Death Valley, California – Beginners Workshop

Death Valley National Park is a national park in the United States. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, located east of the Sierra Nevada, it occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts in the United States. The park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve.

Approximately 95% of the park is a designated wilderness area. It is the hottest and driest of the national parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment.

Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor of much wetter times.





Moshe Levis


7 Guests


Beginners and amateur photographers


Signed waiver, Moderate level of health fitness, Hiking boots, Clothing for cold nights/days and Clothing for warm nights/days


Friday – Sunday:
Twi – 4:59 am
Sunrise – 5:29 am
Sunset – 8:04 pm
Moonrise – 8:15 pm
Moonset – 5:51 am


+ 3 day trip to Death Valley, California
+ 2 night-stay at camp grounds, in tents
+ Pickup from Los Angeles
+ Complimentary Food
+ Complimentary Drinks
+ Complimentary thermos bottle
+ Complimentary Photoshop & Lightroom subscription
+ Complimentary NOTINDOOR Magazine subscription for
+ Walkie talkies for the duration of the trip
+ Complimentary notebook to take notes
+ Complimentary pen
+ Showcase your best shot in our magazine
+ One complimentary 13″ x 19″ print
+ Short video from the trip


– Clothing
– Insurance
– Photography Equipment
– Laptops


The drive to Death Valley is about 5.5 hours with a stop or two.

Day 1: Locations

We start our trip to Death Valley from Los Angeles. We’ll pick you up with a 4x4, 8 seat, Chevrolet Suburban at a location closest to everyone in the group. We’ll drive along the 14 and 190 towards Death Valley and have a short stop to grab some breakfast.

After breakfast we’ll keep driving until we get to our first stop, Mesquite Sand Dunes. This is where our workshop begins.

We then proceed to check in at the camp ground to pitch our big and comfortable tents. We’ll stay there for 2 nights.  After setting up our ground we’ll have time to relax if needed and head over towards Badwater Basin and the Golden Canyon for sunset to continue the workshop.

After shooting we’ll head back over to our tents and do some photo editing together.

Day 1: Lessons

In the first lesson we’ll learn how to operate your camera and get to settings you may never tried before. We’ll stay on Auto mode to focus more about framing your picture and what decisions you may want to make to get the best images from the environment you’re at.

On location (at Mesquite Dunes) we’ll touch topics such as: The viewfinder, Techniques for stability, White balance, Auto focus and Manual focus, Focusing modes, When to use your live view, What lens(es) to use, Composition.

On location (at Golden Canyon Trail) we’ll start touching different shooting modes: Shutter Priority (Tv or S), Aperture Priority (Av ot A) and Program (P), continious shots, single shots, self timer etc.

On location (at sunset) we’ll learn how to take photos for HDR images.

At the tents we’ll touch topics such as: Buttons and dials, Basic menus & settings, Manual mode, Basics of photo editing.

Day 2: Locations

The next morning we’ll be up very early to go get sunrise photos of a location we all agree on (Golden Canyon, Badwater Basin or Zabriskie Point)

From there we’ll head out to Racetrack Playa for some creative photography of “racing” rocks. We’ll set up camp a couple miles from there and then head over to Eureka Sand Dunes (the humming dunes) for sunset.

After photographing the dunes we’ll go back to Racetrack Playa to our tents to relax and do some more photo editing.

Day 2: Lessons

In the second lesson we’ll learn how to completely get out of auto modes and only use the Manual mode. You may get some really bad images at first haha but no worries. You’ll get the hang of it and get better quickly.

On location (Racetrack Playa) we’ll touch topics such as:

  • ISO
  • Light Compensation
  • Ev Compensation
  • Depth of field

On location (at sunset) we’ll learn how to take photos for HDR images in Manual mode.

On location (at night) we’ll learn what settings are best for what purposes.

At the tents we’ll do more photo editing.

Day 3:

We will finish our workshop by visiting Mesquite Dunes for some great sunrise photos.

You’ll have an assignment to conclude what you’ve learned and show you how you improved. A lot!

After your assignment is done, we’ll head back to Los Angeles.


This workshop trip is light with no extreme hiking trails. We’ll mainly stay on flat surfaces.


Please contact the office by email with questions relating to this tour.
At Zabriskie Point
At Mesquite Sunes
Cloudy sunrise at Badwater Basin
Abandoned Trailer at the Ghost Town
Photographers at Zabriskie Point
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