Join us for a photography workshop in Death Valley National Park to improve your photography techniques and skills while visiting one of the most amazing and largest national parks in the United States. We will traverse the vast landscape of Death Valley together in a large van while we discuss how we'll approach each scene. We'll see all of the most amazing sites at the best times of day, including the Racetrack Playa at sunset, Zabriskie point at sunrise, Badwater Salt Flats at Sunset, and Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise.
We will begin this premier Death Valley photography workshop in Las Vegas where we'll pick you up in our large, 15 passenger heavy duty van. With only 7 participants and 3 guides, we'll have plenty of room to spread out, chat, and learn from one another during travel times. We'll make our way through Beatty, where we'll take a brief stop to photograph that unique town. Then we'll make our way to Furnace Creek, where we'll check-in to our lodging for the next four nights and have dinner together.
The next morning we start our journey to photograph the sunset at Racetrack Playa, the location of the amazing moving rocks. We are one of the only photo workshops to make the arduous trek to the playa, but it is well worth it. We will all travel together in a heavy duty vehicle with safety redundancies in place to ensure that we make it there and back safely, with unbelievable images to top it off. I truly feel that a black and white treatment serves these images best, so I’ll share my favorite tips and tricks for how to master a monochrome image of these amazing rocks. On the way we stop at Ubehebe crater where we'll practice bracketing for high dynamic range photography. (Note: Due to constantly changing conditions, roads may close at times and our itinerary will have to change accordingly. There is always an abundance of photographic opportunities in the park, so we will make the most of current conditions.)
The next day we'll start with the sunrise at Zabriskie point. This early morning will allow us to capture beautiful light on stunning rock formations with the endless salt flats below. We then make our way to Dante's Peak, then on to Furnace Creek for a break. Then we move on to Artist's Palette and the Devil's Golf Course. The next iconic photo you will walk away with is of the Salt Flats at sunset. The repeating patterns and sweeping vistas at the flats will provide endless opportunities for the landscape photographer, while the detail in the salt will give the macro photographer the material of your dreams.
Our third day will begin at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes for sunrise where we will capture the stunning vistas of endless sand mountains. We will discuss the techniques involved in showing the texture and sweeping lines of the dunes and show how to get an unforgettable black and white.
After we finish photography on the fourth day, we'll head back to the hotel, and take a short break (after two days in a row of sunrise shots you'll want a nap!). Then we'll spend the entire afternoon processing our bounty of images. This way, the second you get home you'll have completed, beautiful images to show off to friends and family. You'll also learn tips and techniques that you'll be able to use in the future.
Here’s what makes our Death Valley Photography Workshop different than most:
- The group size is very small and is limited to seven fun-loving folks. This allows me to focus on you!
- Each participant will get hands-on instruction from me so that I can tailor my teaching to your skill level and to meet your individual goals.
- Private rooms are included in the price; No sharing a bathroom with strangers. However, if you sign up with a friend or family member and share a room, you will each save $300.
- Transportation is provided at all times, including to and from Las Vegas, so there is no need to rent a car.
- Death Valley is huge (3 million acres), so we won’t cover it all, but there’s a lot of road time and we'll see a lot of it. This valuable time will be spent together in a roomy van to provide optimal time for any questions. Honestly, many participants say this is the very best part of the trip — besides the photography of course!
- A dedicated driver will be available at all times so that I can focus on interacting with you in the van while he focuses on getting to our destinations safely.
- A light continental breakfast will be provided daily, and lunch on the day we go to the Racetrack Playa. We have plenty of water on hand at all times.
- Important–this is a permitted workshop! Many workshops operate illegally, and if caught by park services are fined and could be asked to terminate. I pride myself on meeting the the requirements of the National Park which include a CUA license, CPR training, No-trace left behind certificate, and a detailed travel itinerary.
- Communication can be difficult in Death Valley with cell service and wifi working only in town centers. Because of this, I’ll have a satellite device that will allow your friends and family to track your whereabouts and even send you a text message in the event of an emergency.
- Death Valley is one of my favorite national parks to photograph, and while you might find workshops that are cheaper, you won’t find one that is nearly as dedicated to providing you with a first rate experience.
In order to reserve your spot, please complete the reservation form and include your deposit of $400. The remainder of the balance will be due no later than 60 days prior to the first day of the trip. No refunds will be granted if you cancel your reservation less than 60 days prior to the trip.* Trip insurance is highly recommended. A full itinerary and packing list will be sent to you once you have paid in full. If you'd like to request a free payment plan, select that option on the registration form.
For flights to and from Las Vegas, we ask that you arrive the night before the trip begins to prevent delays in the workshop start time if a flight is canceled or delayed. On day 1 we will pick you up at New York New York Hotel and Casino at 9:30am and depart Las Vegas at 10:00am to head to Death Valley. On day 5 we depart Death Valley at 10:00am and head back to Las Vegas, arriving around 1:30. We can give hotel recommendations in Las Vegas upon request, but we strongly recommend staying at New York New York for convenience. We will drop everyone off at New York New York on the last day. You can either check back in there or get a cab to your hotel or to the airport. We recommend scheduling any flights out of Vegas at 6:00pm or later that night, or the following day