From Milky Way to Stair Trails: Photographing Nightscapes in Yosemite
Instructor: Kirk Keeler
2023 Dates: September 5-9
Focus: Field and Digital Darkroom
Join Kirk Keeler in this 5-day workshop designed to get you to the right place, at the right time, so you can capture your stunning nightscapes of Yosemite. Enjoy learning from an excellent local instructor who delights in teaching, while gaining an inside perspective on the Valley's wonders.
Join us for a 5 day photographic workshop; From Milk Way to Stair Trails: Photographing Nightscapes in Yosemite. With little light pollution and access roads that lead to the high prominences of bare granite, Yosemite National Park boasts some of the best locations in the world to photograph at night. With a decade of night photography knowledge and experience in this national park gem, Kirk Keeler will get you to the right place, at the right time, so you can capture your stunning nightscapes of Yosemite. From the Milky Way, to Star Trials, and Stars As Points Of Light above Yosemite Icons, you will come away with an extraordinary and varied array of night images from your week out amongst the stars.
FALL 2023 – September 5 - 9
COVID WORKSHOP PRECAUTIONS:
The Ansel Adams Gallery has modified our workshops to be functional in a Covid-19 environment and has reduced class sizes to protect participants and staff. With new Covid-19 Variants continuing to arise, we are making it our main priority for a safe environment for all of our workshop participants. Our workshop room is fully equipped with an air filtration system. Please see our current COVID-19 policy
The Gallery will provide the following:
COVID-19 rapid test upon arrival
The Ansel Adams Gallery will require all attendees to show proof of current Covid-19 Vaccination prior to the first day of the workshop. Furthermore, the presentation of a negative result Covid-19 Rapid Test will be required after travel to Yosemite and prior to entry into the first day of the workshop. A Covid-19 Rapid Test Kit will be included in your welcome package available at check in at the Yosemite Valley Lodge. Please let us know if you have chosen different accommodations.
Since the of beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Yosemite has been experiencing limited food services in the Valley. We suggest bringing breakfast and snack food. The Valley does have a small grocery store, but the selection is limited especially for specialty food items.
|From Milk Way to Stair Trails|
|Instructor .||Kirk Keeler
|Focus||Field and Digital Darkroom|
|Level||Intermediate to Advanced .|
With little light pollution and access roads that lead to the high prominences of bare granite, Yosemite National Park boasts some of the best locations in the world to photograph at night. With a decade of night photography knowledge and experience in this national park gem, Kirk Keeler will get you to the right place, at the right time, so you can capture your stunning nightscapes of Yosemite. From the Milky Way, to Star Trials, and Stars As Points Of Light above Yosemite Icons, you will come away with an extraordinary and varied array of night images from your week out amongst the stars.
Emphasis will be on bringing you to several prime locations to teach the art of capturing images at night. Kirk will demonstrate how to use apps to visualize your night photograph prior to going to the location. There will also be a discussion on equipment and photographic setting choices that offer the foundation for attaining the best RAW images for dark sky night photography. A handy PDF with chronological steps will be given to download onto your mobile device for use in the field as a reference.
This workshop offers a blend of field and digital darkroom experience. Evening and night hours will be dedicated to field sessions, with morning and afternoons devoted to learning how to optimize and assemble your RAW images using a blend of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
Stars and Sensors: How our cameras ‘see’ light in the digital age, especially star light.
Tools of the Night: From Lenses and Cameras to accessories – all the tools you need for a successful night of shooting.
Composing in the Dark: Tips you need for creating visually engaging, technically proficient night compositions.
Sharp Stars: A comprehensive guide on obtaining sharp focus in the darkest of environments.
Night Performances: How to make your night captures ‘sing’, using a blend of Adobe Lightroom and advanced Photoshop blending techniques.
This five-day workshop is designed for the intermediate to advanced photographer. Due to the advanced digital darkroom techniques used, you are required to be proficient in using Adobe Lightroom’s Develop module, as well as have a thorough understanding of layer methods in Adobe Photoshop.
Due to the extreme low-light conditions this workshop will encounter, you are also required to have a full-frame SLR or mirrorless camera and lenses with apertures of 2.8 – 1.4 or lower to gather enough light onto the sensor. A questionnaire and list of products will be sent to you in advance of the workshop to ensure you have the appropriate gear.
