Once you are registered the fun begins. Once  you  have  secured  your  lodgingfor the week all  you  need  to  do  is  get  to  the  location.  You are responsible for transportation to and from the workshop as well as during  although  we will do some carpooling to cut down excess driving.  Workshops begin on Monday at noon and end on Friday at noon, four full days. Upon arrival there will  be an orientation from 1-3, which includes a brief history of landscape photography,  then a quick photo shoot,  , dinner, and early slumber. Be prepared to rise early each day for good morning light.  Grabbing coffee and bagels is the norm ! So are box lunches. But we remain flexible depending on the location and time of year. For evening meals we try to find the best restaurants in each area.  You will have daily assignments, as well as a weekly assignment. Each day will encompass instructor feedback and review. There will be one extended session on Thursday for developing a final class presentation on Friday before departing at noon. The workshops are designed for  all levels of photographers, however basic camera operation  is expected. A camera and lens are minimum equipment needs.  You  dont  have  to  have  a  lot  of  gear,  but  a  telephoto  and  wide  angle  lens  is  recommended.   Tripods are recommended, as well as a laptop, iPad , etc.  Group workshops are group efforts, so time and locations are prioritized according to  the group as a whole, although we remain flexible according  and  accommodating to specific  desires.  Be  prepared  for  changing  weather  including   rain,  snow,  cold,  heat.  Most  workshops  are designed  to  take  advantage  of the  best  weather  in  each   location,  which  is  why  Death  Valley  is  scheduled  late  winter rather  than  July!    But  even  during  ideal  seasons  weather  can  fluctuate  dramatically  from  morning  to  night ,   or  hour  to  hour.  The  main  emphasis  is  to  learn,  but  also  to  have  fun,  enjoy  the  great  outdoors,  and live  the  life  of  a  landscape  photographer  for  a  week!  Below  are  a  few  more  details  of  the  workshops



Guiding Philosphy

Guiding Philosphy

Guiding Philosphy


  • Picasso once said, “The fountainhead of creation is play”. This philosophy guides my photography and America West Workshops as well. We will gather for a week of fun in the great outdoors, learning our craft, meeting new photographers, capturing special landscapes, eating great food, talking shop, and exploring our motivations! The emphasis is on each participants growth according to his/her own  personal  goals.   

Creative Aspects

Guiding Philosphy

Guiding Philosphy


  •  How do I know what to photograph? Where to put the camera? What lens to use? Black and white or color? These are a few of the creative aspects we will cover. The main goal is to find your own creative path so that you may produce rewarding work. You will learn ways to   develop  yourself creatively.  This requires focus on specific aspects of each participants photography. You will define your goals for the workshop and will work towards gaining long term objectives.

Technical Aspects

Guiding Philosphy

Technical Aspects


  • Technically, the workshops are designed with digital media predominating the discussion.  If you use film, great . We can cover those technical aspects for you. Topics include understanding exposure control, white balance, the histogram, lens choice, and raw processing. How to how to achieve the best result, whether print, book, or web will be  covered by establishing your personal digital workflow. 

Gear Requirements

Physical Requirements

Technical Aspects


  • Obviously, a camera and lens is required. If that’s all you have, don‘t worry, you can get by marvelously with simple means! There  will be no loaner Cameras or lenses available. Recommended equipment would include: A wide angle lens, a telephoto lens, a tripod, possibly a polarizer, and a laptop computer of some sort for developing and showing your photographs. You can get by fine with these basics. Traveling with a lot of gear can be troublesome, so don’t feel the need to bring everything you own!   

Physical Requirements

Physical Requirements

Physical Requirements


  1. One should be in reasonably good health to attend a week long workshop, landscape photography is physical in nature. While we do work from our cars much of the time, hikes of from 1/2 mile to 2 miles are often normal. The terrain varies depending on the location, so a workshop in Pt Reyes will be much less physical than Zion, for instance.  Any   limitations  you  may  have   will be addressed, and locations modified for your particular needs. Because  we  are  in  a  group,  everyones  individual   abilities  are  considered ,  so  that  you  work  within  your  own  capacities.  

My Goals for You

Physical Requirements

Physical Requirements


  • Of course, my main goal is to get you out of the rat race and into nature for a week of liberating photography! The American West‘s landscape is awe inspiring and sure to lift anyone’s spirits! Specifically, I will  give you a solid technical foundation to build upon. But my main goal is to get you to think creatively, address what inspires you, and help you learn to take charge and create your own, unique, creative path.


Registration questions

Payment can be made in a number of ways.  You may pay through Pay Pal on the registration page, or directly to America West Workshops via check or money order. Don’t hesitate to call directly for more information.

