Last week I was in Death Valley National Park doing a workshop with my friend and digital guru, Scott Rouse. We had a great group of people and really nice weather and based on the pictures Scott and I saw during the critiques, our participants got some really nice shots. This is the first time in Death Valley that I felt really comfortable in the park, the first time I was able to evaluate the conventional photographic wisdom and do things differently and better. For instance, the west side of the dunes is the worst side to photograph yet it is the area that is always recommended.

I don’t photograph on the workshops I lead. The participants are paying for me to pay attention to them not for me to pay attention to my photography. I don’t understand why anybody tolerates leaders who do their own photography on the participant’s dime. It is a workshop or a tour, not a subsidized photo shoot for the leader and yet leaders photograph on workshops and tours all the time. I don’t get it, it is the wrong way to conduct a workshop or tour. Here are two shots from the dunes that my students gave me to use for teaching. I can’t wait to go back and get my own shots.