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Bodie Abandoned America Night Photography workshop

Posted: 12th April 2014

Location: Bodie, CA
Cost: $900/ea.
Dates/Times Available:
August 18 AND August 19, 2017 (plus other opportunities)
Approximately 6:30 PM - 12:30 AM each night

What to expect:
- Workshop maximum attendance: 10-12
- Full usage rights for images (photos taken in Bodie have commercial restrictions otherwise)
- Formal workshop assistance during night photo sessions plus additional informal group photo opportunities based on attendee interest (see below)
- Full cooperation and support from state park personnel familiar with Bodie's history and secrets
- Participants will arrange their own lodging nearby in Bridgeport, CA. Having your own transportation is necessary although we may carpool from Bridgeport to Bodie.
- Upon sign up, Matthew will work with attendees to help plan additional details.
- Bodie is an enormous site with dozens of buildings to photograph, more than enough to spend an entire weekend on.
- Light pollution is minimal and we are as close to the New Moon as possible so we should be able to get some stunning shots of the Milky Way overhead!

The Workshop: This two night workshop takes place at one of the best preserved ghost towns in the United States. We will have exclusive access to the park for six hours after it normally closes during which we will be able to get amazing night photographs of the structures plus the Milky Way overhead. The public is not allowed in the park during these hours. We also will not have the commercial restrictions on usage of the photographs that park visitors do. Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America will be on hand to help and work with you, and park representatives will accompany us also. You are also free to visit the park during normal hours of operation, during which time Matthew will be there in a less formal capacity, and the group can also get meals and socialize together during non-workshop hours based on attendee interest.

There are many other area attractions, from hot springs to Mono Lake. Bodie is a relatively short drive from Yosemite and Lake Tahoe and there are other smaller ghost town remnants in the area we may try to identify and visit. Matthew will work with attendees to plan informal social photography outings during the day on August 18 and August 20 (and possibly August 17 or 21) based on interest among the group - participants will be responsible for their own costs during these events but there will not be any other additional fees to attend. We are also waiting to hear if we will be able to access normally off-limits building interiors, if so it will be an additional optional charge but should be well worth it.

The Site: Founded in 1859 as a small camp after the discovery of gold in the hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Bodie never really found prominence until 1876. A larger deposit of gold ore drew more settlers and by 1879 the town had grown to 5,000-7,000. Other strikes drew miners away and by 1910 the number of inhabitants had dropped below 700 and it was called a 'ghost town' as early as 1915. A few residents remained into the 1940s, and the property was made into a state park in 1962. Visitors can visit the site most days now and see a rare and precious example of what life was like there over 150 years ago. It is a rural area. There is no public transportation anywhere near it. You will need to drive there. You can see the Abandoned America gallery here. Please note that the relatively high event cost is due to hefty fees for holding off-hours events at the park. A minimum of 5 attendees is required to hold this event; if number is not met fees will be refunded.

Safety: You need to be very aware of your safety. I encourage you to always pay attention to your surroundings. A site manager will be on hand and following their directions is critical. If you do not you may be asked to leave the site. You will be asked to sign a waiver before you enter acknowledging that you are entering a potentially unsafe environment and that you will not hold either the owners or myself liable for any harm that may befall you or your equipment. Obviously the first priority on the trip, even before taking great pictures, is making sure that you are safe - but you will need to exercise caution and common sense.

What to bring:
- flashlights and/or an external flash
- bottled of water
- sturdy boots that protect your feet
- your tripod
- a fully charged cell phone
- your camera manual if you're unsure how to change settings. I can help you find the information you need in the manual but most cameras have their own ways of accessing features and changing settings and that makes things a lot easier.

By signing up you agree to the following terms: Please make sure you check the email associated with your Paypal account for confirmation/updates! Your Paypal receipt is your confirmation, an email will follow with further details no less than a week prior to the event. You will need to sign a waiver to participate in this event, a sample of which can be found here. By signing up for this workshop you agree not to use information attained before or during the workshop to illegally trespass or set up competing workshops/events at this location. Because of the extremely limited tour spots there are NO REFUNDS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES if you have signed up for the tour except in case of workshop cancellation by Abandoned America. BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THIS WORKSHOP, THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. You may give a paid spot in the workshop to someone else if you are unable to attend but admission may not be transferred to another event. There is always a slim possibility that the workshop may need to be moved to a different date based on an emergency severe inclement weather or site manager's limitations. If this is the case notification will be given immediately and a refund will be offered if attendee is unable to make the alternate date. We cannot be held liable for travel, rental, or other costs incurred by attendee in the event of workshop cancellation. We do make every effort to ensure all events run on schedule as it is what our business is based on. All sales are final.

If you have questions or are thinking about signing up, please read the Workshop FAQ Page! Send me a note at admin@abandonedamerica.org if you need to know anything else. If the PayPal link is immediately below this there are still open spots.

August 18 AND August 19, 2017 (plus other opportunities)
Approximately 6:30 PM - 12:30 AM
Cost: $900/ea.


If you are interested in purchasing an Abandoned America print, please follow this link!

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