Death Valley and Stars

Mar 4-9, 2024 - Sold Out!

Mar 10-15, 2024 - 1 Spot Left!!

Experience the rugged beauty of Death Valley National Park and the Alabama Hills as you stand atop soaring vistas, trek through pristine sand dunes, photograph towering canyon walls, and gaze upon otherworldly colors and textures! This is the perfect workshop to learn many new photography skills from wide-angle close-ups to long lens techniques.  Even better, dates are timed for dark skies so we'll be out photographing the stars and Milky Way when conditions allow. Post-processing instruction is included to help you make the most of your images! We aren't planning much hiking on this workshop, but to photograph the dunes you will need to walk around 2 miles in the sand with your camera gear.

Tuition

  • $2195
  • 50% Deposit

Max Group Size

  • 2 Instructors
  • Max 10 Students

Instructor(s)

  • Ryan McGinty
  • Brian Clopp (1st Group)
  • Nickolas Warner (2nd Group)
20 Mule Sunrise Death Valley Photo workshop

Highlights

  • Photograph an amazing diversity of desert landscapes in Death Valley and the Alabama Hills!
  • Take your photos to the next level with in-field instruction and digital darkroom training by pro photographers.
  • Dates are timed for dark sky conditions.  We'll be out capturing the stars and Milky Way when skies are clear!
  • All transportation provided during the workshop.
  • Itinerary is flexible to chase the best weather conditions.
  • Expect a good assortment of classic locations and off-the-beaten path spots!
  • Post-processing and image critique sessions will be scheduled throughout the workshop.
Death Valley Stars Night Photo Workshop
Death Valley Photo Workshop Night Photography Dunes

Itinerary

The exact itinerary will be kept flexible to account for the weather and current conditions in the park. We will optimize our time for the best possible photography. The itinerary below is just an example of what you can expect.

  • Day 1:  Meet at 1PM at Stovepipe Wells Village for an orientation session where we'll cover many of the shooting techniques you will use throughout the workshop.  After the session, we'll go out for our first sunset shoot and return for dinner.
  • Day 2:  With nice clouds in the sky, we wake up early to photograph the salt polygons at Badwater. We venture further afield to colorful badlands and slot canyons. In the afternoon and through sunset we photograph old cars, joshua trees, colorful badlands, ghost towns, and more!
  • Day 3:  With clear skies in the forecast we wake at 2AM and head out to the sand dunes to capture the Milky Way.  We find some nice compositions with the sweeping curves of the dunes and photograph through blue hour and sunrise. Late afternoon we reconvene for an intensive post-processing session and then photograph fields of mud cracks for sunset.
  • Day 4:  Some clouds rolled in overnight and we get an absolutely a brilliant sunrise over the otherworldly badlands.  We explore a side canyon and then head back for breakfast. We reconvene for a midday image critique and post-processing session and then make a decision on where to shoot sunset based on the weather and group interest.
  • Day 5:  With clear skies overnight, we wake up at 2AM and shoot some Milky Way panoramics over the landscape. We stay out for sunrise and and return check out and drive to Lone Pine. We get settled into our new hotel and then explore the amazing rock formations for sunset.
  • Day 6: If skies are clear, we are up very early to capture the spring Milky Way with the arches of the Alabama Hills.  We stay out through sunrise and return for breakfast. The workshop will conclude no later than 11AM.
Eastern Sierras Photo Workshop Death Valley California Alabama Hills Lathe Arch

Logistics

Please arrive at Stovepipe Wells Village prior to 1PM on Day 1 for the orientation session. We will email all participants when rooms are ready to book at our recommended properties. You are welcome to stay elsewhere, but would be responsible for getting yourself to/from our central meeting point for all workshop outings.  Bear in mind you may not be able to check in until after 4PM on the first day.

Participants should have their own mode of transportation to get to Stovepipe Wells.  If you drive a vehicle to Stovepipe Wells, you will need to drive to Lone Pine when we relocate on Day 5 (all paved highway). Transportation is provided for all workshop outings since we will be going on some rough roads. Everyone on this trip should be in reasonably good physical condition.  We aren't planning any long hikes on this trip but you should be comfortable walking 1-3 miles per day while carrying your photo gear.  The sand dunes are the most physically taxing and we may be walking a couple miles in the sand.

