Death Valley New Moon Workshop March 30 - April 4, 2022

Death Valley New Moon Workshop

March 30 - April 4, 2022


I taught my first workshop in Death Valley in 1981 with William Neill and Jeff Nixon. Since then I have taught dozens of classes there for organizations such as Sierra Photographic Workshops, UC Berkeley’s California Adventures, Joe van Os Photo Safaris, and Canon USA. And now 41 years later I am leading another workshop back to this magical place. Be one of the  lucky participants to share the experience and get to photograph Death Valley under my guidance.

Of course, these days are unlike any other and we will be COVID aware and I will make COVID guidelines based on the situation in the spring. At this point and time, the National Park Service is requiring my participants sign a COVID waiver and I follow certain protocol.  All classroom sessions will be conducted via Zoom from within our respective rooms. But even with these rules I will be able to assist in the field. I will be discussing exposure at each location and helping everyone through the night photography. We can work on light painting situations as a group and work together for our nighttime exposures. I can still view your compositions via Live View and make suggestions for improvement.

The workshop is timed to take advantage of the moon cycle. We are there for new moon which will guarantee us dark nights and an unbelievable display of night stars and the Milky Way.

We will visit all the hot spots, the dunes, Mosaic Canyon, Harmony Borax, Artist Palette, Dante’s View, Zabriskie Point,  the ghost town of Rhyolite, and much more. I will give in field tips on exposure, composition, depth of field. If we have good clouds, I will be instructing on the use of using strong neutral density filters to create time/motion techniques. Presentations will include “Light, Color and Composition”; Into the Eye of the Sun: HDR for Natural Looking Images”; “Getting the Most out of the Local Adjustment Tools”; “and “Time/Motion Techniques.”

Approximately 2 weeks before the start of the workshop we will do a Zoom session on “Night Photography” allowing you time to get any equipment/software you may be interested in obtaining.

This will be a workshop for night owls!  The Milky Way is visible from about 1:30 AM to 5:00 AM each day we are there. That means we may skip a few sunsets, so that we can get a few hours of sleep before heading out in the wee hours to take our night images. Some days we will go out around 2-3 AM and stay out until sunrise and then return to the lodge for breakfast and sleep. Our schedule will be odd but will give us the best images. At this time of year, the Milky Way is usually the brightest, and it will be very dynamic and almost horizontal stretching the width of the sky.

This workshop is rated Moderate in difficulty. While many locations are in close proximity to the car, there are others that require some walking. You need to be reasonable fit to participate in this workshop. This workshop will require you be able to walk 2-3 miles carrying your photographic gear over sand and loose gravel and in the dark! There will be at least 2 sessions on the dunes that will require these walks. So be honest with yourself when signing up.

Lodging: I suggest you lodge at either The Ranch at Death Valley or The Inn at Death Valley. Reservations can be made at

 I will be staying at The Ranch.

If you are over 50 use this link to get the discount code of SENIOR30 to save 30% off your reservation.

Camping is available at either the Fiddler Campground (same URL as above) or through NPS site such as Furnace Creek, Sunset or Texas Springs. For more info: camping.htm

Note, only Furnace Creek Campgrounds takes reservations. Also note you will need wifi hookup for the Zoom presentations.

Fee: $1150 per person check, Zelle ( or cash; $1200 credit card includes photographic instruction. Not included, lodging, transportation or meals. Send checks to address on registration form.

Registration: First download the full information packet and read it before signing up. Send a check for $1150 and your registration forms to Lewis Kemper 800 Saverien Dr   Sacramento, CA 95864 or to pay by credit card click here.  Make sure you send the registration forms to me either by mail to the address above, or by email to



"I have taken several of Lewis Kemper's photo workshops and really enjoyed the Death Valley New Moon Workshop.  Death Valley offers spectacular opportunities for landscape photography and the dark sky lends itself well to night photography and capturing the Milky Way.  Lewis exhibits great photographic skill, knowledge of photo equipment, and has mastered the use of computer software essential for bringing out the best in one's images.  These skills, combined with Lewis' ability to enthusiastically teach others how best to capture a scene and develop it to the fullest potential, are valuable resources for both beginning and more experienced photographers wanting to improve their work.  Thank you for an enjoyable photo excursion Lewis."

