Eastern Sierra Adventure
Photograph some of the world’s most amazing rock formations, arches, geothermal hot springs, jagged mountain peaks, and sand dunes.
California’s Eastern Sierra stretches from Lone Pine in the south to the Nevada border in the north and the corridor contains many of the Sierra’s most awe-inspiring settings. From the highest mountain in the lower U.S., Mount Whitney, to the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park, this side of the Sierra is truly remarkable. It is a fascinating landscape, a land where 14,000-foot summits descend to sage-filled plains, where the oldest trees on earth still stand atop wind-scoured ridges, where geothermal springs pepper one of the world’s largest calderas, and where limestone columns rise from an ancient alkaline lake.
This landscape photography workshop will take you to some of the most iconic locations in and along the Eastern Sierra of California:
- Alabama Hills/Mt. Whitney
- Hot Creek Geological Site
- Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
- Owens River
- Tufa Towers at Mono Lake
Itinerary & General Information
- Arrival – Arrival at the hotel / 5 PM Meet-and-Greet and group dinner
- Day 1 – We’ll spend our first day in the Alabama Hills starting with sunrise and then staying throughout the day to do Astrophotography in the evening. The Alabama Hills are a range of hills and dynamic rock formations set between the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the Inyo Mountains in the Owens Valley near Lone Pine. Mt. Whitney – the tallest mountain in the “lower 48” states rising to a height of 14,505 feet – is part of a chain of mountains that run north/south through the center of Sequoia National Park called the Great Western Divide. All of this adds up to an endless array of amazing photographic opportunities. We’ll spend the night in Lone Pine.
- Day 2 – We’ll spend a second morning in the Alabama Hills for sunrise before heading up to our hotel in Bishop. We’ll use the afternoon for class instruction and to work on our images.
- Day 3 – Our third day will start with an early sunrise at the Hot Creek Geological Site. Hot Creek is a scenic wonderland containing dozens of natural hot springs bubbling up within the rocky walls of a river gorge in the shadows of towering Eastern Sierra mountain peaks. It is a breathtaking place where boiling, bubbling water rich in dissolved minerals emerges in turquoise pools rimmed by layers of travertine rock shrouded in veils of steam. After sunrise, we’ll stop to capture the marshlands along the serene Owens River set against the spectacular backdrop of the Eastern Sierra. We’ll then drive high into the mountains to photograph the ancient Bristlecone Pines. The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to some of the oldest living trees in the world (some more than 4,500 years old). These magnificent trees exist in one of the most inhospitable environments in the American Southwest. Found between 10,000 and 11,400 ft in the White Mountains near the little town of Big Pine, CA these warrior-like survivors have endured brutal temperatures and gale force winds back to the time of the Pyramids. As a result, their shapes and statue provide great possibilities to photograph everywhere you look.
- Day 4 – Our fourth day will be another early sunrise at Mono Lake. Mono Lake is a majestic saline body of water covering about 65 square miles located at the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park near the small town of Lee Vining. It is an ancient lake – over a million years old – and one of the oldest lakes in North America. It is also a closed lake, meaning that it has no outlet. Throughout its existence, salts and minerals have washed into the lake from Eastern Sierra streams. Freshwater evaporating from the lake each year has left the salts and minerals behind so that the lake is now 2.5 times as salty as the ocean and very alkaline. The Mono Lake Reserve was established to preserve the spectacular “tufa towers,” calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by the interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. It also protects the lake surface itself as well as the wetlands and other sensitive habitats for the 1 to 2 million birds that feed and rest at Mono Lake each year. We’ll spend the remainder of the day working on our images in the classroom and conclude with a group dinner.
- Day 5 – We’ll spend our final morning working on our images in the classroom before concluding our adventure.
John Bosma Fine Arts Photography is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service.
What to Expect
The majority of our days will start early, before sunrise. After a quick cup of coffee or tea, we’ll be off to get into position at a location in the best light of the day with breakfast in the field in order to maximize our shooting time. We’ll often continue until mid-to-late morning before heading back to Basecamp.
Back at Basecamp, we’ll have time for off-loading memory cards, classroom lectures & instruction, working on our images, one-on-one guidance, or time to relax. Then, in the mid-to-late afternoon, we’ll head out again to capture the evening skies, getting the most out of the sunset and/or shooting the stars in the night sky.
More important than just getting you to some of the best and most remote areas of the park at the best times of the day, this five-day landscape photography workshop will challenge you to take your photography to the next level and to develop your own photographic voice.
In the Field:
Out in the field, we’ll explore different approaches to scene visualization, ground/sky/sea compositions, and how to manage complex highlight and shadow scenes using techniques such as dynamic bracketing, focus stacking, framing, and neutral density filters.
In the Classroom:
In the classroom, we’ll spend time developing your post-production workflow – learning when Lightroom is enough and when you need to move your work into Photoshop – using techniques such as luminosity masks to create and solve contrast, color, and blending issues.
You’ll benefit from our guidance, hours of capture time in the field with an instructor by your side, and classroom instruction as you learn new techniques and strategies for creating dynamic images. We’ll help you take your photography to the next level.
Tuition & Payment Terms
What’s Included in Your Tuition:
- 5 nights lodging / 4.5 training days
- Field meals and snacks
- All ground transportation during the workshop
- Workshop course materials
- In-the-field photographic training
- Post-production classes during the workshop
- Pre-workshop planning & research sessions
- Post-workshop post-production sessions
What’s Not Included in Your Tuition:
- Transportation to/from your home to Basecamp
- Lodging beyond the 5 nights included in the workshop