Includes: Spectacular Locations, 1-on-1 Instruction at Your Level, Fully Insured and Permitted
California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range was famously called “the Range of Light” by John Muir for the endless dance that light performs on the range’s peaks.
The Sierra Nevada is characterized by massive granite mountains, picturesque lakes and rivers, and rich forests.
The scenic and varied landscapes are a photographer’s delight.
In addition, early July often brings the monsoon and thunderstorm to the Sierra, making for exciting and dramatic conditions for photography.
Discovering the Most Spell-Binding Locations
This High Sierra photography workshop will visit such grand locations as the Mammoth Lakes Basin, Tuolumne and Dana Meadows, Mono Lake, Convict Lake, groves of quaking aspens, and much more.
Join Josh Cripps & Jim Patterson to photograph the spell-binding scenery of the High Sierra. This multi-day High Sierra photography workshop will help photographers create beautiful photos of the breathtaking and varied landscapes of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.
During this workshop you will be photographing dramatic granite peaks, glacially-fed alpine lakes, fascinating rock formations, cascading streams, and otherworldly Mono Lake tufa towers.
Each day is filled with spectacular opportunities as the workshop team put you in the right place at the right time to make the most of your photography.
In addition to visiting incredible landscapes, this workshop places a strong emphasis on helping you produce striking and powerful compositions, as well as telling a story with your photos.
Shooting Stunning Landscapes
The Sierra Nevada mountains boast some of the most dramatic and accessible landscapes in the United States, making it a dream destination for landscape and nature photography.
Incredible Monsoon Drama
The monsoon typically comes to the Sierra in early July, bringing incredible clouds and sunsets to the area.
World Class Dark Night Skies
The monsoonal clouds frequently clear in the evening, giving way to crystal clear night skies.
Covering a Wide Range of Photography Topics
Topics covered at the High Sierra Photography Workshop include:
Transforming your artistic vision into memorable photographs
Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO – their relationship to one another and how to change them for exposure control
Metering and getting a correct exposure
Histograms, how to read them, and how to fine-tune exposure
Creative depth-of-field effects using aperture control
White balance and creative coloration
Creating perspective, depth, and a sense of “being there” in your photos
Creating powerful compositions with impact
Composing to control your viewer’s attention in your photos
Composition: Balance, Tension, and Visual Flow
How to use filters to capture dramatic light or create long-exposure effects
Effective strategies for capturing nature’s rich colors
Low-light and night photography
How to capture stars
Shoot planning and how to be at the right place at the right time
Day 1, Thursday
Arrive in Mammoth Lakes, California in the early afternoon for a meet and greet where you will go over introductions and the workshop itinerary in more detail.
Afterwards, you will explore the bizarre and beautiful formations at Mono Lake South Tufa at sunset. And assuming the clouds clear you'll take time for Milky Way photography as well.
Day 2, Friday
Up early to catch the sunrise at Minaret Vista, then back to town for breakfast and informal image review.
You will then make your way toward world-famous Yosemite National Park to photograph the best of the high country in the park.
Afternoon and evening shoots will be centered in the idyllic Tuolumne and Dana Meadows areas.
If the clouds clear you will then venture back out after dinner for stunning Milky Way photography.
Day 3, Saturday Up early to catch the sunrise at Hot Creek, a fascinating volcanic area with excellent views of the Sierra crest.
In the afternoon you will hike into the spectacular Gaylor Lakes Basin and photograph the high country splendor of this seldom visited area.
Back to town for dinner then more night photography if the conditions are right.
Day 4, Sunday On your last day you’re up early again to shoot the sunrise at spectacular McLeod Lake.
By mid morning the light will likely be too harsh to continue shooting, so you’ll wrap the workshop and head back to town for your final meal together.
This workshop is organized to take advantage of the best and most interesting locations the High Sierra has to offer. However, the exact itinerary and places you visit may change depending on the group and weather conditions.
July weather in the high Sierra is generally predictable, with warm days and cool nights. However, the high likelihood of monsoonal moisture in the atmosphere means you may encounter thunderous downpours, hailstorms, and infinitely varying light.
The variability is one of the things that makes photographing the Sierra at this time of year so dynamic, fun, and challenging.
“That was a great experience and a wonderful workshop. Thank you both so much.” – Bambi J.
“Hi [guys]! Thank you again for an amazing workshop. You guys helped me so much, and I really appreciate it!! I feel like I finally know how to use all the bells and whistles on my camera.” – Stacia K.
“Jim and Josh, thanks again for the spectacular workshop, great learning, and sites.” – Dan M.
Co-Founder and Co-Lead Instructor at Sea to Summit
Josh Cripps is a wilderness landscape photographer living in the heart of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He has traveled to 30+ countries in search of spectacular photography finds the landscapes of New Zealand, Peru, California, and Utah to be especially inspiring. Josh is a contributing photographer for Nikon (including the worldwide launch campaign of the D750) and his work can be seen in homes around the US.
In addition to shooting, Josh loves to teach and has done so not just in photography but also in fields as wide-ranging as math and EFL (English as a foreign language). When he is not out taking pictures, Josh loves helping photographers of all abilities push their photography to new heights.
Alongside Sea to Summit Josh runs Professional Photography Tips, one of the most popular photography channels on YouTube.
Co-Founder and Co-Lead Instructor at Sea to Summit
Jim Patterson is a photographer living and working north of Seattle, Washington. His background in marine biology led to explorations beneath the sea where an appreciation for the natural world and photography began.