Some locations will be near roadsides, while others require a 1-mile round-trip hike on unpaved, uneven surfaces at night. You MUST be in good physical condition to participate in the workshop.
Typically, field sessions begin around sunset and might last into the early morning hours, with morning and afternoon time spent indoors on digital processing and final image assembly. The goal is to have you leaving the workshop with one or more finished night images you are proud to call your own!
Due to the prevalence of COVID 19 as these workshops are scheduled, class sizes have been reduced to maintain health safety during the workshop. If the situation changes, class sizes may be increased to normal.
About the Instructor
Kirk Keeler has had a life steeped in the arts. At a young age, his parents encouraged an artistic upbringing through drawing and painting, as well as a musical background, providing him with a melodica and piano lessons between 7 and 9 years of age. His musical endeavors continued in high school when his best friend gifted him a guitar, on which he taught himself using a Mel Bay guitar chord book. All of this took place in his hometown of Calistoga, California – a town in the Napa Valley where the world-renowned scenery hugely influenced his love of the outdoors.
It wasn’t until college at Sonoma State University that photography grabbed ahold of Kirk – in particular, landscapes. He immensely enjoyed two gifts his sophomore year – a poster of Ansel Adams’ “Clearing Winter Storm” and a book his Aunt gave him, “The Yosemite” – text by John Muir and photographs by renowned National Geographic photographer, Galen Rowell. These gifts produced two passions for Kirk; a burgeoning interest of fine art photography and a love of a National Park in his native California – Yosemite. Read More
You can see more of Kirk's work on his website (www.kirkkeeler.com)
He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What to Expect
Getting Here / Getting Around
Clothing / Dressing for the Elements
Registering for a workshop
How much photographic experience do I need?
Our programs are designed for photographers of all levels, but to make the most of your time, participants should be familiar with the basic operation of their camera (bring your camera's manual). For most classes, a single lens reflex (SLR) camera is recommended for speed of operation and versatility, but advanced compact cameras with manual controls for aperture, shutter speed and RAW capture mode are sufficient. For workshops focusing on digital imaging, some prior experience with Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop software may be required. Please read the specific workshop descriptions provided on the website for more detailed information.
How much darkroom experience do I need?
Several workshops focus on analog printing techniques. Significant experience is not required unless stated otherwise, most are designed to teach from the ground up or to cover, in-depth, principles and techniques that are fundamental to that medium.
Should I bring a portfolio?
Most instructors encourage students to bring work to share. Depending on the type of class, the work may be in print or digital form and it may be shared with the instructor and/or with other attendees. Details on the type of work, when and where to bring it will be communicated to you once you have enrolled.
What kind of arrangements are made for those with physical limitations?
The Ansel Adams Gallery classroom/restroom is ADA accessible to wheelchairs. Participants who are mobility-impaired can attend the classroom portions of the workshops with minor assistance entering and exiting the building, but ADA accessible transportation for field sessions will need to be arranged by the participant.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
When do the workshop sessions start on the first day? And when do they end?
Each instructor sets his or her own schedule with most workshops starting at 9:00 am on the first morning. Start times on subsequent days depends on the type of workshop offered and the agenda of the instructor. Field sessions are typically scheduled early morning and late afternoon/evening to take advantage of the best light. Instructors often adjust the schedule to take advantage of changes in weather and may conduct additional/longer field sessions as conditions permit and inspire! The workshop typically ends around mid-afternoon on the last day.
What happens each day?
Each workshop will have a specific itinerary, but The Ansel Adams Gallery workshop is known for being an intensive learning experience. It is common to be out photographing early in the morning, coming in for breakfast, having a classroom session or darkroom demonstration, lunch, field or classroom again after lunch, field in the late afternoon, dinner, and a critique / discussion until 10 or 11 at night. This is a model developed by Ansel, and one which most people find invigorating (sometimes tiring, never tiresome) and inspirational. Our goal is not just a great experience with us in Yosemite, but for you to be able to take what you learn and apply it wherever you go. With alternative process workshops, the goal is for you to have enough experience at the end of the workshop to be able to continue working with and developing that process at home.
Where do the classroom sessions take place?
