Yosemite Photo Workshops



Yosemite in Winter #1

Tue-Wed-Thu, 2/21/23 to 2/23/23  3 full days

Winter in Yosemite is the season most people miss. The crowds are gone, no waiting for anything! Yet, winter storms can bring opportunities for shooting that are unequaled anywhere. Snow can blanket the valley for gorgeous winter setups, ice hangs off the cliffs in patterns that make you glad you brought your 400mm lens. The mist after a rain storm can bring mist that hangs off the cliffs and rocks for sunset shots you will not believe.

We will also try to shoot the famous Horsetail Fall that occurs during the last two weeks of February. We’ll avoid the crowds by going to places I have personally scouted for solitude and a view of the fall that no one else will see. Although not guaranteed, if conditions allow for the maximum splendor of this effect, you will not believe your eyes as the waterfall changes color with the shifting position of the sun.

Lodging is less expensive and more readily available.

$ 895
  • Includes Workshop Only

Yosemite in Winter #2

Sat-Sun-Mon, 2/25/23 to 2/27/23  3 full days

Same as the workshop above, this is the second session for the winter season.

$ 895
  • Includes Workshop Only

Yosemite Early Spring Waterfalls #1

Thu-Fri-Sat, 5/4/23 to 5/6/23  3 full days

This is the time that the waterfalls are at their peak flow, water thundering down, something people envision when they think of Yosemite.  In spring, the snowmelt process from the higher elevations flushes water down rivers into the valley over various waterfalls, some without names, and it never ceases to amaze.  The Merced River is full, moving fast and offering incredible opportunities for motion-blur photography.

Meadows are green, trees are sprouting their bright green display and, well, water is just everywhere.  This is also the time that the roads in the higher elevations open for access to Glacier Point, Washburn Point and Sentinel Dome.  Although not guaranteed, in some years of reduced snowpack, we can get up to the high country to Tuolumne Meadows and all the areas along Tioga Road, including Mono Lake if folks want to go.  This is also a very unpredictable time for weather; I’ve seen snow storms in May and warm, sunny days the day after.  Very exciting for shooting opportunities!  Join us for an exciting time in Yosemite!  If you’ve ever wanted to see Yosemite Waterfalls in their exalted glory, now is the time!

$ 895
  • Includes Workshop Only

Yosemite Early Spring Waterfalls #2

Mon-Tue-Wed, 5/8/23 to 5/10/23  3 full days

Same as the workshop above, this is the second session for the winter season.

$ 895
  • Includes Workshop Only


We recommend lodging in Yosemite West (about 20 minutes to Yosemite Valley) so as to have everyone in the same place and to avoid passing through an entrance gate into YNP each day, but you are free to secure lodging wherever you wish.  The most economical are the Yosemite West Condos.  These are hotel rooms with kitchenettes; think Marriott Courtyard rooms w/ kitchenettes, but smaller.  The Studio units are downstairs, and sleep two comfortably, in a murphy bed and sofa-bed.  The larger Loft units sleep 3 or 4 comfortably in two queen beds and a sofa-bed.  Cell phone reception is depending on who your carrier is; I have Verizon and it is very spotty.  All other carriers are very unreliable, but you can drive to specific spots in the development where reception is OK.  Two property management companies operate in Yosemite West; Enchanted Yosemite and Scenic Wonders.  Yosemite West is located just outside the west boundary of the park, but is accessible only from INSIDE the park eliminating the need to leave and re-enter the park each day.

In El Portal, (about 45 minutes to Yosemite Valley) outside the west gate of YNP, try Yosemite View Lodge or The Cedar Lodge. NOTE: The Yosemite View Lodge has WIFI at $10 a day extra, but has no cell phone reception.  There is NO WIFI or cell phone reception at the Cedar Lodge, even though the website states that they have it.

In Fish Camp, (about an hour to Yosemite Valley) at the south gate, try the economical but comfortable White Chief Lodge or the expensive Tenaya Lodge. Both have WIFI but cell phone reception is spotty.

During winter workshops we hike no more than 200 yards to different shooting locations.  During fall and sometimes in early spring we will go to Sentinel Dome which is a 1/2 mile hike uphill..

Yes!  They are welcome to accompany us on all outings and for meals.  The more the merrier!  Oh, and at no additional charge.  Non shooting guests are free!

During winter, you are required to carry chains.  The highway patrol and park service law enforcement will enforce these requirements and you will be turned around if you do not have chains in your car.  You could also be required to install chains before being allowed to proceed if its storming or roads are covered with snow.  However, if you have 4-wheel-drive, chains are not required.

If you are driving a rental car try to get a 4-wheel-drive, otherwise you will be required to carry chains and install them if conditions warrant.  There is usually people along the way who will install you chains for you for a nominal fee, usually around $30. This is money well spent!  Any auto parts store will have chains, of which there are many along the way into the park.

We eat lunch and dinner at the Yosemite Lodge at either the cafeteria or Mountain Room restaurant.  We can also get sandwiches at Degnan’s Deli in Yosemite Village. You are free to bring your own meals, as I do for at least lunch.  You are on your own for breakfast.  The condos have kitchenettes.

There is a well-stocked grocery store in Yosemite Valley, or if you want to shop before arriving, there are the large chains stores in Fresno and Oakhurst from the south.  In Mariposa, there is one grocery store on the main road into the park.

I am at your disposal.  Usually we do night shooting for one night.  If the group as a whole wants to do night shooting then we’ll do it!

If you are driving to the park from home, then bring everything you have.  Experience has shown that if you don’t bring it, you’ll need or want it.

If flying in, bring at least a 24-70mm f/2.8 and a 70-200mm f/2.8.

Most definitely!  Again, if driving in bring the largest, heaviest tripod you have.  If flying in, bring the largest, heaviest tripod you can handle on the plane.

We start on the first day and every day of the workshop at 10am at Yosemite Lodge near Yosemite Falls in Yosemite Valley.  We go all day, stopping for lunch and dinner, concluding each day-including the last day-just after sunset.  

For those of you staying in Yosemite West (recommended), we meet at 9:30am in the parking lot of the condos where we then proceed to Yosemite Lodge to join the others.

Terms and Conditions

In the unlikely event that the workshop does not fill enough spaces to warrant continuing, the class will be canceled and a full refund given. You will be notified at least two weeks in advance if a workshop is not going to take place.  The Yosemite Photography Workshop is not responsible for non-refundable airline reservations in the event of workshop cancellation.  

I strongly recommend retaining trip insurance.

Participant-initiated cancellations received 60 days or less before the workshop will receive no refund. Participant-initiated cancellations received prior to 60 days will receive a refund minus $300. Due to the unusual complexity and extensive planning required for these workshops, no refunds will be offered for participant-initiated cancellations 60 days or less prior to workshop date unless the spot can be re-filled.

Yosemite Photo Workshops accepts no responsibility for extreme weather conditions that prohibits us from moving about as we wish, or accessing certain areas of the park.  Each student accepts responsibilitiy for providing your own tire chains in winter.  Carrying them at all times is required by park policy, and at various times you may be asked to show them in your car at checkpoints established by the park rangers.  

It is not uncommon for Yosemite National Park and surrounding areas to experience extended periods of electrical failure during bad weather, particularly in winter.  Yosemite Photo Workshops accepts no responsibility for inconvenience resulting in electrical failure, park closure or extended periods of road closures.  

If the workshop is unable to function due to either weather or park closure a spot in a future workshop within 18months will be offered to affected students.  No refunds will be given.