Death Valley Photo Workshop
Dec 14-18, 2022
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! This is the perfect workshop to 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.
- Photograph an amazing diversity of desert landscapes in Death Valley!
- Take your photos to the next level with in-field instruction and digital darkroom training by pro photographers.
- 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.
- Supercharge your trip with the Nov 12-18 or Dec 7-13 Eastern Sierras Workshop to photograph the Racetrack, Eureka Dunes, Alabama Hills, and much more!
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 The Ranch at Death Valley in Furnace Creek 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 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 Furnace Creek 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! We return to Furnace Creek to check out of the hotel.
- Make it Epic with our Nov 12-18 or Dec 7-13 Eastern Sierras Workshop to visit the Racetrack, Eureka Dunes, the Alabama Hills, and more!
Please arrive at The Ranch at Death Valley prior to 1PM on Day 1. We recommend that you book your rooms at The Ranch as this will be our meeting place daily. You can take advantage of our group rate by calling (760) 786-2345 and referring to Block ID #: 1303221 for the Nov 19-23 dates, or Block ID# 1303222 for the Dec 14-18 dates. You are welcome to stay elsewhere if you'd like but the Ranch will be our central meeting point. Depending on which workshop you choose, you will need a room for the nights of the Nov 19th, 20th, 21st & 22nd, or Dec 14th, 15th, 16th & 17th. Bear in mind you may not be able to check in until after 4PM.
Participants should have their own mode of transportation to get to Furnace Creek. All transportation during the workshop is included but you are welcome to follow us in your own vehicle if you prefer. 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.
Food is not included as part of the workshop. You are free to bring your own food or eat at the restaurants in Furnace Creek. Dining options are pretty pricey in Death Valley so you may want to buy groceries before arriving (mini-fridge in the rooms).
Expect high temps in the 60's-70's and lows in the 30's (could be even colder in the high elevations), so be sure to bring warm layers. Rain and snow are always a possibility, so 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.
$1795/person + Tax
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- 5-Day intensive photo workshop with 2 pro instructors and max of 10 students.
- All ground transportation from Furnace Creek.
- 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 Furnace Creek.
- Meals, beverages, and snacks.
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.
- Nov 19-23: Kevin McNeal & Ryan McGinty
- Dec 14-18: Kevin McNeal & Nickolas Warner
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.
- Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Sun Hat, Warm Hat, and Gloves
- Water bottle or hydration bladder.
- Hiking poles if you like having them.
Kevin McNeal is a Washington-State photographer who is passionate about photographing grand landscapes that reflect the most unique places on earth. Capturing moments of magic light and transferring this to print is the ultimate goal. His images hold a combination of perseverance, patience, and dedication to capture landscapes in fresh ways. The stories of how these images are rendered come across in the feelings the images convey. He has traveled all over North America, shooting diverse landscapes and finding remote places with the hope that we can convey to the public that this earth is worth caring for. His award winning images can be seen in galleries and showings across the United States. He was recently invited to the Art Wolfe Art Gallery for the Environmental Photography Invitational. Kevin was the grand winner of the Landscape category for the Natures Best Magazine and was selected for the Smithsonian National Museum of History in Washington D.C.. He is a regular contributor to publications like Outdoor Photographer.
“I believe that the Earth shares secrets with us that only can be discovered by trying to understand our position on this planet. We are never fully intimate with the planet but are given brief moments that make our souls want more. These glimpses of nature’s power are fleeting and never the same twice. I also believe it is important to share with those who want it. The treasures that await us given the patience that is out there. What I try to do is bring some of that magic to my images to share with the rest of the world. Each of my images tells a story that everyone can relate to in some way whether it is success, fear, or challenging oneself to overcome obstacles
Kevin's portfolio can be found at www.kevinmcnealphotography.com.
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.
Nickolas's portfolio can be found at Nickolas Warner Photography
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