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Blackened Paper

Death Valley National Park 

Photo Workshop led by Joseph Roybal

Feb 24-26, 2023  |  $875 total (register by Feb 20th)

Join Pro Photographer Joseph Roybal for a 3-day photography workshop in Death Valley National Park to improve your skills and capture incredible landscapes. From valleys to sand dunes to canyons to salt flats, there's a reason why they call it the photographer's oasis. Very few places on earth offer as many textures, intense colors and extreme conditions to capture.

Cracked Earth

Experience Level

Beginner - Advanced 

Both beginners & experienced photographers will benefit from this workshop. I will work closely with you to address  strengths and weaknesses. All can expect to be challenged.



All age levels are welcome on this photography workshop. We’ll drive to each location then walk to the best position for sunrise & sunset. *Reach out if you have limitations.


Field & Classroom

We will be in the field shooting for sunrise and sunset with classroom time & breaks during the day. Learn composition techniques, adv camera settings, image editing &more! 

Group Size

9 people max

We prefer to keep workshops small, ensuring that each person will have ample time for one-on-one instruction. This photography workshop is limited to 9 people. 


Capture Abstract Landscapes

Photographers who are eager to get creative with compositions or get out of their comfort zone, will thrive amidst the strange and unique formations of Death Valley.  

Cracked Earth
Great Sand Dunes Photography Workshop_24
Image by Jeremy Bishop
Image by Suzanne Rushton
Abstract Texture

Workshop Schedule

Day 1: (Friday) Meet at 2:00pm at the hotel in Stovepipe Wells for an intro class on composition. Head out to shoot through sunset. Back to the hotel with time for dinner. 


Day 2: (Saturday) Rise early to capture sunrise light. Back to the lodge for a break, followed by image editing classroom session. Spend sunset shooting more gorgeous scenes in Death Valley National Park. Time for dinner in town after. 


Day 3: (Sunday) Another early morning for our last shoot in Death Valley! Return to the lodge for breakfast then the portfolio review session, followed by Q&A. Wrap up around 11am. 

Come home with stunning landscape images.

 Exciting Locations • Individual Instruction • Creative Editing • Portfolio Feedback Sessions 
Abstract Desert


The group will be out shooting and exploring during sunrise and sunset to capture the best conditions. During daytime hours there will be classroom time to focus on photography concepts and techniques. 


 Image Composition 

Learning how to compose an image is one of the most important elements of photography and probably one of the hardest to master. Starting with this class and continuing throughout the workshop, Joe will teach you simple and actionable skills that will help you find amazing compositions in any environment.


Creative Editing

Learn an easy an effective editing process from beginning to end using a combination of mostly Lightroom with some fairly easy but extremely powerful Photoshop to finish it off. This editing method is very artistic and effective for beginners and advanced users alike. It is always one of the highlights of the workshop.

portfolio example_edited.jpg

Portfolio Feedback

Getting honest and constructive feedback about your images is extremely hard to find. At the end of every workshop, Joe will dig into 15-20 of your best shots to give you insightful critique on how to improve. While these sessions are honest, we guarantee you will go away inspired with new ideas and thoughts on making great images.


Climate in Feb.

 The climate of Death Valley National Park in late February is ideal, with little rain and a seasonal norm of 65°F highs. 


About Death Valley National Park

Stark in appearance and haunting in name, Death Valley is a very-much-alive desert set between high, snow-capped mountains. The name doesn’t do justice to the vibrancy of Death Valley—the mysteries of the life sustained in this arid and isolated landscape capture the attention of adventurers.

Please note that transportation and accommodations for the Death Valley Photography Workshop are up to each individual participant.

Hotel: We have reserved a block of rooms at the Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel for the workshop dates. After sign-up you will receive an email with information to book your stay.

Car: If you won't have your personal vehicle, we highly recommend renting a vehicle so you can also explore on your own before/after the workshop. The group will be carpooling to each location during the workshop. 

Flight: There is a small public airport at Furnace Creek. The Las Vegas Airport is the next closest and is a 2.5 hour drive from Stovepipe Wells. 

