Death Valley with David and Jennifer Kingham

Death Valley is one of the hottest, driest, and lowest National Parks in the United States. Even with this distinction, it is a landscape that encompasses many dynamic scenes. These qualities make it an endless world of opportunities for beautiful photographs. Evidence of Earth’s forces can be seen all around the park with the carved canyons, never-ending salt flats, mud cracks, sand dunes, mountain ranges, and rock formations. We will be visiting and photographing this park when more pleasant cooler temperatures are occurring. We will photograph and chase the light across this varied and textured landscape, while also heading out one night to photograph under the stars for some night photography. We will be photographing areas such as the Mesquite Dunes, Badwater Basin, and Zabriskie point, and other locations that have become our favorites over the years, which are lesser known. We will photograph larger scenes, and take time to catch the details in more intimate scenes. During the workshop, we will also have classroom time to teach photo processing techniques, and workflow to help your photos stand out! With over 3.4 million acres to explore, there is always something to photograph, and you will not be disappointed. Come photograph and explore this incredible landscape of many faces!

California Bobcats with Sebastian Kennerknecht and Daniel Dietrich

The central coast of California boasts one of the highest densities of bobcats in all of the United States. Join myself and Daniel Dietrich on our three day bobcat photography tour to find this incredible feline. Your tour leaders have over fifteen years experience photographing bobcats in Marin County, the location for this photo tour. Our expectation is to have at least one, but probably multiple encounters, with good photographic opportunities with a bobcat.

Connecting with Nature on California Coast with Jacqueline Deely

Join award-winning wildlife photographer and naturalist Jacqueline Deely for an inspirational weekend of photography amid a spectacular setting along California’s rugged central coast. Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria is a rustic camp sitting on thirteen acres of Monterey Pine forest that nearly meets the ocean shore. Wildlife abounds, with seals and otters swimming by, and deer roaming through the property.

Throughout the weekend, explore how we can connect with nature, learn about our environment and make a difference through our experiences and the images we capture. Field activities visit nearby locations with specific goals in mind. We will take advantage of optimal light in the early morning and evening and when wildlife tends to be most active. Classroom sessions include illustrated presentations and discussions evolve around our own unique moments and encounters in the wild. Sharing our work allows us to delve deeper into the thought process behind our photographs and the stories they tell.

Although not required, staying on-site at Camp Ocean Pines is highly recommended to enhance the overall experience. Accommodations are shared in comfortable straw bale cabins, engineered for passive solar efficiency, and constructed from timbers and siding milled from wind-felled trees on the property. It will be a wonderful way to stay connected with nature and fellow participants throughout the entire weekend.

All meals are included except dinner on Saturday night, which will be free for participants to visit and dine in the quaint town of Cambria. Alcohol is not available at the camp, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Transportation to the various field locations will be in our own vehicles with the plan to carpool.

This workshop is tremendous value and open to anyone with a love of nature and photography. All levels are welcome: however, students must have a basic understanding of how to operate their own equipment.

 

$402 with meals and lodging / $350 with meals and no lodging

Conservation Photojournalism at Big Sur with Jaymi Heimbuch and Sebastian Kennerknecht

This 7-day workshop teaches you the skills necessary to pull off a project and get your work in front of publishers. An ideal workshop for anyone passionate about conservation issues, storytelling, and making a difference with your photography!

The focus for this workshop is sea otters! Beyond being an unbelievably cute subject subject to photograph, sea otters are also a keystone species in coastal ecology.

During this week-long workshop, you’ll meet with people who are involved in various ways with the story of sea otters. You’ll create a story angle, develop a shot list, build your skills in photographing wildlife, landscapes and portraits of human subjects to tell your story, refine your images into a polished portfolio, and learn how to create a well-crafted pitch for an editor.

In addition to working with our nonprofit partners, you’ll also spend a full day on the water photographing sea otters. No one wants to miss that!

Your instructors are professional photographers with over 25 years of combined experience in wildlife photography, photojournalism and working in the editorial and publishing fields. They will walk you through the steps of a conservation photojournalism project from concept to completion.

You’ll learn skills in working with a nonprofit partner, storyboarding, shooting, processing and editing your story, and developing a pitch for publication. You’ll also receive a printed portfolio of your top images from the week to take home.

The workshop is limited to just 6 participants, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity for one-on-one time with instructors.

Grebes “Walk” On Water to Find a Mate

Story and Photography by Krisztina Scheeff with KS Nature Photography

 

Western Grebes rushing on Lake Hodges, CA. © Krisztina Scheeff

 

When it comes to dating in the world of Grebes it is not as easy as just going out for a fish dinner or a morning swim. These birds have much higher standards. If a mate cannot “walk” on water, they are out of luck.

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The life of the sea otter

Story and photography by Frank Toller

These marine mammals live mostly on the North Pacific coast and typically weigh between 31 and 99 pounds. They are able to live their entire life in the water, in part because of a massive fur coat, the densest in the animal world. They feed on invertebrates such as sea urchins, clams, crab, and abalone as well as octopus and some species of fish. The otters will use rocks to scrape their prey and open shells, making them unique among marine mammals as tool users.

The sea otter population has risen from 1,000 to 2,000 years ago to 100,000 now. © Frank Toller

The sea otter population has risen from 1,000 to 2,000 years ago to 100,000 now. © Frank Toller

They can go onshore and occasionally will do so. The otters are very friendly and while taking these pictures on Jetty Road at Moss Landing, California [55 miles south of San Jose on the coast], I observed the animals allowing children to approach within six feet. The kids and pups seemed equally curious about each other. Continue reading

NATIONAL PARKS: Death Valley NP

Sultry patterns of light and shadow on Mesquite Flat dunes in Death Valley National Park, CA., (c) Jerry Ginsberg

Sultry patterns of light and shadow on Mesquite Flat dunes in Death Valley National Park, CA., (c) Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

For those of us old enough to remember, there was once a TV series called “Death Valley Days.” The show used the vast Death Valley National Park as a backdrop for its slice of life vignettes. It greatly romanticized the harsh desert environment made commercially viable by its borax deposits. Twenty mule teams pulled heavy wagons laden with the stuff out of the valley and off to market. Today this valley encompasses the biggest U.S. national park outside of Alaska. With 3.3 million acres, it is half again the size of Yellowstone. Continue reading