Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop, Fall 2013
California's Sierra Nevada mountain range drops off dramatically into the high desert country of the Eastern Sierra. From towering granite peaks, to picturesque lakes, to fantastic forests, the scenic and varied landscapes are a photographer's delight. This workshop will visit such icons as Mono Lake, the Alabama Hills, the Owens River Valley, groves of quaking aspens, and much more. Join us as we photograph the incredible scenery of the east side.
I had a terrific time on our day together and took away a tremendous amount of information. My shots for the day were not stellar, but in each one I can see some things that worked (or didn't) and what I need to do to improve. Thanks for a great job! Please let me know as soon as you plan your fall Eastern Sierra trip...I will be the first to sign up, guaranteed.
~ Duane B.
Pricing & Dates
|October 18 - 21, 2013: $1375 pp*|
Small Group Sizes
Our workshops are kept small with 8 students maximum for a more personal feel and plenty of 1-on-1 time with both instructors.
The Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains have a wide variety of landscapes and features which make it a world class destination for landscape and nature photography.
• Transforming your artistic vision into memorable photographs
• Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO - their relationship to one another and how to change them for exposure control
• Metering and getting a correct exposure
• Histograms, how to read them, and how to fine-tune exposure
• Creative depth-of-field effects using aperture control
• White balance and creative coloration
• Creating perspective, depth, and a sense of "being there" in your photos
• Creating powerful compositions with impact
• Composing to control your viewer's attention in your photos
• Compositional Balance, Tension, and Visual Flow
• How to use filters to capture dramatic light or create long-exposure effects
• Effective strategies for capturing rich fall color photos
• Low-light and night photography
• How to capture star trails
• Light-painting experiments
• Shoot planning and how to be at the right place at the right time
• Aspects of post-processing and digital workflow
• Image review and critique
• Lenses. Wide and ultra-wide angle lenses are highly recommended
• A sturdy tripod
• Footwear with good traction and support
• Creativity and a positive attitude
• Warm clothes in layers and a rain jacket
• A wide-brim hat and sunscreen
• A one-liter (or larger) water bottle
Highly recommended items• Filters (ND, Grad ND, Polarizers)
• Remote shutter release
• Camera rain sleeve
Fitness levelThis workshop is appropriate for photographers of moderate fitness levels. We will walk approximately 5 miles over the course of each day of the workshop. This includes walking on sandy, steep, and slippery terrain. This workshop may visit elevations as high as 10,500 ft. Walking in the mountains at altitude can be strenuous. All participants are expected to be able to carry their own camera, personal gear, and water during the workshop.
Arrive in Lone Pine, California for a "meet and greet" where we will go over introductions and the workshop itinerary in more detail. Afterwards, we will photograph sunset in the nearby Alabama Hills where rolling boulder fields and a number of natural arches dominate the landscape with the Sierra Nevada mountains as our backdrop. After dinner in town we'll do some night photography back up in the Alabama Hills, weather permitting.
Up early to catch the sunrise one last time in the Alabama Hills. We will then move up north to the Bishop area for morning light in the Bishop Creek canyon area. Back in Bishop, we will stop for lunch and make a quick visit to the Mountain Light Gallery for some photographic inspiration. Then it is onward to the June Lake area in search of fall color and an image review and post processing session if time permits. Afterwards, we will make the short trip to Lee Vining for hotel check-in. We'll then head to the famous South Tufa on the edge of Mono Lake for sunset.
Up early to catch the sunrise at Convict Lake followed by a morning searching for Fall color in the Rock Creek and McGee Creek areas. There will be a break for lunch and an image review and post processing session. For the sunset, we will head high up into the Sierra to photograph glacial tarns set against dramatic granite peaks in Mammoth Lakes or the Little Lakes Valley.
On our last day we're up early again to shoot the sunrise along Mono Lake, and then we conclude the workshop by photographing the best Fall color in Lundy Canyon or the Virginia Lakes area.
This workshop is organized to take advantage of the best and most interesting locations the Eastern Sierras have to offer. However, the exact itinerary and places we visit may change depending on the group, weather conditions, and the areas showing Fall color.
• 8 - 10 hours per day of in-field shooting and instruction
• Image review and post processing session
• Water and snacks throughout the workshop
• A fun, positive, interactive learning environment
• Small class size of 8 students maximum
• 3 nights hotel lodging
What's Not Included• Transportation. While students need to provide their own transportation during the workshop we will be carpooling as much as possible.
• Meals, though the group often eats together throughout the workshop
Deposit RequiredDeposit due upon registering
Balance due no later than 60 days prior to start of workshop
Jim Patterson's first experiences with this area started with a love for astronomy back in his college days in the mid-1990s. Several trips to Mono Lake to view the night sky led to a deep rooted love of the Eastern Sierras. Over the past several years, Jim has made numerous trips to the area photographing from Lone Pine to the White Mountains and Bishop to the ghost town of Bodie. There is always something new to discover!
Josh and Jim are both professional photographers from Santa Cruz, California. They have been teaching together since 2010 (and separately since 2008) and have developed a tag-team approach to helping students understand photography concepts. Through a combination of theory, philosophy, examples, and on-the-spot feedback, they help students reach those "a-ha!" moments that take their photography to the next level.
Getting to the workshopThis workshop meets in Lone Pine and finishes in Lee Vining. Lone Pine is located on highway 395, about 3.5 hours north of Los Angeles, 4 hours west of Las Vegas, or 5 hours south of Reno. If Tioga Pass through Yosemite is open, Lone Pine is about a 7 hour drive from San Francisco. Lee Vining lies 2.5 hours north of Lone Pine, directly between Mono Lake and the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park. For our out-of-state participants flying in for this workshop, here are rough travel times from major transport hubs:
• Mammoth Lakes / Yosemite: 2 hours to Lone Pine. 30 minutes to Lee Vining
• Los Angeles: 3.5 hours to Lone Pine. 5.5 hours to Lee Vining
• Burbank: 3 hours to Lone Pine. 5 hours to Lee Vining
• Reno: 4.5 hours to Lone Pine. 2.5 hours to Lee Vining
• Carson City: 4 hours to Lone Pine. 2 hours to Lee Vining
Getting around during the workshopTransportation is not provided. While students need to provide their own transportation during the workshop we will be carpooling as much as possible.
Where to stayThis workshop includes 3 nights of hotel lodging. The workshop price is based on single occupancy. Couples or friends sharing a room simply pay a supplemental workshop fee for the second person. If you are a solo participant willing to share a room, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.
ClimateOctober weather in the Eastern Sierra can be extremely variable. We may experience dry, warm days with temperatures of 80° or we might experience snowstorms and sub-freezing temps. The variability is one of the things that makes photographing the east side at this time of year so dynamic, fun, and challenging.