DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA
Night Photography Adventure Workshop
Blog post about this workshop:
One of the darkest skies to be found in America, full of extreme conditions and opportunity for remarkable images.
This workshop was held on November 15 - 19, 2016
Workshop began at noon on Nov 15 and ended after the shoot the night of Nov 19th
$1,500 + applicable taxes
Workshop leaders: Lance Keimig & Chris Nicholson (learn more about your teachers)
Official NPS website: Death Valley National Park
As with all National Parks at Night photo workshops, we will only teach at this location once. If you have a dream of making epic long exposures at night in this location, we hope you join us.
The Workshop Experience:
This five day/night photography workshop in Death Valley National Park will take place just following the full moon, which means we’ll have a mixture of moonlight and dark skies to work with. The temperature will be moderated by the season, with daytime temperatures in the upper 70s, and nighttime lows in the upper 40s.
The workshop is intended for people who are comfortable with their equipment, and with capturing raw files in Manual exposure mode. Night photography experience is not necessary, but even those with extensive experience shooting at night will still find this class challenging, stimulating, and inspiring. Topics covered will include: light painting, controlling the ratio between ambient and added light, and special emphasis will be placed on developing your own personal night vision, and creating unique images that have deep personal meaning. Techniques and inspiration will be constantly discussed, demonstrated and put into practice. We hope to push you to step outside your comfort zone, to test the limits of what you and your camera can do
This workshop will have both field and classroom instruction. We will be in the classroom each day, and out in the field at different locations each night. Participants can stay out shooting as long as they, or their camera’s batteries, hold out. While in the field, the instructors will demonstrate their own techniques, and work with participants one on one to make sure everyone gets the most out of the workshop. During classroom sessions, there will be presentations by the instructors, but we will focus on developing our images and sharing our work and ideas with each other. Each day will have a critique of the previous nights work.
This class is for those looking to expand their photographic horizons, recharge their creative batteries, share ideas with friends and colleagues, and to go home with some exciting images from this unique landscape. We’ll create individual goals for each participant, and encourage you to blur the lines between night and day, consider why you photograph at night, and to make images that are as far removed from postcard views as possible. Collaboration is a great way to make new discoveries and new friends, and will be a part of the experience. Working through image ideas and lighting together is a fun and rewarding process, and can help give you that kick in the pants you’ve been looking for. Locations may include the famous Racetrack Playa, Rhyolite, the Mesquite or Eureka Sand Dunes, charcoal kilns, Badwater Salt Flats. Discoveries await.
Food and Lodging:
The workshop base camp will be at Furnace Creek. We have secured a block of standard rooms at Furnace Creek Ranch at a discounted rate, and once you make your deposit, you will receive a code that can be used to reserve one of the group rooms. If you wish to upgrade to a deluxe room, they are available on a first come, first served basis. The group reservation is for 6 nights, from November 14th to check out on November 19th.
Furnace Creek Ranch has rooms from $210-275. Call (800) 236-7916 or book your reservation online. Furnace Creek Inn is first class, gorgeous with fantastic dining, historic charm and luxury. Rooms are $350-500. Breakfast and lunch at the Inn are reasonably priced, but dinner is pricey at $25-45 per entree. There are options for camping if you prefer.
Dining options are limited and expensive in Death Valley, you may wish to bring whatever snack food you can carry with you. As with most of my workshops, we’ll be operating on a 2 meal schedule, breakfast, and then our main meal will be a late lunch before going out to shoot. Most people bring sandwiches to eat on location at night.
A Natural Attraction
Even though I do much of my photography in national parks and other natural areas, I am often drawn to signs of human presence in the landscape. Somehow the place where the natural and built environment meet is what interests me the most. On my first visit to Death Valley in 2011, I was scouting locations for a workshop, and came across a gigantic structure that seemed to be buried in the ground up on the hill behind the Furnace Creek Inn. What I could see of it was glowing in the moonlight, and it appeared surreal, and strangely familiar to me. As my friend Scott and I approached, and then climbed on top of what turned out to be a huge underground water tank that supplied water to the entire village at Furnace Creek. As we pondered the enormity of the structure, and the volume of water beneath our feet, I realized why it was so familiar. My mentor Steve Harper had photographed this same tank decades earlier. His image of it was one of my favorites, but I had never known where it was taken until that moment.
Six months later, we brought our workshop group to photograph the tank, and I made the image at the top of this page of some of the participants relaxing on the water tank waiting for their long exposures to finish. For me, it’s sharing my own discoveries, and helping students find their own that makes teaching so rewarding.
Night Photography from
Death Valley National Park ©Lance Keimig
Sun and Moon during the workshop: Full Moon November 14
TENTATIVE Workshop Schedule:
The above is subject to weather and other unpredictable events.