Image Quest offers inexpensive photography tours and workshops with deluxe features, in California and beyond. Photographers with digital, 35mm and medium format cameras are welcome. Each trip offers the opportunity to join with people interested in travel and nature photography. The current calendar offers a variety of locations and themes, and each trip is conducted by me, Dave Wyman; I've conducted photography workshops since 1982. I've got good friends and photographers who help me out on many trips.
Several Image Quest Photo trips include meals, some prepared by trip leaders. Van transportation is offered on trips outside of California, while most trips in the Golden State involve carpooling. Call, write or e-mail for more information. Or, click on those workshops with underlined trip titles for more information.
Photography tours are hands-on experiences. There aren't any classroom sessions. Participants and instructors, however, spend some significant time together over the course of a photography outing, and we all learn from each other. When we are indoors, usually at the end of a day, we'll often pull out the laptops, a tablet, or an external monitor or digital projector, and look and talk about photographs. Above all, the emphasis is on making artistic, meaningful and contemplative photographs that in beautiful and intriguing locations.
Some favorite outings are back for another run, some are new, and all of them will take you to creative places you've never been to with your photography.
|- Taos, Santa Fe and the Pueblos and Villages of Northern New Mexico - Monday through, January 20-25, 2013
Co-Instructor: Ted Soqui. This is a trip you won't want to end, and one you'll never forget. We'll begin and end in Albuquerque, and in between we will turn our cameras onto images of mythic and epic proportions: the Taos Pueblo, ancient villages and churches along the High Road, a ghost town off the Enchanted Circle route, vast desert panoramas, mountain vistas, the tony streets and central plaza in Santa Fe, and Native Americans, Hispanics, and Anglos who we meet along the way. We'll photograph by day and at least a couple of times by night. We can take up to seven participants, plus Ted and Dave.
We'll spend one night in Albuquerque, one night in Santa Fe and three in Taos. Cost: $1200, includes accommodations each night, a comfortable van for transportation, some great meals, and a chance to connect on the deepest levels with the land and the people of the Southwest.
|A Day (or Two) in L.A. – Saturday and/or Sunday, February 16-17
Join award-winning photojouornalist extraordinaire, Ted Soqui, for a day in L.A. Choose one or two days. On Saturday, we'll explore the L.A. River, the arts district, and the sites and people downtown L.A around Broadway and Bunker Hill. On Sunday, it's exploration by the Metro to Hollywood and new points downtown, before finishing up in spectacular fashion with a visit to famed Watts Towers.
At the end of either day, you'll head for home with new skills for photographing urban architecture as well as photographing and connecting with people. Cost: $100 for either day, or $180 for both days.
Mirages: Route 66 and the Mojave Desert - Monday and Tuesday, February 18-19,
Note the Date Change
Co-instructor: Ken Rockwell (kenrockwell.com). Explore the cultural icons left behind by those who had a love affair with desert highways. Field sessions, centered along old Route 66 east of Barstow, will include the detritus of failed human incursions in the harsh desert environment. We'll gather Sunday evening, in Barstow; our base of operations will move Monday to remote Amboy, to photograph the famous Roy's Cafe and Motel, a classic roadhouse straight out of the middle of the last century and undergoing a leisurely restoration. And we'll finish up on Tuesday with a cornucopia of locations from Barstow, west to along a remote, seldom-driven section of the old highway, before finishing up at a classic, neon-lit Route 66 diner for dinner, at which point we'll say goodbye.
Click here for images from a prior trip. Co-instructor Ken's photographs from a prior trip are here. Astronomer and night sky photographer Richard Nolthenius will, weather permitting, teach our group the methods for photographing the night sky with normal camera equipment and Ken and Dave will take the group out for a neon photography session. Includes a group meal, and a cornucopia of unique photography field sessions ferreted out through years of prior explorations. Cost: $290.
- Thursday through Sunday, February 21-24, 2013
Our group will stay in El Portal, just outside the park, giving us easy access to Yosemite Valley, the historic barns at Foresta, and the snow-covered meadows and forests at Crane Flat. Will we need snow shoes or skis? No. For this trip we will rely on private autos for transportation and our forays out of the car will be easy-paced strolls; just bring your camera gear and clothing for mild cold conditions. We may find ourselves in the middle of a soft Sierra Nevada snowfall at the base of El Capitan, or in full sunlight at ice-rimmed Bridalveil Fall. Whatever the weather, the low-angled light and winter conditions will reveal shapes, shadows and textures otherwise unseen during other seasons.
