Death Valley & the Eastern Sierra: Extended Edition Workshop, 2019
March 11-March 19, 2019 (9 days)
With co-leader Michael Shainblum
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- About the Workshop
- Airports and Car Rentals
- What to Bring
- Physical Requirements
- Safety Preparation
- What's Included
- Payment and Terms
- How to Reserve Your Spot
Join Erin Babnik and Michael Shainblum for an extended workshop experience that combines a wide range of instructional options with stunning desert scenery. This workshop is intended for photographers who would like to further their potential by learning more about the creative concerns and techniques of fine-art landscape photography, night sky photography, and/or timelapse photography. We will begin by emphasizing the areas of overlap between these specialities and will build from there to explore the ideas and techniques that are specific to each one. Participants will leave this workshop with a great understanding of composition, aesthetics, creativity, and storytelling. In addition, you will have technical training in a wide variety of in-field and post-processing techniques.
Our locations will include spectacular areas in Death Valley National Park and the Eastern Sierra that will provide us with variety of photogenic scenes that are found almost nowhere else in such close proximity. We will have opportunities to visit winding rivers, jagged granite mountains, alpine lakes, otherworldly tufa formations, and diverse desert playas and dune fields. The precise location of most outings will be determined according to seasonal developments and weather conditions in order to maximize the photographic potential of each day. Some locations are subject to permit approval and scheduling.
The workshop will culminate in a substantial two-part program of processing and editing instruction in the comfort of a hotel conference room. During the processing program, we will present techniques that focus on both the art and the craft of producing compelling still photographs and timelapse videos.
Participants will have the benefit of two instructors and will have the opportunity to experiment with still and motion gear that we will have on hand courtesy of our sponsors.
No level of experience is necessary for participants of this workshop. Whether you are just beginning or are a seasoned pro, we are happy to help you move forward with your photography.
Erin Babnik has developed international recognition for her expressive style of photography, for her adventurous approach in the field, and for her thought-provoking writing and public speaking. Her enthusiastic support of creative photography expressed in her articles and talks has made her one of the most notable voices among the current generation of landscape photographers. She brings this joy of discussion and encouragement to interactions with her workshop participants, offering a unique dimension to the workshop experience. Her work has appeared in well over a hundred publications, including books, magazines, and travel guides. Erin is also a member of the illustrious nature photography team Photo Cascadia.
Michael Shainblum is an internationally renowned photographer specializing in highly evocative fine art landscape photography, aerial photography, aerial filmmaking, travel/adventure photography, and commercial timelapse photography. His clients include Nike, Samsung, Verizon, Disney, BMW, Google and many more. His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications and on numerous prominent media channels, including National Geographic, Wired Magazine, Huffington Post and The Weather Channel.
We will begin our trip with an orientation lunch (no-host) in the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley National Park (specific details regarding time and place will be made available to registered workshop participants). Following a short break, we will rendezvous for a sunset outing.
Lodging to reserve: The nights of March 11–15 in the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley National Park. Specific lodging/camping recommendations and a discounted room block will be made available to registered workshop participants.
After breakfast on March 16, we will depart for Bishop, California. This beautifully situated mountain town will give us access to local features and to the more remote northern regions of Death Valley National Park.
Lodging to reserve: The nights of March 16–17 in Bishop, California. Specific lodging/camping recommendations and a discounted room block will be made available to registered workshop participants.
After a sunrise outing and breakfast on March 18, we will drive south to the town of Lone Pine, where we will have the first half of our processing instruction program in the early evening. On the final day of the workshop, we will photograph sunrise and will conduct the second half of our processing instruction program in the afternoon. We will conclude the workshop with a group dinner (no-host) in the town of Lone Pine on March 19.
Lodging to reserve: The nights of March 18 and 19 in Lone Pine, California. Specific lodging/camping recommendations and a discounted room block will be made available to registered workshop participants.
• The nearest airport is in Las Vegas. McCarran International Airport (LAS) is about two hours away from Furnace Creek.
• Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is about five hours away from Furnace Creek.