Most classroom sessions will take place at The Ansel Adams Gallery in the heart of Yosemite Village, right next door to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. Our classroom building is housed in what was Ansel's former studio/darkroom directly behind The Ansel Adams Gallery retail operations. Unless otherwise noted, all groups meet in the classroom on the first day of the workshop and for all subsequent indoor sessions. Signs will be posted at the entrance to the Gallery to guide you to the classroom. A workshop assistant or instructor will also be on hand to meet you on the Gallery front porch. In the event that a workshop meets in a location other than our classroom, you will be given specific directions in subsequent workshop materials and emails.
Do we have access to restrooms?
The classroom has an ADA compliant restroom. For field sessions, instructors can direct students to the nearest public restrooms.
How much time will we spend indoors and how much time outdoors?
While workshop schedules differ depending on the curriculum, instructors are alert and eager to take advantage of the best light and our unique location in what John Muir described as “Nature's Grandest Classroom” -- Yosemite Valley. Workshops that emphasize field sessions will spend roughly half the time outside the classroom.
Are there any ATMs in the park?
Electronic cash machines are located in most of the business centers in the park including the hotel lobbies and many retail shops.
Is there WIFI access in the park?
Wifi is available in Yosemite Valley. Guests staying at a hotel property will have access to wifi in a common room or in their hotel room. Wifi is also available for at no charge at Degnan’s Deli. Please note that service is slow in the park and activities that require a lot of bandwidth may not complete quickly or smoothly.
What sort of cell phone service coverage is there?
There is limited cell phone coverage in Yosemite. The strongest cellular signals tend to be found in the populated areas of the park such as Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, Wawona, and Crane Flat.
AT&T customers will find a cellular signal for the full length of Yosemite Valley on Northside Drive (Yosemite Village to Pohono Bridge), at Tunnel View, and some areas on Highway 120 that have a line of sight view to the cell tower located near Sentinel Dome.
Verizon customers can often receive a cellular signal in many areas of Yosemite Valley as well as Crane Flat and Wawona.
There is a weak signal for cell phone services in The Majestic Yosemite Hotel (most likely due to the steel under-structure). The possibilities of cell service may be improved by standing inside at the southwest facing window or outside on the southwest side of the hotel behind the dining room.
In the high country outside of Yosemite Valley, there may be a strong signal at the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge and a sliver of a signal at the west end of the Olmsted Point parking lot and the Lembert Dome parking lot.
In all instances, voice and text are more reliable than cellular internet. All park visitors are on the same small pipe to the outside world. Internet is more reliable in the Gallery’s classroom, but also subject to park-wide demand related slowdowns.
GETTING HERE / GETTING AROUND:
Where is The Ansel Adams Gallery?
The Ansel Adams Gallery is located in Yosemite National Park in California next to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center.
There are three routes into Yosemite Valley:
- Highway 41 from Fresno and Oakhurst (driving time from Fresno Air Terminal is approximately 2-2:30)
- Highway 140 from Merced and Mariposa
- Highway 120 from San Francisco and Groveland (driving time from San Francisco International is approximately 4-4:40)
Of the three routes, Highway 140 through Mariposa is considered to be the “all year-highway” as it sees the least amount of seasonal weather. Since this road does not climb above 3,000 feet in elevation until it approaches the valley floor (which sits at 4,000 feet) there is less likelihood of hazardous conditions. Please be aware, while each approach is on a paved mountain roads, additional travel time should be allocated for traffic and the natural winding character of the highways.
For up-to-date information on the current road conditions, you may call the National Park Service switchboard 209/372-0200. You will be prompted to press 1, and then 1 again to hear the roads report.
Aside from the aforementioned routes into Yosemite Valley, some park roads are closed at certain times of year. These include:
- Tioga Road (Highway 120 from Crane Flat to U.S. Highway 395) is closed from approximately November through late May or June. Temporary closures may also occur due to weather or natural phenomena (rocks slides, fire etc.) at any time of year. If you plan on traveling to Yosemite Valley over Tioga Road via U.S. 395 we encourage you to research an alternative route in the event Tioga Road is closed.
- Glacier Point Road is closed from approximately November through late May, conditions permitting. The first five miles of the road (to Badger Pass ski area) are open when the ski area is open (approximately middle of December through March).
- Mariposa Grove Road is closed from November or December until April, conditions permitting. When the road is closed, visitors may walk, ski, or snowshoe on the road (though it may be covered in snow or ice). Please note that at the time of this posting, the Mariposa Grove is currently closed for renovations.
- Hetch Hetchy Road is closed overnight. Hours vary by season, but the road is generally open during daylight hours.
I’m flying, how can I get to Yosemite National Park?
During most of the workshop season, the Tioga Road is closed. The possible exceptions are late Spring and early Fall, weather dependent. Given that, the most direct access for air travelers is from Fresno Air Terminal or one of several airports in the San Francisco Bay area. Car rental is the easiest means of getting to the park. Amtrak has a bus connection to Yosemite National Park through YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) in Merced. YARTS is a bus service from communities
But where is The Ansel Adams Gallery?
The Ansel Adams Gallery is located in Yosemite Valley next to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center in the National Park Service (NPS) administrative area of Yosemite Village. The closest Shuttle bus stops are #5 or #9 (Valley Visitor Center). Click here for a map.
Is parking available?
We suggest that you park at one of the nearby public lots (Visitor Center Parking, Day Use Parking) and walk or take the shuttle bus to The Ansel Adams Gallery (stops #5 or #9 are closest). The instructor may update you on parking protocol following the first day of the workshop. One ADA compliant parking space is available and marked behind the workshop building. Please contact our workshop coordinator via email at email@example.com for directions.
How do we get to locations during the workshop?
Since parking in Yosemite is limited, we typically carpool during each field session. Carpooling will be organized by your instructor. ADA accessible transportation for field sessions will need to be arranged by the participant.
Due to COVID-19, we are evaluating different transportation options to maintain the safety of our visitors.
What about chain restrictions in winter and spring?
The National Park Service places restrictions on vehicular access during the winter and spring as follows:
R0 – no chain restrictions
R1 – chains are required, vehicles with 4WD or snow tires exempted
R2 – chains are required, vehicles with 4WD exempted
R3 – all vehicles must have chains
Please note that the National Park Service requires by Federal Law that all vehicles carry chains between November and March. This includes four wheel drive vehicles.
During the winter and early spring, the chances are that the roads will be clear and dry for your entire workshop. However, 4 wheel drive vehicles are convenient in the event of a snowstorm.
Car rental agencies do not provide tire chains as part of the car rental package. Therefore, if your travel includes a rental car, you may need to purchase a set of chains prior to arriving in the park. When purchasing, you will need to know the tire dimensions of your vehicle to get the proper size.
The basic concept of supply and demand ensures that chains are less expensive the farther one is from where they are required. So acquiring a set as soon as possible will be easier on the pocket-book than trying to do so at the park entrance. Also, keep in mind that some rental car companies prohibit the use of chains on their vehicles. Please contact your rental car company about their specific policy on chains.
Few businesses “rent” chains. It may be possible to purchase a set of chains, and return them to the merchant (especially larger retailers) if they go unused. Check with the vendor at the time of purchase for their policy.
Furthermore, you may find independent contractors installing or selling chains alongside the highway during inclement weather. These operators will normally set up shop where chain restrictions are currently in place, but their activity/presence is not guaranteed. We advise caution.
What kind of camera should I bring?
35 mm and medium format film and digital cameras are welcome. Please consider that if the workshop is not specifically geared for view cameras, the pace at which most groups move is not ideal for larger formats. We suggest in this case that you enjoy the larger format camera before and after the workshop since it may prove unwieldy during normal field sessions. Also note that certain workshops’ emphasis is towards the utilization of digital cameras.
Do I need to bring a computer?
Due to the continuous updating of computer hardware and software, we require that you bring a computer to the workshop if there will be any processing or viewing of your images. We also believe one of the best ways to learn and retain the valuable information provided for digital darkroom and/or printing is by using the computer you’ll be using at home. Laptops will be more than adequate, don’t take up much room for travel, and will allow for more space at your workshop station. Please contact us if you cannot bring a computer and we will do our best to provide one.
Do I need to use a tripod?
Most of our instructors favor the use of a tripod as a stable platform for your camera.
With so many makes and models available, the bottom line is to find the balance between a tripod that provides stability for your camera coupled with your longest lens, but does not weigh so much that it inhibits your desire to photograph. One way to ensure stability is to select a tripod that places your camera at eye level without extending the center column. Equally helpful is a tripod which has legs that spread out to permit quick work at ground level.
