Death Valley Photography Workshops

Lynn Radeka and Mari Calai

November 15 - 19, 2021

Open to film and digital photographers of any experience level. Registration below

Incontri. Copyright © Mari Calai

Join Lynn Radeka and Mari Calai for our November 2021 Death Valley photography workshop marking Lynn Radeka's 55th year exploring Death Valley! Experience the adventure of photographing Death Valley's remarkable places in this very popular workshop series, now expanded with two schedules for 2021. A true photographer's desert paradise, Death Valley has inspired master photographers such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston to produce some of their notable and outstanding images of this captivating and photogenic wilderness landscape. Today, few photographers know Death Valley's intimate canyons and vast open expanses better than Lynn Radeka who has hiked, camped and photographed in Death Valley since 1966.

This workshop will be co-instructed by Mari Calai, a true visionary who will offer a different and unique perspective. Mari's images are often very personal and thought-provoking, sometimes invoking a feeling of mystery and a personal emotional connection with the subject far beyond the ability of most photographers. Her energy and unique insight will be an inspiration to everyone, whether a beginner or a seasoned photographer. It is exciting having her on-board for the first time in this workshop series!

Photographer Ron Gaut will be assisting us at this workshop as he has so valuably and graciously done through most of this workshop series. Ron has shared his amazing and rare talent with no restrictions. He has hiked and explored Death Valley's vast expanses and intimate canyons for decades and has a visually stunning collection of work.

This workshop is open to all photographers whether shooting large or small format black and white or color, film or digital! No photographer will be rushed regardless of his/her film format or digital format and experience level. We have seen too many workshop hosts rush the participants simply to run to the next destination. Limited campground and trailside lunches will be provided by Lynn Radeka, Mari Calai and Ron Gaut, but each participant will be expected to be self-sufficient with regards to breakfasts and dinners. Please inquire about any concerns. Since we will be based at Stovepipe Wells, a restaurant and small market is available for breakfasts and dinners. A motel is also available across the street from the campground, walking distance. In all respects, Stovepipe Wells, with it's old western atmosphere, is far less expensive than the Furnace Creek area (gas, food, lodging, etc.) and is centrally located so our daily adventures will be more efficient. Upon your registration for this workshop you'll be given information for booking your rooms early. Camping is of course available and we will be spending the evenings at the campground discussing photography and each day's adventures.

We will be visiting some of Death Valley's most popular and unusual areas. Depending on the number of 4wd vehicles we have available, we will most likely visit a few 4 wheel drive back country locations, exploring photographic opportunities that most other Death Valley workshops don't visit. After all, half of the unique photographic possibilities Death Valley has to offer are found in the exciting canyons and backroads! If you do not plan on bringing a 4WD vehicle, there will most likely be opportunities to ride along with other participants or to share in the rental cost of a Jeep.

Depending on our daily timing, Lynn, Mari and Ron will be reviewing each day's shoot on a laptop computer and commenting on possible image manipulations and improvements. For photographers shooting traditional film formats (large, medium or small) we may be shooting a similar digital shot on the scene when possible so that we can make appropriate comments and suggested print quality enhancements (including contrast masking) on the computer in the evenings. Digital photographers will enjoy the array of unusual and interesting software programs and techniques we may be demonstrating in the evenings including panorama stitching, focus stacking for extreme depth-of-field, and other image optimization techniques.

One of the highlights of this workshop is our evening print gathering where the instructors and participants can view and comment on each other's images. Please bring at least 2 prints to show, regardless if they are finished prints or test strips. We realize that because of airline travel this may be difficult so it's not absolutely necessary.

To better customize this workshop to fill your needs, please download and fill in this brief questionnaire and return it via email to


Dunes, 2020. Copyright © Mari Calai

Lynn will be handing out durable cutout viewing cards (an excellent aid in discovering and visualizing compositions) to everyone. He and Mari will be assisting attendees in obtaining the best exposures and white balance settings using RAW format for those photographers shooting digital. For those photographers shooting traditional large format film, he will assist in view camera controls and the use of zone system methods including previsualization, filtration, exposure and development, and visualization of images with the intent of using contrast masking during printing (no previous experience necessary!). For those using small or medium format film, Mari will assist in visualization and technical aspects. Equally enjoyable though are the adventures by car, 4WD or on foot into Death Valley's most photogenic areas. We do not plan on any strenuous long distance hiking but if you have concerns please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

After the workshop is over, each participant is invited to send or e-mail images from the workshop which will be posted on the Radeka Photography Workshops Facebook page, for all participants to view, critique or comment on. Lynn may also select several images from each participant and optimize them in such a way as to demonstrate alternate ways of printing the images, including suggested uses of masks, etc.

