Yosemite in Spring Photography Workshop

Yosemite is one of the most spectacular alpine landscapes in the world. From the soaring heights of El Capitan and Half-Dome to lush meadows to mesmerizing waterfalls – experience a photographer’s paradise on this Yosemite in Spring Photography Workshop!

During the high-country snow melts, the waterfalls and rivers in Yosemite National Park come to life, creating some of the most breathtaking scenes in the world. In years of maximum water flow, Yosemite’s Upper and Lower Falls produce a thundering sound that can be heard throughout the Valley. Bridalveil Fall is particularly spectacular in the spring, with sprays that reach half of its 620-foot height. Some waterfalls, such as Ribbon Falls, only appear during the spring if it’s wet enough – at 1,162 feet, it is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.

In the spring, wildflowers bloom throughout Yosemite, with scores of varieties on display. Yosemite is one of the few places where you can see the bright red stalks of the Snow Plant, a striking sight even if it’s technically a fungus and not a flower. You may also see poppies, goldfields, meadowfoam, baby blue-eyes, and redbud trees.

This workshop has been scheduled to coincide with peak waterfall season in the spring. You’ll have the opportunity to capture rainbows, waterfalls, wildflowers, and wide-open landscapes at some of Yosemite’s most iconic locations, including the big granite domes of El Capitan, Sentinel Dome, and Half-Dome, and the cascading waters of Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and Vernal Falls. We’ll also shoot many other locations on the valley floor, making sure that you’re in the right place at the right time during the best lighting conditions.


Itinerary & General Information

  • May 21 – Arrival at the hotel / 5 PM Meet-and-Greet and group dinner.
  • May 22 – We’ll spend our first day at Glacier Point and other locations along Glacier Point Road. We’ll have commanding views of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome from Glacier Point. As the day comes to an end, we will have the opportunity to capture beautiful sunset and night photos at Tunnel View before making our way back to the hotel.
  • May 23 – We’ll spend the morning at Mariposa Grove. Some of the trees in Mariposa Grove date back 2,400 years reaching sizes of 90 ft in diameter and over 210 feet tall. We’ll spend the rest of the morning and afternoon on the Valley Floor, photographing El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, the Three Brothers, the Merced River, and Half Dome. We’ll also daytime photos of the Valley View. Time and weather permitting, we’ll end our day with sunset at Valley View on our way back to our hotel.
  • May 24 – Our third day will start with sunrise at the Valley View – another iconic view of Yosemite Valley. In contrast to the elevated view of the valley at Tunnel View, we’ll be shooting on the banks of the Merced River surrounded by towering granite cliffs on both sides of the Valley. We’ll spend the remainder of the day in the eastern section of the Valley Floor with a hike to Mirror Lake. We’ll end our day back at the Valley View for sunset on our way back to our hotel for a farewell celebration dinner.
  • May 25 – We’ll spend our final morning critiquing 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

Our days typically begin early, before dawn. Following a swift cup of coffee or tea, we’ll set out to position ourselves in the day’s first light, enjoying breakfast on-site to optimize our photography time. The session usually extends until late morning before we return to Basecamp.

At Basecamp, there will be opportunities to download images, attend classroom sessions and lectures, refine our photos, receive individual guidance, or simply unwind. Later in the afternoon, we venture out once more to photograph the evening ambiance, capturing the sunset or the night sky’s stars.

Beyond guiding you to exceptional and secluded locations at optimal times, our four-day landscape photography workshop is designed to instruct you in visualizing, planning, and executing your shots, as well as enhancing them with diverse post-production methods.

In the Field:

We’ll learn how to scout and visualize a scene, compose a ground/sky/sea landscape to show scale and tell a story, how to manage complex highlight and shadow scenes, how and when to use filters, how to plan your images for a blended blue hour composite, how to focus your camera at night to capture pin sharp stars and foreground, and how to use apps like PhotoPills to plan a shoot. We’ll also use techniques such as dynamic bracketing and exposure blending, focus stacking and focal length blending, neutral density filters, and stacking for noise reduction.

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. We’ll learn how to use techniques such as luminosity masks to create and solve contrast, color, and blending issues; how to blend multiple images together in Photoshop to create blue hour blends, focal length blends, and exposure blends; how to use start stacking to create pin sharp starry night skies; how to create Orton glows and sharpen your final image; and how to use apps like ProPanel to increase your efficiency.

You’ll benefit from 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.


Tuition & Payment Terms

What’s Included in Your Tuition:

  • 4 nights lodging / 3.5 training days
  • Field meals and snacks
  • All ground transportation during the workshop
  • Workshop course materials
  • In-the-field photographic training
  • Online prep & orientation classes prior to the workshop
  • Post-production classes and techniques during the workshop
  • Online post-production classes after the workshop

What’s Not Included in Your Tuition:

  • Transportation to/from your home to Basecamp
  • Lodging beyond the 4 nights included in the workshop
  • Your National Park Pass for entry to Yosemite
  • Meals
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Personal expenses, gratuities, and anything not listed as included


What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop

Please see our How to Prepare For Your Workshop page for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.

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