Bill B.  Oct 2021 Participant


"Death Valley was my first workshop with Lewis Kemper; will not be my last. He was an excellent guide, showing us where and when to shoot based on his many years of experience in the Death Valley Park and nearby points of interest. I would not have gone out alone, at night, to photograph an old ghost town, or trek across a field of sand dunes before sunrise to get the spectacular early morning light. It was great to have a guide who knew where to go, including his personal favorites, and unmarked access points. He generously walked us through the software and techniques he uses to process Milky Way and landscape images. He was helpful and knowledgeable about optimal camera settings; and, was able to address the unique challenges of shooting in the dark. Death Valley should be on every photographer’s bucket list; and Lewis Kemper is the guide I recommend."

Jaime W Oct 2021 Participant



"If you’ve never been to Death Valley, and or wanting to experience the Milky Way under ideal conditions, then joining Lewis Kemper on one of his Death Valley excursions is a must.  Lewis has extensive experience photographing Death Valley, so no time is wasted finding iconic or unique spots to photograph.  In addition, Milky Way views and weather are ideal for this must have photographic experience.  Lewis is generous with sharing his techniques and various software  tools both before and during the trip.  I highly recommend Lewis’ Death Valley photography trip."

Rich B. Oct 2021 Participant


"Just finished the New Moon Workshop at Death Valley, I'd never been before, so it was a "Bucket List" item.  So spectacular with sunrise, sunset, and Milky Way Photography every day!  In between morning and evening trips we had a Zoom Session.  Not only did Lewis offer additional lessons, we were able to share images and see what our classmates captured as well.  Honestly, I had EVERY single problem with my night photography--Lewis was so kind and patient, every session I needed his one on one assistance!  In addition to an amazing workshop, I stayed on an extra day and he gave me pointers on where to visit.  Can't wait to return again and attend other workshops Lewis is leading!"

Laura T Oct 2021 participant



"When I found out that Lewis was offering a workshop in Death Valley, I jumped at the chance to attend! Why? Some reasons were practical, like the fact that I could drive there, a real bonus in the time of Covid. Another was that Lewis assured participants that he would honor Covid-safe practices at all times. Also, I really want to branch out into landscape photography, and during a full moon in a beautiful location was a great opportunity. But the real reason was that I already knew Lewis from taking a photography Master Class with him the year before. As a result I knew he was a real, experienced professional who not only knows his craft but is able to teach clearly and respectfully.

The workshop was great! Lewis has been photographing in Death Valley for years. He knows where to go, how to avoid crowds, and when to time the photo sessions to take advantage of the best light. He was patient with all our questions and happy for us when we were successful. If I found out we could head back tomorrow for another session on the dunes, I would go without a second thought!"

Terrie G.  Feb/March 2021 Participant


"I found Lewis’s Death Valley Full Moon Workshop to be a wonderful experience. His mastery of light and composition, his location-specific knowledge, combined with the generous sharing of his deep photographic knowledge enabled me to up my game significantly.  Highly recommended."

Rob K. Feb/March 2021 Participant


"I’ve followed Lewis’ work for several years after seeing his presentation at a conference.  I’m so happy that I was able to go on this workshop with him.  Lewis has a love of nature, an enhanced artistic eye and a thorough knowledge of camera gear.  Frankly you couldn’t ask for more from a workshop leader. I’ve come home with a ton of beautiful images and anticipation for my next workshop with him.  Thank you Lewis!"

Laura M. Feb/March 2021 Participant




LEWIS KEMPER is widely recognized as a photographer, writer, and instructor, lecturing throughout the United States. To learn more, click here.



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