Diving into Death Valley-Full for 2023!

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Photographically speaking, it doesn’t get much more interesting than Death Valley National Park. The diversity of subjects from sand dunes to mud cracks, the variety of landscape from fascinating canyons to volcanic craters mixed with fascinating colors and other worldly patterns makes Death Valley one of my favorite places to cultivate my photography skills and now to share this landscape with others!

I have been making an annual pilgrimage to Death Valley each winter before the mercury climbs and feel that while I will never fully see the 3.4m acres that encompass this vast landscape I am comfortable enough to share some of this beauty but also some of the ways you can see this landscape and translate that into your images.

Workshop Details

For 2023 this will be a 5 day workshop. We will start mid day on the 16th and end around lunchtime on the 20th. This will be morning and evening shoots, interspersed with classroom time to talk about creative philosophy, post processing, planning, and so much more. Please plan to arrive by noon on the 16th and you can plan to leave around noon on the 20th. The nearest airport is Las Vegas but other options to exist and I am happy to give you some recommendations if you decide to continue to the Eastern Sierra or other parts of the park.

Some of the Wonder

Exactly where we go within the park will be dictated in part by weather conditions, but rest assured you will see this landscape in new ways.

Some of the places you can expect to visit include.

• Badwater Salt Flats

• Mesquite Sand Dunes

• Ubehebe Crater

• The Golden Hills

• Zabriskie Point

• Marble Canyon

• Dantes View

• The Racetrack (If we have another 4x4 driver)

Seeing nature move!

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Optional Night Photography

One of the mornings will be a little early as we will work to be in position for the Milky Way when it rises around 3:30am. This night photography outing is totally optional.

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Working the Smaller Scenes

What is included?

Trip Includes:

• 5-Day intensive photo workshop with me and a max of 7 students.

• All ground transportation from Stovepipe Wells  I can comfortably take 3 people. I will need another driver and will offer free 1n1 instruction before and after the workshop and pay for your gas. If you can drive a 4x4 we can go to the Racetrack. The road is not unsafe, just need a higher clearance vehicle.

• Photography guiding and instruction throughout the trip. I am there to work with you, not to get the shot or add to my portfolio.

• Creativity, Post-processing and image critique sessions.

• Beverages, and snacks. I will always have a cooler full of cold beverages and a variety of snacks, as no one likes a grumpy Photographer.

• Full LIFETIME (Yes you read that right) access to all the tutorials on naturephotographyclasses.com upon signup. As new recorded materials are added in the future, you will receive those as well.

• At least one night of Night photography! This is totally optional but something you can join the group or get some extra sleep.

• One final group meal. Order up on the last night, because this one is on me!

• A one hour Zoom prep session where you can meet your group participants, ask any questions, go through logistics, etc

• A 2-3 hour post workshop session via Zoom where you can show the images and reconnect with your group members.

• Price: $1,795 includes all these items. Many above and beyond things that other photographers don’t offer!

Trip Does NOT Include:

• Hotel accommodations.

• Transportation to/from your home to Stovepipe Wells.

• Meals

Discovering new ways to work with the light

Recommended Camera Gear

• Tripod. We will talk about techniques I use for handheld photography but for night photography this is vital.

• Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body. I have never used film and can’t be of much help. I use Nikon but have photographed with Canon and Sony. If you can download a digital copy of your user manual (Always free) that would be good that way if we need to figure out something on your camera we have a resource.

• Camera Lenses. The diversity of your what you might want to use is quite incredible in Death Valley. I find the following lenses the most helpful.

o Wide angle lens in the 14-30mm range. This helps to distort things like salt pans and mud cracks and a wide angle lens will be vital for night photography.

o Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm. This is always a go to lens

o Telephoto lens of 100-400mm for being able to isolate subjects within the landscape. We most likely will not see any wildlife.

• Circular polarizer filters for your lenses can be helpful if we have clouds, but there is most likely no need for Neutral Density or Grad filters.

• Every night you will have access to recharge batteries, download images, and clean your gear, but I would recommend having a rocket blower and some lens cloths in your camera bag.

• Laptop if you wish to backup your photos or follow along during the post-processing instruction.

Personal Gear List

• Sturdy hiking footwear, hiking socks, and hiking pants.

• A rain jacket and several warm layers. It can get quite cold up high and in the mornings.

• Headlamp

• Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Sun Hat, Warm Hat, and Gloves.

• Water bottle or hydration bladder.

Take in new views from the icons

The Details

Dates: Thursday February 16th @ 12pm till Monday February 20th at 12pm.         

Cost: $1,795 (Ideally it is paid upfront but can split it up-just contact me)

Class Size: Limited to 7  students

Includes: Complete LIFETIME access to all current and future tutorials on naturephotographyclasses.com, a free 16x20 metal print from McKenna Pro, s 50% discount on a larger print from Photo Printing Pros, a 1 hour prep meeting before the workshop, and a 3 hour ZOOM meeting after to talk about post processing and share your images with your fellow workshop participants. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is the level of fitness required?

This is not a physically demanding trip, expect short walks across relatively flat ground of up to 2-3 miles total. We will be walking at a pace to see the landscape around us and give each person the opportunity to spread out. If you are not comfortable walking 2-3 miles each day there will still be some options that are shorter but ideally you would be able to do these walks. If you have specific questions feel free to drop me an email nic@stoverphoto.com or give me a call. 805-550-0192

2) What is the level of experience required?

If you are a beginner photographer I might suggest spending some time on understanding the fundamentals of the exposure triangle, and how to photograph in RAW mode, to be able to maximize your understanding of the techniques I will be teaching.  If you want a private session before the workshop, please let me know and we can work something out.  Your skills matter less than your desire to learn.  With a class size of 7  people, there will be plenty of time for hands on 1n1 instruction.  

3) Where should I stay?

We will be based at the quieter and more convenient Stovepipe wells hotel https://deathvalleyhotels.com with rooms starting at $144 but there is also camping directly across the street (Bring your camper van or tent camp!

4) What about transportation?

All you have to do is to make it to Death Valley and we can take it from there.  I am looking for another driver with a high clearance vehicle so we can attempt to go to the Racetrack.  Please contact me as I will pay for your gas and give you free instruction before and after on any topic you choose.  

5) What if I want to bring my spouse?

For the group dinners including the breakfast at the house, your spouse is invited.  For the group dinners it would be a supplement of $75 that you can pay at the time.  There is no charge for breakfast on Sunday.  

6) What is your cancellation policy?

Once you pay I don't typically refund...  But I don't keep any of your money.  It just gets credited towards a future workshop if you should cancel!  That being said, if you absolutely cant ever make a workshop I will refund your money.  

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