Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park
10/18/2014 - 10/24/2014
Where We Go: Photographing in Death Valley National Park takes you and your photography to new extremes. While the area is usually talked about in terms of record heat (136 degrees), or North America’s lowest elevation (282 feet below sea level), it’s also a wonderland for landscape photographers. Within its three million acres exist infinite spectacular possibilities to capture the interplay between otherworldly landscape and dramatic morning and evening light. From the Alabama Hills you can photograph Mt. Whitney, the tallest point in the contiguous U.S. Then head to the other extreme at Badwater, the Continent’s lowest point. Capture the quirky town of Darwin before heading to Aguereberry Point, where you catch sunset’s deepening hues over Death Valley.
What You Learn: Learning to photograph an environment as dynamic as Death Valley requires an instructor just as dynamic. Enter Doug Johnson, one of RMSP’s most beloved teachers. From a comfortable classroom, Johnson provides insightful lectures on working in environments that can harm your equipment, taking care of yourself in the field, using the Zone system for color, and conveying a sense of scale in your landscape images. During location shoots—held when both the light and the temperature are enjoyable—Johnson provides one-on-one assistance and technique tips. During constructive critique sessions in the classroom, you benefit from Doug’s well-trained eye and seeing the work of your classmates.
Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera. Be prepared to hike up to three miles on moderate trails and steep sand dunes.
Your workshop will be held at Stovepipe Wells Village in Death Valley, California. Your class will meet regularly in the auditorium.
We suggest that you stay at Stovepipe Wells Village for the dates of October 17 or 18-24, departing on October 24 or 25. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly. To receive the room block rate please use the code RMS141.
Rates: Rooms have been blocked at the rate of $163 per night + tax. Room choices are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cutoff Date: Be sure to make your reservations by September 18, 2014. After this date, reservations will be based on availability.
Complimentary parking is available at the hotel.
RMSP is not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets/hotel rooms in the event of a course cancellation. Please consider the purchase of trip/travel insurance.
The nearest international airport for this workshop is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, located approximately 150 miles from the hotel. For information about carrier and flight schedules visit the airport website.
Major car rental companies are available at McCarran International Airport. Contact information and links can be found on the airport website: www.mccarran.com.
Travel During Workshop
You are responsible for your own transportation during the workshop. For transportation to and from field shoots, we suggest that you carpool to get to know fellow students. Your welcome letter will include questions about how you prefer to travel during the workshop. Be sure to send back your information on time. Your final email will include a list of people who plan on driving and are interested in carpooling.
You are responsible for your own meals during the workshop. The instructor will allow plenty of breaks in the schedule.
Any additional fees and/or supplies will be the responsibility of the participant. Death Valley National Park requires a $20 entrance fee per vehicle for a seven day pass.
Doug Johnson is a Colorado native now living in Missoula, Montana. Before a life-changing pursuit of photographic art, he was an outdoor educator for more than 20 years, passionately teaching people backcountry skills in navigation, mountaineering, avalanche awareness and wilderness first aid. Since graduating from RMSP’s Summer Intensive program in 1996, Doug’s work has covered many diverse projects in the documentary, commercial, fine art and educational fields. Assignments have taken him from coyote shooting in Wyoming to the last stages of a woman’s life to the graffiti-covered alleys and abandoned buildings of Denver. He is currently involved in an ongoing project called Art Music, which fuses the art of photography with live musical performance. His educational philosophy is fun, intuitive and full of creative persistence. No matter where you are in your photographic journey, Doug’s balance of the aesthetic with the technical can help you further express your unique vision.
Death Valley National Park Schedule & Equipment List
(This is also downloadable by clicking here.)
Introduction & Orientation
|Field shoot until sunset||Dinner in the field (you may want to bring food as we will be home late)|
|Field Shoot||Dinner at Furnace Creek|
|Tuesday||Critique||Field shoot until sunset||Dinner in the field (you may want to bring food as we will be home late)|
|Wednesday||Field Shoot||Field Shoot||Field Shoot|
Critique Wrap Up
|Closing Ends at Noon|
Please keep in mind that this is an example of the schedule. This schedule is subject to change due to class size, weather and any other unforeseen need to make adjustments.
Equipment & Supply List
Note: The following is meant to be a packing aid, not a shopping list. Please call 800-394-7677 if you have questions.
Digital SLR camera
RMSP welcomes all other camera formats as well.
Please keep in mind that only digital images will be critiqued on this workshop.
Wide angle lens (17-35mm)
Normal lens (35-70mm)
Macro Equipment and Filters
Split neutral density filter (Singh-Ray – 1 stop hard, 2 stop soft)
Camera bag or backpack
Spare camera batteries
Camera & lens cleaning supplies
Note taking materials
Rain cover for camera
Lens shades for all lenses
Cushion or knee pads
Pocket bounce/soft box
Clothing and Personal Items
We suggest you bring the following with you on this workshop:
Weatherproof clothing that can be layered for warmth
Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots
A good umbrella
Light to medium jacket
Sun protection – hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm
Travel alarm clock and/or a watch
Pocket sized flashlight
Snacks for between meals in the field
Digital SLR users must be able to:
- Download and store your images on your laptop
- View your images after downloading them
- Select and transfer specific images for daily critiques using one of the following:
- Empty Compact Flash/SD card
- Jump Drive
- Portable Hard Drive
All students must supply their own laptop computer with the following specifications:
RAM (Memory) – Minimum of 4 GBs.