A tripod with a ball head is favored over a pan/tilt head or the video style head found on many inexpensive models. Carbon fiber tripods, though more expensive, are lighter. And the final feature to debate is the choice of twist lock legs vs. cam lock legs.
The Ansel Adams Gallery has a limited supply of tripods for rent should you choose to travel light on route to the park. Please check in advance for availability and the determination that the offered tripods meet you needs.
What kind of filters should I bring?
For black and white photography, a full filter set will be useful.
For color photography, the typical filter pack includes three or four filters, Many professionals are opting for the style of filters that slide in and out of a filter holder on the front of the lens. Advances in digital imaging software have reduced the demand for some filters, but these are still useful:
- Polarizer filter
- Graduated Neutral Density filters: 1-Stop (.3) Graduated Neutral Density, 2-Stop (.6) Graduated Neutral Density, the two previous filters may be combined to create a 3-Stop (.9) Graduated Neutral Density, and 4-Stop (1.2) Graduated Neutral Density
- Simple or Variable Neutral Density filters for lengthening exposures as much as 10-stops
- 81A or 81B “Warming” filters for color film applications
What sort of digital media is available?
The Ansel Adams Gallery carries a selection of memory card types. If you have a camera with hard to find memory cards, we suggest that you stock up before the workshop or call The Ansel Adams Gallery prior to your arrival and verify inventory availability.
We are often asked “How much digital media do I need?” This depends on the pace at which you make images, the size of your image sensor, and your available back up options. Most instructors take breaks during the day that permit workshop attendees to charge batteries and offload digital media to redundant storage devices and laptops. As a ballpark recommendation, it seems that 8 to 32 GBs is a good amount of temporary storage to serve most workshop attendees during a field session with no worry of reaching maximum capacity.
In the end, more memory is always better than less.
Will you have batteries to fit my camera?
The Ansel Adams Gallery stocks universal standard battery sizes. Unfortunately, the variety of proprietary camera batteries on the market today is beyond what we are reasonably able to inventory. Therefore, we encourage you to bring spare batteries for your camera.
Should I bring my camera manual?
Yes! Due to the vast offering of cameras on the market these days, keeping up with the subtle difference in each brand's operating menus can be a challenge. You do not want to miss out on a special photo because you and your instructor are working to unlock the secret setting for capturing a unicorn in low light or the camera is flashing some strange error message. We've seen a lot, but each workshop always brings us something new. So, just in case, bring your camera's manual!
Some of the settings we will access frequently during digital workshops include:
3. Auto Exposure Bracketing
4. Exposure Compensation
5. Continuous Mode
6. Noise Reduction
How do I keep my batteries charged?
The classroom is equipped with power strips so that you may charge your equipment between daytime field sessions. Since groups often meet at locations other than the classroom for sunrise sessions, overnight charging of equipment is best accomplished in your overnight accommodation. Remember to bring your battery charger!
CLOTHING / DRESSING FOR THE ELEMENTS:
How should I pack for my trip?
Professionals know that it is difficult to concentrate on creating photographs when they are not comfortable. Proper clothing goes a long way in allowing photography to be a pleasant experience. Depending on your elevation and the time of year, weather in Yosemite can run the gamut. Since the lowest regions of the park are at an elevation of 3,000 feet and the Tioga Road climbs to nearly 10,000 feet, it is possible to experience three seasons in the same day.
Most of our workshops are held in Yosemite Valley where extreme weather shifts (exciting!) are possible, especially in the shoulder months of autumn and spring. In the winter, sunny days in the seventies (Fahrenheit) can be followed by six inches of snow, only to have it melt in a couple of hours when the sun returns. 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 increase your chances for capturing that “special image.”
Given the variable nature of Sierra weather, mountain residents, photographers and backpackers have a lot in common. They all embrace the strategy of “layering” clothing. As temperatures increase or decrease, a layer is shed or added to maintain comfort.
Mornings can be chilly, often with frost, so 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!
For starters, consider:
- Clothing for cool and warm weather conditions.
- Rain Gear. Rain coats or ponchos, rain paints (even if it isn't raining, you'll often find yourself kneeling down in the cold damp stuff), towels and plastic bags for your camera.
