don jackson photography
 PhotoTours General Information

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We currently have no PhotoTours or Workshops scheduled. 

Our goal for our PhotoTours is that each participant have a wonderful and safe outdoor experience, bring home new knowledge and inspiration, see new places, create wonderful photographs, enjoy the company of other participants and even make new friends. Our PhotoTours are limited to between 6 and 12 participants to ensure participant satisfaction, allow us to have one-on-one time, and to tread lightly and not overload the area that we are photographing (some of which may be sensitive ecosystems or wildlife areas). 

We have found that one of the most effective ways to help participants, in addition to taking them to great locations and photographing with them, is to critique their work. It is very important that you bring samples of your work (twenty 35mm duplicate slides are preferred. We may be in environmental conditions that could damage delicate film, so bringing originals is not encouraged if at all possible, or if you do bring them (and people always do, carefully package them .) so that we will be able to view and critique as a group.  Having a group of photographers to critique your images will give many more ideas and thoughts than any one person. We travel with a small, quiet generator, an Ektagraphic slide projector, and a projector screen to see slide shows and do critiques at night on location. (Imagine watching slides while sitting around a campfire after dinner and under the stars...)

The PhotoTours will have an itinerary, though we may change our schedule along the way to adjust to local conditions or desires of the group. The PhotoTours will be relaxed and open, and we will work together as a team to maximize our opportunities and safety. We will travel with safety equipment, including first-aid kits, cellular phone, two-way radios and off-road equipment.  But the best safety equipment will be well-prepared participants. (We will give you a "What to Bring" list.)


Who leads the tours?

Tours are led by Don Jackson and, on some PhotoTours, one or more Special Guests. In addition, there may be assistants which are usually peers or participants from previous PhotoTours or workshops. 

Don is an experienced workshop and photo tour leader, having taught for Ansel Adams Gallery, Audubon, California State Parks, Mono Lake Committee, Tikchick State Park Tours and through Don Jackson Photography. Workshops and photo tours have included Alaska, Mono Lake / Mono Basin / Eastern Sierra, Sonoma Coast / Salt Point, Fort Ross State Park, Yosemite National Park, southern Utah including Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Muddy Mountains in Nevada, Tule Lake / Klamath Basin, and many other locations.

What is the difference between a PhotoTour and a Workshop?

Over the years of teaching workshops, many experienced photographers have requested a form of workshop with more location work, less indoor classroom time, and more informal "around the campfire" discussions and learning sessions. In short, you wanted to be out there exploring new locations, photographing and . In response, we have created these PhotoTours that focus on location photography and exploration while maintaining an important educational component, usually during non-peak photography times (during meals and around the camp at night). 

For many of the PhotoTours, we will be camping in the area that we photograph. Why camping and not staying in hotels or motels?  Getting close to your subject will improve your photography and since we are photographing the natural world, it is best that we be part of it. In some areas or during some seasons it is not feasible to camp, so we will stay in motels. 

What photographic skill level are the participants? What skill level do I need to be to participate?

Most participants will be intermediate to advanced photographers. If you are a beginning photographer yet understand the basic workings of your camera, you are welcome to come, but you have some responsibilities as well. You will need to know the basic operation of your camera (shutter speeds, aperture, focus, etc.), have a functioning tripod, and be able to photograph without assistance, and you have to bring your camera manual. 

 If you are unsure of the basic operation of your camera, the PhotoTours would not be as effective as a PhotoBasic Workshop  (currently there are none scheduled) and would hinder the group as a whole. If you have any questions regarding the viability of your participation, please complete the Pre-Class Questionnaire and submit it to us ASAP. The opportunity for a less experienced photographer that understands the basics is great; traveling and photographing with knowledgeable photographers will be inspiring and very educational. 


What kind of physical condition do I have to be in?

Most of the PhotoTours will be easy for anyone in reasonably good shape and health. Some of these tours are not physically demanding yet others may be very challenging, cover extremely rigorous terrain, are very remote and a great distance from population centers and subject to exposure to extreme weather conditions. We will advise you as best we can (unexpected weather and other factors do happen; this is the wild) and it is important that you prepare and know your limits. Each Workshop or PhotoTour will have a list of required equipment and as much environmental information as we have, such as typical high and low temperatures, altitudes, hiking miles, etc. We will be happy to discuss these items with you for the safety and pleasure of all participants.

Will we always be together as a group?

Most of the time we will be together as a group, and we also make an effort to allow flexibility to accommodate participants needs and desires. Having small groups and multiple leaders and assistants allows us to split up and go to different areas easily. We also travel with two-way radios to facilitate safety and communications.

Why are the prices so low? Will the leaders photograph?

At first it may seem odd that these two questions are tied together, but they are related. On PhotoTours, the leaders and Special Guests will photograph along with the group. We will photograph TOGETHER, with each photographer respecting the other photographers in the group (and others we may see along the way). This is a friendly workshop and the cooperation of participants is more important than getting a particular image. On our Workshops, the leaders will photograph less and will be more focused on active instruction throughout the event. The concept for the PhotoTours is that we will take you to places that we (and no-doubt you will) love to photograph, in the style that we travel (close to nature and camping most all of the time), teach you what we know, photograph along with the group, and do it all at a very reasonable price. You will have great access to the PhotoTour leaders, and remember that they will be photographing sometimes as well. (There will be comments from prior participants posted here on this website soon).


We will do everything we can to ensure that everyone have a safe, sane, productive and fun experience. We travel to locations that we are familiar with and have a good idea of the environmental conditions that we will encounter. But remember we are in the wild and outdoor environment and we cannot control many aspects of the trip and the environment / weather. Good planning, being prepared, knowing your limitations, maintaining proper hydration and nourishment will all add to your safety and enjoyment.

Get me to the PhotoTour Listings!