Yosemite and Monolake – Photo Tour and Workshop


Monolake Tufas at Sunset

Workshop 1 – September 9 to September 15, 2012 

Workshop 2 – September 23 to September 29, 2012

Yosemite National Park is one of America’s most iconic landscapes offering some of the world’s most spectacular landscape photo opportunities.  The valley is surrounded by high granite mountain walls carved by glaciers creating beautiful shapes.  The waterfalls are spectacular as are the lakes and streams in the park.

Mono Lake is unlike any other landscape in the world. Its beautiful tufas, alkaline water, desert-like  vistas make it a remarkable place for photography.  Sometimes it seems that you are on another planet or may be on a lunar surface.  The late summer weather generally provides some interesting cloud formations.

Photographers on this trip will learn how to photograph these scenes under a number of different lighting situations, including sunrise and sunset, back lighting and nighttime photography. Unlike most photo trips, we’ll emphasize not only on the day, but also on night scenes of Yosemite and Monolake.  As the sun sets the valley is treated to countless stars in the night sky.  As the moon rises it creates spectacular mixed light on the valley floor as well as the star-filled sky.

Each day of our trip will feature world famous locations such as “Half Dome,” “El Capitan,” “Cathedral Rock,” “Yosemite Falls” and many other locations in all different lighting conditions.  You will be photographing not only landscapes and reflections but hopefully the wildlife of Yosemite.  This  workshop is an exciting opportunity for photographers of all levels to enhance their skills capturing what these two locations present.  You will photograph Yosemite and Mono Lake from a different perspective and learn to take control of your camera and achieve your artistic goals in this natural setting.

Who should attend?

This is a hands-on landscape (day and night) workshop for photographers of all skill levels.  We will have an opportunity to review and critique images and learn post processing techniques for optimizing images.

Individual attention will be given to attendees, irrespective of experience or expectations. Digital and film shooters are most welcome.

The primary focus is to learn how to capture the scene to the very best effect.  You will use sweeping wide angle foregrounds and selective cropping,  various focusing techniques and the best way for obtaining optimum exposure in landscape photography.

Included in the techniques will be the creation of multi-layered stacked focus images with interesting foregrounds using wide angle or ultra wide angle lenses, long exposure night photography, light painting, Infra Red and High Dynamic Range imagery.

In addition, a full list of topics which will be covered during the workshop, together with a suggested packing list will be forwarded to attendees prior to the workshop.

In the field you will be provided instruction based upon your needs. We will cover:

  • Light
  • Light Quality and Quantity
  • Temperature
  • Direction, side and backlighting
  • Exposure
  • Metering for the best exposure
  • Filters and Polarizers
  • Low light and Night Photography
  • Light Painting
  • Photographing Star Trails
  • High Dynamic Range Photography

How to obtain tack sharp images:

  • Auto Focus Modes
  • Manual Focus Mode
  • Image Stacking for Landscapes

You will also learn how to work your subject:

  • Perspective
  • Composition
  • Panoramas


Our days will be based on a very flexible schedule allowing us to respond to the opportunities based  on weather, and light conditions, so you can have the best experience each day. In Yosemite we will have breakfast and head out so as to capture images in the best light which is available after the light comes over the mountains into Yosemite Valley.  We photograph throughout the morning, breaking at midday for lunch and open discussion sessions. Late afternoon we will head out for more photography, concluding after sunset.  Dinner is at a location of your choosing.  We will then meet to do image downloads and have a feedback session. Instruction sessions will be included as well as a prep session for the next day.

Points of interest in Yosemite area will include Half Dome, Lambert Dome and El Capitan to name a few. We will visit various waterfalls including,Yosemite Falls, Vernal Fall, Horsetail Fall, Bridalveil Fall, and Mirror Lake.

Points of interest in the Mono Lake region will be Mono Basin Scenic Area, Mono Craters, Mono Lake Tufas, Bodie Ghost Town .  Mono Lake is a primary nesting and feeding ground to more than 300 species of migratory birds throughout the year.

Day 1  (Sept 9 or Sept 23) 

Arrive at Yosemite and check-in at the hotel is 3:00 PM. We will then head out to capture some images in the Valley and a sunset.  We will grab a quick dinner and meet at the hotel to download our images, do an image review and a short instructional session.

Day 2 – 4 (Sept 10 – 12 or Sept 24 – 26)

We will venture out to capture images in the valley, the falls and passes.  One afternoon we will drive to Mariposa Grove, near Yosemite’s South Entrance that contains about 500 mature giant sequoias.

Day 5 (Sept 13 or Sept 27)

We will check out of the Hotel and venture through the Valley winding our way through the Sierras stopping to capture some grand landscapes en route to Lee Vining.  We will check in at our Motel and head out to capture the evening light at Mono Lake and the Tufas.

Day 6 (Sept 14 or Sept 28)

We will capture Mono Lake by sunrise and hopefully get some Alpen Glow on the Sierras that overlook Mono Lake.  We will then get breakfast and head out to Bodie – the Ghost Town.  We will return to Le Vining in the afternoon for some more images of Mono Lake.  After dinner we will go back to the Tufas for night photography of the the skies and do light painting on the Tufas for some stunning long exposure photography.

 Day 7 (Sept 15 or Sept 29)

After doing some early morning photography in the region we will check out.  The pre-conference  workshop participants will drive back to San Francisco to attend the PSA Conference.  The post-conference workshop participants have a choice of returning to San Francisco or going to Reno for their next destination.


Registration is limited to a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 11 participants.The cost is $1050.00 per participant, PSA Members and Spouses discounted 10% – please provide your membership number on the registration form.  Travel, lodging, site fees, insurance, meals and incidentals are not included. Please complete the registration and release forms (links are provided below or you can get them at www.shivverma.com/workshops at the beginning of the 2012 schedule. A $500.00 deposit is required by September 1, 2012 to confirm your reservation .  The balance is due by September 7, 2012.  Please make your payments to Shiv Verma Photography and mail them to 652 Dedham Street, Wrentham, MA 02093-1149.  The workshop and photo-tour is subject to cancelation if we do not have the minimum number of participants.

Accommodation & Travel

Rates ranging from $ 149.00 (Double occupancy) excluding tax, have been arranged For the Yosemite Leg at:

Yosemite Westgate  Lodge
7633 State Highway 120,
Groveland, CA 95321

Tel: +1 (209) 962-5281 Fax: +1 (209) 962-5285
Please book on line at: http://www.yosemitewestgate.com/

Special rates of  $113.00 plus 12% tax (Double Occupancy), have been arranged for the Mono Lake Leg at:

Murphey’s Motel
51493 Highway 395
Lee Vining, CA 93541

Tel. (760) 647-6316
Reservations Only (800) 334-6316
Email info@murpheysyosemite.com

Please let the reservations desk know that you are with shiv verma | photography to get the rates for your booking

On the 15th or 29th based on workshop dates, plan on departing mid day to return to San Francisco or Reno for your onward journey.

Please click here to download the the folowing:

Release Form

Registration Form

Enrollment Information


Please call 617.759.0010 or email s.verma@me.com for any questions.