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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 co-leader Nick Page for seven days of photography, education, inspiration and adventure set within the diverse scenery of Death Valley National Park. This special Spring edition of Erin’s popular Death Valley series will cover an unusually broad range of locations, including remote areas in higher elevations on both ends of the national park. The warmer Spring weather will make these higher elevations more comfortable to visit in addition to bringing a very high potential for early Spring storms that provide especially photogenic conditions. We will also have a chance to photograph wildflowers at the higher elevations during this time of year.
This workshop is intended for photographers with a spirit of adventure 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, color theory, creativity, and visual storytelling. In addition, you will receive technical training in a wide variety of in-field and post-processing techniques.
Our locations will include spectacular areas in Death Valley National Park, one of the largest and most photogenic parks in the United States. We will have opportunities to visit badlands, diverse desert playas, dune fields, ancient canyons, salt flats, Joshua Tree groves, mountain overlooks, and geologically unique basins. The precise locations of most outings will be determined according to seasonal developments and weather conditions in order to maximize the photographic potential of each day.
The workshop will culminate in a substantial post-processing instruction session 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 landscape photographs that will result in fine-art prints or online content.
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.
Nick Page is professional photographer and workshop instructor who is also the host of the “Landscape Photography Podcast” and is the creator of a popular YouTube channel dedicated to landscape photography. Nick is recognized nationally as a popular instructor and speaker who regularly conducts photo workshops and tours in many locations near his home area of the Palouse and in many other regions, including the Oregon coast, Hawaii, and Iceland. Nick is also known for his post-processing tutorials, which are available for purchase from his website.
March 21–22 (Orientation, Seminars, Valley Views, and Huge Dunes):
We will kick off our trip in Bishop, California. This beautifully situated mountain town just outside the park will give us options for accommodation with relatively easy access to remote, higher elevation areas in the northern part of Death Valley National Park. We will meet at 4pm on this day in a conference room (location will be made available to registered participants) for an orientation and seminar on composition, creativity, and pre-visualizing post-processing techniques. Our evening will conclude with a no-host group dinner in the town of Bishop.
March 22 will be a full day of photography, beginning with a sunrise outing just outside of town. After breakfast, we will depart in a car-pool caravan for an unforgettable excursion to photograph the majestic and remote Eureka sand dunes, one of the tallest dune fields in North America, rising up 680 feet from the valley floor. After this very full day, we’ll be able to rest up in the comfort of our Bishop accommodations.
March 23 (An Immersive Wilderness Experience):
We will depart from Bishop after a sunrise outing and breakfast and drive as a caravan to the southwestern entrance of the national park, after which we will slowly drive out a long, maintained dirt road to a remote and surreal wilderness area (see the tab on rental cars for vehicle recommendations). This evening will be a unique and special experience, spent ‘primitive camping’ as a group in a wilderness setting for one night. We are almost certain to be the only people camping in this area, providing a great experience of solitude and immersion. Anyone who does not wish to camp will have the option to backtrack about one hour from our location to stay in a hotel in Lone Pine, but we highly recommend that you make the effort to join the group for this incredible overnight wilderness experience. We will have the options to immerse ourselves in this photogenic area for golden hour, sunset, night, and sunrise photography.
Please note: some vehicles may have to park about 800 yards (just under a half-mile) from the group camp area. In the past nearly all vehicles have been able to reach the camp area, but occasionally a vehicle is too low to travel the final 800 yards and must stop in a satellite parking area just down the road.
See the “What to Bring” tab for more information about camping preparedness.
March 24 (Morning in the High Desert and Relocating to the East):
After we have made the most of our morning photography options, we will have breakfast and pack up. The group will then relocate to our final base of operations, the Furnace Creek Area of Death Valley National Park. The day will conclude with a sunset outing in that area.
March 25–27 (A Desert Variety Pack, Image Review, and a Substantial Post-Processing Seminar):
With the Furnace Creek area as our base, we will indulge in the many options for outstanding landscape photography available to us with relatively short drives. March 25 and 26 will be full of photography, with each outing planned according to weather conditions in order to maximize the photographic potential of each day.
Sunrise on the final day will be optional and self-guided so that we can set up for image review and the post-processing seminar, which will be held in the comfort of a hotel conference room. This seminar will be substantial and will take up most of the day, both morning and afternoon. After its conclusion, we will all meet for a farewell dinner (no-host) in the Furnace Creek area.
Lodging to reserve:
• The nights of March 21 and 22 (2 nights) in Bishop, California.
• The nights of March 24–27 (4 nights) 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.
• The nearest airport is in Las Vegas. McCarran International Airport (LAS) is about two hours away from Furnace Creek, where the workshop will conclude. The drive from Las Vegas to Bishop, where the workshop will begin, is about 4.5 hours.
• Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is about five hours away from Bishop, where the workshop will begin.
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 will make driving easier on some dirt roads. A vehicle with AWD or 4×4 may be necessary for one of our outings, and we will arrange car pools for that one outing. Because we have many options on any given day, we will consider a road requiring AWD only if there are enough capable vehicles in the group to accommodate everyone in car pools.
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. Having a UV filter can be handy to protect the front element of a lens in high winds.
Other photography gear. Several batteries, plenty of memory, a remote trigger, lens cleaning supplies. Some people prefer to use a rain cover on their camera to protect against dust in windy conditions, but other people find flapping covers to be more trouble than they are worth in high winds.
(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.
Clothing & shoes. Weather conditions in Death Valley and in Bishop can vary a lot, but temperatures in late March are relatively comfortable. The coldest temperatures could drop close to freezing before sunrise, and in the Furnace Creek area we could see afternoon temperatures reaching into the 80’s. Bring insulating layers: layers for warmth such as fleece and down, in addition to lightweight clothing that breathes well in hot weather. A shell jacket and hiking pants will help to protect against the elements as well. Good hiking boots are advised, along with a sun hat for midday periods and gloves to make you comfortable during frosty mornings.
(Optional) Camping essentials for one night out. We will spend only one night camping as a group, so you do not need any elaborate equipment if you will not be camping otherwise. If you do not wish to camp, then you can backtrack from our wilderness destination by one hour to a hotel in Lone Pine.
• Either bring a tent or else a car that is large enough for you to sleep in.
• Having a sleeping pad will make you more comfortable, and a light sleeping bag or blankets will be enough to keep you warm.
• Because we will be camping in a wilderness area without facilities, you will need to bring toilet paper and a bag to use for waste disposal of the paper.
• Bring something to eat for dinner and breakfast. We will have camp stoves available if you need to use one for cooking.
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 landscape photography.
• A seminar on composition and creativity.
• A substantial post-processing instruction session.
• Guidance to unique photography locations.
• Flights and transportation.
• Park entrance fees.
• Travel and cancellation insurance.
$2350 ($800 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 $800 will reserve your spot in this workshop. The final balance of $1550 is due by Monday, February 4, 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 February 4, 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 21–27, 2019 (7 days)
- Two Instructors
- With co-leader Nick Page
- In-field instruction on all things creative and technical in landscape photography
- A substantial image review and post-processing instruction session
- A seminar on composition, creativity, and pre-visualizing post-processing
- 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: