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Death Valley Workshop Open for Registration / Q&A Here


Morro Bay, US
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mmariant Team Member Expert photography teacher Nikonian since 21st Jun 2008
Wed 11-Jan-12 11:09 PM

Hello fellow Nikonians!

The Death Valley Spring Workshop has opened for registration. With all the incredible diverse locations (including the mysterious sliding rocks!), this workshop sells out each year, so space is certainly limited.

This forum posting is both for those who have signed up for the Nikonians Academy Death Valley workshop as well as for those interested in signing up and wanting more information.

This forum is to share some more information about the workshop and open the floor to some Q&A about what we will see, what we will photograph and where we will go.

Watch the "Virtual Video Tour" of the Death Valley Workshop:
Click Here to Watch the Virtual Video Tour

Click on image to view larger version


"Well, Michael has done it again, What an awesome trip! I had been on the prior 2 ANPAT trips to Yosemite and Denali and knew how well Michael prepared, organized and ran his trips. But working with our small group in a one on one workshop was even better. His extensive knowledge of photography and the Death Valley location was even more impressive in this type of learning environment.

Coming from the East Coast from CT, I was not looking for your typical trees and flowing river scenery. I was not disappointed. Death Valley is unlike any place I have visited. Every location we went to was a new sight for me. Michael's lessons built on an artists use of light and layering to help with photo composition. Each location was used to help build up our vision using these techniques. He always made sure each of us was doing well by looking at our LCD results and making thoughtful suggestions to improve on the scene.

Thanks Michael and Nikonians."


Michael A. Mariant here... Nikonians Academy instructor for the travel/landscape photography workshops...

Death Valley carries a mystique and awe about it — rightly so just from the name. But once you get off the paved roads that snake through the park, gone are the desolate and barren desert scenes as they transform into breathtaking cliffs inside box canyons, remote ghost town dwellings, salt flats and bizarre formations, the infamous 'Sliding Rocks' of The Racetrack, and towering sand dunes that are constantly evolving, never photographed the same twice.

A a quick summary of locations:
- Badwater (lowest point in the Northern Hemisphere, and a sprawling delicately patterned salt flat where we learn about HDR: High Dynamic Range photography)
- Devil's Golf Course (jagged salt formations framed against the Panamint Range)
- Dante's View (located 5,000-feet above Badwater, providing a sweeping vista of Death Valley and the surrounding mountains, where we work on stitching panoramic scenes)
- Golden Canyon (bizarre rock formations of strong color in a narrow canyon, where we translate the "painter's principle" to our photography)
- Sand Dunes (a large complex of dunes, where we spend two mornings overwhelmed with shooting opportunities while we discuss and apply modified exposure techniques and composition, inspired by the iconic photos of Ansel Adams, Johm Sexton and Edward Weston)
- Rhyolite ghost town (a classic yet undisturbed ghost town where we take part in CLS Speedlight lighting exercises in the town and nearby original cemetery)
- Zabriski Point (a colorful and unusual collection of rocks and geological folding that is a special moment just as the sun rises, where we continue the application of the "painter's principle")
- Star trails (Right in the middle of Death Valley where the inky blackness reveals the Milky Way in all its color and splendor)
- Sliding Rocks at the Race Track (this is the true finale location for many landscape photographers, where we also culminate our entire workshop education into our final location.)
- Additional locations including towering box canyons, marble canyons and possible opportunities in macro photography.

Click on image to view larger version

IMPORTANT LODGING NOTE:Because of the limited lodging choices in Death Valley and resulting difficulty in securing rooms, we have secured a GROUP RATE at the historic Stovepipe Wells Village, adjacent to the towering sand dunes complex. Upon registration, you will receive an email with the reservation group booking code and contact information.

One surprising aspect of these travel/landscape photography workshops for nearly all attendees is the level of education provided. There is a comprehensive photographic curriculum integrated into the workshop, with each location providing an exercise in technique and application. This workshop focuses not only on the 'where' to take the pictures, but also on the 'how' to take pictures, incorporating that photographic education at each location, building on the previous location’s techniques and lessons to culminate in a comprehensive class in composition, modified exposure, light controls, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography to name just a few.

You get more than pretty pictures — you leave with a far more solid understanding of the principles and techniques that will elevate your abilities in landscape photography. It's like a having an intensive, classroom-based four-day workshop in photographic education... but on location in a spectacular location!

Space is limited on these workshops, to ensure that I can provide one-on-one interaction with each Nikonian, further enhancing the educational experience by focusing on each participant's individual areas of study. You tell me what you what to practice and learn — and we focus on that for the four days in conjunction with the workshop's curriculum.

Click on image to view larger version

Hop on over to the Academy site and check out the detailed itinerary and what this workshop can offer: Click here for Death Valley workshop

And be sure to check out the galleries from recent Death Valley workshops:
2011: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/18742
2010: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/13530
2009: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/9575

Lastly, feel free to post questions here, both for those who have signed up already and for those who are curious about the workshop. As we approach the workshop start date, I will be posting FAQs and additional information for the workshop.

See you in the outdoors!


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Michael A. Mariant
Nikonians Academy Faculty
Master Your Vision Workshops

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