 Aug 2018 19:22:38 GMT
Understanding Your Audience Having been doing photography professionally for many years now I was surprised to read posts by two local photographers that I know and respect were both abandoning their dreams of doing it full time to make a living. Digging deeper I read ones comment to the other " I really don't understand why people don't buy my favorite work" The other agreed. This is not meant to disparage either of these talented photographers but I think they both miss the point. It may or may not be the reason for lack of sales. I believe I now have over 10K followers on my social media platforms combined. One of my first followers at least in the first 25 found me from my pictures being shown on Santa Cruz Wave. Tracie contacted me about purchasing a photo from me, one of several she owns. I happily took the order and processed it. An 11x14 luster print matted, signed and framed of the cypress tree in Moss Landing. It was a good picture but certainly not my favorite. When the order was completed I took the time to ask Tracie why she choose that picture. I hope Tracie doesn't mind me sharing this story. She told me about when she was a little girl with her mom, dad and sister. This is where they vacationed and would sit under that very tree. Her mother and father have passed and this picture brought her back to a place in time that was good. Every time she sees it now, it takes her to that place if only briefly. From that point forward I changed my outlook with my photography. I stopped taking pictures for me and instead I use my eye and my knowledge to take pictures for the world. Once I changed my focus and mental direction to accommodate my clients needs over my own I learned that sales followed. Talk to your clients. Facebook has been a boom for me, constant feedback with personal attention to all. The more sales, the more request for other opportunities. This may not be right for all and I'm not telling anyone what to do, just sharing what has and does work for me. The answer may lie in the attitude projected with your work. Who's it for, what's it about.

I hope this helps.

Happy Shooting 


(John Slot Photography) Fri, 06 Jul 2018 01:46:46 GMT
Change Your Focal Length Change You Focal Length 

Sometimes just simple subtle changes with your focal length can reward you with excellent results. Set up on Sentinel Bridge Yosemite National Park for an iconic shot of Half Dome on a cold winter day. My gear for this shot is as follows;

Camera - Canon 5D Mark III

Lens - Canon 24-70 f2.8 gen II 

Filter - Gobe ND 1000 

Tripod - Giottos MH-511


Shot 1.

iso 100, 24MM, f16, 20 second shutter


Shot 2

iso 100, 38mm, f16, 30 second shutter


Using a ND filter this dark the auto focus will not pick up enough light for a focal point. To counter that we use manual focus for both shots with live view.

As you can see the changes were small, the results well worth trying. The hardest decision will be with your clients wondering which one to hang in their home. 

I hope this helps a little and please keep shooting. 

We offer private lessons by appointment.

John Slot Photography 


(John Slot Photography) Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:41:57 GMT
Welcome to John Slot Photography John Slot Photography



Welcome to my web page and store. is a direct result of all of you. If not for you following me on Facebook, Instagram or The Valley Springs News and encouraging me to launch a website this would not have happened.

It is the warmest feeling of satisfaction knowing someone found pleasure in my craft, hang my art in their homes or offices, gifting to another or just enjoying the posts.

I am photographer and I am a teacher. In future bogs I will get into beginning photography do’s and don’ts as well as write about concert reviews and anything else that catches our attention.

Thank you for being here. If you have a suggestion let me know what it is, if you have a request or custom order please let me know.

This is a whole new world for this small town photographer. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision being accepted with open arms by so many of you. I feel so blessed and thankful for what I have.

Good folks hang out here so tell your friends about us, if you haven’t already please follow me on Facebook. Shop and enjoy your experience. 

Bless you all


(John Slot Photography) Nature blog fine art natural photography photography Thu, 05 May 2016 15:50:03 GMT
Workshops & Classes

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(John Slot Photography) workshops Thu, 21 Apr 2016 23:11:47 GMT
Getting Started Welcome to John Slot Photography. I'm John, a landscape photographer based in California. I'm so excited to share my passion with you. 

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(John Slot Photography) personal Thu, 14 Apr 2016 17:06:05 GMT