Death Valley: Salt Pan, Dunes, and More
December 5 – 10, 2023
Death Valley is a truly unique National Park. It features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America and is surrounded by mountains that rise to over 11,000 feet. Covering about 3,000 square miles, it’s larger than Yellowstone.
This stark landscape is the perfect setting to photograph in black and white and infrared. The patterns and textures of the sand, rocks and deep blue sky offer endless possibilities for compelling compositions. The clear skies with contrasting clouds provide the perfect dynamic range making black and white images possible all day.
We will photograph some of the best-known places in the park, like Zabriskie Point, Golden Canyon, the salt polygons of Badwater Basin, and Twenty Mule Team Canyon. We’ll also venture down to Ibex Dunes, the impressive dune formation at the southern end of the park, which is far less crowded due to its remoteness. Our image reviews and post-processing sessions will focus on processing in black and white in both Lightroom Classic and NIK Silver Efex. We’ll teach composition from pre-visualization and capture to post-processing of the final image. If you have an infrared-converted camera, bring it!
Muench Workshops is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
December 5, 2023: Arrive in Las Vegas before 10:00 AM this day. We recommend staying overnight at the Hilton Garden Inn Las Vegas the night before. This hotel night is not included in tuition.
We’ll meet up at the Hilton Garden Inn Las Vegas and head out, stopping for lunch along the way. After checking into the hotel, we’ll head out for sunset at Zabriskie Point.
December 6–9, 2023: Our days will be filled with black-and-white photography and image reviews. Locations include Zabriskie Point, Golden Canyon, Badwater Basin, Twenty Mule Team Canyon, Ibex Dunes, Mesquite Dunes, the Joshua trees, and more. We’ll also be stopping for those small details in the sand, rocks, and mud cracks so well suited to monochrome photography. In the field, we’ll focus on patterns and compositions best suited to black and white and teach techniques you can use to evaluate the dynamic range of your compositions. Our image reviews will be held in a private meeting room, where we will review your images and process them in black and white.
December 10, 2023: Our final morning shoot, then breakfast, followed by our final image review. We’ll be on our way to Las Vegas by 11:00 AM, in time for flights anytime after 2:00 PM.
In this workshop, we'll create black-and-white images from standard color cameras and also infrared-converted cameras. We'll demonstrate the conversion methods for both in our image reviews. You don't have to have an infrared camera to join in the fun!
But, if you are new to infrared photography and have questions, please contact us, and we'll prepare you to capture a whole new world of beauty. We know that infrared photography can seem daunting and confusing, but capturing stunning black-and-white infrared images is simple.
If you want to convert an existing mirrorless camera, we're big fans of Kolari Vision's system of magnetic drop-in filters. These filters allow you to continue photographing in standard color, or after a quick swap of the drop-in filter, you're ready to shoot infrared. This is the perfect solution for a backup camera, and it means that you don't have to carry a body solely dedicated to infrared, saving weight! Note, this requires that your camera is converted to full spectrum. See their site for details, or contact us and we'll explain it all to you. You can check out their magnetic drop-in filters here.
Moderate: You must be able to hike on uneven ground and on sand dunes for two miles or more.
Arrive McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, Nevada before 10:00 AM on December 5, 2023. Flights out can be made after 2:00 PM on December 10, 2023.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $1,100 supplement.
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop.
- All permits and park fees.
- All transportation during the workshop.
- Fully-outfitted, guided camping.
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros.
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction.
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- Travel to and from Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $1,100 supplement.
- Your deposit of $2,495 will hold your space in this workshop.
- The balance is due not later than August 1, 2023.
- All of our standard Terms and Conditions apply.
- Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.
“I’m sitting in a hotel room in Vegas unwinding from an absolutely awesome DV workshop. I understand why you have so many repeat customers, I will be one of them. I had high expectations of what the workshop would be like and you managed to exceed them. Before the workshop you sent emails and made phone calls to make sure we were ready for the workshop. Every day you took us to magnificent well-scouted out sites, told us how to set up and where to point the camera, and then all we had to do was wait for the light to get incredible photos. Accommodations were first class, the outfitters for camping were over the top. ”