Registrations are to be paid in full. Should you need to cancel a registration, you will receive a full refund if you cancel 60 days before the beginning workshop date, or you may transfer the fee towards another workshop. Cancellations between 59 and 31 days will be a 50% charge to cover loss of rooms. Cancellations inside 30 days will not be refunded. Please, contact me directly in these circumstances, as there may be people on the waiting list to take your place at no charge to you, and in some cases rooms can be cancelled inside 30 day windows. 



Who Should Attend This Workshop

American West Workshops  are appropriate for photographers of all levels. As each participant is individually treated as to goals, all skill levels are accepted. However, you should have a basic understanding of camera operation regarding such things as shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc. Beyond these fundamentals, the workshop experience will be helpful to all levels.

Weather and Clothing

Every workshop on the schedule is design to take advantage of the best seasonal times to visit a location. However, conditions can change rapidly  in the west. The best policy is to prepare for everything. Desert evenings can be cold, and November can bring snow. Layered clothing is the best policy. Warm outer garments, and several layers that can be shed as cold mornings warm later in the day provide the best solution. Hiking boots, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, etc are all recommended. I carry bug sprays and medical supplies on every workshop. 


One of the most common questions is: Howe much gear do I need ? The answer is simple. A camera and one lens and a laptop or i-pad will be sufficient. There is no need to go out and buy a lens if it is not in the budget. Above that, at least a short telephoto, and a wide angle lens, or mid range zoom is ideal. A tripod is also recommended but not necessary. Extra camera batteries, media cards, usually needed as well. You will be downloading your work to a computer so associated gear as necessary. You can keep it as simple as you like, and that will often let feel less burdened by weight when photographing. Because you will be working in the outdoors, conditions such as fog, rain, dust, sand, dirt, and snow  are often impediments to overcome. A plastic bag or two, UV filters, camera wipes, blowers, and lens cleaning fluid and cloth help you keep working when conditions try to interfere. Be prepared.

Guest, Spouse, Partener

Every participant has their own room. You may bring a guest, spouse, partner along at no extra charge as all rooms are double occupancy. Guests, spouses, partners are free to accompany us into  the field but cannot take part in any instruction. Check before registering if you have a pet requirement and we will see if you can be accommodated.


You are responsible for travel to and from the workshop, as well as during the workshop. However to conserve the environment and gas, we carpool to and from locations when possible.  Please contact American West Workshops for best airports and routes to your destination

Physical requirements

" I have one knee acting up, can I still attend?" Yes, but please disclose this when you arrive for the workshop. You should be in reasonably good health, but each persons ability is recognized and considered. You are not going to be made to hike or attempt to ascend climbs, etc beyond normal hiking. Much of the photography is close to cars, or hikes of moderate intensity. We are basically learning technique and seeing photographically, not testing our limits physically.  

terms and conditions


By attending a workshop you are accepting certain risks. Your application shall serve as release of our liability and a complete assumption of all risks by you and your heirs, administrator, executor, successors, and assign for all family members. Accepting our terms of service , acknowledges that you are aware that travel, whatever it may be, and by whatever means, involves some inherent risk of injury, illness, death, loss, or damage to personal property, which may be caused by acts of nature, negligence, or actions of others.

In consideration of, and as part of your payment for your participation in a program, workshop, excursion, expedition, other activities, or any program that American West Workshops, or their  assigns, may be conducting, you are voluntarily releasing American West Workshops, their employees, assigns, independent contractors, or anyone involved thereof, from any damages, liabilities, costs, injuries whether mental or physical, known or unknown,  and by participation you agree to assume all risks whether known or unknown.  You acknowledge voluntarily that by travel to areas that may be remote, mountainous or remote desert, and may not be maintained to the standards you are accustomed to and therefore may involve certain additional risks, dangers, and inconveniences including but not limited to forces of nature, wild animals, hotel accommodations, airplanes, vehicles, trains, boats, roads, walkways, trails, and other means of conveyance or unknown risks. You acknowledge that medical services and facilities may not be  readily available during all or part of the trip, including medical care, presence of physicians, and medication.  We assume no liability for  medical care. We assume no liability for dietary requirements you may have.

You must be at least 21 years of age  to attend one of our workshops

You also acknowledge that you understand that travel with a group invariably involves compromise to accommodate the diverse desires, goals, personalties, and physical abilities of all group members. You also accept that while itineraries are carefully planned.they are not a guaranteed schedule of activities, events, or participation, but only a guide and example. Group participants must allow for flexibility and changes deemed necessary by the program leader.  There may be situations beyond our control due to geographic, climatic, physical, or governmental restrictions that will cause further changes in timing, locations, and activities. Understanding this, you further agree that there will be no discounts or refunds for activities curtailed or otherwise affected by such circumstances.

