Live your best creative life.

OUT OF YOSEMITE

Landscape Photography Conference

February 5-9, 2020 

Immerse yourself in the land of Ansel Adams with 5 days of winter landscape photography shooting side-by-side with the pros.

Transform your photography at this unique, small group, landscape photography conference as you learn from over a dozen of the world’s best landscape and black-and-white photographers. Immerse yourself in the winter wonderland and stillness of Yosemite’s breathtaking landscape. From El Capitan and Half Dome to Bridalveil Fall and more, explore and photograph staggering cliffs, dramatic waterfalls, atmospheric misty mornings and frozen streams, all within steps of Yosemite Valley Lodge.

Instructors

Learn from some of the world’s best landscape photographers

Out of Yosemite brings 15 of the best creative landscape photographers in the world together, including several that have worked with Ansel Adams himself. Ranging from grand landscapes to intimate scenes, learn, hands-on, a variety of photography styles and diverse perspectives from this all-star team. Each day you will go in the field to shoot side-by-side and photograph all the iconic places in Yosemite. With this many passionate photographers in one place, we promise to deliver an inspired, mega-workshop and photography experience for you. All of our instructors are trained in “leave no trace” and certified in CPR and first aid. We support the principles of Nature First, the alliance for responsible nature photography. 

“I was repeatedly struck by the fact that the instructors seemed to be as excited to be there as the attendees were, and how easily and happily they shared their expertise.”
— KIRA
John Sexton

Assistant and technical consultant to Ansel Adams. International Photography Hall of Fame Inductee.

Michael Frye
Michael Frye
Charlotte Gibb
Charlotte Gibb

Intimate landscape master and Yosemite expert.

William Neill

Yosemite resident and author of the On Landscape column in Outdoor Photographer.

Charles Cramer
Charlie Cramer

Master printmaker, two time Yosemite artist-in-residence and Ansel Adams Gallery artist and workshop leader.

Colleen Miniuk
Colleen Miniuk

Inspirational photographer, writer, adventurer and workshop leader.

Alex Noriega
Alex Noriega

2016 USA and International Landscape Photographer of the year.

Alan Ross

Ansel Adams’ photographic assistant chosen by Ansel as the exclusive printer of his Yosemite Special Edition negatives.”

Jennifer King
Jennifer King

Photographer, workshop instructor, speaker and writer.

Harold Davis
Harold Davis

Author of Creative Black and White: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques and A Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite & the High Sierra.

Jack Curran
Jack Curran

Fine art black and white landscape photographer

Tim Cooper
Tim Cooper

Passionate instructor and digital processing guru.

And more instructors still to be announced!

Location & Accommodation

Yosemite Valley Lodge, Yosemite National Park

Stay and learn in the heart of Yosemite Valley at Yosemite Valley Lodge, convenient to all the iconic shooting locations. Yosemite Valley Lodge is a modern, yet rustic, lodge that is set-up as a perfect basecamp for photographers with first-class conference facilities and lodging.  The surroundings provide remarkable views, bright mountain sunshine and ample opportunities to step outside your hotel room and capture what inspires you anytime of the day. All permits have been obtained for our group to experience and photograph the National Park. Yosemite National Park was Ansel Adams’ primary source of inspiration – which is why we think it is also the perfect place to learn and be inspired.

“When photographer Ansel Adams looked through his camera lens, he saw more than Yosemite’s rocks, trees, and rivers. He saw art.”
— NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Highlights

What makes this conference unlike any others? We will be staying and learning in the heart of Yosemite Valley, at Yosemite Valley Lodge, only 15 minutes from all the iconic locations. Each day choose where you want to go and what you want to photograph. From misty mornings in Cook’s Meadow to a clearing storm at Tunnel View, you won’t want to miss out on any of these epic photography experiences.

“The program was filled with amazing photographers to learn from. Whether you are a beginner or pro, this conference is for everyone. Highly recommend!”
— BETH
  • Camera settings for winter landscape photography
  • Capturing great light in fog, snow and mist
  • Shooting in adverse weather conditions
  • Slowing down and going beyond the iconic shot
  • Using ND filters for long exposures
  • Capture tack sharp images every time
  • Composing intimate scenes to grand landscapes
  • Techniques for dramatic night photography 
  • Processing for dramatic black and white images
  • Workflow from capture to print
  • Post-processing secrets of the pros
  • And much more

A sampling of the 100+ sessions to choose from.

