I am very excited to announce a photography workshop in Death Valley National Park, California, hosted by Christopher Blake and Aaron Bieber (that’s me!), to take place in April of 2008.

This will be a thrilling four-day workshop in Death Valley open to photographers of all skill levels. We’ll spend four days and nights making photographs from before sunrise until well into the night. Aaron and Chris will serve as your guides to aesthetic approach and technical application as you explore some of these breathtaking Death Valley locations:

  • Badwater
  • Artist’s Palette
  • Dante’s View
  • Stovepipe Well Dunes
  • Eureka Dunes
  • Golden Canyon
  • Devil’s Golf Course
  • The Alabama Hills
  • and more!

There will be a strong focus on night photography including work with light painting and star trails. This workshop is designed to coincide with the new moon, giving us nights filled with stars. If you have never done photography at night before, or if you want to get better at it, this is the right workshop for you. Between the two of us we have 12 years of experience making wonderful images at night.

This workshop gives you the opportunity to photograph a famous and unique location with two professional photographers who will help you get the most out of every hour and out of every exposure.

Who should attend this workshop?

Anyone who wants to advance their photography skills and get the absolute most out of a trip to Death Valley. In a limited amount of time we’ll bring you to the best locations at the best times and work with you both in the field and in front of the computer to help you get great results.


Here’s the plan.

Friday April 4th


We will meet in the afternoon (you’ll be emailed the exact time and place to meet at least two weeks prior to the workshop). Each participant will receive a workshop package including information and equipment (listed below). We will then have introductions, get to know one another, and get a feel for what each of you hope to accomplish during the workshop. We will set out in the early evening to photograph sunset and then do an introduction to night photography.

Saturday April 5th - Monday April 7th

Each day of the workshop will be broken up into three sessions, described here:

Session 1 - Dawn

We’ll meet in an agreed upon location and set out to photograph dawn, then return to the inn for breakfast.

Session 2 - Late morning

After breakfast we’ll get together to review the work we’ve done so far, go over any questions, and plan shooting locations for the remainder of the day. Participants who shoot digital and have a laptop with them are welcome to share their work with the group. Chris and Aaron will be available to do one-on-one critiques and offer guidance.

There are a few locations that can be effective during morning and afternoon sun, such as Golden Canyon, so we may opt to explore one of those locations together during the day. If you wish to explore on your own, you are welcome to.

Session 3 - Sunset


We will travel to our chosen location to photograph sunset. After night falls, we will commence night photography sessions. It is not unusual for the ambitious in the group to photograph well into the night.

Note: Some of you may not want to join us for the next sunrise session. You can meet us at breakfast, normally around 9-9:30 AM.

Since the conditions in Death Valley change from day to day, it’s impossible to predict the perfect location for each session. Both Chris and Aaron have a good deal of experience with Death Valley and will plan our locations to best fit the changing conditions. Our first priority is making great photographs, no matter what the circumstances.

Though we will be photographing locations as a group, each will offer the opportunity to spread out across a large area. Two-way radios can come in handy, so we’re going to give you one. It’s an effective method for the group to communicate across distances of a mile or more, and we’ll also use the radios to communicate between vehicles while traveling to each location.


The cost of this once-in-a-lifetime experience is only $1,199 and is open to photographers of all skill levels. To register, please “send us an email”:mailto:dvworkshop@fisheyegallery.com. We accept all major credit cards as well as personal checks. After you contact us, we’ll mail you our registration package. Workshops are filled on a first-come first-served basis, so don’t miss out!

Workshop fees are refundable up to 60 days before the workshop, less 10% for processing fees. Within 60 days of the workshop a refund is not possible.

Please feel free to e-mail us with any questions.

This workshop will have a maximum of ten participants. Sorry, but no guests are permitted to tag along. We find that the group is most focused and productive when we are all actively photographing, and we don’t want to dilute the experience for any of our attendees.

Important Notes

  • This is not an all-inclusive trip and as such does not include transportation, food, or lodging. Your registration package will contain a thorough list of available hotels and campgrounds as well as our advice on staying in Death Valley.
  • Though meal cost is not included, we’ll eat at the same time each day and you may wish to join us, or feel free to go out on your own during this time.
  • Your registration package will also include detailed information on the trip as well as a very basic questionnaire that we use to tailor the workshop for you.
  • We will not be taking any long hikes, but some hiking will be required. This is not a stressful amount of exercise by any means, but you should be in decent physical shape and able to navigate the irregular desert terrain.


You’ll need some things on this trip…

What you should bring


Although this workshop is open to all skill levels, you should have at least a 35mm SLR (digital or film) camera and a tripod. You should also have a basic understanding of how your camera works. We would be glad to help you get the most out of your equipment while on the workshop, but it won’t be a fundamental course, so be sure you are familiar with the basics.

If you want to brush up or review, you may want to read these articles (posted here):

And also these assorted articles from Earthbound Light Photography:

If you are interested in advice on what to bring (or what to buy), you can “email Chris”:mailto:cblake@curiouslens.com. He has a lot of equipment experience and would be happy to share it with you.

The weather in Death Valley can go from very warm to very cold. You should pack accordingly, keeping in mind that in windy conditions before dawn and after the sun goes down it can feel very cold.

What we will give you

As part of the workshop experience, we will provide you with a few essential items that we have found to be indispensable on these trips. The Death Valley Workshop package includes a GMRS(General Mobile Radio Service) (family band) two-way radio with several-mile range; a bright xenon flashlight for light painting and general navigation; a rugged, waterproof National Geographic map of the park that we will refer to often; and lots of information about the art and science of photographing on location and specifically in Death Valley. All of these items are, of course, yours to keep.

Who are you?

Here’s a little about us and why you’re going to love to learn and explore with us in Death Valley.

Christopher Blake

I am a fine art travel photographer living in the Boston area. I have worked exclusively with digital cameras for the past six years, focusing on traditional fine art landscapes, HDR (high dynamic range), and night photography. I have an extensive background in information technology and I leverage that knowledge to get the most out of my photographs. I am excited to share my experience in travel photography with you in Death Valley!

View Chris’s gallery, The Curious Lens

Aaron Bieber

I am an illustrator, photographer, web and graphic designer living and working on the scenic Connecticut coast (I am also the author of this blog). Though I have been very serious about photography for many years, I come from a traditional art background and I have written at length on the topics of photography as an art form and the techniques and practices unique to photography as a medium for artistic expression. My main interests in photography are geometric abstractions and exploring the invisible world as can only be seen through the lens of a camera.

With over ten years of Photoshop experience and as an outspoken fan of Photoshop Lightroom, I do my best work in post-production. I look forward to helping you make the most of a very unique experience during this workshop!

View Aaron’s gallery, Fisheye Multimedia Galleries

Ready to Register?

Just send an e-mail to “Death Valley Workshop registration”:mailto:dvworkshop@fisheyegallery.com and let us know!