Eastern Sierras and Death Valley
Nov 16-22, 2023
Variety is the name of the game on this 7-day photo adventure. We'll explore our favorite locations along the Eastern Sierras such as the Alabama Hills, the Bristlecone Pines, Mono Lake, Eureka Dunes, the Racetrack, and many hidden gems. You'll photograph crazy rock formations, arches, hot springs, jagged mountain peaks, sand dunes, Death Valley's famous moving rocks, and much more. Night photography is also an option if skies are clear! Although we aren't planning any long hikes on this workshop, the sand dunes will be the most physically taxing part and participants will need to be able to walk 2 miles in the sand with their camera gear for the best photos. Some of the photo locations will be at high altitudes.
- Lodging Included
Max Group Size
- 2 Instructors
- Max 8 Students
- Nickolas Warner
- Ryan McGinty
- Contemplate the mystical moving rocks at the Racetrack Playa and photograph the undulating patterns and curves at Eureka Dunes.
- Explore the many arches and bizarre rock formations at the Alabama Hills.
- Capture the fall colors along the Eastern Sierra Mountains.
- Experience the dramatic and snowy Eastern Sierra Mountains with lakes, hot springs and so much more!
- Walk among the ancient bristlecone pines and capture the tufa formations at Mono Lake.
- Take your photos to the next level with in-field instruction and digital darkroom training by our pro photographers.
- When skies are clear, we'll incorporate some night photography.
The exact itinerary will be kept flexible to account for the weather and current conditions. The itinerary below is just an example of what you can expect.
- Day 1: Meet at 1PM in Stovepipe Wells for a mandatory orientation session. We'll cover the photo techniques you'll be learning during our time together. From there we'll load up and head to Aguereberry Point for our sunset shoot. We return after dark to check into our hotel rooms and grab dinner at the on-site restaurant.
- Day 2: We depart early for sunrise at Ubehebe Crater and then it's off to the races as we make the long, rough drive out to the infamous Racetrack Playa! We'll enjoy a boxed lunch and then photograph the famous moving rocks through sunset. We return to Stovepipe Wells for a late dinner.
- Day 3: It's another early morning as we check out of our hotel, and head to one of our favorite overlooks for sunrise. From there, we continue on our journey toward Bishop where we'll eat lunch and check into our hotel rooms. Sunset location will be determined by conditions and group consensus - we have many options available!
- Day 4: Nothing beats a day at the Dunes! We wake early to catch sunrise at Eureka Dunes and spend the rest of the day exploring and photographing this fascinating area. Listen closely, and you'll hear the sands sing! After sunset, we return to Bishop for dinner.
- Day 5: We capture a phenomenal sunrise at the hot springs and return to town for breakfast and a short midday break. That afternoon, we drive high up into the mountains to photograph the ancient bristlecone pines. Their knarled bark and interesting textures create some unique photo opportunities. We return to town after sunset.
- Day 6: It's another early morning as we make our way to the mythical Mono Lake for sunrise. We explore tufas of all shapes and sizes before heading back to Bishop for a late breakfast. From there we check out of our hotel and head for Lone Pine where we'll shoot sunset among the rock formations of the Alabama Hills. We return after dinner to do a little night photography.
- Day 7: It's hard to believe this is our final morning in the beautiful Eastern Sierras. We shoot sunrise in the Alabama Hills before returning to Stovepipe Wells.
Plan to arrive in Stovepipe Wells prior to 1PM on the first day. We will start with an orientation session covering workshop logistics and photo techniques. We will be providing all transportation for the photo outings on this workshop. Please note that if you drive a vehicle to Stovepipe Wells, you will only be able to park during the nights we stay there. When we relocate to Bishop and Lone Pine, you will need to drive your vehicle to the new hotels (all paved roads). Having your own vehicle will give you more flexibility for shopping and dining options.
Six nights of double occupancy hotel lodging are included in the workshop price. Single occupancy is available for an additional charge (see Pricing section below). You can select double or single occupancy when booking. Please note that meals and snacks are not included in the workshop price.
Our itinerary is flexible since we don't know what Mother Nature will throw at us. Some years we get early snowfall that can shut down access to some of the higher elevation locations. But not to worry. If that happens, we have many Plan B locations that are equally stunning and will make great use of your time. Plus, the Eastern Sierras look really nice with a dusting of snow! Our dates are also timed for fall colors along the Eastern Sierras, but again, that could shift +/- 1 week depending on local conditions. We reserve the right to modify the itinerary based on safety concerns and current conditions.
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 instructor to the unique needs of the group.
Pricing: 7Days + Lodging
$3350/person + Tax
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- 7 Day Intensive Photo Workshop with max of 8 participants and 2 professional photographers.
- Six nights double occupancy hotel lodging
- 2 Nights Deluxe Rooms at Stovepipe Wells
- 3 Nights King Room at Best Western Bishop
- 1 Night King Room at Best Western Lone Pine
- Single Occupancy available for an additional $600
- All ground transportation for the photo outings (if you bring your own vehicle you will have to drive to the different hotels).
- Photography guiding and instruction throughout the trip.
- Post-processing and image critique sessions.
Trip Does NOT Include:
- Meals, beverages, and snacks.
- Transportation to/from your home to Stovepipe Wells.
- Alcoholic Beverages.
- 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 weather and 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 (upper and lower body) as it can get very cold in the high country.
- Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Sun Hat, Warm Hat, and Gloves
- Water bottle or hydration bladder.
- Hiking poles if you like having them.
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
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.
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