Food is not included as part of the workshop.  You are free to bring your own food or eat at nearby restaurants.  Dining options are pretty limited and pricey in Death Valley so you may want to buy some provisions before arriving (mini-fridge in the rooms).

Expect high temps in the 60's-80's and lows in the 30's-40's, so be sure to bring warm layers. In case of inclement weather, bring a rain jacket and something to cover your backpack. High winds are common in Death Valley and it's helpful to have a cover for your camera in the event of a sand storm.  Please see the gear list further down.

The workshop will conclude by 11AM on Day 6 in Lone Pine, CA. The closest gateway airport is Las Vegas. Drive times from Vegas are 2.5 hrs to Stovepipe Wells and 4 hrs to Lone Pine.

Death Valley Nickolas Mud Cracks
Badwater at Night Death Valley Night Photo Workshop
Death Valley and Stars Photo Workshop
Death Valley Sand Dunes Nickolas
Death Valley Photo Workshop Badwater Flooded

Pricing

$2195/person + Tax

Save 10% by Joining Our Loyalty Program

Trip Includes:

  • 6-Day intensive photo workshop with 2 professional photographer instructors.
  • All ground transportation for workshop outings.
  • Photography guiding and instruction throughout the trip.
  • Post-processing and image critique sessions.
  • Night photography.

 

Trip Does NOT Include:

  • Hotel accommodations.
  • Transportation to/from your home to Stovepipe Wells & Lone Pine.
  • Meals, beverages, and snacks.
  • Instructor Gratuities.

 

When you complete the checkout process, you will be given the option to either pay the full amount or put down a 50% deposit.  If you pay the deposit, the remaining amount will be charged 90-days prior to arrival to the credit card we have on file.

Recommended Camera Gear

  • Sturdy tripod and ballhead
  • Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body.
  • Wide angle lens in the 14-30mm range. For night photography, you will need a lens that is at least f/2.8 or faster.
  • Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
  • Long telephoto lenss for landscape compression and wildlife encounters.  We recommend something in the 100-400mm range.
  • Circular polarizer filters for your lenses.  If you like shooting with grads, bring them along.
  • Extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies.
  • Remote cord for your camera.
  • Cover for your camera/lens to protect against high winds.
  • Laptop if you wish to backup your photos or follow along during the post-processing instruction.

Personal Gear List

  • Sturdy hiking footwear, hiking socks, and hiking pants.
  • A rain jacket and several warm layers.
  • Headlamp
  • Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Sun Hat, Warm Hat, and Gloves
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder.
  • Hiking poles if you like having them.
Death Valley Photo Workshop
Deserted Car in Death Valley
Sand Dunes Death Valley Photo Workshop
Badwater Salt Polygons Death Valley Photo Workshop
Sand Dunes Death Valley Photo Workshop
Death Valley for Grid2
Ibex Dunes Death Valley Photo Workshop
Dantes View Death Valley Photo Workshop
Ryan McGinty Profile Photo Olympics

Ryan McGinty

Photography Instructor

Ryan McGinty is a seasoned landscape photographer living in the Palouse area of southeastern Washington.  His first-hand experience in this unique agricultural area makes him the perfect instructor to lead people to out-of-the-way places for those once-in-a-lifetime rainbows, sunsets and sunrises in the beautiful rolling hills. He loves chasing the light and diligently checks weather apps to get the latest sun and rain predictions, cloud formations, wind and temperatures for the best locations and light.

His interest in photography started at an early age and continued in college with graduate work at Brooks Institute of Photography.  His experience in portrait, wedding, film, and medium and large format photography give him an extraordinary background for his award-winning landscape photography.

His passion for the Palouse is only exceeded by his passion for photography and his desire to show people his favorite places.  He takes a legitimate interest in his clients and strives hard to ensure they get the best shots. His photographs have been published in books, calendars and travel guides.