If conditions are good, we will photograph the magical Horsetail waterfall, which turns to fire at the end of each clear day during the last two weeks of February. This trip includes a meal and many beautiful locations of iconic landmarks, as well as intimate landscapes. Cost: $225. A $100 deposit will hold your place. Photographs from a previous trip are here.
Valley to Mount Whitney - Thursday
through Sunday, March 28 - 31, 2013
Our workshop will explore Death Valley's premier locations, including the giant sand dunes, the oasis at Salt Creek (with its amazing pupfish), Badwater – lowest point in the continental U.S. – and Zabriskie Point, as well as less known yet equally interesting places. We'll stay in comfortable motel rooms at Stovepipe Wells, the best spot to stay to photograph the dunes at dawn.
There's something new this year: we'll spend a day along the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, below the highest point in the contiguous U.S., Mount Whitney, staying in the little town of Lone Pine. Locations will include one of the famed arches through which to photograph the Sierra Nevadas at dawn, and the Alabama Hills. The trip includes accommodations (single supplement available) and a group meal, as well as many spectacular locations, night photography, critique sessions, etc. There is limited space on this trip. Co-leader is San Francisco-based photographer Christine Kreig. Cost: $500. A $100 deposit will hold your place. Photographs from a prior year are here.
|En Plein Air - Photography and French Cuisine on the Central Coast
- Thursday through Sunday, April 11-14, 2013
The French expression for "in
the open air" is "en plein air" and when we hear it, we might think of the Impressionists like Monet, Renoir,
and Pissarro. For our photography
excursion, we will photograph in the open air, too. However, we will use our cameras and lenses, rather than a brush and
paints, as we interpret the spectacular landscapes and
seascapes, the historic
architecture, and the people of the central coast of California.
The trip will include a variety of photographic locations, from Montana de Oro State Park on the south, to the edge of Big Sur, on the north, as well as Irene's meals, and we'll base ourselves in the wonderful town of San Luis Obispo. Co-instructor: Ken Rockwell. Cost: $400.
Yosemite Waterworks - Monday through Thursday, May 13-16, 2013
Explore Yosemite, the crown jewel of the national park system, including Yosemite Valley the surrounding areas, where nature will put on a spectacular show for us. The swollen Merced River will rush by, and the famous granite cliffs and domes will tower into the heavens above us.
We will also visit Foresta, with its historic barns, and the charming Wawona area, with its Covered Bridge and exciting Suspension Bridge, and we'll take in the views at Glacier Point, as well as crane our necks up to peer at the tops of giant sequoias. Our visit during the mid-week means we will have much of the park to ourselves. The trip includes field sessions, one picnic dinner provided by the wonderful Irene Shibata, and a farewell breakfast at the famed Ahwahnee Hotel. Cost: $215.
David Burckhard Photo
|Baghdad by the Bay: by Foot, Ferry, Bike and BART - Postponed, Date TBA
Photograph San Francisco as you've never experienced it, and as you've never imagined it. We'll meet outside the city, and rely on human power and public transportation to explore Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury, Sausalito, the Golden Gate Bridge, and so much more. We'll walk, we'll take BART to Berkeley, we'll take an easy bike ride – we'll supply the bikes – and we'll ride a ferry. Local guide: photographer and videographer David Burckhard; co-leader: native-born San Franciscan Ted Soqui. Trip includes ferry/BART fees, a group meal, lots of locations and instruction, and a weekend without looking for a parking spot. More details on the way.
|- Photojournalism in the City of Angels - From Famous to Forgotten - Friday -
Sunday, June 28-30, 2013 (Note the date change)
The photographer who made the cover shot for Time magazine's "Person of the Year," Ted Soqui, will be our instructor on a tour of iconic locations in Los Angeles, the City of Angeles. We will explore a variety of ways to tell stories about the heart and soul of the urban environment. This weekend outing also includes two meals from restaurants emblematic of Los Angeles. Locations will include, but will not be limited to, Hollywood, Griffith Park (the giant sequoia grove and the observatory), film noir architecture, and a beautiful city lake hidden in quiet, forgotten canyons above the city. We will also have a chance to view participants' and instructors' images. By the end of the weekend, you'll be comfortable finding, meeting and photographing people where they work and play, with the backdrop of some of L.A's most distinctive architecture. Cost: $350. Note the date has changed.
|F-Train Adventure: Manhattan and Brooklyn - Postponed - Date: TBA
Join Dave for one day to photograph some of the best that New York and its residents have to offer, from Central Park to Prospect Park, from the Empire State Building to the Brooklyn Bridge, taking the F Train to link all our locations together. We'll walk, share a few terrific meals, and make lots photographs.
Travel light and stay with Dave all day, or stop and catch the F Train whenever you've had enough. Cost: $0. Details coming.