After years of dedicated underwater work, his focus has shifted to coastal landscape photography, a natural progression born from the inspiration found in and around the ocean. Coastal photography soon expanded into landscapes inland. Through photography as an art form, Jim works towards creating images which are both personally meaningful as well as making an impact with the viewer. His main joy with teaching is to see that switch flip in the mind of a photographer, when an idea grabs hold and creativity follows.
Total Cost: USD $1,095.00
Deposit: USD $495.00
Price of $1,095 covers all tuition per person.
$400 supplement for 3 nights hotel lodging at the Mammoth Creek Inn
Save $110 if you are a returning client or per person when you sign up with a friend (single occupancy). Use code friendSIERRA
Save $300 per person when you sign up with a friend and share a room. Use code friendSIERRA2
A deposit is required to reserve your spot with the balance due 60 days prior to the start of the workshop.
Quality, professional, 1-on-1 photography instruction on par with your level as a photographer
8 – 10 hours per day of in-field shooting and instruction
Water and snacks throughout the workshop
A fun, positive, interactive learning environment
Small class size of 8 participants maximum
What’s Not Included
Lodging. Participants will need to secure 3 nights lodging in Mammoth Lakes on July 7th, 8th, and 9th. Sea to Summit Workshops have a block reserved at the Mammoth Creek Inn; Upon booking they will get in touch with you and you should let them know if you’d like a room.
Transportation. While participants need to provide their own transportation during the workshop Sea to Summit Workshops will be carpooling as much as possible
Meals, though the group often eats together throughout the workshop
Getting to the workshop
The High Sierra Photography Workshop is based out of Mammoth Lakes, a charming resort town in the heart of the High Sierra.
Mammoth is located on highway 395, about 5 hours north of Los Angeles International Airport, 5 hours west of Las Vegas, or 3 hours south of Reno.
If Tioga Pass through Yosemite is open, Mammoth is about a 6.5 hour drive from San Francisco.
For out-of-state participants flying in for this workshop, here are rough travel times from major transport hubs:
Mammoth Lakes / Yosemite Airport: 10 minutes
Los Angeles: 5 hours
Burbank: 4.5 hour
Reno: 3 hours
Carson City: 2.5 hours
Digital SLR camera
Lenses. Wide and ultra-wide angle lenses are highly recommended
A sturdy tripod
Footwear with good traction (waterproof hiking boots recommended) and warm socks (very important!)
Creativity and a positive attitude
Warm clothes in layers, gloves, a warm hat, and a rain jacket
A wide-brim hat and sunscreen
A one-liter (or larger) water bottle
Sea to Summit Workshops recommend bringing multiple layers of non-cotton clothing (like polypropylene base layers and fleeces), a warm jacket and pants, a warm hat, gloves, warm socks, and sturdy footwear.
During the day lightweight clothing may be more comfortable, though long pants and sleeves are generally advisable in case you encounter mosquitoes.
It is also recommended to bring a rain jacket in case you encounter any storms. A wide-brim hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, and a large water bottle will also be indispensable.
Highly recommended items
Filters (ND, Grad ND, Polarizers)
Remote shutter release
Camera rain sleeve
Waders for getting out into lakes and streams
Mosquito repellent (DEET-based repellents are recommended)
This High Sierra Photography Workshop is appropriate for photographers of good fitness levels.
You will walk approximately 5-8 miles over the course of each day of the workshop, including some hikes of 2-3 miles each way.
This hiking may be on rough, steep, and slippery terrain.
This workshop may visit elevations as high as 10,500 ft.
Walking in the mountains at altitude can be strenuous, especially at elevation.
All participants are expected to be able to carry their own camera, personal gear, and water during the workshop.
Participants may wish to arrive a few days early before the workshop begins to acclimate to the altitude. In short, please be prepared for hiking high in the mountains.
Sea to Summit Workshops requires an up-front deposit for this workshop, and will bill you the remaining balance 60 days before the workshop start date. If you cancel at any time, this holding deposit is non-refundable; however if Sea to Summit Workshops are able to fill your spot before the workshop they will refund your holding deposit. Refunds made more than 60 days after payment are subject to a 3% processing fee. Up to 30 days before a workshop you can reschedule and apply your deposit to a future workshop. Your entire registration fee becomes non-refundable and non-transferable 30 days before the workshop.
If Sea to Summit Workshops cancels a workshop for any reason, your entire registration fee will be transferred to another workshop or refunded to you at your discretion.
For photographers who are traveling for workshops, we strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance to cover your costs in case of cancellation or withdrawal.
Rainy Day Policy
If it’s stormy or rainy, 9 times out of 10 the workshop will still go ahead. This is due to a number of reasons including the unpredictability of the weather, and the difficulties of rescheduling a large number of individuals. In addition many dramatic landscape and seascape images are captured during stormy weather due to the extra drama.
Sea to Summit Workshops will never cancel a workshop based on the forecast and will make a weather assessment the day of the workshop. The only time instructors will not go out is if Sea to Summit Workshops determines that conditions are unsafe or absolutely unshootable.
Sea to Summit Workshops workshops require a minimum of 5 participants. In the case of under-subscription Sea to Summit Workshops reserve the right to cancel the workshop, in which case your registration will be transferred to another workshop of your choosing or you may request a refund. Alternatively Sea to Summit Workshops may conduct the workshop with a single instructor.
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