Brian Clopp

Brian Clopp

Photography Instructor

Brian Clopp is an entrepreneur and a passionate wildlife and portrait photographer based in Salt Lake City, UT. His work has been featured on Forbes, CNN, MSN, Daily Mail, DP Review, DY Photography, and the cover of Foto Magazine.  His portraits include noted celebrities such as President Jimmy Carter, Ted Turner, James Earl Jones, John C. Reilly, Jessie Jackson, and more. His work has graced the CNN Travel homepage numerous times, is featured in world class hotels, and his print “God’s Painting” has won a major National Geographic award.  Recently, he won a prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year Award for his wild stallion portfolio in the Thrills & Adventures category.

Nickolas Warner Alaska

Nickolas Warner

Photography Instructor

Nickolas Warner is an award-winning photographer with recognition by the Epson Pano Awards, International Landscape Photographer of the Year, and Outdoor Photographer. He has a particular interest in extreme and unusual locations.  His travels have taken him to some fascinating locations, but the American Southwest is his favorite place to photograph.

Nickolas spent the past decade guiding in Alaska, where he provided instruction on photographing the aurora borealis, and shared his knowledge of the far north’s rugged terrain and resilient wildlife.

When not guiding, Nickolas enjoys long distance hiking and extended backpacking trips through remote wilderness areas.

Artist's Statement: "The more one travels, the more one sees how small our world is. Landscape photography is often an idyllic vision of nature that stretches the truth. While most of my photos are taken in the wilderness, the reality is that modernity and progress has shrunk the wild into small islands of untouched land, flanked on all sides by development and exploitation. Before becoming a full-time photographer, I pursued a career in sustainability. While I've since changed directions, I still have a strong sense of urgency to protect nature and keep the wild wild. I hope my photos can inspire others to explore and let our world be untamed."

See Nickolas' portfolio: Nickolas Warner Photography

 

Nickolas Warner Alaska

Nickolas Warner

Photography Instructor

Nickolas Warner is an award-winning photographer with recognition by the Epson Pano Awards, International Landscape Photographer of the Year, and Outdoor Photographer. He has a particular interest in extreme and unusual locations.  His travels have taken him to some fascinating locations, but the American Southwest is his favorite place to photograph.

Nickolas spent the past decade guiding in Alaska, where he provided instruction on photographing the aurora borealis, and shared his knowledge of the far north’s rugged terrain and resilient wildlife.

When not guiding, Nickolas enjoys long distance hiking and extended backpacking trips through remote wilderness areas.

Artist's Statement: "The more one travels, the more one sees how small our world is. Landscape photography is often an idyllic vision of nature that stretches the truth. While most of my photos are taken in the wilderness, the reality is that modernity and progress has shrunk the wild into small islands of untouched land, flanked on all sides by development and exploitation. Before becoming a full-time photographer, I pursued a career in sustainability. While I've since changed directions, I still have a strong sense of urgency to protect nature and keep the wild wild. I hope my photos can inspire others to explore and let our world be untamed."

See Nickolas' portfolio: Nickolas Warner Photography

 

Ryan McGinty Profile Photo Olympics

Ryan McGinty

Photography Instructor

Ryan McGinty is a seasoned landscape photographer living in the Palouse area of southeastern Washington.  His first-hand experience in this unique agricultural area makes him the perfect instructor to lead people to out-of-the-way places for those once-in-a-lifetime rainbows, sunsets and sunrises in the beautiful rolling hills. He loves chasing the light and diligently checks weather apps to get the latest sun and rain predictions, cloud formations, wind and temperatures for the best locations and light.

His interest in photography started at an early age and continued in college with graduate work at Brooks Institute of Photography.  His experience in portrait, wedding, film, and medium and large format photography give him an extraordinary background for his award-winning landscape photography.

His passion for the Palouse is only exceeded by his passion for photography and his desire to show people his favorite places.  He takes a legitimate interest in his clients and strives hard to ensure they get the best shots. His photographs have been published in books, calendars and travel guides.