Brian Kaye Photo
|The Lost, Forgotten and Historic Villages of Virginia - Postponed - Date: TBA
Highways bypass the old byways, people move on, memories fade. The land endures, though, and sometimes a few building and a few people endure, too. We'll spend a weekend photographing the lost and forgotten villages found in the Virginia countryside, places that are out of time and timeless, off the beaten path and off the grid, places that are reminders of what once was and what could be.
We'll also photograph some historic locations, including Thomas Jefferson's home, Montecello. And we'll meet and start the trip in Washington, D.C., photographing at some of the iconic locations in the capitol city.
Co-leader/expert guide: Virginian Brian Kaye. Details coming.
Ted Soqui Photo
|- Photo Journalism in the City of Angels - East Side West Side- Friday -
Sunday, September 13-15, 2013
As with our prior weekend trip, we will explore a variety of ways to tell stories about the heart and soul of the urban environment. This weekend's outing also includes two meals from restaurants that define what it is to live and dine in L.A. We will also have a chance to view participants' and instructors' images. Special guest: Marissa Roth, award winning Los Angeles Times photojournalist.
Locations include the L.A. River, the amazing arts district (street murals and graffiti), Disney Concert Hall, Grand Central Market, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Venice Beach.
By the end of the weekend, you'll be comfortable finding, meeting and photographing people where they work and play, with the backdrop of some of L.A's most distinctive architecture. Cost: $350
|- Autumn in Yellowstone and the Tetons
- Monday through Sunday, September 29-October 6, 2013
Dave has conducted trips to Yellowstone since 1990, and co-leader Rosemarie Astwood has traveled with Dave for the past dozen years. Few places on earth can wring the emotional response from a nature photographer than Yellowstone. Our trip will encompass far more than just the park, as we explore the Tetons, and travel over back roads in Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho. In Yellowstone and the Tetons, we'll photograph mega fauna (bears, bison, elk, antelope), geysers and fantastic scenery, at the best time of year to photograph autumn color.
|- Yosemite in Autumn Light - Thursday through Sunday, October 17-20, 2013
This is one of the classic times of year to be in the park, with maximum texture on the famous cliffs from the low light, with crisp autumn air, with fall colors, and with relatively few people. As usual, we'll add locations that include both intimate landscapes and iconic landmarks, exploring fresh ways to see the crown jewel of the national park system in the U.S.
We'll also have one or two evening sessions, learning to how to combine the night sky and the landscape below, and we'll look for unusual optical phenomena. We'll also explore locations outside the valley, including Glacier Point and the Mariposa grove of giant sequoias. Co-leader: the iconic Ken Rockwell.
Nevada East Side: Bodie,
Mono Lake and the Colors of Autumn - Sunday through Wednesday, October 20-23, 2013
|Monument Valley, Arches, and Indian Country - Sunday through Saturday, November 3-9, 2013
Our final outing for the year will take us to some the most spectacular landscapes of Utah and Arizona. We'll meet in Phoenix, and then travel together by van up through Flagstaff to the Mogollon Plateau, and onto Monument Valley and the Navajo Nation, Arches and Canyonland National Parks and Moab. The trip includes some meals, transportation, accommodations each night, various entry fees, and a Navajo-guided tour of Monument Valley. Details coming.
Questions or comments and/or requests for information about specific trips? E-mail to Dave Wyman
Dave's Blog: Photography-Cycling-The Meaning of Life
Follow Dave on Twitter: davewyman
How to register:
The Image Quest Director - Dave Wyman brings a high level passion to his photography and shares an unmatched level of enthusiasm with participants on each trip he leads. Dave created Image Quest in 1982, while serving as the Adventure Travel coordinator at the University of Southern California. He has conducted photography programs for natural history associations in Yosemite and Death Valley, for UCLA, and the San Diego, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Natural History Museums. His published pictorial guidebooks include Backroads of Northern California, Backroads of Southern California and Yosemite in Photographs. Dave's photographs and articles have appeared in Backpacker, Outdoor Photographer, Cross-Country Ski, Outside, and several other magazines. His work has also appeared in the Sierra Club Guidebook to National Parks of California, the California State Parks Guidebook, in various places in cyberspace, and in private, public and corporate collections.
"Dave Wyman was also very knowledgeable and informative, in additional he was incredibly patient and helpful. I watched him help various students work through questions and issues in a very proactive, helpful manner. He never lacked the energy to answer questions completely and with enough surrounding information to set the context correctly for the answer. He was a GREAT instructor."
Dave's Blog: Photography-Cycling-The Meaning of Life
Follow Dave on Twitter: davewyman