- Instructor: Keith Walklet
- Dates: April 21-25, 2020
- Location: Yosemite National Park
- Focus: Field
- Level: Beginner to Intermediate
- Class Limit: 10
- Tuition: $1050.00
- Lodging: From tent cabins to four-diamond luxury, stay close to the action with lodging reservations inside Yosemite Park. Rooms
are reserved for participants up to 45 days prior to start of class.
Proximity to classes is highly recommended, sessions can run late in the
evening and field sessions can start very early.
Click here to view accommodation options.
- Workshop cancellation and refund policy
- See Additional Information tab for Workshop FAQ
Scheduled to take advantage of peak runoff of the park’s primary waterfalls and the emerging dogwood bloom, this five-day immersive workshop is an excellent introduction to both Yosemite and photographic technique. Keith S. Walklet’s comprehensive curriculum is designed to benefit photographers of all levels, providing a solid technical and creative foundation for novices while fine-tuning the artistic vision of more experienced participants. With the spectacular landscape of Yosemite Valley for inspiration, the instructor will emphasize how to identify potential images, distill the composition to its essential elements and to move beyond basic documentation into the realm of personal expression.
While each season offers its own special qualities, veteran Yosemite photographers, like instructor Keith S. Walklet, know that dynamic winter conditions add even more beauty to the park’s spectacular landscape. Contrasted with the cool hues of frost and snow, the fiery light of February is unforgettable. This workshop was scheduled to take advantage of these conditions and the potential to capture one of the park’s most elusive images; Horsetail Fall backlit by the setting sun.
KEITH S. WALKLET lived and worked in Yosemite for 14 years. Widely published, his credits include Audubon, National Geographic and Sierra Club books. He is the author and photographer of Yosemite: An Enduring Treasure (2001), and The Ahwahnee: Yosemite’s Grand Hotel (2004) and collaborated with four other photographers to produce, First Light (2009).
What to Bring:
Weather in Yosemite Valley in late April and early May can run the gamut. While sunny days in the seventies are possible, so is snow. In Yosemite Valley, it is not unusual to get six inches of snow, and have it melt in a couple of hours when the sun comes out. It can be cold. It can be sloppy. But take heart! Some of the finest photographs are made when conditions are challenging. Come prepared for a full spectrum of experiences and you increase your chances for capturing that “special image.”Mountain residents live by the strategy of “layering” clothing. As temperatures increase or decrease, a layer is shed or added to maintain comfort. Mornings will be chilly, usually with frost, and a warm hat, gloves (fingerless or finger-mitts are an advantage) and comfortable waterproof pants and footwear can be the difference between happiness and misery, success and failure. The conditions should not distract or inhibit your creativity. They should excite you! That means your packing list should include warm, waterproof boots, long-underwear, waterproof over-pants, layers of fleece and a waterproof shell, fleece hat, a fleece scarf and fleece (fingermitt) gloves. Unlike down, fleece maintains its loft and insulating properties when wet. Did I mention that I like fleece?
1. Camera gear; 35 mm and medium format film and digital cameras are welcome. The pace at which we move is not ideal for larger formats. You can bring that gear for before and after the class, but you may find things move too quickly during normal field sessions.
2. Tripod; a key tool to successful images
3. Extra camera batteries
4. Image media; digital storage cards and a selection of color slide and print film are all available in Yosemite The Ansel Adams Gallery, but you may want to check ahead to see
if they carry your favorite. To ensure you have what you want, bring it with you and bring extra. Folks often ask me, “how much digital media do I need?” It depends on the pace at which you make images, the size of your image sensor, and what sort of back-up option you have. We take breaks during the day that permit one to offload digital media to other
devices and charge batteries, but it seems that about 8gb is a good number of temporary storage to serve most people for our field sessions with no worry about running out of
5. Optional filters: For everyone, a polarizer, 1- and 2-stop (.3 and .6) Graduated Neutral Density are useful (make sure to read my FAQ!). For film users, add an 81A or
81B “warming” filters as well.
6. Students are encouraged to bring up to ten prints, digital images, or slides to share which we review as a group during indoor sessions. We will also have the ability to review work
made earlier in the day with my laptop and video projector.
7. Day pack and/or fanny pack for carrying camera gear.
8. Lunch and water each day (To maximize field time, we typically order lunch ahead of time from the deli and pick it up before the noon crunch).
9. Clothing for cool and warm weather conditions, including rain gear. Rain coats or ponchos, rain paints (even if it isn’t raining, you do kneel down in the cold, damp stuff) even umbrellas, and plastic bags for your camera. (A more detailed list follows.)
10. Comfortable walking shoes for when conditions are clear, (though waterproof still helps since the edges of meadows and some of the trails can be damp).
11. For “sloppy” conditions (as in a fresh snowfall) warm, calf-high boots are helpful. I have a pair of Sorels with leather uppers and rubber bottoms that date to when I worked in the
park. All the employees got them for winter work.
The Photographers Guide to Yosemite by Michael Frye
Mountain Light by Galen Rowell
John Shaw’s Landscape Photography
Understanding Photography by Carl Shipman
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
Yosemite, An Enduring Treasure by Keith S. Walklet
Yosemite, A Promise of Wildness by William Neill
Ansel Adams Letters and Images
The Yosemite by John Muir
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
Supplemental Clothing List
I often say that it is difficult to concentrate on making photographs if you are not comfortable.
Proper clothing goes a long way to make photography a pleasant experience. Photographers
and backpackers have a lot in common. The following list is a partial list of clothing and
accessories that both find useful.
extra socks (in case one pair gets wet)
long-sleeved thermal turtleneck zip up
Polartec inner layer pants
Polartec inner layer top
Polartec fleece outer jacket
gloves (Fingermitts are handy for photography)