Free Hard Drive Space – We recommend that you have at least 60-70 GBs of free space on your laptop’s built-in hard drive if you plan to store photos on your computer.
External Hard Drive – Bring 1 or 2 external hard drives dedicated to your photography.
Virus Protection – Please update your virus protection prior to the workshop.
Operating System CDs, Passwords and Cables/Cords – As needed
What is the 2016 workshops schedule?Please see our Event Calendar.
Which workshop is right for me?Foundation Workshops require varying levels of previous photographic experience. Beginners should start with Basic Photography. Travel workshops require that you are familiar with the manual operation of your camera. If you are uncertain about where you should begin, please call and we will be happy to help you decide what class is right for you.
What is the cutoff date for registration?We accept registrations on a first-come first-served basis until a workshop is full. Register early! If your favorite workshop is full, ask to be put on a wait list.
How do I register?
- Register online
- Call the RMSP offices at (800) 394-7677
How many participants are in a workshop?Depending on the workshop there can be a maximum of 14 or 16 students. Generally we add an assistant when registration exceeds 8 students.
What is a "Friend of RMSP"?Once you’ve taken an RMSP course you become a "Friend" and are able to deduct $50.00 off workshop tuition.
Explain Foundation and Travel workshops?Foundation Workshops are designed with a stair-step approach that teaches you to think, see and create with your camera. Travel workshops take you to a beautiful location with an instructor who knows the area and the light and how to get you to the perfect shooting spot.
What is included in the tuition?Most workshop tuitions include the instruction only. Hotel stays generally are not included. Selected hotels, most of which have special RMSP rates, are noted in the accommodations section of each workshop. Transportation is included on selected workshops. Additional charges such as entrance fees/admissions to national parks and select shooting venues are extra.
How do we pay for a workshop?Most workshops require a $300.00 deposit and the balance paid 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. Payment options include personal checks, cash and Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.
What is RMSP’s cancellation policy?Please read our cancellation policy. Note: Workshop content may change from that advertised based on weather, access to shooting locations, and other unforeseen situations. Whenever possible, registered students will be notified ahead of time of any changes. RMSP reserves the right to cancel any program that does not meet minimum participant requirements, in which case participants will be informed as soon as possible and all money will be refunded. RMSP is not responsible for any losses incurred as a result of a course cancellation. We encourage participants to purchase refundable airline tickets and consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance.
Travel InsuranceRMSP recommends that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself from circumstances that may prevent you from attending a workshop. Please check with your insurance agent about this low-cost service. RMSP is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets in the event of a workshop cancellation.
HotelsBlocks of rooms are reserved on most workshops. Unless otherwise specified, workshop participants make their own reservations for accommodations.
TravelOn most workshops, travel is the responsibility of the workshop participant. Participants usually get together on the first day and make arrangements to share car rides for field shoots. We encourage carpooling for the sake of camaraderie and also to reduce the impact on our environment.
MealsYou will be given breaks during the workshop to purchase and enjoy meals, however in some locations meals take a second place to shooting at the right light. It’s always a good idea to include snacks for those moments when a regular meal is not available.
Free TimeRMSP wants to make sure you get what you want, need and expect from a workshop. Expect to be busy from morning until evening every day. If you’re coming to an outdoor workshop, remember that sunrises and sunsets will be part of the shooting schedule!
Spouse / PartnersOn most RMSP workshops, non-photographing spouses/partners are welcome to come to shooting locations and some critiques. Lectures and any other learning sessions are not open to guests. Please call our office for the guidelines for your specific workshop.
What should I bring?You'll find a list of recommended equipment on the "Equipment & Schedules" tab for each workshop on this website.
ComputersAll participants should bring a laptop computer for downloading, sorting, viewing and selecting images for daily critiques. Computer specifics are included in the equipment lists for each workshop. Please feel free to contact us either by phone or email with any further questions you may have. We look forward to welcoming you to an RMSP Workshop!
Cancellation PolicyCancellation Policy for Workshops
- For cancellations received at least 60 days prior to the workshop start date: RMSP refunds any tuition paid, less a $50 processing fee.
- For cancellations received 30 to 60 days prior to the start of the workshop: RMSP refunds any tuition paid less the tuition deposit.
- For cancellations received within 30 days prior to the start of the workshop: RMSP retains full tuition.
- For cancellations after the workshop is in progress: RMSP retains full tuition.
- For no-shows: RMSP retains full tuition.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days after our office receives notice of cancellation.