282 Feet below sea level

One of the most mesmerizing places in America, Death Valley draws you in, draws you back, and draws on the photographers ability to organize the vastness of its landscape into a memorable photograph. Situated in the northern part of the Mojave Desert, it claims the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level, and the hottest recorded air temperature on earth at 134.1 degrees, July 10th, 1913, at Furnace Creek Ranch.  Needless to say, you can understand why we undertake Death Valley Workshops early in the year! 

The challenge of photographing Death Valley lies in the photographers ability to visualize what is there when it appears nothing is there !  And that in itself warrants its location to improve your photography.  One must accept what lies before you and give it significance.  Its vast open spaces, unbroken by trees, vegetation, rivers ,or streams, provide the perfect environment to practice and improve your craft.   Its seeming lack of color trains the eye to the subtleties of natures palette, muted, but distinctly exposing raw earthen elements.  The light is everywhere, From morning to night you will become acutely aware of the light as it illuminates the deserts geology, the sand dunes of Mesquite, the crater of Ubehebe. 

I have photographed here for many years. Each time I visit I learn to relax, to live the desert experience, to accept it on its own terms.  I think it is a place where everything it stripped of life in a way, revealing a beauty defined by the nature of things in its most honest state.  Maybe that is the lure, the challenge, the reason why photographers return here again and again..

We will visit such locations as Dante's View, Zabriskie point, Badater, Mesquite Dunes, Artists Palette, Golden Canyon, and Ubehebe Crater. You will experience various locations in both morning and evening light to learn how light shapes the photograph through form, texture, and color.

Accommodations will be at the newly renovated Furnace Creek Ranch, one of Death Valley's few oasis's. which houses an excellent restaurant, gift shop, and upscale grocery. Nearby is the posh Furnace Creek Inn which affords an alternate restaurant of great quality.


Click the link below to register via Pay Pal, credit, or debit card. Registration can also be made via check directly to America West Workshops.  Contact  me via the e-mail below for more information.

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We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.

American West Workshops

20110 Shannon Dr, Sonora, California 95370, United States

(650) 430-9167


Open today

09:00 am – 05:00 pm