Workshop: Elusive Big Sur Majesty

Current Stock:
April 13, 2018 - 2:00pm to Aprul 15, 2018 - 1:00pm

What You Will Learn:

Most folks know Vern as a Sierra Nevada photographer, but for many years he has also been exploring and shooting the Big Sur Coastline. With his vast knowledge of the best light, he will take you to his favorite locations along a coast that many describe as the most beautiful meeting of land and sea in the world. This workshop includes extensive shooting along this breathtaking Coastline, lectures, and comprehensive Lightroom work on your captures throughout the weekend!

Vern Clevenger Big Sur WorkshopBetween Friday evening and Sunday morning, we will visit five special shooting locations, each having been carefully selected by Vern and his assistant, during the days leading up to the workshop. He will have considered weather conditions, flower bloom, and tidal charts in determining the best locations. A sampling of possibilities are Garrappta State Park, the Rocky Point area, Little Sur River, Bixby Bridge, Pfeiffer Beach, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

We meet Friday at 2:00, when Vern will check your gear, answer questions, talk about using your cameras/tripods in an ocean setting, and provide other advance coaching. Each of you will have received part of the syllabus containing key concepts about digital photography. There will be ample time Friday afternoon for a portfolio review and critique of previous student work. With cameras/tripods ready and questions answered, our first shoot will be Friday sunset along the amazing Big Sur Coastline.

Vern Clevenger Big Sur WorkshopWe hope to greet the Milky Way early Saturday with a shooting session and then gather for Vern's lecture exploring the key concept of his 35 year-long career, that “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” How does one explore the "Visionary Wilderness" of photography to realize this? And then how is that "inner vision" manifested. We will critique our Friday evening and Saturday morning shooting sessions and learn the use of Lightroom CC, until the magic hours of photography beckon. The pattern repeats itself Sunday morning. A New Moon on April 15 (the 13th and 14th will work fine) should provide for excellent nighttime shooting conditions during this workshop. Once you've all had a chance to get together, Vern will assess group interest in having this as an option.

All Lightroom work will be done under Vern's supervision with the intention that each student will leave the workshop with satisfying printable images.

Workshop Details:

Level: All levels of experience. Our small class size allows personalized instruction.

Max Students: 8

Focus: Classroom instruction, up to five shooting sessions in the field, critique sessions. Lightroom CC - learn the secret techniques that Vern uses to produce his own prints.

Effort: Some hiking - the longest being 2.5 miles at high elevation of 10,000 feet.

Location: Meet at the Carmel Mission Inn. Vern will select/guide 5 shooting locations.

Equipment: Entry level DSLR or equivalent is more than enough, sturdy tripod, variety of lenses (A complete equipment list will be sent out upon registration)

Included: Light breakfast daily; hearty lunch Saturday; hot and cold beverages/snacks throughout.

Not Included: Lodging (The Carmel Mission Inn, Best Western, Motel 6), transportation to and from Carmel, alcoholic beverages, dinners, anything not specifically listed as included.

Questions: Call 760-934-5100 or email

Workshop Requirements: Basic photography experience. Come ready to learn and have fun!!!

Vern Clevenger Big Sur Workshop

Workshop Schedule:

  • Purchase of this course includes a syllabus containing course details and key concepts about digital photography. You will get the most out of this course by reading it prior to the workshop.
  • When we meet on the first day we will check your gear, answer questions, and go over equipment basics.
  • With cameras/tripods ready and questions answered, our first morning of Friday at a special selected near Carmel.  Then we gather for Vern's lecture exploring the key concept of his 40 year career embodied by the Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Then we will move on to exploring the "Visionary Wilderness" of photography as espoused by Galen Rowell. We will teach you to use your "right brain" to manifest your "inner vision." 
  • After lunch we will regroup at the gallery to load your images in Lightroom CC. This will give us the opportunity to critique your work and find your experience level with Lightroom. Less experienced students will receive more guidance while more experienced students can move at their own pace.
  • When the magic hours of photography again beckon, we will rely on Vern's intimate knowledge of the area to find the best places to capture afternoon images.
  • The pattern repeats itself on Saturday with more photography and visits to Vern's most select and more Lightroom.
  • Sunday morning we will visit breathtaking locations using our new skills to capture your treasured autumn photographs. If the weather is good, we will visit a "Piece de Résistance" location. All Lightroom CC work will supervised so that each student will leave the workshop with satisfying and memorable images.

 Workshop Map:
Click on the pins to learn more about each location.