Spring in Death Valley National Park

5-Day Workshop with David Muench and Jerry Dodrill

Photograph Death Valley as it comes to life!

Death Valley is a land of startling and beautiful contrasts that make it a landscape photographer's dream. From snow-covered Telescope peak to wind-sculpted sand dunes, volcanic landscapes, striated canyons and other-worldly below-sea level salt crystal formations, the valley is a unique geological gem. But in early spring, the contrasts are further heightened by blooming desert wildflowers, the possible return of Lake Manly to the valley floor, and spring greenery at the higher elevations. Daytime temperatures are comfortably warm, and evenings are cool.

As their portfolios show, master landscape photographers David Muench and Jerry Dodrill are drawn to desert landscapes, and Death Valley is no exception. They know Death Valley intimately, and will serve as excellent guides for our sunrise and sunset field sessions to a variety of prime locations, such as Zabriskie Point, Dante's View and other locations throughout the park.

Beautiful desert scenes enhanced by sunrise and sunset light will guide the group through working with the big scene, as well as the delicate details intuitively found. David's emphasis is on seeing with light, both color and black/white. The group will take quick advantage of any unusual storm moods that present themselves. The group will work with wide angle lenses for spacious landscape; telephoto lenses for those more distant abstracts. Bring a macro lens for flower close-ups especially if it has been a good rain year.

This workshop is based out of Stovepipe Wells, and held entirely on location in Death Valley National Park. This workshop features eight field sessions and some critique sessions of participant photographs made during the workshop. Discussions will focus on photographing desert light and intuitive approaches; previsualizing, capturing a timeless moment; improving compositions, and mastering digital workflow. Mountain Light strives to provide a passionate, upbeat learning environment where participants feel energized and engaged. Participants will hone their photographic vision, compositions and techniques during quality time in the field and in the classroom with David and Jerry. Both instructors possess an intimate knowledge of the area and share a vast wealth of knowledge when it comes to getting the most from ever-changing landscapes.

All Mountain Light workshops require participants to have a working knowledge of their cameras and the basics of exposure. Image processing techniques are demonstrated in the classroom using Adobe® Lightroom and Photoshop, and those who wish to follow along are encouraged to bring laptops equipped with digital imaging software.

Small group size ensures that every participant has ample opportunity to ask questions, photograph alongside David & Jerry in the field, and discuss the exciting world of nature photography with fellow enthusiasts. Our group meals provide an informal setting to socialize and address specific interests that may not be covered during lectures and classroom discussion. We have a block of rooms reserved at Stovepipe Wells for workshop participants. To ensure you get the Mountain Light Group discount you must contact the hotel directly by phone at 760-786-2387 or by email at groups@deathvalleylodgingco.com and reference Group Booking Code: ML17.

With limited enrollment, expect these workshops to fill up quickly. Please contact us promptly to reserve your space. A deposit of 50% is required at time of booking to reserve space, with balance due 60 days prior to workshop start date.

To enroll in this workshop, call us at (760) 873-7700 or click the 'Enroll Now' button at the upper right.

Mountain Light is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service

About Instructor David Muench

Photo (c) David MuenchMaverick and innovator in landscape photography, David Muench's greatest teacher has been nature itself. In turn, he has been the inspiration for many photographers. "Underlying my need of expression of a spirit of the land are certain patterns of discovery and exploration. Intense creative awareness, along with patience in waiting for dramatic forms of sun and shadow, unusual light or a decisive moment of mood, challenge my mind's eye toward achieving what I like to call a timeless moment. For me, making photographs is a total and continuing involvement. I hope my work leads to a celebration of humankind and the earth – and the mystical forces of nature that help to shape our destinies."

David Muench has published over 50 exhibit format books including most recently, National Parks of America and Windstone. His photographs have been included in many others as well. Recent museum exhibits include the a Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 2001, and exhibits sponsored by Arizona Highways in 2000 at the Phoenix Art Museum, the Center for Creative Photography and the Museum of Northern Arizona, with photographers Ansel Adams and Jack Dykinga. Mountain Light Gallery displayed a selection of David's best work from the Eastern Sierra Nevada, including the ancient bristlecone pines in the White Mountains. Reed Photo Art of Denver displayed a selection of David's work from the Rocky Mountains in autumn 2007.

