July 2016 update:
I’ve added a Bristlecone Pines workshop August 2 – 6! We’re offering Bodie as an add-on to many Eastern Sierra or Yosemite tours this year to make it even more worthwhile to come to this spectacular area for photography.
The prices below link to a PayPal secure payment system that lets you register using a credit card. If there’s no link the workshop may be full, but openings often come up as the workshop approaches if you’d like to be placed on the waiting list.
Jun 2 – 4 – Eastern Sierra: Mono Lake and area, with Wildflowers (2 days) –
Two nights of night photography in the Eastern Sierra, with daylight pursuit of landscapes and wildflowers. This can be taken separately for $585, or with the following Bodie night/morning sessions June 4/5, discounted to $1080.
Jun 4 – Bodie night photography workshop – Golden hour, sunset and night (Milky Way, star trails) photography 6 pm – 1 am, $350
Jun 5 – Bodie morning golden hour/interior access photography 5:30 am – noon, $250
Jul 26 – 29 – Eastern Sierra / Mono Lake and Yosemite / Tioga Pass (3 days) –
Three nights of night photography in the Yosemite Tioga Pass area and nearby Eastern Sierra, with daylight pursuit of landscapes and wildflowers. Elevations in the Tioga Pass area average around 10,000 feet, and we may take short hikes adding up to 6 or so miles per day. This can be taken separately for $775, or with a fourth night in the following Bodie night session July 29, discounted to $1070. On the following night, July 30, you may choose to enter Bodie when the public may stay in the park until 10 pm during the “Ghost Stories” event.
July 29 – Bodie night photography workshop – Golden hour, sunset and night (Milky Way, star trails) photography 6 pm – 1 am, enroll: $350
Aug 2 – 6 – Ancient Bristlecone Pines to High Sierra (4 days)
Landscape and night photography in some of the most interesting and dramatic settings on planet earth. Capture the Milky Way and if we’re lucky, an early Persied meteor fireball over the twisted trunks of Bristlecone pines, the oldest living single organisms on the planet. We’ll shoot at elevations ranging from 4000 – 11,000 feet.
This itinerary works best if you’re willing to camp with us for a couple of nights in a campground at roughly 9000 feet elevation, so we can maximize our time in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine forest. Inyo National Forest now limits permitted access by workshops and groups to the Bristlecone pines, so we should have great shooting conditions. Enroll: $995
Three nights of night photography in the Yosemite Tioga Pass area and nearby Eastern Sierra, with daylight pursuit of landscapes and wildflowers. Elevations in the Tioga Pass area average around 10,000 feet, and we may take short hikes adding up to 6 or so miles per day. This can be taken separately for $775, or with a fourth night in the following Bodie night session Aug 28, discounted to $1070. We’ll take a break on the night of Aug 27, when you may choose to enter Bodie when the public may stay in the park until 10 pm during the “Ghost Stories” event.
Oct 3 – 7 – Eastern Sierra Fall Colors (5 days) –
Fall colors in the Eastern Sierra turn gradually over the course of 2-4 weeks, so we’ve broken our coverage into two distinct segments so you can experience the best of two distinct areas, each at optimal times.
For this first installment of our Fall colors workshop series, we will be in the shooting in the Bishop, California area through the Mono Basin. Fall colors are just starting at high elevations in the Eastern Sierra at this time of year, but the best high elevation locations turn early and often have the leaves blown down by the season’s first storm during the first week of October, so an early start is prudent, and we may have visually stunning conditions before, during and after any storm that does pass through. This early in the month tends to be before the worst of the crowds arrive, and we’ll be running around midweek to minimize traffic even more. $1195
Oct 10 – 14 – Eastern Sierra Fall Colors (5 days) –
For this workshop we will be shooting in the Mono County, one of the most productive areas for photography in the state, with exotic limestone formations lining an alkaline, saltwater lake, sunrise alpenglow on adjacent 13,000 foot peaks, many volcanic features and an adjacent volcanic caldera second only to Yellowstone in size. Again we’ll be shooting midweek to avoid the crowds. $1195
I’ve been exploring the Eastern Sierra and the Sierra Nevada for more decades than I’d like to admit, hiking, fishing, backpacking, camping, and of course pursuing photography. I went on the road full time for landscape photography in 2006, and started writing a photography guide to my favorite locations in Yosemite National Park and the Eastern Sierra. In 2010 I moved to the Eastern Sierra, and expanded the scope to cover Southern California. My main job from 2010 – 2015 was to complete this 320-page “Photographing California – South” book to present you with California’s most amazing locations for landscape photography, around my home and beyond.
One of the great opportunities in the summer is night photography, since the Milky Way is as high as it gets in the sky, and in the dark skies of the Eastern Sierra it can be spectacular. I particularly like locations around Mono Lake, in Yosemite National Park, among ancient Bristlecone pines in the White Mountains, around abandoned mines, and the granite and exotic tufa limestone rock formations. By June the Milky Way has risen just before the sky gets fully dark, so you can be immediately productive with starry night photography.
The Eastern Sierra is also a great place to find wildflowers. If you know where to look, you can find wildflowers can be found carpeting the landscape in April, May and June, and you can move up in elevation to find alpine wildflowers in July and August.
This is your chance to benefit from the special places I’ve discovered through my explorations of the region over the past decades, and my targeted research and shooting designed to expand my landscape photography site knowledge over the past 10 years. Some of these locations may get more crowded as my “Photographing California – South” guidebook sells more copies. Some sensitive sites I couldn’t disclose in the book due to possible impacts. Maintaining a reasonable degree of anonymity for certain delicate sites reduces damage by trampling feet, protects the site for wildlife, and supports the value of the photographs you’ll take there.
I haven’t seen any other workshops assume this degree of stewardship of the land and the wildlife which lives on it (and respect for the value of their customer’s images). There are some sites I’ve found that I won’t even take a high quality DSLR photo at… I don’t want anyone using my work to publicize those sites even after I’m gone. I shoot landscapes because I love these places. The Eastern Sierra is my home. I prefer to shoot with people who will take reasonable care when shooting around my neighborhood; I’d show the same courtesy when shooting in yours. If you share my passion for nature and the outdoors, and can keep a secret or two, consider joining me and I’ll provide you with the tour that only a local can give.
I select dates and script my itineraries very carefully to take advantage of the best astronomical opportunities, so whether it’s a full moon rise, “moonbow” lunar rainbows at night, or the best Milky Way viewing conditions, we’ll be in a given area an optimal season, on the best dates. In 2016 I’m also offering Bodie, Yosemite and Death Valley photography workshops. I hope that you can join me!