Itinerary

Each day will be an adventure as you explore the Yosemite region. Keep yourself immersed in photography, morning, noon and night. Push your creativity and skills with daily hands-on, in-the-field photography classes, discussions and small group critiques.
Day 1

Check in to Yosemite Valley Lodge (4pm)
Meet & greet reception
Group dinner
Welcome by Chris Smith, founder of Out of Chicago
Opening keynote presentation with John Sexton
Evening breakout sessions

Day 2, Day 3, Day 4

Breakfast
Morning field sessions in the Yosemite Valley
Group lunch/afternoon presentation
Afternoon field sessions in the Yosemite Valley
Group dinner
Evening presentation
Evening classes, workshops, image reviews and night excursions
Scheduled time to work with an instructor one-on-one

Day 5

Morning field sessions in the Yosemite Valley
Group breakfast
Check out of hotel (11am)

What makes us different?

EPIC LOCATIONS  |  WORLD-CLASS PHOTOGRAPHERS  |  HANDS-ON INSTRUCTION

We bring over a dozen photographers with multiple perspectives to one place and create an experience you can’t get anywhere else. With over 75 classes, workshops and interactive sessions to choose from, compare this to a regular photography workshop or conference, for just as much cost or more.

Workshop

  • Hands-on, in-the-field instruction.
  • Single instructor.
  • Small group.
  • One photography style and perspective.
  • Everybody follows the same schedule.

Out of Chicago

  • Hands-on, in-the-field instruction. (10 or fewer people)
  • Small group classes and interactive sessions.
  • 10-15 leading photography instructors in one place, at one time.
  • Diverse styles and perspectives from one photography genre.
  • Limited to 100 attendees for an energetic yet intimate event.
  • Meet other photographers with your same passion.
  • Social time with attendees and instructors including group meals and more.
  • Vendors and opportunities to buy and test equipment.
  • Choose from a variety of classes and excursions to create your own personalized, daily photography adventure.
  • All classes and field-sessions included in price.

Conference

  • 10-15 photography presenters.
  • Vendors.
  • Hundreds of attendees.
  • A la carte pricing for field-sessions.
  • Everybody follows the same schedule.

Our promise

Live your best creative life

Out of Chicago brings together passionate enthusiasts with world-class photographers, all in one epic location, where you learn and shoot side-by-side with the pros. Since 2014, we have organized more than 15 hands-on photography conferences in Chicago, New York City, Moab and more. We are all photographers ourselves, so we understand what it takes to be inspired, get to the right place at the right time and live our best creative life.

EPIC LOCATION

From iconic landscapes to dramatic outdoor spaces, we handpick each location for our conferences so you can get the most out of photographing a place. Inclusive of first-class conference facilities to stepping out your door for the first morning light, we promise you a perfect place to learn and play.

IMMERSIVE LEARNING

Each event brings together over a dozen world-class photographers from across the country that specialize in one niche of photography. Spend five days immersing yourself in classes and interactive sessions, learning side-by-side from the pros. This means you can learn, shoot and play in your passion with others just like you.

HANDS-ON INSTRUCTION

Get five full days of personal, hands-on instruction in the classroom and in the field. We teach it. Then you practice what you learn, with your favorite photographers at the top of their game. Pro-level photographers will lead you on daily excursions and assist you in getting the perfect shot.

WORLD-CLASS PHOTOGRAPHERS

Take your photography to the next level with some of the world’s most creative photographers in their field. We’ve gathered over a dozen leading photography instructors, each with their unique perspectives, to teach you what they know. This means we are all here with one purpose – to help you make great images.

CRITIQUE & POST PROCESSING

Receive feedback from instructors during daily group critique sessions or get post-processing help during your session. Return home with gallery ready images you are proud of.

FRIENDLY COMMUNITY

Be part of a community that is as passionate as you are about photography. Get to know attendees and instructors over several days. Stay in touch afterwards on Instagram or in our private Facebook group. Come back the following year to connect again but, in a new location.

CONFERENCE PRICE

$3500

This event is limited to 100 attendees. Reserve with a deposit of $1250. The remaining balance is due 60 days before the event.

“Thank you for enriching our lives by bringing us all together with such beautiful, passionate instructors. They gave us so much inspiration. So many life lessons. Not just photography.”
— USHA

What’s included?

Hands-on instruction from the top photographers in the field
More than 75 scheduled sessions to choose from to create a personalized learning experience
Daily hands-on workshops and in-the-field excursions
Personal one-on-one sessions and small-group image reviews
4 nights accommodation at Yosemite Valley Lodge (double occupancy)
Opening cocktail reception and group dinner at Yosemite Valley Lodge
Group lunches and dinners Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Grab & go continental breakfasts each morning

Private Facebook group to connect with your fellow photographers to coordinate carpools

What’s not included?

Transportation to Yosemite Valley Lodge and to excursions. You will need snow chains to enter the park during winter.
Travel insurance to cover unexpected cancellations due to snow
National Park Pass ($35 per vehicle)

Frequently asked questions

How do I get to Yosemite?
You can fly into Fresno (1.5 hr drive), Sacramento (3 hr drive), San Jose (4 hr drive) or San Francisco (4.5 hr drive). We can help you coordinate carpools if needed. There will be a Facebook group for you to coordinate carpools and find other attendees to share the cost of a room at Yosemite Valley Lodge.

