Death Valley & Beyond

Nov 5-10, 2024

Experience the rugged beauty of Death Valley National Park as you stand atop soaring vistas, trek through pristine sand dunes, photograph towering canyon walls, and gaze upon otherworldly colors and textures! Even better, we'll get off the beaten path and photograph some remote locations like the Racetrack! During this 6-day workshop you'll learn many new photography skills from wide-angle close-ups to long lens techniques.  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 in tow.  The workshop includes all transportation to/from Las Vegas along with lodging.  Supercharge your adventure by adding our Eastern Sierras Fall Workshop

Tuition

Max Group Size

  • 2 Instructors
  • Max 8 Students

Instructor(s)

  • Nickolas Warner
  • Ryan McGinty
Death Valley and Beyond Photo Workshop

Highlights

  • Photograph a variety of landscapes across Death Valley with sand dunes, salt pans, huge views, towering canyons, mud cracks, and much more!
  • Contemplate the mystical moving rocks at the Racetrack Playa.
  • Transportation is provided to/from Las Vegas. No need to rent a car!
  • Take your photos to the next level with in-field instruction and digital darkroom training by pro photographers.
  • 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.
  • Supercharge your trip with our Eastern Sierras Fall Workshop!

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 11AM for pickup in Las Vegas.  We'll drive over to Death Valley, check into our hotel, and head out for our first sunset shoot in the sand dunes.
  • 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 we photograph old cars, waterfalls, joshua trees, ghost towns, and finish at sunset with Badwater Basin stretched out below us.  We decide to stay a couple hours after sunset to do some night photography!
  • Day 3:  We drive out to some remote sand dunes for sunrise, capturing the ripples, curves, and textures of the dunes. We return to the hotel for lunch. Late afternoon we reconvene for an intensive post-processing session and then photograph a nearby location for sunset.
  • Day 4:  It's another early morning departure for a sunrise shoot. With dramatic clouds, we opt for a high sweeping view and then photograph some crazy mud cracks.  We return for lunch and an afternoon post-processing session. We decide on our sunset location based on the weather and then decide to stay out late again for night photography!
  • Day 5:  Some clouds rolled in overnight and we get an absolutely a brilliant sunrise over the sand dunes as we find ripples, curves, and leading lines to amplify our compositions! Right after breakfast, we start the long drive to the Racetrack - the home of the moving rocks!  We stop en route at the massive Ubehebe Crater.  Once at the Racetrack, we explore various areas and stay out after sunset to photograph the blue hour.  It's a very late night arrival back at the hotel.
  • Day 6: Due to the late night arrival, we catch up on some much needed sleep. We meet mid-morning for a quick image critique before loading up and heading back to Las Vegas, arriving at the airport around 2PM.
Death Valley Photo Workshop
Death Valley and Beyond Photo Workshop

Logistics

Please arrive at in Las Vegas prior to 11AM on Nov 5th for pickup at the Las Vegas Airport. We will provide transportation for all participants to/from Las Vegas so there is no need to rent a car.  We will return to Vegas around 2PM on Nov 10th.  If you are adding our Eastern Sierras Fall Workshop, you will need your own lodging in Vegas for the night of Nov 4th.

Five nights of double occupancy hotel lodging are included in the workshop price.  Single occupancy is available for an additional charge (see Pricing section below). We will be staying in Stovepipe Wells in Deluxe Rooms (much nicer than the standard rooms). Please note that meals, snacks, and beverages are not included in the workshop price.

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 2-3 miles per day while carrying your photo gear.  The sand dunes are the most physically taxing location and we may be walking a couple miles in the sand.

Expect high temps in the 50's-70's and lows in the 20's-30's. Be sure to bring warm layers, a rain jacket, and a cover for your backpack. Please see the gear list further down.

We'll set aside time for post-processing and image critique throughout the workshop.  There is no need for you to bring a laptop unless you want to download and or edit your images during our time together.  All levels of photographers are welcome on this workshop and we'll tailor the instruction to the unique needs of the group.

Death Valley Photo Workshop Badwater Flooded
Death Valley Photo Workshop Old Car
Death Valley and Beyond Photo Workshop
Death Valley Sand Dunes Nickolas
Death Valley Nickolas Mud Cracks

Pricing

$3350/person + Tax

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Trip Includes:

  • 6-Day intensive photo workshop with max of 8 students and 2 pro instructors.
  • Five nights double occupancy hotel lodging in deluxe rooms. Single Occupancy available for an additional $725.
  • All ground transportation to/from Las Vegas.
  • Photography guiding and instruction throughout the trip.
  • Post-processing and image critique sessions.
  • Park Entrance Fees and Permits.
  • Pre-Workshop Zoom Meeting.

 

Trip Does NOT Include:

  • Transportation to/from your home to Las Vegas.
  • 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, you will be sent a payment link for the remaining amount due approx. 90 days before the workshop. Please see our Terms and Conditions.

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 edit during the workshop.

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 and Beyond Photo Workshop
Death Valley Photo Workshop
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.