Death Valley with David 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!

Death Valley with David 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 around, and with the winter rains that will have fallen, the landscape will come alive with wildflowers. There will be opportunities to chase the light over this vast landscape, and maybe catch a reflection or two in the salt basins. Will will also venture out one night to photograph the night sky. 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!

Death Valley with David 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 around, and with the winter rains that will have fallen, the landscape will come alive with wildflowers. There will be opportunities to chase the light over this vast landscape, and maybe catch a reflection or two in the salt basins. Will will also venture out one night to photograph the night sky. 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!

Pacific Elephant Seals with Tom Mace

Join us as we visit the West Coast of California to witness an awesome collection of sea life, sunsets, and huge gatherings of Monarch butterflies. There are a handful of Elephant Seal Rookeries on the West Coast of California, we know the best location and the right time for photographers to capture 16 foot, 5000 lb. bulls on the beach establishing their dominance. Elephant Seals migrate back to the California coast in early to late winter to give birth, mate, and layout on the sandy beaches. The photo opportunities are endless. We have also mapped out several locations to capture California sunsets, possible encounters with wild Sea Otters, and a short excursion to see a Monarch Butterfly Grove that has thousands of butterflies congregated for the winter. In addition; we will see many birds, as our location is a stopover on the Pacific Flyway for birds migrating from Alaska to South America. Home to over 200 species of birds with one of the largest Heron Rookeries in California, Morro Bay is the site of one of the largest birding festivals which takes place the week before our visit. Your guides, being California natives, are very familiar with these areas and know where to put you in front of the action.

This is an all inclusive photography workshop. All ground transportation, hotel, meals, fees, and all the little things are handled by Tripod Travelers.

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