This workshop is SOLD OUT

We’re really excited to have sold out this workshop in less than 24 hours! However, cancellations are always possible so we’re opening up a waiting list. If you’re interested in being added to it, please email me ( and James ( We’ll confirm with you once you’ve been added.

Death Valley Map

Top Photo Spots map of Death Valley

Workshop Basics

  • Dates: January 16th-20th, 2015
  • Group Size: 6 Students Max
  • Tuition: $1899 (alumni discount available)

Death Valley is one of the most dramatic and diverse landscapes on Earth. Come join James Brandon and me for a 5-day Death Valley photo workshop that will cover the absolute best locations the park has to offer, as well as many hidden gems that we’ve found from our prior trips to this amazing place.

Death Valley is located in Eastern California’s Mojave Desert and is the lowest, driest, and hottest area in North America. However, in January the average temperature is only in the mid 60’s.

Death Valley’s Badwater Basin marks the point of the lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. This point is 84.6 miles (136.2 km) east-southeast of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet. Death Valley’s Furnace Creek holds the record for the highest reliably reported air temperature in the world, 134 °F (56.7 °C) on July 10, 1913. (source)

What You Will Learn

  • How to create landscape images that break the mold and stand out
  • How to capture stunning images in-camera with the use of filters and long exposures
  • How to nail your photos both in terms of sharpness as well as exposure
  • How to make your camera do what you want it to do, rather than just clicking the button
  • How to photograph the night sky and capture star trails (weather permitting)
  • How to compose light painted images at night using advanced techniques with flashlights, off camera flash, cell phone lights and more
  • Workflow techniques and principles using both Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. We’ll go over how we use Lightroom to organize our images and  will process images from start to finish in Photoshop using advanced techniques like in-depth layers, masking and luminosity channels
  • Workflow in other post processing suites such as Nik, onOne, and more.

What’s Included

  • Transportation during the workshop
  • In-the-field and post production instruction from James and Brian
  • Jeep Excursion To Racetrack Playa
  • Snacks and waters/drinks

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare (most will want to fly in to Las Vegas (KLAS)
  • Hotel accommodations (Furnace Creek)
  • Transportation to & from Death Valley (2 hour drive from KLAS)
  • Meals
  • Alcoholic beverages

Tentative Schedule

  • 03:00pm – Meet and Greet at Stovepipe Wells Lobby
  • 03:30pm – Depart for sunset at Badwater
  • TBD – Dinner

Optional Moonlit Mesquite Sand Dunes photography

  • 05:30am – Depart for sunrise at Cottonball Basin
  • 09:30am – 11:30am – Post Processing Workflow. James & Brian each process photos. Critique
  • 11:30am – Break for lunch
  • 01:00pm – Post processing, down time.
  • 04:00pm – Depart for sunset at Mesquite Sand Dunes
  • 04:05pm – Arrive at MSD.
  • 05:30pm – Sunset
  • 09:00pm – Dinner (possibly later, depending on shooting conditions)
  • 05:00am – Depart for sunrise at Zabriskie Point
  • 05:30am – Arrive at Zabriskie Point
  • 07:30am – Grab quick breakfast at Furnace Creek
  • 08:00am – Depart to Artist’s Palette
  • 11:00am – Lunch at Stovepipe Wells
  • 12:00pm – Depart to Racetrack Playa
  • 02:00pm – Shoot Ubehebe Crater
  • 04:00pm – Arrive at Racetrack Playa (dinner provided)
  • 05:30pm – Sunset
  • 12:00pm – Back to hotel (this time will change based on students desire to sleep or keep shooting)
  • 6:00am to Lunch – Nothing planned. We will all likely be spent from the previous days and will need rest before another long day. That being said, if some or all of the students are feeling like shooting, we will absolutely do sunrise somewhere.
  • 12:00pm – Lunch
  • 01:30pm – Processing, workflow and critiques
  • 04:00pm – Depart to Dante’s View
  • 05:30pm – Sunset
  • 07:00pm – Dinner (this one’s on us!)
  • 09:00pm – Depart to Rhyolite for astrophotography and light painting
  • 05:00am – Sunrise at Badwater Basin
  • 08:00am – Group breakfast and final group time to hangout and critique

Cancellation Policy

Hotel Info

We’ll be staying at Furnace Creek Ranch near Badwater Basin and many of the other top locations in the park.

About Your Instructors

About Brian

brianBrian Matiash is a published photographer and writer, as well as a lover of all things social media. He is a regular contributor to KelbyOne’s Photoshop User Magazine and Photoshop Elements Techniques magazine. He has been a featured speaker at the Google+ Photographers Conference and Photoshop World and his work has been featured as part of F-Stop Gear’s ‘Life In Focus’ video series as well as KelbyOne’s ‘The Grid’ and ‘Photoshop User TV’ programs. By day, Brian serves as Google’s Global Photos Products Evangelist, leveraging his knowledge of the photo industry and working with key influencers, partners, and consumers to bring awareness to the Google+ Photos products and platform.

You can follow me on Google+, Ello, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About James

mono_lake_2James Brandon has been a professional photographer and author for over 5 years and is based in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife Kristin and two children Isaac and Levi. He specializes in travel and landscape photography with a strong passion for teaching and photography education.

James is author of several ebooks, videos and other products that have reached tens of thousands of photographers around the world. He is a regular contributor to the photography education giant Digital Photography School and is a Master (one of the first three) for the Arcanum School of Photography created by Trey Ratcliff.

James has a website and blog that he updates regularly and is also very active on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Some of the Places We’ll Photographing