Photo (c) David MuenchHis sensitivity and determination to champion the strength and beauty of the American landscape, and his dedication to the preservation of its wildness, has put him in the pantheon of the great landscape photographers. His formal schooling includes the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York; the University of California at Santa Barbara and the Art Center School of Design, Los Angeles, California. A member of North American Nature Photographers Association and the American Society of Magazine Photographers, Muench lives in Corrales, New Mexico with his wife, writer Ruth Rudner.

For more about David Muench, please visit:    www.DavidMuenchPhotography.com

About Instructor Jerry Dodrill

Photo (c) Jerry DodrillIt was clear early on that Jerry Dodrill was not cut out for a desk job. His career as an adventure and landscape photographer has fostered a lifestyle that the average person might call unconventional. An avid climber of twenty years, he feels equally at home in a rocky bivouac or a soft bed. In college he dropped pre-med classes in favor of fine art and spent weekends scaling Yosemite's granite walls. Photography was at first a by-product of many adventures, but quickly became a goal of its own as he captured each experience with a concise aesthetic and spiritual light quality that reveals a sense of inspiration and captures the imagination.

Jerry's adventures have led around the globe. He has climbed all the major walls in Yosemite Valley, at crags across the West, close to a hundred summits in the Sierra, and peaks in Bolivia, Argentina and China. Full embrace of the many disciplines of climbing have led to many adventures and tales best told late at night around a raging campfire.

Photo (c) Jerry DodrillIn 1997 Jerry achieved degrees in both fine art and photography at Pacific Union College (Napa Valley) then worked under acclaimed photographer Galen Rowell in Berkeley. He was soon managing Galen's gallery and workshops, an amazing experience (akin to a photographers bootcamp), but spending way too much time in the office. After several years he left to pursue his own projects.

Jerry's dedication has not gone unnoticed. He has won several international awards and has been exhibited in fine galleries such as the Ansel Adams, Mountain Light, Mumm Napa Valley, and Banff Center for Mountain Culture. His clients include The North Face, Vanity Fair, Sunset, Men's Journal, Outside, Alpinist, Rock & Ice, and Climbing magazines. His work has been featured in many ad campaigns, books, and publications and is represented by Aurora Photos. After running a gallery on California's North Coast for the past five years, he now resides in the Sonoma County town of Sebastopol, California.

For more about Jerry Dodrill, please visit:    JerryDodrill.PhotoShelter.com

1. What's included: Mountain Light's internationally renowned workshop program features world-class photographer and instructors with additional support by our knowledgeable staff, a small group size to insure all participants the time and attention needed, and are centered in locations hailed for their pristine beauty and scenic diversity. Most meals are included as an integral part of our workshop experience, as group meals afford you the opportunity learn from fellow participants and the instructor and staff. Transportation to, from and during the workshop is not included. We suggest carpooling to and from field shoots, a great way to get to know fellow students and the instructors! Lodging is not included in the workshop price, though Mountain Light staff can offer suggestions for area lodging ranging from campsites to RV parks, motels and fine hotels.

2. As a gesture of thanks for your participation in our workshop program, Mountain Light is pleased to offer a 10% discount on workshop fees to those who have taken a Mountain Light workshop in the past. New participants who simultaneously enroll in two or more workshops are also eligible for 10% off each session! We also offer a 10% discount to full-time students, full-time art or photography teachers, and members of the North American Nature Photographers' Association (NANPA). Note: These discounts are not cumulative. The maximum available discount on any workshop is 10%. International workshops and certain special sessions may be excluded.

3. A note on camera formats and critiques: Mountain Light instructors are skilled with both digital and film photography, and are happy to work with participants using either medium. However, film will not be processed during the workshop so participants using film exclusively will be unable to have their field work critiqued. That said, we encourage the participation of photographers working with film cameras so long as they are content to accept this limitation. One solution is to shoot some digital alongside the film work, and we welcome film users to bring ten 35mm slides, digital scans or a print portfolio of existing work for critique.

Contact Us

Mountain Light Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm (U.S. Pacific).
The Image Licensing Department is open Monday through Friday 10am to 5pm (U.S. Pacific).