Death Valley & Joshua Tree Photography Workshop

Workshop location; In this panorama, on the right side, a lone photographer in a blue jacket kneels at his tripod on the expansive, white salt flat in Badwater Basin. In the background are mountains and a beautifully clouded sky beginning to glow with sunset.

FEBRUARY __ - __, 20__

Space Available
$1690 USD
Instructor: Andy Cook


Wind and rain have worked with eons of time to sculpt a stark, rugged place at the lowest elevation on the continent. Choosing the right light allows a photographer to create compelling images that reveal the desolate, yet stunning beauty of Death Valley National Park.

Smooth, table size to building size boulders, coupled with the unusual looking Joshua tree create an other, worldly landscape that is challenging and fun to photograph in Joshua Tree National Park.

FOCUS: Morning and evening light at some of the top photography locations in Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks.

Joshua Tree national park workshop location. Vertical image of a single, tall Joshua tree silhouetted against the eastern sky, where clouds are beginning to turn with dawn's light. Below and in the landscape around are shorter silhouetted Joshua trees.
Joshua Tree Silhouette
Workshop location; Black and white photo of a rippled set of sand dunes that sensuously, serpentine through the entire vertical image. Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes


The workshop starts on Sunday, Feb. __, 20__ at 6:15 pm with introductions and an orientation. We visit our first photography location on Monday morning, Feb. __, 20__.

LODGING LOCATION: Stovepipe Wells Village, Hwy 190, Death Valley, CA. 760-786-2387
Check-in Sunday, Feb. __, 20__; Check-out Thursday, Feb __, 20__.

Relocate to
Fairfield Inn, 6333 Encelia Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA. 760-361-5000
Check-in Thursday, Feb. __, 20__; Check-out Saturday, Feb. __, 20__.

Thursday morning is a relocation period, no formal shooting scheduled. Drive time to relocate is about 5 hours.

Workshop ends after photographing sunrise on Saturday morning, Feb. __, 20__.

NOTE: The Racetrack, moving stones in Death Valley National Park may or may not be visited, it depends upon conditions.

In Death Valley, about a year before the workshop, we will have rooms reserved. Before contacting Stovepipe Wells Village, please contact us for the group code.

Workshop location, Death Valley National Park; A long lens has compressed the distances in this image. In the bottom, eons of weathering has carved channels into eroded ravines of green, yellow and tan soil. A little above, a nearer set of mostly dark eroded mountains. Further back, across the valley are high desert mountains receiving morning light and capped with puffy clouds.
Zabriskie Point Overlook


MORNING: We will be at a photo location for the start of civil twilight and we'll stay there through sunrise. We will go to breakfast after the morning photography.

MIDDAY: On at least one day, post processing aid will be available to those who bring a laptop with Photoshop installed.

EVENING: In the afternoon we head out and photograph past sunset. Dinner in a restaurant is scheduled each day after the evening's photography.

Death Valley workshop location. A vertical image of small mud cracks sitting atop other, much larger, mud cracks. The web like lines between the larger mud cracks create powerful visual elements that sweep the viewer from the foreground to the desert mountain background, and above to the swirling pink and yellow sunset clouds set against a blue sky.
Death Valley Mud Cracks


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Photography location, Joshua Tree National Park; A few light toned boulders, yucca and bushes fill the foreground. The rest of the image is filled with several small Joshua trees and a larger one arching over some very, large boulders that reach into the blue sky.
Joshua Tree National Park


participant experience level

EXPERIENCE: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced

workshop group size

GROUP SIZE: Target number of participants is 8.

workshop effort scale

EFFORT: Moderate - Difficult: Climbing in dunes may be difficult. Workshop involves some hiking into dunes and cross country walking to arrive at certain photography locations. Some days the total distance walked is 2 to 5 miles, mostly level. Other photography locations will be just beyond the parking lot.

workshop weather conditions

CONDITIONS: Be prepared for warm and cold tempratures and changes in weather.

Workshop location, Joshua Tree National Park; The bottom two thirds of this vertical, morning image shows a field of cholla cactus. The back lit, densely packed needles glow like a halo around each arm of the cacti. In the background high desert mountains rise to the blue sky.
Cholla Garden, Joshua Tree NP


suggested workshop airports

AIR TRAVEL: Most people flying to this workshop will find flying into Las Vegas, NV to be the best choice.

Driving time from Las Vegas, NV to Death Valley, CA is about 2 hr 30 min.
Driving time from Twentynine Palms, CA to Las Vegas, NV is about 4 hours.

car information

DRIVING CONDITIONS: Usually paved roads and well maintained dirt roads. However, conditions may allow the Racetrack to be on the itinerary; photograph "the moving stones". The road to the Racetrack is rough, requiring an SUV or other capable higher clearance vehicle. To ensure participants can visit the Racetrack, we recommend renting a higher clearance vehicle.

Workshop location; Artist Palette, Death Valley National Park, California. These mounds of rock are a colorful blend of orange, red, green, turquoise, pink, brown and blue. As if many flavors of Baskin Robbins ice cream were piled together turned to stone then eroded into attractively carved drainage patterns.
Artist Palette, Death Valley NP


equipment information


FOR DEATH VALLEY / JOSHUA TREE: A lens range from at least 16mm to 300mm after the lens multiplication factor and polarizing filter. If interested in bluring cloud motion on a bright day, consider bringing a 9 or 10 stop neutral density filter.

DEATH VALLEY: Bring old, beat-up boots as the environment is very rough on shoes.

Photography location; Black and white photo of a rippled set of sand dunes that sensuously, serpentine through the entire vertical image. Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes