Workshop: Private Photography Intensive

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What You Will Learn:

Private workshops are a wonderful experience.
Vern has led trips to the Alabama Hills, Yosemite, Big Sur and to his favorite canyons of the Eastern Sierra. These days offer a unique opportunity for students to take a class tailored to their individual skill level and interests. Attendees can learn as much during a single day of one-on-one instruction as they can during two or three days of a group workshop. Bring up to three friends, and have up to a ten hour day for four.

Many students want a guide to the best locations in the Eastern Sierra. Having lived and photographed this region for forty years, Vern has the ultimate knowledge of the best locations, the best light, and the perfect timing to capture the unique magic of every moment.

Although private workshops generally run from sunrise to sunset, the schedule is not designed for a group; attendees can tailor the day to their needs. A typical day begins with time shooting around sunrise, moves to a midday-review exploring images with Lightroom CC, and concludes with photographing the magic hour and into the "blue light" of evening. Nighttime shooting is always an option. Some topics and techniques that can be covered include “mindful” composition, easy methods of achieving depth of field, and methods to correctly expose each capture. And remember that Vern always teaches and favors the simplest possible approach when shooting.

Vern is based in Mammoth. These workshops are available in the Eastern Sierra and Yosemite, the Owens Valley, and Big Sur; however, other locations can be arranged. Year-round air service is offered from Los Angeles to Mammoth Lakes (a 45-minute flight), and seasonal from San Francisco, San Diego, and Las Vegas. Overnight accommodations are always available in Mammoth, an advantage difficult to find in areas like Yosemite Valley.

Wherever your interests lie, from mindfully pre-visualizing your captures, to thinking digitally, and to learning simple camera techniques and Lightroom CC, these workshops offer private instruction and will impart a deeper understanding of the art of photography.

Workshop Details:

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

Max Students: 4

Focus: These are focused on the students needs. Vern will ask for a specific list of questions for each client.

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

Location: Meet at Mammoth Lakes Gallery. Locations from Rock Creek, Convict, McGee, Lee Vining, Lundy, and Bishop Creek Canyons.

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 daily; hot and cold beverages/snacks throughout.

Not Included: Lodging (The Westin, Best Western, Motel 6), transportation to and from Mammoth, 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!!!


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 Mammoth.  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.
  • 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.