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High Sierra Photography Workshop with Josh Cripps & Jim Patterson

Join Josh Cripps & Jim Patterson to photograph the spell-binding scenery of the High Sierra.

Visit grand locations as the Mammoth Lakes Basin, Tuolumne and Dana Meadows, Mono Lake, Convict Lake, groves of quaking aspens, and much more.

Learn how to produce striking and powerful compositions, as well as telling a story with your photos.

  • Date: TBD, 2018
  • Destination: Mammoth Lakes, High Sierra, California, USA
  • Genre: Landscape, Adventure, Nautre, Post-Processing
  • Skill Levels: All Skill Levels
  • Group Size: Max. 8
  • Includes: Spectacular Locations, 1-on-1 Instruction at Your Level, Fully Insured and Permitted

Workshop Details

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.

 Stunning landscapes

Incredible Monsoon Drama

The monsoon typically comes to the Sierra in early July, bringing incredible clouds and sunsets to the area.

Monsoon Drama 

World Class Dark Night Skies

The monsoonal clouds frequently clear in the evening, giving way to crystal clear night skies.

World Class 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
  • Light-painting experiments
  • Shoot planning and how to be at the right place at the right time

Workshop Itinerary

Landscape scene with mountains in background

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.

Beautiful shot of sun peeking through trees

Weather Opportunities

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.