You have assumed the responsibility to select an activity appropriate to your physical abilities and interest. You are personally responsible for being in sufficiently good health to undertake the activity. By accepting the terms of service, and by your registration fee, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical  or other considerations of disability that would create a risk for you or other participants.  Also, you authorize American West Workshops or its trip leader, to initiate and offer medical care in the event of a medical emergency. We reserve the right to request a doctors statement of good health.  If, after reasonable assessment of your physical abilities have been made, it is determined that your continued participation in the workshop would negatively affect the rest of the groups activities , you can be removed from the workshop.  Any expenses associated with you leaving the workshop are yours and yours alone.

You will be responsible for reviewing all pre-trip information, for bringing necessary photographic equipment, appropriate clothing, and for conforming to standards of dress and hygiene; for acting in a manner considerate of fellow participants, locations and environments, locations, and for following all national or state park rules and regulations if in designated areas.  We reserve the right to cancel any activity and to accept or reject any person as a member of any activity. The program, workshop, expedition, excursion, or the trip leader's judgement shall provide the ultimate determination of an individuals ability to participation, or continue to participate in, any activity or program.

You may receive promotional items from American West Workshops, such as articles of clothing, or photo accessories. There is no requirement to use these items, and you are solely responsible for their use and anything that may happen to you or your property while using these items.



You agree to have any claim, controversy, or dispute relating to the enforcement or interpretation of this document or arising or relating to your participation, registration, or attendance at an American West Workshop, submitted to binding arbitration under the rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitration shall take place in ??????? California. You do hereby waive your right to bring an action before a judge or jury in any court and you understand that you have given up your rights to discovery and appeal.  Any award rendered in any arbitration after agreeing to this provision, you may be compelled to arbitrate under the authority of the California Code of Civil Procedure. 


While America West Workshops will make every attempt to operate a trip once confirmed, we do reserve the right to cancel or change a trip at any time due to insufficient bookings and/or for reasons beyond our control that might create unsafe or undesirable travel conditions for the participants.  In such cases, a full and immediate refund will be issued. The financial liability of American West Workshops shall be limited to the amount paid to American West Workshops for the workshop only and shall not be extended to cover any other associated travel costs incurred ( e.g. non-refundable air tickets, visa fees if applicable, clothing, equipment, miscellaneous transportation costs, medical expenses, travel insurance premiums, etc.). Further , we reserve the right to refuse acceptance of any participant, for any reason, at any time. We are not responsible for any additional expenses incurred by such participants. 


We understand that attending our workshops requires advanced commitment, and also that things can happen in life that may force you to cancel a workshop. Based on the cancellation date the following apply :

1.Greater than 60 days from the workshop starting date: A full refund.

2. Less than 60 days from the start of the workshop : No refund

3. No matter when you cancel, if we can fill your space in the workshop, we will provide a full refund. 

4. Deposits  made for INDIVIDUAL  or TAILORED  workshops are not refundable.  

Note: At times, if you have to cancel within the 60 day window,  it may be possible to forward your workshop fee to an upcoming workshop. Please contact American West Workshops directly. We will always try to do our best to accommodate you.


We reserve the right to take photographs and/or videos during the operation of any workshop and to use the resulting photography in whole or in part for promotional purposes in electronic media. By registering for a workshop with American West Workshops, participants agree to allow their image to be used in such photography.  Participants who may wish to opt out of use of their photograph or likeness, may inform the workshop leader at the commencement of the workshop. Any participants desire to opt out of such use will be respected and adhered to.  We also reserve the right to publish electronically, any or all of any written reviews you may provide to us in our promotions on electronic media.  


Air transportation and related fees; meals, activities noted as optional in the itinerary, passport and visa expenses, baggage/accident/cancellation insurance, personal expenses, alcoholic beverages, state or national park entrance fees, transportation costs during the workshop.  


You are responsible for ensuring that you have proper travel documents and immunizations. You should check with the respective consulates or visa agencies to determine whether visas are required. Valid passports are required for international travel.  


Unless you are already covered under an existing policy, we recommend that you purchase travel insurance. Such insurance often provides coverage for losses suffered in the event of a trip cancellation and interruption, travel delay, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delay, medical emergencies, and accidental death or injury.

January 8, 2020






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American West

20110 Shannon Drive, Sonora, California 95370, United States

(650) 430-9167