Many options are available for renting a vehicle of any kind from either airport listed above. Any car will be sufficient for most of our outings, but a vehicle with higher clearance could make driving easier on some roads. In the event that we decide to travel on a road where AWD or 4×4 is necessary, then we will arrange car pools for that outing. Because we have many options on any given day, we will only consider a road requiring AWD if there are enough capable vehicles in the group to accommodate everyone.
Your Camera. You can choose to use any camera you like, but a digital camera with full manual control and interchangeable lenses is highly recommended in order for you to have the best experience.
Lenses. There are opportunities to use any and all focal lengths, so bring a good range of them.
Tripod. A tripod is essential for low-light stills and for timelapse photography.
Filters. Polarizing or neutral density filters can be very useful, but it is possible to get great results without them.
(Optional) Intervalometer. Inexpensive intervalometers start at about $20. An inexpensive model that we recommend is this one: LINK.
(Optional) Motion Gear, if you have it. If you have motion gear such as a slider system, feel free to bring it. We will have some motion gear on hand for participants to try out.
Other gear. Several batteries, plenty of memory, a remote trigger, lens cleaning supplies.
(Optional) Laptop. If you would like to follow along or take notes during the two processing sessions, then you may want to have your laptop with you. The software applications that we will emphasize include Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe AfterEffects, and Adobe Premiere.
Clothing & shoes. Weather conditions in the Eastern Sierra and desert during this time of year can be quite cold, especially during the morning hours. Bring insulating layers: good set of base layers, layers for warmth such as fleece and down. A shell jacket and hiking pants will help to protect against the elements as well. Good hiking boots are advised along with a warm hat and gloves.
Willingness to learn and discover.
Hiking on this workshop will be minimal. Some locations may require a hike of up to one mile, but most are not far from a parking area. The most strenuous hikes will be those that we do to photograph sand dunes. These hikes will still be about one mile out, but walking on sand dunes is relatively strenuous compared to most other outings.
While adventure and great photos are our main goals, your safety is a priority. Erin is certified by Wilderness Medical Associates as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR), but safety begins with you. In order for participants to have a comfortable experience where they can concentrate on the photography, it is highly advised that you have proper attire consisting of non-cotton outdoor dedicated clothing, including an assortment of layers to keep you warm.
• In-field instruction on the art and craft of fine art still photography, night photography, and timelapse photography.
• A substantial, two-part post-processing/timelapse editing instruction program.
• Hands-on experience with high-end motion gear for timelapse photography.
• Guidance to unique photography locations.
• Flights and transportation.
• Park entrance fees.
• Travel and cancellation insurance.
$2795 ($950 deposit)
Payment may be made using a credit card or via PayPal directly through this web page using the sign-up button in the right column. A non-refundable deposit of $950 will reserve your spot in this workshop. The final balance of $1845 is due by Friday, January 25, 2019.
All participants are required to sign a standard workshop indemnity waiver: here.
Deposits are non-refundable. Cancellations require us to re-open enrollment and/or to engage in additional promotional efforts to fill the workshop on short notice, so our policy is that there will be no refunds on the final balance after January 25, 2019, with one exception: if we find another participant to fill your space and the workshop is ultimately full when it begins, then you will receive a refund of your final balance, (the deposit is non-refundable). All refunds are subject to a 4% processing fee. We highly recommend that you obtain travel/cancellation insurance for all workshops.
Use the sign-up button on this page (in the right side column) to place a deposit with a Credit Card or via PayPal. If you would like to pay by another method, use the contact form on this page to ask Erin about options for sending a personal check or bank transfer.
- March 11-March 19, 2019
- Two Instructors
- With co-leader Michael Shainblum
- In-field instruction on all things creative and technical in landscape photography, night sky, and timelapse
- A substantial, two-part post-processing/timelapse editing instruction program
- Hands-on experience with high-end motion gear for timelapse photography
- Guidance to unique photography locations
- Limit of 10 participants
This workshop is currently sold out, but you may request to be put on the waitlist using the form below:
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You can download the Indemnity Waiver for this workshop here: