323 377-7565

Southern California Photo Express - Saturday and Sunday, August 11-12

 ~ with Ken Rockwell and Dave Wyman ~


Enjoy a photography tour/workshop along the Southern California coast, as we visually explore old wooden piers, posing pelicans and bold surfers, an old mission or two, grand views of the coast, historic harbors, and the people and architecture of this laid-back part of the world. We will travel from Laguna Beach on the north, to the coastal wilderness at Torrey Pines State Park, on the south, to photograph the best the Golden State has to offer. It's California, it's photography in the company of good friends, it's the best of summer.

Join Ken Rockwell in the southern reaches of Southern California, where the sun always shines, it's never too cold or too hot, and unpleasant thoughts are banished, at least for our weekend of photography. Dave Wyman will make the trek from his home in Los Angeles to serve as our second instructor, and his brother, Dan Wyman, will guide us in Oceanside and Torrey Pines.

This will be a hands-on photography tour. As such, we won't spend much time in front of a computer. We'll be outdoors (and occasionally indoors) making photographs, as we learn new ways to see creatively and connect with the world around us.

Who this trip is for:
Anyone who loves photography and the thought of spending a few days in the company of like minded people, in some of the more interesting areas of Southern California. The instructors will accommodate novice through advanced photographers.

Transportation: By passenger van.

Arrival Date/Time: 9 a.m., Saturday, August 11 - meeting in the lobby of the San Clemente Comfort Suite motel.

End Time:
We'll end officially by early evening on Sunday, the 12th.

Trip difficulty: None - the trip will be conducted at a photographer's relaxed pace. Participants do need to be able to walk a mile or two over the course of a day, with their camera gear.

What Will be Provided:

- Guided photography walks at a cornucopia of locations 
- Equipment demonstrations and talks
- Van transportation
- Two meals for the group
- Any entry fees at parks or museums we may visit
- Optional evening slide show/critique sessions (with Dave Wyman)

What to Bring:

- Camera gear (see below)
- Clothing for warm and cool temperatures
- Money for meals not provided
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sun block and or hat


There are many choices for accommodations in and around the town of San Clemente, which will be our headquarters. San Clemente is about half-way between the areas we will explore over the course of the weekend. Dave will staying the Comfort Suite; it's not the fanciest, however it's clean and it's reasonably priced. We will meet each morning (and on Saturday evening) at the Comfort Suite.
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Photographic Equipment: you don't need to spend any money on equipment you don't already have. A basic digital or 35mm camera will serve you well. Two accessories: a tripod & cable release. These items will allow you to photograph into evening, and also allow for creative techniques. Medium format cameras are welcome, too; the only issue is set-up and breakdown time, which will mean less chances to find and make creative photographs (that said, both Ken and Dave may have medium format cameras on the trip). Dave will bring along an extra tripod or two.


Digital Storage and Power: bring plenty of storage space (CF or SD cards for your digital photographs). Bring enough battery power to last through a day.

Going light: This is the trip to bring it all: telephotos, tripods, macro lenses, filters, flashes, etc., etc., etc. However, this isn't the trip to carry of all of that equipment. Ken (and do a lesser extent, Dave and Dan) are minimalists. Ken carries most of what he'll use for a day in a small bag; Dave will have a camera bag full of equipment in a car, and then choose one lens for the camera, and an extra lens for a pocket. In other words, don't overdo it. The less you bring, the more you will probably come back with in fine images. Please feel free to contact Dave with questions about what to bring.

Note: Participants are encouraged to bring up to 20 slides/digital images and/or prints to share with the group. Digital images can be on your laptop or a thumb drive or CD (that the instructors can show via a laptop computer); we will also have a tablet or two, and a digital projector. We will take a look at photos on Saturday morning, before we head off for our day of shooting, and then again in the evenings.

Ken Rockwell ( is a well-known – some might even claim notorius – web presence. Love him or hate him, he is a force to be reckoned with, as Ken's voluminous website offers a cornucopia of lens tests, camera reviews, and his clear-sighted, if not occasionally contrarian viewpoints about the meaning of art and photography. He has the training of an engineer and the soul of an artist and Ken is willing to share his encyclopedic knowledge of photography with all-comers. He has conducted numerous workshops in California's mountains, deserts and coastal regions, in the canyon lands of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, along historic Route 66 and in Europe. This is the second time he's conducted a photography tour in his own neck of the woods.
Dave Wyman has conducted photography workshops and tours since 1984. He originated and directed the travel photography program at the University of Southern California. His articles and photographs have been published in magazines such as Outdoor Photographer, Outside, and Backpacker; his pictorial guidebooks include Backroads of Northern California, Backroads of Southern California, and Yosemite in Photographs. He brings unbridled passion and commitment to his photography, whether he's peering at a sea anemone in a tide pool, or summiting a mountain in the Sierra Nevadas.

Weather: we can expect mild to warm days, and cool evenings. In the unlikely event of  "bad" weather, we'll keep making photographs, because unsettled weather is is sometimes the best weather for photography.

 - Itinerary -

- On Saturday, we'll gather at the Days In, in San Clemente, about 9 a.m., to meet each other, enjoy a welcoming presentation by Ken, and look at some particpants images (for those who do want to share, bring up to 20 images, and put them on a thumb drive or CD, or bring your own laptop or tablet). We'll spend the day on the go, heading north to the tony Laguna Beach area, Crystal Cove, San Jaun Capistrano (with it's historic mission),  Dana Harbor, and more. We will call it quits about dinner time.

- On Sunday We will head south to make photoraphs at the old Oceanside Pier, the beautiful and massive San Luis Mission, Torrey Pines State Park (a wilderness area above the Pacific), and other planned and serendipitous stops. After dinner, we'll spend some time looking at photographs that participants would like to share with the group, back at the Comfort Suite.

Depending on group dynamics, weather and traffic, we may head may inland for some sights, two.

How to register: Send a check or money order by good old fashioned U.S. snail mail to: Image Quest Tours, 1164 Alvira Street, Los Angeles, California, 90035.

Cost: $450. Cancellations: $75. No refund if you cancel within two weeks of the departure date, unless another person takes your place, in which case you'll receive a full refund, minus the $75 cancellation fee.

Although we prefer payment via the mail, you can also easily use your credit card, via Check with Dave first to make sure we have space on the trip.

Travel to San Clemente: If you need help with reservations at a motel, or help with plane reservations, contact Dave. Nearest airports: San Diego International Airport, and Costa Mesa (John Wayne International Airport); Los Angeles International Airport is farther away, to he north. Once on site at our meeting place, we will transfer to our van for the rest of the weekend.

When you send payment: You'll receive via email a receipt and any additional information, such as maps and a liability form. An instructor will touch base with you by phone and/or e-mail prior to the departure date and, where possible, help arrange for carpooling for participants.  

If you have any questions: call the trip leader, Dave Wyman, at 323 377-7565, or e-mail him at

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