Scott Davenport Photography
Photography – Education – Fun


Death Valley, February 2018

Death Valley, February 2018



Death Valley has so much to offer a photographer. Pristine sand dunes, other worldly salt-encrusted landscapes, breathtaking overlooks. Join Scott Davenport on an exciting journey to a place like nowhere else on Earth.

Dates: February 15th - 19th, 2018

Limited to 6 Students

Reserve your space with a deposit. Full tuition due 60 days before the workshop. Details below.

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Manly Beacon


The workshop begins mid-day on Feb 15th. We'll meet in the town of Furnace Creek to get to know one another. We plan the workshop to help you achieve your photography goals.

Each day we will shoot sunrise and sunset. We will visit the top, must-see locations like Zabreskie Point, Mesquite Dunes, Badwater Basin, and the Racetrack Playa (just to name a few). Death Valley also has wonderful dark skies. We will work some astrophotography into our schedule, too.

In between our shoots, we will stay together as a group and enjoy meals together, too. I will host post processing lessons in between shoots, too. I will have some prepared material, although I prefer to tailor lessons to your needs. This is your workshop.

On the morning of Feb 19th, we will wrap up our workshop with photo presentations and critiques. Days will be long. The alarm will ring early. Some days involve a few hours of driving (we'll carpool). This isn't a vacation and we will "work" during the workshop. You might be tired at the end. You'll definitely be grinning from ear to ear!


  • 6 location shoots (perhaps more if we're energetic!)
  • Daily hands-on coaching and instruction in the field
  • Group and personalized post processing instruction
  • Admission fees to Death Valley National Park
  • Photo critiques
  • Water and snacks while on location


  • Transportation (airfare/car rental) to and from Death Valley National Park
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Travel Insurance
  • Anything else not expressly included
Sailing Stones
The Grandstand


In my experience, the more questions and thirst for knowledge you bring to the workshop, the more you will get out of it. I thrive on questions and love teaching photography.

  • How to create dynamic, compelling landscape compositions
  • How focal length changes the feel of your composition and photo
  • How to best focus your camera for landscapes
  • Workflow and post processing techniques to bring out color and detail in seascapes
  • How to use masking and brushing to make your photos pop!
  • And much, much more…


Workshop participants receive a complete workshop handbook with details on what gear and clothing to pack. Here's a summary:

  • A camera that is capable of manual mode. Interchangeable lenses are a plus.
  • A variety of lenses.
  • A sturdy tripod. The desert can get windy.
  • A laptop. Post processing is a big part of the workshop.
  • A neutral density and/or polarizing filter.
  • Layers of clothing.
  • Sturdy hiking boots.
  • An open mind and a can-do attitude!


This workshop will involve some hiking. If you are comfortable walking on uneven ground for 1 to 2 miles, you'll be fine on this workshop.  If a location is out of your comfort zone, I'm never going to force participation. We'll figure out an alternative.


All skill levels are welcome. You do not need to be an advanced photographer. You'll get more from the workshop if you already have an understanding of the fundamentals. If you can work comfortably in aperture priority mode and know when it's time to switch to manual/bulb, you're plenty prepared.

The Devil's Golfcourse

Frequently Asked Questions

What locations will we visit?
We will visit the top, must-see locations like Zabreskie Point, Mesquite Dunes, Badwater Basin, and the Racetrack Playa. Sometimes roads are closed in the park due to damage - but not to worry! There are plenty of great locations to choose from in Death Valley. 

What will this adventure cost me in total?
I can’t give you a firm number, but I estimate the total cost around $4000. How am I arriving at that number? The workshop is $1595 and that includes me as your guide in Death Valley, personalized photo instruction and post process tutorials.

The remainder is derived from reasonable estimates. Assuming you want to arrive the day before the workshop begins...  $450 for a US domestic flight, $250 for a rental car for a week, $300 for food, and $850-1150 for 5 nights lodging in Death Valley,. Lodging choices are limited, and the hotels know it! I have a block of rooms reserved for the workshop at The Ranch in Furnace Creek ($253/night plus fees & taxes).

If you're traveling internationally, of course your flight cost will be higher. And if you rent a luxury car or stay in the posher hotel in town, those costs will be higher, too. :-)

I'm flying in. What airport should I travel to?
There are two options: Mccaren International in Las Vegas (LAS) or Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR). Both are about a 3 hour drive to the town of Furnace Creek in Death Valley – but this adventure is well worth it! Las Vegas is about 30 miles closer than Burbank.

Can I bring a spouse or +1?
You'll take care of your own lodging, so you are welcome to bring your spouse or +1 along. However, during the workshop events, our purpose is to live and breathe photography. Non-participants cannot join us on our location shoots or during post processing sessions. Your traveling companions are welcome to join us for meals. 

Are you authorized to teach in Death Valley?
Yes. I teach my workshops with permission granted from Death Valley National Park and hold a Commercial Use Authorization permit for 2018. I conduct this workshop based on the permit's guidelines. I am also first aid and CPR certified.

What level of fitness do I need?
There aren’t any long, extended hikes. You do need to be sufficiently fit to walk a mile or two on uneven terrain. Of course, I’ll never force you to go somewhere out of your comfort zone. We’ll figure out alternatives if and when called for.

Is Death Valley hot in February?
Not bad, actually. On average, daytime temperatures at in the 70s F/20s C. Layers of clothing is advised, however. After the sun goes down, the temperature falls rapidly, sometimes below freezing. We will try to incorporate some astrophotography into the workshop, so have a jacket, hat, and gloves in case we get a chilly evening.

Do I need a rental car?
Yes. You are responsible for getting yourself to Death Valley. I suppose you could Lyft or Uber your way there, but it'll be one heck of a fare! After the workshop, you might want to spend a couple of extra days exploring park yourself. There is just so much to see and photograph!

What post processing software do I need?
Use anything you are comfortable with using. I use Lightroom and ON1 Photo primarily. I am familiar with Luminar, Aurora HDR, Capture One, and Apple Photos, too. I've used the Nik suite in the past, and now a bit of Photoshop. My focus in the workshop is to teach you why a photo needs adjusting and what should be adjusted to make your photo stronger. The mechanics of how to do that will vary from tool to tool... and it's usually straightforward to figure out once we know what to change and why.

If you don't have any post processing tools, read this blog post and download a free trial of a product.

Badwater Salt Flats


The workshop size is small by design. I want everyone to have plenty of 1-on-1 time with me. When you finish this workshop, I want you to leave not only with great photos, but as a better photographer, too!

The workshop cost is $1595. That includes personalized instruction, on location guidance, and post processing lessons. A deposit of $595 reserves your space. Per my workshop cancelation policy, deposits are non-refundable. You will be invoiced for the remaining $1000 about 60 days prior to the workshop. If you need a payment plan, contact me and we'll make arrangements.

Participants agree to join the workshop at their own risk and participants must sign an acknowledgement of risks form. By its nature, outdoor landscape photography has inherent risks. I’ll never lead you into an area that is unduly dangerous. If at any time during the workshop you don’t feel comfortable, certainly let me know.

Please review my cancellation policy. This policy covers cancellations from both students and the instructor(s) and refund information.