Eastern Sierra Ghost Towns Workshop

July 11 - 15, 2010

Bodie Ghost Town, Owens Valley Ghost Towns, Mono Lake, American Flats Cyanide Mill, Comstock Mill, Virginia City, Virginia City and Truckee Railroad



We invite you to explore and travel back into our mining history with a unique visit to Bodie Historic State Park which is the best-preserved and most authentic ghost town in America. We will also travel to Virginia City where a mining boomtown developed overnight with the Comstock Lode silver strike of 1859. We will visit many historic sites including, The Silver Terrace Cemetery, Comstock Gold Mill and Piper Opera House. This workshop provides a great opportunity to develop your personal style, enhance your creativity, refine your photographic vision and improve your technical proficiency as we surround ourselves with remnants of the old wild west.

We are offering an exciting four hour, ranger led, private tour of Bodie that allows us access to many of the interiors not available to the general public. In the Comstock area, we will introduce you to the amazing graffiti walls of the American Flat Cyanide Mill for a truly unique mining site - in 1925 it was the largest concrete structure built by man and visible from Earth orbit. We will also spend sunrise among the spiral tufas of Mono Lake and discover Chemung Mine along our travels.


Day 1 - Sunday: Meet in Lee Vining at 4:00 p.m, please arrive promptly, for orientation and lecture.

Day 2 - Monday: We leave early for our sunrise shoot of Mono Lake’s, South Tufa and then return to Lee Vining for breakfast and break. We will spend the afternoon exploring Bodie State Park inside and out.

Day 3 - Tuesday: We will explore sunrise at Mono Lake from Panum Crater, then return to Lee Vining for breakfast and break. We will check out of our motel by 11:00 a.m. and begin our trip to Virginia City. We will explore Chemung Mine along the way and check into our motel in Carson City, have an early dinner, then visit the Silver Terrace Cemetery for a scary sunset to evening walk among the graves.

Day 4 - Wednesday: We will sleep in a bit, have breakfast, then explore the American Flat Mill site, studying the remnants of a mill left to the graffiti artist of today. After lunch, we will tour sites in Virginia City including St. Mary’s Art Center, Gold Hill, Comstock Gold Mill, Fourth Ward School, Piper Opera House and take a ride on the Virginia and Truckee Railroad.

Day 5 - Thursday: We begin our last day with a sunrise shoot of the Carson River. After breakfast, the workshop will conclude.

Lectures & Print Review

This workshop emphasize field work, however we will have an orientation lecture on the first evening of the workshop.

Experience & Equipment

The workshop is open to all photographers with any experience level from beginner to advanced, using any camera brand or type, digital or film. Your instructors are well versed in the use of Canon, Hasselblad, Leica and Nikon systems as well as point and shoot, digital single lens reflex, rangefinder, medium format and sheet film based view cameras (i.e., 4x5).

This workshop is targeted at photographers working in digital capture and using a personal computer and software such as Apple iPhoto, Apple Aperture, Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop.

We recommend a digital SLR with interchangeable lenses (with either a full-frame or cropped sensor), a sturdy tripod and ball-type head, a shutter-cable release, and at least two lenses: a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens (or a zoom lens capable of wide angle to telephoto range). Check out our
equipment recommendations to learn more about our suggestions.

Some workshop participants have previously even used their iPhone as their primary camera on the workshop! Your equipment should never be a limitation for expressing yourself through photography. Well crafted, compelling and emotional artistic images can be captured with virtually any equipment.

What To Bring & The Weather

The weather in Lee Vining and Bodie in July can be warm in the day and cool in the evenings. Temperatures around Mono Lake and Bodie during the day average 80 F and 35 F at night. Virginia City and Carson City average 82 F during the day and 57 F at night.

The key is to be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions and temperatures, bring layers and an outer layer suitable for rain or snow. Hiking boots are the best choice for footwear. Bring plenty of water and snacks during our location shooting. Consult our
gear checklist to learn what we recommend that you bring.

Lodging, Meals & Transportation

Workshop participants are responsible for their own lodging, meals and transportation. The town of Lee Vining features many lodging choices but we are staying at Lakeview Lodge Accommodations in Carson City may be found at Hotels, Motels, and B&Bs - Carson City Nevada Convention and Visitors Bureau or join us at InterContinental Hotels Group. We will often eat meals together, however you are free to join us or eat independently.

A vehicle with high ground clearance and 4WD is desirable and recommended but not necessary for this workshop. Car pooling is recommended during our outings and is a great way to get to know your fellow workshop participants, share your passion for photography and learn new points of view. Workshop participants are responsible for any fees for parking, park entrance and park usage.


The workshop will be led by veteran photographers Glenn Edens, Norine Cepernich and John Bassetto. There will be a maximum 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio to insure you have the time, attention and individual assistance you need to learn and practice concepts.

Our top priority during the workshop is to help you shoot. While we may bring camera equipment for demonstration purposes, your instructors do not shoot during the workshop.

Cost & Fees

The cost of this workshop is $995.00. The workshop is limited to 12 participants.

A detailed agenda, overview maps and locations of meeting places will be sent to you via electronic mail about one week prior to the start of the workshop. A confirmation email, verifying your participation in the workshop, is sent to you within two days after receipt of payment.

To sign up simply follow the instructions on our
Workshop Store and please read the Terms, Conditions & Limitation of Liability information.

Terms, Conditions & Limitation of Liability

Our goal is to provide you with an educational, enjoyable and high quality photographic workshop experience. As a workshop participant you will need to understand, agree to, sign and date a Limitation of Liability form.