SK-Sierra Workshop

January 13, 2009 ·

Michael Reichmann

Mono Lake – Bristlecone Pine Forest – Bodie and more
A 5-Day Landscape Photography Workshop Conducted by Steve Kossack

October 16 – 20, 2003

About the Workshop

F-8 And Be Thereworkshops and tours presents a limited participant workshop in the spectacular and colorful Eastern Sierra Nevada. From Thursday October 16th thru Monday October 20, 2003 we will be photographing and exploring some of the most exciting terrain in the West. We will be chasing Fall color and light from 11,000 ft. down to the base of Yosemite National Park.

Southwest photographer Steve Kossack will lead this workshop. It’s size and design will lend itself the flexibility to travel and photograph the available Fall color during our five day shoot.

Where is The Eastern Sierra?

California’s Sierra Nevada runs almost the length of the state. It’s southern edge holds Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states. To the north are Reno, Nevada and the splendor of Lake Tahoe. Across the Owens Valley and paralleling the Eastern Sierra is the White Mountains and Boundary Peak, the highest point in Nevada. Above the tree line is the Bristlecone Pine Forest. High in the Sierra is the old boomtown of Bodie.

Mono Lake

Located directly at the bottom of the Tioga Road that leads to Yosemite’s high country, Mono Lake’s streams have been diverted to the California Aqueduct and to the city of Los Angeles, some 350 miles to the south. Today some of its water has been restored to the lake but this interesting and photographic oasis much resembles the bottom of an empty aquarium. Calcium deposits that once were on the bottom of the lake and now are visible, are called Tufa and will be our photographic destination.


Once, in the 19th century, a thriving boomtown and mining community , today it stands as a California State Park. Its official classification is "in a state of arrested decay". The mill is still there, as is its church and gas station. The drive in overlooks Mono Lake. This will be an excellent opportunity for architectural photography as well as landscape.

Bristlecone Pine Forest

Well above the timberline, this enchanting and desolate place resembles a moonscape. Its thin air is among "bluest" of any place on earth. It will become clear almost immediately that we are just visitors to this wilderness and our shoot will take on the feeling of "being on top of the world".

Who Is This Trip For?

It’s for you if:

— You like working in the field from sunrise to sunset.
— You want to learning about landscape location and light.
— You want to learn about equipment and strategies used in landscape photography.
— You like traveling, making images and new friends with like-minded people.

This Workshop

This workshop is small by design. It will allow for ALL levels of photographic experience. There will be no lectures or product endorsements. Personal instruction will be available at all times. The opportunity to photograph and share with the group will always be present. Print discussions can be a part of each day, depending on time available.

Weather, Equipment, Etc.

No one can predict color. It’s dependant on the amount of rain, snow and temperature. The dates of the workshop have been scheduled to coincide with historical best color, so this is our best guess as of now. The choice of location will provide altitudes that should find color (some years are much better than others) somewhere in our region.
The region is a land of changing weather. We may see snow but most likely there will be cold sunrises and sunsets, with wonderful warm days in between.
You can do this trip with any format or type of gear. A tripod is of course a must.

The Schedule

You will need 5 days. Two of them are weekend days.

Thursday October 16, 2003— Arrive Reno Nevada by mid afternoon. Transportation to all locations, including the return to Reno on Monday is provided. A sunset shoot if travel times permit.

Friday, October 17, 2003— Sunrise and A.M. shoot at Navy Beach, Mono Lake. Mid-day shoot at Bodie State Park (if road is accessible). Sunset in the Tioga Pass area.

Saturday, October 18, 2003— Sunrise on Conway summit overlooking Mono Lake or from the Mono County Cemetery. Mid-day exploring the Highway 395 corridor. Sunset in the Owens Valley.

Sunday, October 19, 2003— Sunrise and A.M. shoot in the Bishop Creek Recreation Area. Midday and Sunset in The Bristlecone Pine Forest.

Monday, October 20, 2003— A sunrise shoot of choice depending on departure times and the return drive to Reno.

Mid October in the Sierra is shoulder time. We may be subject to road closures. The area holds many treasures at various altitudes. We will have ample location substitutes if our schedule is disrupted. There will be lots of shooting and field travel. The days will most likely begin well before sunrise and end well after sunset. Lots of film/bytes, determination, smiles and stories will be needed (Rock & Roll trivia will be provided) 🙂

The Cost

The cost of this trip is U.S. $1375. This includes all transportation to and from all shooting locations as well as pick up and drop off at Reno. You are responsible for your own travel arrangements to and from Reno. Your motel accommodations are included (2 persons to a room).

Although we will most likely eat our meals together, sometimes a break is nice. Therefore, you will be responsible for the cost of your own meals. Bring film/bytes & food money and we’ll take care of the rest.

A deposit of $700 will be required when you register. The remaining balance ($675) will be due no later than August 16, 2003; 60 days before the trip. If you need to cancel before August 16, a full refund (less $100) will be available. After August 16, 2002 a full refund (less $200) will be made, but only if a replacement for you can be found in time. If we have to cancel the trip for any reason you will receive a full refund.

With only 4 places still available this workshop is bound to sell out quickly. To register or to find out more, please e-mailSteve Kossackatf8andbethere@cableone.netor telephone Steve at1-928-634-8071.

Steve Kossack is an excellent photographer and teacher. For several years he has assisted me on my location workshops. Steve is also a regular contributor to this site. This is not aLuminous Landscapeworkshop, but I can recommend Steve and this workshop to you highly. — Michael

Avatar photo

Michael Reichmann is the founder of the Luminous Landscape. Michael passed away in May 2016. Since its inception in 1999 LuLa has become the world's largest site devoted to the art, craft, and technology of photography. Each month more than one million people from every country on the globe visit LuLa.

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