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Creation and Renewal: Mt. Whitney to Badwater

- Explorations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Death Valley -

Thursday through Sunday, March 28-31, 2013

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The Trip: Come along and learn about nature and nature photography in the desert and the mountains of California at a special time of year. Whether we're religious, spiritual, secular, or indifferent to concepts of belief and faith, science and skepticism, this is a weekend to explore our world in its elemental state, from vast monoliths of structured granite reaching up to more than 14,000 feet above sea level to tortured, inchoate badlands and salt flats far below. 

We will focus on landscapes, from the highest to the lowest in the lower 48 states. We'll watch sunrise over Mt. Whitney and the Sierra Nevadas (the "Range of Light") and photograph the interplay of light and shadow as we explore the weirdly-shaped, adjacent Alabama Hills. We’ll travel to some of Death Valley’s more famous locations, including the giant sand dunes, Badwater, and Zabriskie Point, as well as to other, less known, but equally fascinating places. We'll also look for coyotes, road runners, insects and arachnids, even tiny fish, as well as desert wildflowers, all testimony to the power of renewal which we variously mark as Easter, Passover, Spring, and the Vernal Equinox.

Transportation: By private auto - carpool arrangements where possible
Accommodations: Motel accommodations in Death Valley are at the Stovepipe Wells Motel. One night in Lone Pine: location to be announced.

Weather: Cool to mild days (70's to 80's), cool to cold evenings (40's to 50s)

Cost: $500 (With single supplement: $800)

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Dave Wyman has conducted innumerable outings to Death Valley, from photography workshops to backpack trips, since 1973. Some of his Death Valley images appear in the the Sierra Club Guidebook to National Parks of California and Dave’s own book, Backroads of Southern California(available on, although it's out of print). He's hiked and climbed and photographed along the Sierras for decades. Dave takes his camera onto high mountains summits, down to rugged coastlines, and along remote roads, both by car and on a bicycle. His unbridled drive for grand travel experiences, mated with his love of photography, has led him and the groups he conducts and mentors to locations throughout California, the Southwest, the Northwest, and Yellowstone.

Christine Krieg creates evocative and soulful imagery of people, places and food wherever she travels. Her travel quests have taken her to rainforests in Australia, to the Peruvian Highlands and to Borneo to photograph cassowaries, flocks of macaws and orangutans. Alongside commercial & non-profit assignments, Christine's work has been published in newspapers and magazines. She was the principal photographer for "Cool Cuisine - Taking the Bite out of Global Warming." Her curiosity and passion for the world we live in is infectious and has always been willing to share her photographic insights. She has taught classes and workshops in California since 2006 and specializes in off-camera flash lighting on location. Christine and Dave have conducted workshops with each other to Death Valley, the central and northern coasts of California.

Who is this trip for: novice through advanced photographers
What will be Provided:
• Trip leaders/instructors
• Motel accommodations
• One group meal
• Snacks (and maybe jelly beans)
• Guided photo walks, field demonstrations, slide shows
• Help with carpoolin


What You Need To Bring:
• Camera gear (see below)
• Money for gasoline, and for meals
• Clothes for cool and warm conditions, including a knit cap or ski cap
• Comfortable walking shoes

Camera Equipment:
This is the trip to bring it all along - super wide angle lenses, telephoto optics, filters galore, etc. But if the truth be told, a basic camera with one lens will work just fine.  Two recommended accessories are: a tripod, to allow you to photograph early and late in the day, and a remote release to trigger your camera while it's on the tripod. Two filters for aficionados: the polarizer and the 81A or 81B warming filter (the latter for photographers using film).

Film Considerations: Bring any sort of film. Fujichrome slide films offer the best in color saturation and is very fine grained. Both Fuji and Kodak have excellent print films, too. A good,
all around film speed for print film is about ISO 200-400.

Digital Photographers: Don’t forget an extra battery and/or a battery charger, and enough SD or CF cards.

Meals: The trip includes a group meal and snacks. We’ll be near areas to purchase food - at markets and restaurants - at meal times during the trip.

When you send payment (via snail mail to 1164 Alvira Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90035, or by credit card using, we'll mail back a receipt and any additional trip information, including a map. If you have more questions, contact Dave Wyman at (323) 377-7565.

Itinerary: On Thursday, we’ll meet in Lone Pine and roam the Alabama Hills and photograph the silhouettes of the Sierras as darkness descends. On Friday, we’ll arise early to photograph sunrise over Mt. Whitney. After breakfast, we'll travel over desert ranges to the remote community of Panamint Springs, before climbing the last pass into Death Valley, where we'll view afternoon sunlight over the giant sand dunes. On Saturday, we'll photograph the dunes again, at sunrise. Sleepy heads can meet the group for breakfast on our return to Stovepipe Wells. Depart for Furnace Creek area, stopping along the way at the oasis of Salt Creek, with salt grass, pickleweed, and those miracles of biological creation and renewal, the little desert pupfish. Lunch and then a visit to Badwater and the adjacent salt flats, finishing up with the Devil's Golf Course and Artists Palette. On Easter Sunday, we'll journey to Zabriskie Point for a beautiful sunrise over Death Vally and the mountains beyond, have a final breakfast, ad then it will be time to begin the journey home. 

Where Will We Meet? Plan on arriving in Lone Pine, California, below Mount Whitney, by 3 p.m., for afternoon/early evening photography in the area.

this will be a hands-on experience. There aren't any sit-down, classroom sessions. Participants, including instructors, will be able to spend some significant time together over the course of our travels along Route 66, and we will all learn from each other. When we are indoors, usually at the end of a day, we'll probably pull out the laptops, tablets, maybe an external monitor or digital projector, and look and talk about photographs. Above all, though, the emphasis is on making artistic, meaningful and contemplative photographs. And on this trip there is the ability to make photographs from dawn until well past dark, from the time when the first rays of the sun touch the landscape until we've explored ways to photograph the night sky than can light up the darkness for our cameras.

: $100 charge. No refund if you cancel three weeks or less, prior to the departure date, unless another person signs up. 

How to register: Send payment to Image Quest, 1164 Alvira Street, Los Angeles, CA 90035. Or you can use the services of, should you prefer to register via the Internet (if you need help using paypal, contact Dave Wyman) - make sure space on the trip is still available before using paypal. We'll send back information about meeting times and accommodations, etc.

Contact Dave Wyman with any questions.

Dave's photographs and thoughts about photography are on and on Facebook




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