For those who are able and willing, expect some short distance hiking with your camera gear and some possible bumpy dirt roads (depending on available vehicles). Tag-alongs are not allowed on this workshop except for husband or wife of a paid participant. Participants with spouses are expected to be self-sufficient with regards to all meals for the spouse. A restaurant and small market are right next to the campground and motel. This workshop is limited to eight paid participants. Please see the signup details below.

To better customize this workshop to fill your needs, please download and fill in this brief questionnaire and return it via email to

Dune Curve. Copyright © Lynn Radeka

About the instructors

Lynn Radeka

Influenced in his early work by Ansel Adams and Wynn Bullock, Lynn Radeka’s professional photography career spans over 50 years. His love of the grand landscapes and intimate details of the American West was born on his first trip to Death Valley in 1966.

Lynn Radeka’s Black and White photography has been featured in eight National Park posters and several calendars including the calendar series Radeka: The American West and several ghost town calendars published by Browntrout publishers. In 1989 and 1990 he was commissioned by Moore and Moore Publishers (New York) to do the photography for five full-color books, taking him on a 2 year journey through the back roads, historic places and ghost towns of the entire American West. Lynn also has the honor of being a featured photographer in the book publication "World's Top Photographers: Landscape" and has been published in LensWork, Classic Imaging Magazine, B&W Magazine, View Camera Magazine and other photography publications.

Lynn currently teaches workshops in Death Valley, Utah and New Mexico, and Contrast Masking workshops in his home darkroom in California. He is the producer and co-author of the Contrast Masking Kit - a technical manual for traditional film-based photographers. Lynn feels completely at home using a 4x5 view camera for his film-based work and more recently a Sony A7R mirrorless camera for his digital work.

Please visit the bio page of this website for more information.

Mari Calai

Romanian born artist Mari Calai has travelled throughout the world and now makes the USA her home. Influenced to a great extent by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Edward Weston, she is adept at using small and medium format film cameras, currently a Rolleiflex, as well as digital. Having garnered several exhibits throughout the world, Mari's first book, titled Adagio, was published after a successful one-woman show in South Korea, where she lived at the time. Adagio is a book of black and white photographs of her children, lovingly portrayed with an honesty and sensitivity rarely seen in photography.

Not one to sit idle, with unstoppable energy (she was recently honored with a Master's degree and can speak several languages), Mari is always looking for her next adventure. She began using her innate artistic skills by painting and in just a couple short years her paintings have been exhibited in galleries and sold to collectors. Her work is of an eclectic nature as she has an interest in pursuing different styles and techniques, whether it be painting, street-style photography, or, more recently, fine-art landscape and detail photography - all with her own unique vision.

Mari's newest book, titled DOR, will be published in 2021.

Ron Gaut

Ron Gaut discovered the outdoors at an early age and developed a deep passion for wilderness and photography. Not surprising, with Ron's 30-year engineering background and thirst to learn about photographic processes, in the early 1990's he began to experiment with many different films, developers, silver papers and alternative processes. He quantified much of his work by sensitometric analysis to determine the film/developer and paper/developer combination properties for different film and paper development methods, submitting the results as thesis papers at a local college.

Influenced in his early work by Ansel Adams, John Sexton, Lynn Radeka, Ray McSavaney, and other contemporary "west coast" landscape masters, Ron traveled and photographed the southwest with his 4x5 view camera, particularly Death Valley. "Death Valley is probably the most dynamic and diverse national park in America. It's like a big, beautiful painting; you could sit and stare for hours picking out all the different pieces". Ron's style reflects his feelings about Death Valley: he enjoys photographing the intimate details of the landscape.

Ron Gaut is an expert in digital techniques. "I enjoy the digital workflow. However, there is a steep learning curve to becoming proficient and printing your own work is essential." Ron uses Lightroom for global adjustments and Photoshop to fine-tune his images before printing. He has firmly established himself as an accomplished photographer and printer, receiving awards and accolades from critics and through photography competitions.


Dunes and Buttes
. © Lynn Radeka

. © Ron Gaut


Road, Titus Canyon.
Copyright © Lynn Radeka

Road at Sunset. Copyright © Lynn Radeka


Death Valley Photography Workshop Registration

November 15 - 19, 2021

limited to eight participants

To better customize this workshop to fill your needs, please download and fill in this brief questionnaire and return it via email to

Location: Death Valley, California. Stovepipe Wells will be our base. Camping and motel rooms are available. Contact us for details.

Total workshop fee: $1400. (reservation: $700, remainder fee: $700)

Tuition: Reservations and remaining payment can be made here

Duration: 5 Days.

Materials to bring: Cameras - digital or traditional, accessories (film, storage media, changing bags), camping equipment, gas money, food money, water.

Contact: Lynn Radeka via phone at 714-828-4376 or e-mail for questions or more information.


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