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California: Coast, Desert and the Sierra-Nevada Photography Tour . . . April

Includes San Francisco, the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, Death Valley, Bodie, Mono Lake and Yosemite


Please go here for an alternative coastal California photo tour

  April: This photography tour is not currently in the schedule, but can be added by request

  12 nights/13 inclusive days  |  Maximum of 8 participants, and a minimum of 4 participants

  $5,780 USD per person  |  Single Supplement: 14% of the base cost of the trip

  The deposit for this photography tour is $400. Make a deposit, or pay your tour balance here

  Explore our discounts for client loyalty, early enrollment, 2 trips in 12 months, referrals and more

  Do you have a question? Ask us via email: Click here
  Arrival and departure airport: San Francisco, California [SFO]
  Arrival window: For a variety of travel related reasons, arriving one day early is recommended
  Search fares at Kayak, Skyscanner, Orbitz, Google Flights or your favorite airline
  Desert, coast and Sierra-Nevada photo gallery
  Map of overnight locations
  Client responses to our photo tours
  For the single supplement, cancellation policy and enrollment guidance see below

This photo tour will run with one or more participants. Please note that our group limit is not a requirement!  8 places are available at this time
  Updated: Sunday the 25th of February, 2024

This photo tour has sufficient enrollments, and is a 'go'. However, do please consult with us prior to arranging your travel for the trip!  Indicates that we have sufficient enrollments and the trip is a 'go'
This photo tour will run with one or more participants. Please note that our group limit is not a requirement!  Indicates that this trip requires the minimum number of participants as indicated on line two above



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Photography Tour Overview:
  A very busy 13 days of quality photography subjects such as San Francisco, the Monterey peninsula, Big Sur, Death Valley, Mono Lake and Bodie, Yosemite NP and more. California might be considered to be diverse to the point of overwhelming, but our itinerary concentrates on the heart of the State, and will bring photographs of more than sufficient diversity. Cityscapes, seascapes, dune-scapes, forest-scapes, mountain-scapes, plus wildlife and flora. All this and more! As with all of our photography tours, early and late shooting is scheduled for each day.


Our itinerary . . .
But first things first! We suggest that you set your camera's clock to the local time, as your images will then synchronize with the times in our included photo tour field notes.


Day 1  |  San Francisco
Our small group will gather late morning at our gateway hotel, and we'll kick things off with the included lunch. We値l then venture out for photographic subjects such as the Golden Gate Bridge from various viewpoints, concluding with Alamo Square at twilight . . . the classic 'Painted ladies' and city skyline composition.
San Francisco, 1 night

Days 2 + 3  |  Cabrillo Highway to the Monterey Peninsula
First light on the Golden Gate bridge this morning, then following breakfast we値l follow the Cabrillo Highway coast road shooting sea stacks and the Pigeon Point lighthouse.  Then on to Natural Bridges State Beach and Santa Cruz for the Breakwater lighthouse. We'll also shoot Pelicans, surfers, and colorful Capitola nearby. Then on to our Pacific Grove accommodations, and out to rugged Point Pinos for our first Pacific Ocean sunset.
On day 3 we値l work both Fisherman and Municipal wharves on the Monterey bay waterfront where sea mammals are frequent.  Additional highlights throughout the day will be the Carmel Mission, Sea Lions, Cormorants, hopefully Otters too, and the late light on the Bixby Creek Bridge on the Big Sur.
Pacific Grove, 2 nights


Day 4  |  The Big Sur and Morro Bay
We'll finish off in Pacific Grove this morning, then following the coast southwards today you値l find that the Point Lobos State Reserve has plenty of photographic potential to explore prior to our 祖ruising down the Big Sur coastline. We'll re-visit the Bixby Creek bridge, and have the remainder of the day to compose both long and wide angle coastal classics with many sea stacks, headlands, surfers and Piedra Blancas Lighthouse, before going on to our overnight in Morro Bay. Late light on the Morro Rock tonight.
Morro Bay, 1 night

Days 5, 6 + 7  |  Death Valley National Park
Early light at the edge of the Pacific before returning for breakfast, than on our way eastwards via the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa mission. We'll cross the Temblor mountain range, and via Kern Canyon and Pass for various stops along the Kern River, plus the Silver City ghost town at Bodfish. We値l then traverse pass and desert on our way to Death Valley National Park, where the warm late light on the Mesquite Flat sand dunes will get you in the right frame of mind for more Death Valley photography.
On days 6 and 7 we値l rise early for first light on the colorful dunes and hope that the record temperature of 134ーf is just a July phenomenon! It is also the lowest point in the lower 48 States at 282 feet below sea level.  We'll shoot early and late, shoot dunes, mountains and ghost towns, and take midday siestas with photography critiques also scheduled.
Death Valley NP, 3 nights


