In March, 2011, I traveled to Death Valley National Park in the California state, United States of America, to attend a photography workshop that emphasized the landscapes of the region. The five-day workshop was organized by the Friends of Arizona Highways. Professional photographer Kerrick James, the workshop's instructor, provided expert guidance.
I arrived in Las Vegas two days prior to the workshop to enjoy the city. My lodging was the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas. During my stay, the Adventure Photo Tours organized a visit to the Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas.
The 18 participants of the photography workshop gathered one morning in Las Vegas and boarded two passenger vans and one sport utility vehicle for the drive to Death Valley National Park. Each vehicle was driven by a volunteer leader from the Friends of Arizona Highways. Instructor Kerrick James rotated among the vehicles.
At Death Valley, our group's lodging was the Furnace Creek Ranch in the village of Furnace Creek inside the park. Furnace Creek Ranch is not the Furnace Creek Inn, which is a more luxurious hotel nearby. Our group also stayed one night at the Dow Villa Motel in Lone Pine, California, when we visited the Alabama Hills Recreation Area.
The workshop was fast-paced, hands-on, and very active. A typical day started with my alarm clock waking me in the pre-dawn hour so our group can quickly depart the hotel around 5 AM. The first location of the day focused on photographing sunrise. After a few hours, our group returned to the hotel for breakfast. Then Kerrick James conducted critiques of our photographs. After a half-hour rest, our group drove to various locations and did not return to the hotel until the evening. The last location of the day focused on sunset.
The Racetrack was reached by driving 27 miles of an extremely rough dirt road that was dusty and scattered with loose rocks. The road passed the Teakettle Junction where previous visitors tied teakettles on the road sign. One of our vehicles in our convoy suffered a punctured tire just as we arrived at the Racetrack. The Racetrack is a dry lakebed that is 3 miles long and 2 miles wide. The dried mud is at least 1,000 feet thick.
Zabriskie Point is a popular and easily accessible location in the park. The surrounding landscape has been featured in numerous movies and commercials. Our class arrived here at dawn to photograph it.