Yosemite Eastern Sierra Adventure
We are proud to announce our series of landscape photography workshops to Yosemite National Park.
Take your photography to the next level on an amazing adventure!
Create images that capture the way you felt when you were there taking the photo
Travel to locations that few will ever reach and create exceptional landscape art
Find and create your own visual voice
“Everything was taken care of from our shooting locations to our time in the field to the classroom. John had everything scoped out ahead of time.”
“John challenged me to see my photography from new perspectives and inspired me to develop my own artistic voice.”
Yosemite Eastern Sierra Adventure
A Yosemite Eastern Sierra Adventure will take you to six epic locations in five days in the Eastern Sierra:
- Yosemite National Park
- Tufa Towers at Mono Lake
- Alabama Hills
- Bodie Historic Park
- Keeler Ghost Town
- Death Valley National Park
The itinerary of this photographic tour has been designed to take you to some of the most iconic locations in and along the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. More importantly than just getting you to some of the best and most remote locations at the best times of the day, this landscape photography workshop will challenge you to take your photography to the next level and develop your own photographic voice.
Yosemite Eastern Sierra Adventure
Dates: Sept 8-11, 2021
Basecamp: Oakhurst / Lee Vining
Class Size: 9-12 Students
Itinerary and General Information
Yosemite National Park (Days 1 & 2)
There are few places in the world that are as beautiful and inspiring as Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. When it comes to iconic landmarks that define the American West, it is hard not to recall the images of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan made famous over the years by photographers such as Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell.
We’ll spend the first day exploring the 8 mile stretch of Yosemite Valley, capturing images of El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls, the Three Brothers, the Merced River, and Half Dome along the Valley Floor. For those interested, the first day can also include a side excursion to Glacier Point and the giant sequoia trees in Mariposa Grove. At 4,000 feet, Glacier Point offers the best top-down view of Yosemite Valley, providing a commanding view of Half Dome, the Valley Floor, and Vernal & Nevada Falls. Some of the trees in Mariposa Grove date back 2,400 years reaching sizes of 90 ft in diameter and over 210 ft tall.
We’ll spend our second day in Yosemite along Route 120 in the northern part of the park exploring Tuolumne Meadows, Olmstead Point, Lambert Rock, and the Tioga Pass. Although these areas of the park don’t have the giant icons of the Valley Floor, it is an incredible and serene area of the park worth exploring. We’ll end our day with a sunset shoot of the tufas towers at Mono Lake.
Southern Trek (Day 3)
Our third day will take us south along the Eastern Sierra to the Alabama Hills, Mt. Whitney, and the Keeler ghost town. The Alabama Hills are a range of hills and rock formations set between the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the Inyo Mountains in the Owens Valley near Lone Pine. Though geographically separate from the Sierra Nevada, the Alabama Hills are part of the same geological formation. A favorite movie location for old Hollywood cowboy movies, the Alabama Hills has appeared in hundreds of films.
Mt. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the “lower 48” states rising to a height of 14,505 feet. The mountain is part of a chain of mountains that runs north/south through the center of Sequoia National Park called the Great Western Divide. Keeler (A Near) Ghost Town sits on the east shore of Owens Lake just south of Lone Pine, California. Many of the buildings are falling apart, the lake the town sits on is dry, the mines the town was built around have been played out, yet still about fifty people live in the town, so a complete ghost town it is not.
Northern Trek (Day 4)
On the fourth day, we’ll head north along the Eastern Sierra to the Bodie State Historic Ghost Town. Bodie is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to the purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown. Only a small part of the town survives – many of the interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in a state of “arrested decay”. Today this once thriving mining camp is visited by tourists, howling winds and an occasional ghost.
Mono Lake is a majestic saline body of water covering about 65 square miles located at the Eastern Entrance to Yosemite National Park near the small town of Lee Vining. It is an ancient lake, over 1 million years old – one of the oldest lakes in North America. It is a closed lake, meaning it has no outlet. Throughout its long existence, salts and minerals have washed into the lake from Eastern Sierra streams. Freshwater evaporating from the lake each year has left the salts and minerals behind so that the lake is now about 2 1/2 times as salty as the ocean and very alkaline.
The reserve was established to preserve the spectacular “tufa towers,” calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by the interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. It also protects the lake surface itself as well as the wetlands and other sensitive habitats for the 1 – 2 million birds that feed and rest at Mono Lake each year. We’ll end the day with a late afternoon and sunset shoot of the large tufas towers at Mono Lake before heading back to Base Camp.
1 Day Death Valley Add-On Excursion (Day 5)
Death Valley National Park is the largest national park in the United States and one of the most interesting places on the planet to visit and photograph. Featuring the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America, the park is surrounded by mountains that rise to over 11,000 feet. Yet most photography workshops barely scratch the surface of what this amazing park has to offer.
In this special 1-Day Add-On Excursion, we’ll explore two of the most remote and spectacular areas of the park that seldom get seen: the Eureka Sand Dunes – the tallest dunes in California and possibly North America, and the Ubehehe Crater – a half-mile wide volcanic crater located in the northern half of Death Valley. We’ll photograph these truly unique locations at sunrise and sunset as the light creates stunning landscapes and abstracts.
Tuition & Payment Terms
What’s Included in Your Tuition:
- 5 nights lodging
- Field meals and snacks
- All ground transportation during the workshop
- Workshop course materials
- In-the-field photographic training
- Post-production classes
- Online prep & orientation classes prior to the workshop
- Online follow-up classes after the workshop
What’s Not Included in Your Tuition:
- Transportation to/from the Basecamp
- Lodging beyond the 5 nights included in the workshop
What to Expect
This full immersion landscape photography workshop is going to be all about photography. Your photography. Our workshops include a unique blend of (1) capture time in the field, (2) guided hikes, (3) 4×4 travel to remote locations, (4) class time for post-production instruction, and (5) online classes both prior to and after the workshop for in-depth preparation and follow-up.
The majority of our days will start early, before sunrise. After a quick cup of coffee or tea, we’ll be off to get into position at a location in the best light of the day with breakfast in the field in order to maximize our shooting time. We’ll often continue until mid-to-late morning before heading back to Basecamp.
Back at Basecamp, we’ll have time for off-loading memory cards, classroom lectures & instruction, working on our images, one-on-one guidance, or time to relax. Then, in the mid-to-late afternoon, we’ll head out again to capture the evening skies, getting the most out of the sunset and/or shooting the stars in the night sky.
More important than just getting you to some of the best and most remote areas of the park at the best times of the day, this five-day photo expedition will challenge you to take your photography to the next level and to develop your own photographic voice.
In the Field:
Out in the field, we’ll explore different approaches to scene visualization, ground/sky/sea compositions, and how to manage complex highlight and shadow scenes using techniques such as dynamic bracketing, focus stacking, framing, and neutral density filters.
In the Classroom:
In the classroom, we’ll spend time developing your post-production workflow – learning when Lightroom is enough and when you need to move your work into Photoshop – using techniques such as luminosity masks to create and solve contrast, color, and blending issues.