- Comfortable walking shoes for clear weather conditions. Waterproof shoes may still be helpful since the edges of some meadows and trails can be damp.
- Warm, calf-high boots such as Sorels with leather uppers and rubber bottoms are helpful in “sloppy” conditions like fresh snowfall.
- A water bottle to help you stay properly hydrated.
- Energy/snack bars to keep you fueled between meals.
Here's a more specific list of what you might bring along:
- warm hat/headband
- extra socks (in case one pair gets wet)
- thermal tights
- long-sleeved thermal turtleneck zip up
- base layer pants
- base layer top
- fleece outer jacket
- gloves (finger-mitts are handy for photography)
- rain jacket
- rain pants (useful for kneeling and strolling through wet and frosty environments)
- hat (shade your eyes or your lens)
- hiking boots (for field sessions, waterproof snow boots November into April)
- camp shoes (to give your feet a break after a long day)
- hip or daypack
- flashlight (help you see the trail and your camera settings in low light)
- lip balm
- miniature binoculars for wildlife observation and scouting
- empty Ziploc bags (for garbage and to cover cameras in wet conditions)
- water bottles/water bladders (keep your energy up by staying properly hydrated)
- alarm (for early photo sessions and afternoon naps)
- moleskin or second skin (for hot spots and blisters)
How do I register for a workshop?
Navigate to the workshop you are interested on our website via the “Photography Education” heading, add the desired workshop to the cart via the “Add to Cart” button, and check out through the shopping cart. You will receive an order confirmation email and will be contacted by our workshop coordinator with additional materials.
After I sign-up for a workshop, how do I make a room reservation?
Our workshop coordinator will send you an email confirming your reservation for a particular workshop. That email will also provide instructions for making your room reservation and a special group code. You must make your reservation 30 days before the workshop starts to secure your room. See the accommodations section for additional information.
What should I expect after I sign up for one of the workshops?
We will send you a confirmation email with a 5-digit order confirmation number. Within a few days you will receive another email containing the general workshop information packet, including park information, a list of accommodations inside and outside the park, camping information, and a list of items to bring. Detailed information about the workshop itself will come directly from the instructor 2-4 weeks prior to the start date of the workshop.
What should I do if I do not receive a payment receipt email?
If you do not receive a confirmation email, please check your spam folder to make sure it did not get accidentally intercepted. If you still are unable to locate it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and the workshop coordinator will resend the confirmation.
When will I hear from the Instructor?
Your instructor will send an email approximately 2 to 4 weeks prior to the workshop. This email will provide details on everything you need to know to get the most from your workshop experience, including what you should bring, weather conditions, and where and when to meet on the first day.
What if I need to withdraw from a workshop?
We rely on your confirmed attendance to make important arrangements for the workshop. If you need to cancel, please notify us no fewer than 30 days prior to the first day of your workshop for a refund of your tuition, less a 10% non-refundable charge. Refunds cannot be made for cancellations initiated within 30 days of the first day of the scheduled workshop, or for no-shows, for any reason. If you are concerned with this possibility, please consider purchasing travel insurance. Workshop registration is NOT transferable.
In the extremely rare event that The Ansel Adams Gallery needs to cancel a workshop, we will let you know at least 14 days prior to the first day of the scheduled workshop, and immediately refund your full tuition. However, we will not be responsible for non-refundable airline tickets or lodging reservations. (Lodging reservations made through Yosemite Hospitality/Aramark Co. are fully refundable 7 day in advance of the workshop). Please do not purchase airline tickets or make non-refundable deposits on lodging that cannot be canceled 14 days ahead of time.
What is the best way to contact you if I have more questions?
We want to provide the best learning experience possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email. If we are unable to answer your question we will forward it to the instructor or appropriate party. You can expect to hear back from us within 24 hours, or a few days at the very most. Our email address is email@example.com
Lodging and Meals FAQ
I understand that a group of rooms has been reserved in the park for each multi-day workshop. Where will I be staying?
Once you are enrolled in a workshop, you will receive a welcome email, which includes a lodging code to secure a hotel room set aside for workshop attendees. Rooms have been blocked at Yosemite Valley Lodge. You may be able to change your room to another facility with Yosemite Hospitality as availability permits. If you cancel your workshop attendance, your room reservation will be voided and you will be refunded per Yosemite Hospitality policy.
