Alabama Hills / Eastern Sierra Private Photography Workshop


Experience a Private Photography Workshop in the Alabama Hills of the Eastern Sierra.

We will explore the night sky as we teach you to capture spectacular images.

The Alabama Hills, located in the Eastern Sierra, is a jumble of granite boulders on the western slopes of the Owens Valley. This area was the location of hundreds of western movies where stagecoaches were ambushed by bandits hidden in the rocks on the road to the base of Mount Whitney. This area creates stunning foregrounds when shooting the night sky and it is one of the darkest locations in all of California. The multiple-arch locations and the lumped sandstone with Mt. Whitney as the background make a perfect backdrop for the beauty of the Milky Way, meteor showers, and the stars above.

Alabama Hills Night Sky Private Photography Workshop

Alabama Hills in the Eastern Sierra

Two experienced landscape photographers and photo workshop leaders, Mark and Holly Jansen will lead you on your way to the proper techniques in capturing the Milky Way and the night sky above. We will be out shooting in the wee hours of the morning to capture the stars!

A variety of techniques will be taught and explained in a very easy to learn manner for any beginner photographer who is interested in the art form of astrophotography.

The explanation of the 500 rule, light painting, nightscape portraits, time-lapsing, and on sight post-editing images in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop will be covered on these two fun-filled nights under the blanket of the night sky.

Students will also have an opportunity to photograph the sunset and sunrise through the magnificent sandstone arches.

If you have questions you can call us at (805) 701-8807 or email us at

All workshops are booked on a first-come-first-serve basis.


Suggested Itinerary 

Day 1
Day one 6:00 pm: We will first meet in town for an orientation meeting before we caravan to our sunset meeting on location. We will give you a general overview of the workshop before starting out on our adventure. What do you want to focus on for the workshop? Do you want to focus on telling the story of the trip, do you want to shoot black and white, do you want to work with shadows or master HDR? We will help you to decide where you want to go with your creativity in this workshop. After the orientation, we will head out for our first sunset shoot in the Alabama Hills. After sunset, we will head to our second location which will be the first-night sky shoot. (Schedule may change due to weather conditions.)

Alabama Hills in the Eastern Sierra
How to thake great landscape photographs

Day 2
We will meet at just before sunrise to shoot the sun coming up over the Eastern Sierra. We will proceed to walk the trails, seeking out compositions and vistas of Sierra crest and all its beauty. We’ll seek out the early morning light as it resonates off the mountains and rock formations. We will break after sunrise and rest up for our next afternoon photo shoot. In the afternoon, we will meet once again for sunset caravan to our late afternoon location. After Sunset, we will caravan to our second-night shooting location.

Alabama Hills in the Eastern Sierra
Arches in the Eastern Sierra photography Workshop

Topics Covered in the Alabama Hills Night Sky Photography workshop

• Storytelling in photography
• Waiting for the right moment to shoot
• Aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for night conditions
• How to get the most creative exposure
• Discussions on getting the correct exposure
• How to fine-tune exposure and use of histograms
• Depth of field
• White balance settings for changing environments
• Learning how to create dynamic compositions
• Composition balance and flow

Suggested Camera Gear List

– Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera
– Wide-angle and Telephoto lenses are essential and whatever lenses you like (16mm-200mm recommended, Fast aperture lenses recommended for night photography workshops 1.4 to 2.8)
– Memory cards. (Enough to meet your shooting demands)
– A Hot shoe bubble level. (unless your camera has this option built-in)
– A Neutral Density Filter, to fit your widest lens. (3 stop, ND8 or Variable)
– A Polarizer filter.
– At least 3 fully charged batteries.
– A Shutter cable release, if you don’t use live view.
– A good sturdy tripod that you can lower to the ground if necessary.( Adjustable Ball head preferred)
– A small headlamp with fresh batteries
– A small collapsible cheap umbrella (Winter)
– A couple of small and large Zip-Loc bags
– A compact digital camera (Just for back-up)

Included in the Alabama Hills Night Sky Photography workshop

• Quality One on one photographic instruction geared to your level of expertise
• Minimum 6 hours per day of in-field shooting experience and instruction
• An interactive learning environment with two experienced instructors
• Photoshop and Lightroom sessions if time allows
• Portfolio Review – Bring your 5 best shots

Transportation, meals, and lodging are not included in the cost of the workshop.

Alabama Hills Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop
Alabama Hills Photography Workshop

Jansen Photo Expeditions is a fully certified CPR AED safety outfitter and is permitted to Operate Workshops
in the Inyo National Forest under Special Use Authorization


Jansen Photo Expeditions is fully permitted by the National Forest Service and insured to conduct photography workshops within Inyo National Forest.

We hope you can join us!  


Be sure to be familiar with our Cancellation Policy before completing your registration.

Please protect yourself from any unforeseen cancellations with affordable travel insurance.
We are a recognized provider of Travel Guard.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.


About Mark and Holly
Mark and Holly Jansen
Jansen Photo Expeditions
(805) 701-8807 or


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