How are we getting to the photo locations?
We will coordinate carpools from Yosemite Valley Lodge for each excursion.

What Yosemite locations will we photograph?
Winter photography in Yosemite is limited to the Yosemite Valley, but this is where you’ll find most of the great Yosemite photo locations. The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite lists 15 locations in the Yosemite Valley and they are all easily accessible by car. Most of the best Yosemite views are within a few steps of the parking lot. Without having to do any hiking you can photograph from the most iconic locations including Tunnel View, Valley View, Bridalveil Fall and Swinging Bridge. Take a leisurely hike on level ground through El Capitan or Cook’s Meadow. Lower Yosemite Fall and the Yosemite Lodge River Bend are within a 5-minute walk from the Lodge. For those that are more adventurous, there will be excursions to little known locations that you can’t find on a map or in a guide book.

What fitness level is required for the excursions?
Some of the excursions will have almost no walk. You get out of the car and start shooting from the overlook. Other excursions require a hike. We will describe the excursion difficulty in the descriptions before you choose your excursions. Difficulty level can change due to weather. A simple hike to a waterfall can become an icy adventure depending on weather conditions. Instructors and staff will arrive early to scout current conditions. We will have updated trail information for you at the beginning of the conference.

What is the weather in Yosemite in February?
Typically, highs are in the fifties with lows in the 30s. It’s possible that there is snow, but it does not stay in the Valley throughout the winter. Roads are typically clear except immediately after a large storm.

What if it rains or snows?
Be sure to bring appropriate weather gear. Remember that bad weather often makes the best images. Schedules will be re-arranged as needed to accommodate weather conditions. With a large enough snow storm, it’s possible that the park is closed for the day due to road conditions. This is rare, but not impossible. Be sure to have travel insurance in the case of unexpected cancellations.

Do I need tire chains for my car?
You are required to carry chains in your car during winter months to enter the park. Get more information at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tirechains.htm. You can pick up chains at Walmart along the way and if you don’t use them you can always return them. Check to be sure that your rental car company allows chains.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
For this event we require you to have travel insurance in case there are cancellations due to weather. We recommend www.travelguard.com.

Who is this event for?
Photography enthusiasts and pros. All levels of passionate photographers are welcome. Just be ready to eat, sleep and drink landscape photography for five days.

Will we photograph wolves, bison and other wildlife?
We are going to Yosemite National Park in California, not Yellowstone National Park. Many people have confused these when they hear about the event. So the answer is, no, we won’t photograph wolves and bison. We may see bears while we’re there, but the focus of this conference is landscape photography.

How can I learn more about Yosemite before the event?
We recommend The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite by Michael Frye. You can get a print copy and as an app.

What photography equipment do I need?
You’ll want a DSLR or mirrorless camera and a tripod. We’ll share detailed equipment recommendations before the event. A laptop is suggested so you can work on your images during the post-processing and critique sessions.

Will there be a chance to hang out with the instructors?
You bet! Throughout the week we will eat meals together, hang out in the evening and photograph together in small groups. There will be plenty of time to ask questions and hang out with your favorite photographers.

Will I be sitting in classes all day?
This is a hands-on, immersive photography experience. We’re not going to bring you all the way to Yosemite to sit in a classroom watching something you could watch in bed on Youtube. Over 5 days, you’ll learn new techniques in the field while shooting with some of the world’s best photographers. There is classroom time available to practice post-processing and to get feedback on images, but you’ll be in the field most of the time. There are plenty of options available each day for you to create a schedule that matches your interests, inside and outside the classroom.

Will we photograph the “firefall” that occurs every February?
During the last two weeks of February, photographers come from around the world hoping to get this one iconic image causing traffic jams and crowding in the park. We planned our conference to avoid this. We want to give you multiple opportunities throughout the day to push the boundaries of your creativity rather than chase postcard shots. And we want to do it when Yosemite crowds are at their lowest.

When will I choose my sessions?
We will release the full detailed schedule one month before the event. We’ll send information on choosing sessions at this time and give directions to choose sessions. Group presentations are open to everyone. In-the-field sessions are limited to 10 participants. All participants will have an equal opportunity to get into the sessions of their choice.

Can I bring a non-photographer friend or family member with me?
Of course! They are welcome to join us for the group presentations at no charge. The in-the-field teaching excursions are limited to ten people and are reserved for conference attendees only. A meal pass will be offered at an additional charge so that they can join us for group meals. If you are sharing a room with them, you must purchase the single occupancy ticket.

What is the refund policy?
You can read the refund policy here. Because of the nature of this event, we require you to get travel insurance. We recommend www.travelguard.com.

If you have any other questions, please email me at chris@outofchicago.com

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