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  • Sunset at Mojave Desert in Twentynine Palms, CA

Join us for a day of photography in two special desert places off the beaten track: Whitewater Preserve, and Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. From the Whitewater River, to McCallum pond in an oasis of California fan palms, you’ll experience the beauty of water in the desert. Winter is an excellent season to photograph the low desert, with its cool temperatures, longer shadows and views of distant peaks.

The day consists of photographic field sessions, group instruction and one-on-one assistance from your instructor. Your questions will be answered! You’ll learn tips and techniques for controlling sharpness, exposure, making panoramic photographs, and using lenses, along with creative exercises in photographing the desert landscape. Class begins in the morning close to the rugged cliffs of Whitewater Preserve. After lunch, we relocate to Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve for afternoon field sessions among stately palms. Hiking at each preserve is easy – to moderate; we’ll be walking on trails that are mainly level. Participants are encouraged to bring a tripod with their camera(s)

Register today!

Join us for an opportunity to stay in an exceptional part of the California Desert and devote three days to making new photographs. The class is based at the Desert Studies Center, south of Baker, CA. The Center— also known as Zzyzx (zy-zix)— lies inside in the Mojave National Preserve and is a former health spa with interesting buildings, palms, ponds, springs, plus fine views of Soda Dry Lake and desert mountains. Special emphasis is placed on photography in the field to allow students to work with color, light, shapes, and textures of the desert at an unhurried pace. On one half-day field session we’ll photograph lava beds and a Joshua tree forest. Two night photography sessions are scheduled to take advantage of dark skies over Zzyzx. Instructional topics include: exposure, making panoramic photographs, HDR photography, controlling image sharpness.

Hiking on field sessions easy – to moderate. Participants are encouraged to bring a tripod with their cameras.

This field study is based at the Desert Studies Center (of California State University) located within the Preserve at Soda Springs (Zzyzx), about a three-hour drive from Joshua Tree. The course fee includes two nights’ lodging at the Center and meals starting with dinner on Friday through breakfast on Sunday. Upon enrollment, you will be sent detailed information about the Center and what to bring.

Register today!

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Know Before You Go

Your health and safety is the top priority for our hospitality businesses. In accordance with State/County guidelines we kindly remind you to wear your face mask/covering, practice healthy hand-washing, maintain a safe social distance, and postpone travel if you are sick.

Together, our everyday actions can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.