Planning Your Photo Trip 

Sand Dunes

Meet Your Instructor, Joseph Roybal

Joseph Roybal is a professional fine art landscape photographer based in Denver, Colorado. Through his years of shooting, he discovered that the only way to truly learn is to be open and vulnerable to new experiences – as the best images sometimes come from the most unpredictable situations. 


Joseph's work has been published in AFAR Travel Magazine, Denver Magazine, The Denver Post and promoted by numerous stock agencies. He shares his knowledge as a photography instructor and speaker – presenting at camera clubs and conferences, leading workshops and scouting locations for National Geographic. He is proud to be a partner with several of the industry’s leading companies.

What's Included in the Death Valley Photography Workshop: 

Instruction from Joseph Roybal at several locations • Classroom Courses • Portfolio Feedback Sessions • Snacks and Water
 Not Included: flights, hotel, car and food 
    I always tell my students that you DO NOT need expensive gear to create excellent images. Great gear does make a difference in terms of technical quality, durability, ease of use and other factors and I advise using quality products, but creating a powerful, creative image is all about the photographer and the light. While I do recommend shooting with the best gear you can afford, keep in mind this is not the most important factor.
    Camera: (preferably a DSLR or a mirrorless with the ability to shoot raw) Lenses: My ideal setup for full frame is a16-35mm, 50mm, 70-200 or 300mm. If you own a 24-70 or equivalent that is fine. As long as you have something fairly wide and a telephoto. For DX or APS-C users, any combination of lenses that gets you from at least 18mm to 200mm. Preferably from 10mm to 200mm but if you don’t already own a wide angle don’t stress. Other: A sturdy outdoor tripod is a must! Also, plenty of digital memory, extra batteries & battery charger,
 lens cleaning cloth, camera bag that allows you to easily get to your gear. You may want to consider bringing a back up camera as well. Filters: The only filter that I consider a must have is a circular polarizer. While I don't use it often — when you need it you have to have it. There can also be situations where a 10 stop neutral density or variable ND (variable neutral density) can be very useful. This is definitely not something that is mandatory but could be useful on the workshop or shooting in general. I prefer the screw on circular polarizers and ND filters. I also carry a 3 stop soft graduated neutral density filter, and although I rarely use it these days — it can come in handy. If you don't already know what this is or how to use it, don't stress about bringing one. I prefer hand holding 4x6 inch grad ND filters.
    We will shoot rain or shine. A rainjacket is a must and a small travel umbrella is highly recomended. Layered clothing is super important for changing temperatures — early morning can be cold with afternoons getting very warm. Consider thin gloves, a hat, sturdy footwear and sunglasses. Also helpful to have is a flashlight, sunscreen, lip balm and bug spray. For more challenging or strenuous workshops, it is helpful but not mandatory to bring waterproof boots or gators. I don't personally usually use a camera cover (I prefer an umbrella) this is something you may want to bring along.
    Please bring a laptop computer with a card reader for the classroom portion of the workshop. It would be best to have Adobe Lightroom software installed. We will also spend a small amount of time with Adobe Photoshop if you want to have this installed as well to follow along. I use the Creative Cloud and purchasing the Lightroom/Photoshop package which is only $9.99 a month. If you use and prefer another editing program that is not a problem at all. You will still pick up a ton of new thoughts and ideas — much of the editing is focused on the artistic side of image processing. Also, if you don't have a laptop — don't stress. You will still benefit from the ideas shared in the courses. You are welcome to borrow a laptop or share with another student. If you prefer to take written notes, it is a good idea to bring along pen and paper.
    We will be critiquing images taken prior to the workshop, please inlcude a section of 15-20 of your favorite images you would like feedback on. We may also have a chance to critique some images taken during the workshop.
    You must have travel insurance for an international workshop. I recommend bringing quite a few snacks with you. Granola bars, jerky, nuts, etc. Be sure to see what kind of plug adaptor you will need for electronics. If you are signing up from outside of the US, please be aware of VISA requirements for the country of travel.
Operating under a Special Use Authorization with Death Valley National Park
Have questions? Feel free to reach out.
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