Day 8  |  Alabama Hills and Lakes
We値l depart Death Valley after more morning doses of photography, and go north on the Three Flags highway via Lone Pine, Independence and Bishop.  This is the eastern Sierra-Nevada mountain range and our first scheduled photo stop will be for the Alabama Hills, once a popular spot for Hollywood's westerns, plus nearby stands California's highest peak, Mt. Whitney at 14,495'. On northwards for a series lake and mountain scenes, and on to Lee Vining for the night. Late light on Mono lake to close the day.
Lee Vining, 1 night


Days 9, 10 + 11  |  Mono Lake, Bodie and Yosemite National Park day 9 will start with sunrise at Mono Lake where the Tufa Towers and pre-dawn glow will make the effort worthwhile. After breakfast we'll head north with one last stop at Mono lake and on north to Bodie . . . once a booming gold rush town, but a State Park since 1962 and now a photographic gold mine. As Tioga Pass is closed until May we will take a northern passage across the Sierra-Nevada range to Yosemite via Topaz, Carson Pass, San Andreas and Groveland. Our first view of the Yosemite Valley will yield a long lens shot compressing El Capitan and Half Dome peaks together.
Days 10 and 11 will find us taking in the likes of El Capitan meadow; the Merced River; waterfalls; Mule Deer and Coyote; Cathedral Spires; Half Dome and much more. We will of course pursue those great bands of light early and late that set images apart from postcard shots taken at midday against a blue sky . . . though we'll settle for those too.
Near Yosemite NP, 3 nights


Day 12  |  San Francisco
More Yosemite for much of the morning prior to heading eastwards. Taking the new Bay Bridge, we'll exit at Treasure Island for another classic San Francisco skyline scene. We値l be at our accommodations near the San Francisco airport in the late afternoon. The included dinner on the last night of our photography tour will feature an 'It's You!' presentation of clients in action on this tour by John.
Near the San Francisco airport, 1 night


Day 13  |  Departure day
As there isn't any photography scheduled for the day of departure on this trip, your flight home can be arranged for any time today. Transport to the airport is included unless you池e staying on for a day or more.

Photo Tour Photographer/Leader: John Baker, Travel Images Photography Tours
The preceding itinerary is a copyrighted work by John Baker Photographer LLC, and Travel Images Photography Tours


Enhancing Your Photography Skills

Describing the assistance you'll receive on one of our photography tours takes more than a few words, so for greater detail please go here.


Exertion level: This photography tour is classified as 'non strenuous' to 'moderately strenuous'

A majority of images are found in close proximity to our vehicle

In every other respect this photography tour is considered non-strenuous to mildly strenuous


Do you need a Visa for travel to the United States?
Travelers from all countries can do a quick check of visa requirements here or here
Our international clients may need to contact the embassy of their intended destination in their own country for a visa. Go here or here


Photography Tour Cost, Deposit, Cancellation Policy and Enrollment Guidance

Trip Cost: $5,780 USD per person not including airfare. A 5% discount is applied to all double occupancies. A single room supplement is required for single occupancy

Single Supplement: 14% of the base cost of the trip


The deposit for this photography tour is $400. Make a deposit, or pay your tour balance here


Cancellation policy: Go here

Enrollment guidance: Go here


Included in the Trip Cost: The following items are included in the trip cost . . .

  • Photography instruction throughout the trip by John

  • All accommodations with private facilities [en-suite]

  • All breakfasts

  • Lunch on day one of the trip

  • Dinner on the last night of the trip

  • On-vehicle snacks and bottled water

  • All ground transportation

  • Airport pick-up on day 1, and drop-off on departure day. Arrival prior to day 1 is not included

  • Entrance fees for sites and activities listed below under 羨dmissions Included

  • Following the trip you'll receive detailed field notes describing the time, place and subject of each photo stop, plus image uploads to a private web page of clients 'in action' on the trip

Not Included in the Trip Cost: The costs for these items are the responsibility of each participant . . .

  • Airfare

  • Travel costs between your home and the gateway airport and return

  • Any transportation or travel costs incurred prior to or after the tour痴 inclusive dates

  • Pre-tour and/or post-tour accommodation

  • Lunches and dinners except for lunch on day one of the trip, and dinner on the last night of the trip

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Entrance fees or costs related to optional sites or activities not included in the itinerary

  • Baggage fees

  • Medical expenses

  • Personal items such as the hotel mini-bar, laundry et cetera

  • Incidental charges incurred at our accommodations such as movie rentals, internet and phone

  • Travel insurance

  • Passport or visa expenses

  • Airport departure taxes, if applicable

Admissions Included in the Trip Cost:

  • Admission to Yosemite, and Death Valley National Parks is included in our Commercial Organization, Commercial Tour Fees, and/or a Commercial Use Authorization [CUA] permit

  • Also included is entrance into Bodie State Park and other ghost towns, State Parks and National Monuments listed in the itinerary above

  • All other possible rides, admissions or excursions are optional and not included


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Travel Images Photography Tours: Guided Landscape, Natural History, Macro and Wildlife Photography Tours
Email  |  Phone: [+1] 208-559-8248 | Postal: Travel Images, P.O. Box 939, Middleton, Idaho 83644-0939