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!

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.

Wild Mustangs of the Adobe Valley with Ken Lee

A thriving herd of hundreds of wild horses roams the floor and hills of the Adobe Valley. Situated between the snow-clad slopes of two major mountain ranges and blessed with a thriving equine population, the Adobe Valley is rich with opportunities to make memorable wildlife and landscape images. Ken will serve as your photography instructor for this unique adventure offered by Rock Creek Pack Station as we track and photograph these wild horses on foot and horseback through a stunningly picturesque setting. RCPS’ expert guides will lead the way and educate us on the natural history, behavior and herd dynamics of equines in the wild. No prior riding experience is required but this trip requires a basic level of fitness including the ability to walk at high altitudes for several hours at a stretch.

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