Yosemite Photography Workshop
Without a doubt Yosemite is among the most beautiful places on the planet. Its towering granite cliffs, thundering waterfalls, epic views, and unspoiled backcountry make it a world-class destination for photography. This multi-day workshop will help photographers create wonderful images of Yosemite's breathtaking icons while also providing plenty of time to explore the beauty of the park's lesser-known locations.
[My] favorite part of the workshop [was] just being around people motivated to shoot in a cool-ass location. [Josh and Jim] proactively sought to give personalized instruction to each of the attendees. [I learned to] rely more on my histogram to evaluate exposure. Would I take another workshop? Hell yeah.
~ Sterling H.
Pricing & Dates$1375 pp - May 2014, exact dates coming soon!
Read about our 2013 workshop here.
Experience World-Class Scenery
Yosemite boasts some of the most spellbinding scenery you'll ever see. Join us as we take you to the best spots at the right times to get the best shots.
Improve Your Eye
Learn how to see great photos, simplify your images, and create powerful and dynamic compositions.
Moonbow and Rainbow Photography
A full moon during the workshop creates the exciting possibility of Yosemite Falls Moonbow shots. And with the high Spring runoff, other rainbows will shimmer throughout the park.
A Fun, Dynamic Learning Environment
Get out of your comfort zone and try abstracts, panning shots, and creative post-processing in a fun, casual, and supportive group environment.
• 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
• Changing shutter speed to create beautiful, dramatic, or dreamy waterfall effects
• 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
• Capturing rainbows
• 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
• Lenses. Wide and ultra-wide angle lenses are highly recommended
• A sturdy tripod
• Footwear with good traction (waterproof or rubber boots recommended) and warm socks (very important!)
• Creativity and a positive attitude
• Warm clothes in layers, gloves, a warm hat, 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 5-7 miles over the course of each day of the workshop. This includes walking on hilly, uneven, and slippery terrain. Walking in the mountains can be strenuous. All participants are expected to be able to carry their own camera, personal gear, and water during the workshop.
Students arrive in Yosemite and are free to explore the park on their own. After sunset we will meet to introduce the group, talk a bit about the workshop, and give a brief overview of Yosemite and its unique wonders. If conditions are right we'll head out to capture the moonbow on Yosemite Falls. Then we'll turn you loose to get a good night's sleep.
Day 2, Friday, April 26th
We'll wake up well before dawn to catch the sunrise at one of Yosemite's iconic vistas, followed by a morning shoot elsewhere in the park. Then we'll take a break back at the hotel for lunch and some rest time as well as talk on digital workflow and post processing. We'll reconvene in the early afternoon to shoot the warm sunlight cascading through Yosemite's forests. Then we'll take in the sunset at another amazing viewpoint. Depending on conditions and the group's energy level we will head out again after dinner to experiment with moonlight photography, star trails, and light-painting. Or we may stay in and talk a little about post-processing.
Day 3, Saturday, April 27th
Up early for another sunrise shoot followed by a morning shoot in the park. In the afternoon, we'll head out for another shoot followed by our final sunset of the workshop.
Day 4, Sunday, April 28th
On our last day we're up early yet again to shoot the sunrise. Then we conclude the workshop with one final morning shoot.
This workshop is organized to take advantage of the best and most interesting sights Yosemite has to offer, including Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Half Dome, the Merced River, Dogwoods in bloom, Bridalveil Falls, Curry Village forests, the Moonbow, and a host of other fantastic locations. However, the exact itinerary and places we visit may change depending on the group and weather conditions. Students should be prepared for long, fun days. We shoot from sunrise to sunset each day, with strategic breaks for meals, image critiques, and lectures.
• 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
• Park entrance fee with the group
• 3 nights hotel lodging in El Portal
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
• Park entrance fee for private vehicles
Deposit RequiredDeposit due upon registering
Balance due no later than 60 days prior to start of workshop
Jim Patterson has photographed Yosemite for over seven years in all seasons. He is always amazed at the ability to find new places and new angles on familiar ones and looks forward to sharing his passion for this park with other photographers.
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 workshopYosemite is located in California, approximately 4 hours east of San Francisco. There are three highways that lead into the park: Highway 120, which is the best choice for those coming from San Francisco and northern California; Highway 140, which is the best route from central California; and Highway 41, which is the choice for those coming from southern California. Please be aware that in every season except summer Highway 120 through the park is likely to be closed. If you are driving to the workshop and plan to come in from the east side, please check Highway 120 road conditions before making your travel plans.
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 at the Cedar Lodge in El Portal on Highway 140, just outside the park. This will be our meeting point throughout the workshop. 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.
ClimateYosemite in late April is just about perfect, with cool nights and warm days. Workshop attendees can expect highs in the 60's and 70's, with lows in the high 30's to 40's. In late April spring runoff from the high country is just beginning to surge, leaving Yosemite's impressive waterfalls pumping. Springtime also brings gorgeous dogwood blooms throughout the Valley, though the timing of this varies from year to year. A healthy chance of precipitation in April also means workshop attendees stand a good chance of capturing dramatic light in the park. At this time of year the park is still peaceful, thankfully free from the crowds of people and mosquitoes that summer brings.