Accommodations at the Yosemite Valley Lodge during 2023 are approximately $350 per night including tax.
What nights are reserved?
Reservations for 2023 have been made for arrivals the day before the first day of the workshop and checking out the day after the workshop ends. This allows for time in the park to photograph and hike and otherwise experience Yosemite on your own. You may of course adjust to your schedule.
Can I see what the rooms look like online?
Yes! Please follow the link provided. http://www.travelyosemite.com/lodging/yosemite-lodging-experience/
Can I share my accommodations with a family member or another participant?
It's always nice to share! You are welcome to share your room with whomever you choose.
Most of the workshop programs have full days with little free time. Therefore, a great amount of your visit will not be in the hotel room. You may consider sharing expenses with a roommate. We will be happy to notify other workshop participants and put you in touch with any that are interested in sharing a room.
Can I choose to stay someplace else?
Yes, but we do encourage you to stay in Yosemite Valley. One of the greatest advantages to our programs is that our classroom is in the middle of Yosemite Valley, just steps away from some of Ansel's favorite photo spots. That proximity is critical when moments make the difference between a memorable image and a missed opportunity. By staying in Yosemite Valley, you minimize travel time to and from the classroom/field sessions and place yourself already on site during the best light. In short, acquiring accommodations in Yosemite Valley will maximize your time photographing.
Can I choose to camp?
Certainly, though we have no affiliation with the campgrounds, so you will need to book your campsite reservation through the same system that the general public uses. In peak season, this will be a challenge.
How are meals handled?
Meals are not included in the cost of tuition. You may choose to supply your own meals. However, to maximize time in the field and classroom, most participants will take advantage of the local food services. Instructors tend to favor a large mid-day meal with lighter breakfast and dinner. This permits students to be out early morning and late afternoon when restaurant services and prime photography hours conflict.
Most workshop eating schedules quickly settle into a rhythm that is satisfactory to everyone.
For example, organized lunches are commonly ordered after the morning field session from Degnan's Deli in Yosemite Village. A menu for the deli will be provided during the workshop.
Organized dinners may be arranged as the workshop progresses. Traveling companions are usually welcomed.
Due to COVID-19 and limited local food service, meals are generally going to be ordered from Degnan’s deli.
Can a family member or friend join me in the workshop?
Our workshops are intensive learning opportunities tailored for participants only. However, some instructors schedule evening social time that is open to family members. Please check with your instructor for more information.
That said, there are many opportunities for family members and friends to enjoy their time in Yosemite while you participate in the workshop. There are organized art classes, Gallery photo classes, National Park Service walks, tours, and a wide variety of interpretive programs provided by all the Yosemite Park Partners. We would be happy to provide more information on all other activities available in the park during the workshop.
Can I arrive early or stay beyond the scheduled dates of the class / reservation?
Absolutely! We encourage you to do so. Scheduling additional time to enjoy the park allows furthering exploration of the landscape and creative concepts covered in the workshop. Your reservations agent can supply more information about room availability and rates outside of the workshop dates.
For workshops beginning in 2021, we have added one extra night at the end of the workshop to the room block. If you do not plan to use this, please be sure to let the reservation agent know in order to release the room and not be charged.
Multi-day Photography Workshop Cancellation Policy: We rely on your confirmed attendance to make important arrangements for the workshop. If you need to cancel, please let us know no fewer than 30 days prior to the first day of your workshop for a refund of your tuition, less a 10% non-refundable charge. Refunds cannot be made for cancellations initiated within 30 days of the first day of the scheduled workshop, or for no-shows, for any reason. If you are concerned with this possibility, please consider purchasing travel insurance. Workshop registration is NOT transferable.
In the extremely rare event that The Ansel Adams Gallery needs to cancel a workshop, we will let you know at least 14 days prior to the first day of the scheduled workshop, and immediately refund your full tuition. However, we will not be responsible for non-refundable airline tickets or lodging reservations. (Lodging reservations made through Yosemite Hospitality, Aramark are fully refundable 7 days in advance). Please do not purchase airline tickets or make non-refundable deposits on lodging that cannot be canceled 7 days ahead of time.