Death Valley & Joshua Tree National Parks
Stovepipe Wells, CA; Twentynine Palms, CA
February 4th - 10th, 2024
Biennial Workshop; Next one held in February 2026
Instructor: Andy Cook
Andy will be leading a photography workshop to capture the stunning beauty of the lowest place on the continent and the unusual landscape of Joshua Tree NP. Join us as we photograph the best of each National Park.
The workshop starts on Sunday, February 4th, 2024 at 6:15 P.M. with an introduction and orientation. We start shooting on the morning of Monday, February 5th, 2024. The Death Valley portion of the workshop ends after shooting on Wednesday evening, February 7th, 2024. Thursday morning is a relocation period and no formal shooting is scheduled. This is a great opportunity for participants to re shoot a Death Valley scene that may have suffered due to weather or other issues. We regroup in the lobby of the Fairfield Inn in Twentynine Palms, CA at 2:30 P.M. on Thursday, February 8th, 2024. Drive time to relocate is about 5 hours. Workshop ends after photographing sunrise on Saturday morning, February 10th.
First Lodging Location: Sunday, February 4, 2024 (Check-in) - Thursday, February 8, 2024 (Check-out): Stovepipe Wells Village, Hwy 190, Death Valley, CA. Phone # 760-786-2387.
In Death Valley, about a year before the workshop, we will have 11 rooms reserved. Before contacting Stovepipe Wells Village, please contact us at 719-635-6268 for the group code.
Fairfield Inn, 6333 Encelia Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA. 760-361-5000
Check-in Thursday, February 8, 2024; Check-out Saturday, February 10, 2024.
Generally, one can expect to be at a shooting location for the start of civil twilight (about 5:55 A.M.) and we'll stay at that location through sunrise. We will go to a late breakfast after the morning shoot. On a few days we've scheduled a midday break allowing participants time to download, nap, process images... We will provide breakfast bars and water for the early mornings. In the afternoon we will head back out into the field and shoot past sunset (approximately 5:25 P.M.) We do have time for a late dinner in a restaurant scheduled for each evening.
This workshop does involve some hiking into the dunes and cross country walking to arrive at certain shooting locations (some days the total distance walked is 2 to 5 miles, mostly level), while other shooting locations will be just beyond the parking lot. The hiking may be deemed easy to moderate activity based upon one's condition. Walking surfaces beyond the parking lot are generally uneven, hiking boots are recommended; bring old beat up boots as the environment is rough on shoes. One doesn't have to be in tip-top shape, but one's enjoyment will be enhanced by good health and preparation. Please consult with your doctor before attending our workshop.
Proper hydration is a must with outdoor activities. We will provide water in the field.
Be prepared for possible temperature
extremes and sudden changes in
weather. Be aware that mornings can be cold and midday very warm. Often
we will be out in darkness before sunrise and after sunset, please
bring a flashlight.
this workshop we do not photograph stars as a group. Individual
participants sometimes venture out on their own for star
Equipment Recommendations: Bring all camera equipment including the camera's manual. We recommend using a polarizing filter with many photographs on this workshop. To blur cloud motion on a bright day, consider bringing a 9 or 10 stop neutral density filter, this filter can be the screw on type. Andy does not recommend variable ND filters. Andy combines images of various exposures in post processing (HDR). Andy will be happy to teach participants his field technique for capturing high dynamic range images (requires a cable release with some cameras). A lens range from 16 mm to 300 mm after the lens multiplication factor is recommended. However, we think participants should bring their entire range of lenses. We recommend shooting with a sturdy outdoor tripod that can adjust from standing height (without cranking up a center post) to very close to the ground. This type of tripod does not have attachments from part way down the legs to the center post; i.e. the legs can move independently. Please use a cable release or know how to work the camera's timer delay to avoid camera shake. If you have Photoshop questions, then please bring a laptop with Photoshop loaded and updated.
To be as prepared as possible for this workshop, please review the 2 videos, 7 lessons and 10 workshop handouts found at the link below:
Below please find the PDF handouts recommended for this workshop. One needs to print or download to a digital device these documents before the workshop from the link above.
For this workshop we recommend that participants:
*Print: Blank Workshop Locations Visited.
*Print or download to field digital device: CFDER Field Reminder (This is useful to those new to our workshops and/or trying to develop a useful field workflow.)
*Print or download to field digital device: Steps to Capture Panorama Photographs
*Print or download to field digital device: Hyperfocal chart for camera’s LMF. (Unless you already have a depth-of-field app on a smart phone.)
*Print or download to digital device: Andy’s Camera Settings (Only if unsure about what the camera’s settings should be.)
*Print or download to digital device: Tripod Tips and Techniques (Only if one is new to tripod use or are considering a tripod purchase.)
ADOBE® PHOTOSHOP® & POST PROCESSING VIDEOS
Series of video lessons teaching post processing for Landscape and Nature Photographers. Excellent for beginners and intermediate users of Adobe Photoshop.
2022 Group Photo
Rocky Mountain Reflections Photography, Inc. is authorized by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, to conduct services in Death Valley & Joshua Tree National Parks.