Death Valley & the Eastern Sierra Workshop, 2020
March 8–March 14, 2019 (7 days)
Death Valley & the Eastern Sierra Workshop, 2020
March 8-March 14, 2020 (7 days)
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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 for an unforgettable workshop experience that combines a wide range of instructional benefits with stunning desert scenery in both Death Valley National Park and in the Eastern Sierra. 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. 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 in 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 diverse desert playas, dune fields, winding rivers, and jagged granite mountains. 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 include a substantial program of composition, creativity, and post-processing instruction in the comfort of a hotel conference room. During the processing program, we will delve into techniques that focus on both the art and the craft of producing compelling landscape photographs.
No level of experience is necessary for participants of this workshop. Whether you are just beginning or are a seasoned pro, you are welcome to embrace this opportunity to 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.
March 8–13: We will begin our trip with an orientation and composition seminar 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. The next four days will be an adventure of sunrise and sunset outings, combined with some midday options when the weather favors them. We will also hold the first half of our post-processing program during this period in the comfort of a conference room at the Oasis Resort.
Please note that it is possible that long drives will be worthwhile during this period if conditions are favorable for certain unique opportunities, such as photographing sand verbena blooms at sand dunes. These drives could be as long as two hours each way, but we will schedule such a trip to maximize our enjoyment of the outing. The idea is to make the most of our time and the conditions on offer while still having enough energy and the best mood to encourage creativity on all outings.
Lodging to reserve: The nights of March 8–12 in the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley National Park (five nights, checking out on March 13). Specific lodging/camping recommendations and a discounted room block will be made available to registered workshop participants.
March 13–14: After breakfast on March 13, we will depart for Lone Pine, California. This beautifully situated mountain town will give us access to local features that will give us a distinct change of scenery from the first part of the workshop. Here we will have the second half of our post-processing instruction program on the final day, followed by a farewell dinner in town (no-host).
Lodging to reserve: The nights of March 13–14 in Lone Pine, California (two nights, checking out on March 15). Specific lodging/camping recommendations and a discounted room block will be made available to registered workshop participants.
Airports • 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.
Rental Cars 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 situations and for some creative techniques.
Filters. Polarizing or neutral density filters can be very useful, but it is possible to get great results without them.
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 post-processing sessions, then you may want to have your laptop with you. The software applications that we will utilize will include Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.
Clothing & shoes. Weather conditions in the 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 landscape photography.
• An introductory seminar on composition and creativity.
• A substantial, two-part post-processing instruction program.
• Guidance to unique photography locations.
• Flights and transportation.
• Park entrance fees.
• Travel and cancellation insurance.
COST: $1895 ($550 deposit)
PAYMENT: 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 $550 will reserve your spot in this workshop. The final balance of $1345 is due by Thursday, January 23, 2020.
INDEMNITY WAIVER: All participants are required to sign a standard workshop indemnity waiver: here.
CANCELLATIONS: 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 23, 2020, 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 (it’s inexpensive, and it works!).
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 8-March 14, 2020
- In-field instruction on all things creative and technical in landscape photography
- A substantial, two-part post-processing instruction program
- Creativity seminar
- Guidance to unique photography locations
- Limit of 8 participants
- Awesome adventure!
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: