"I traveled from England for this workshop and, having read Guy's blogs and books, had high expectations. I have to say these expectations were met and exceeded in every way. You talked about the experience and having fun and reflecting back on the trip that is certainly what I had. The emphasis on vision before, during, and after capturing an image will certainly guide my work in the future. I thought the balance of classroom and field work was perfect and the sessions fed well into each other. We visited some fantastic locations and Michael’s' guidance on location was excellent. Michael and Guy's skill, vision, and experience compliment each other very well. I wouldn't hesitate on recommending your workshop to any photographer, but especially those looking to push their creativity and go beyond the "record shot". If you don't have a love of the desert before the trip you surely will by the end." Graeme Tozer - England
"Thank you both for an incredible experience last week....For the first time, I was able to understand the mechanics and steps required to transform a concept and raw scene into a final image....At the workshop, it all finally started to come together when I was walking in the dark through the canyon Sunday evening. A great life is a collection of great moments and I hope to collect as many as I can while exploring the natural landscape with a camera. It's all starting to click and I love it! I look forward to joining you both in the future on my photographic journey."
Jason Williams - Utah
"I already knew, from previous workshops, that you two were good instructors for me. Visionary Death Valley just emphasized that. It was well paced, full of interesting photo opportunities and classroom sessions, with (IMO) great interactions not only with you two but also with the other participants. I look forward to learning from you both again." Evan Robinson - Washington
"I learned so much in those few days with you and Guy. The Visionary Death Valley workshop really made me focus on my own creative process and think again about my personal craft. Although I wanted to spend every possible second out in the field shooting, I think I gained more from the classroom sessions. The emphasis on the creative approach to photography was inspirational."
Claudia O'Grady - Utah
"The workshop was well paced and Michael and Guy packed a lot of learning into the five days we spent with them. We saw some of the iconic spots as well as some less travelled yet equally as photogenic. I came away feeling I’d really experienced Death Valley as much as had the chance to photograph it. Guy’s talks on visualization, visual perception and composition and Michael’s intimate first hand knowledge of Death Valley National Park led to a very rich and rewarding experience. Michael offered a number of helpful technical suggestions in the field. And through Guy’s insightful and information-packed presentations he gave us a road map for going beyond representational images to using photography as a means of self-expression. One of the things I am enjoying now that I am home and have a bit of time, is sitting down and reading Guy’s book, “More Than a Rock” as it helps to reinforce what he talked about it, and extend the magic of our five days there." Cindy Stephenson - Victoria, BC
"I am deeply missing the workshop...We talked about intensity of feeling making strong memories, and I will be remembering, and feeling, this one for a long time. Big thank you to Guy and Michael for putting in 200% to make sure we got everything we could out of this...I have already spend several hours in Photoshop, trying out everything I learned." Laura Zirino - California
"Visionary Photography Workshops are a must for photographers who want to bring their photography skills to a next level... I came all the way from Chile to attend the workshop in Death Valley and was not disappointed. Michael's knowledge and positive attitude combined with Guy's talent and awesomeness are difficult to match." Humberto Lobos Sucarrat - Santiago, Chile
"This is not just a workshop...it's a creative experience. I waited nearly a year for an available seat and I am so glad I did. As I had hoped, it is not about technical details but more about thinking like an artist using photography as a medium."
Charles Judson - California
"If you’re coming here for a Death Valley trophy shot…forget it. If you’re looking for magic software plug ins for your LR or PS…wrong. If you never start your day until after 8 a.m., turn back now. BUT…if you want to find serenity in the sand, and beauty in a stormy sky, if you want to go places in Death Valley that most people will never see, and if you want to come away with a sense of awe and excitement at what you have learned (and what you don’t yet know!)…then you are home. Michael Gordon brings an unending curiosity about the world, and a reverence for nature that will leave you with a profound respect for his stewardship of his beloved Death Valley. Guy Tal will blow your mind apart with his double edged sword of technical knowledge, keenly partnered with an exquisite eye for composition. And even though, at every turn, you are reminded over and over WHY it is called “Death” Valley…you will never feel safer than in the capable hands of these two extraordinary artists. I cannot say enough good things about this workshop. It was a rare privilege to study with both of these gentlemen. I am already trying to figure out how to return."
Lori Ryerson - Toronto, Canada
"Really a joy to be in your orbit for a week, with Guy, in such an amazing place, with a terrific group. Thanks for your attention to all the details and to us. I learned a lot from you, both about photography and seeing the abundance that surrounds us. Will keep in touch." John Linder - Arizona
"...I wanted to let you both know that I really enjoyed the workshop. You guys have a great chemistry between the two of you and it made for a fantastic workshop environment. One of the best, if not the absolute best, that I have attended. And the group was really great, too. Very nice people. To top things off, I was able to create some wonderful images, ones that are different from those I’ve made on my previous trips." Steve Zigler - Tennessee
"What an inspiring 5 days we had with you! As you know, it was my first workshop, so I was definitely in the "learning groove." I felt like a sponge, trying to absorb as much as possible. You and Guy make such a great team together! The whole workshop was beautifully paced, and the perspectives and insight shared were transforming for me. The silence and magic of the desert those days with ALL y'all (as we say in North Carolina) overwhelm any dark energy encountered. I am reminded of our ultimate insignificance within the grand scope of nature's presence. Somehow, I must return to Death Valley. It's permanently in my bloodstream. I'm hooked. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Brooks de Wetter-Smith - North Carolina
"Thank You! The workshop was a surprising and unexpected pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed the desert in a way that was beyond my imagination when we arrived there. Meeting you and Guy made me appreciate the outdoor life more as something precious. Thank you for sharing your expert guidance and knowledge in photography, in natural history and for taking us all to such remote and awe-inspiring places. I feel that each and every one of the group was inspired and uplifted by the experience of the workshop and by your commitment and diligence." Joe Platz - Massachusetts
“I’m home now, with an uncountable number of new photographs, many good memories and numerous new photo principles and techniques to practice. I have taken 15 photo workshops over 15 years and yours was the best yet. It went way beyond the scope of many workshops, in which the leader does little more than take you to places you wouldn’t or couldn’t get to on your own. It combined artistic principles and technical principles, with actionable advice, not just vague hand waving. And things like handing out the book, the Minor White document and the highlighter pen may have been small things, but they showed you really care about teaching and care about your students, and you have put a lot of thought into the workshop.”
Gary Anthes – Virginia
“Death Valley is a second home to Michael and Guy, so guiding us to amazing photographic sites was well planned and executed. Once on location, however, they gave us the space and time to explore on our own, while always being available for friendly advice. Both the classroom and location experiences were informative, fun, expertly guided and above all – inspiring.”
Gordon Wood – Ontario, Canada
"Thanks so much for such a fantastic workshop! I learned more on your workshop than any other I have taken. And it will take a while to process all the info! I am totally amazed when I think of all the places you took us, places we would not have gone had we been on our own. They were all great. It was great getting to know you, and appreciated all your assistance and knowledge."
Gail Platz - Massachusetts
“…many thanks for all what I’ve learned with you and Guy. This has transformed my photography and my mindset on it.”
Patrick Boerlin – Ontario, Canada
"Michael and Guy put on a well-organized, well-delivered series of sit-down talks, alternating with time in the field to make pictures. They did an outstanding job of selecting and scouting locations for various times of the day, and improvised with an entertaining option when the weather conditions ruled out the evening shooting plan on the second day...Thanks Michael and Guy for making it such a productive and delightful interlude in my life!"
Ann Torrence - Utah
“I really enjoyed the overall focus on being more thoughtful in our photography…The focus on developing our artistic vision AND being true to it was liberating…I really enjoyed the times where we slowed down in the field. When we gathered together to talk about the process of the visual inventory, the readings from various books – those moments that made us sit down and think…These “slow down and think” sessions really energized my shooting afterwards…a heartfelt thanks to both of you for a fantastic workshop experience. The thoughtful way that you both approach photography, and life in general, was a real joy to be a part of…I believe the focus on being present and engaged in every step of crafting an image is something that will help take my work to the next level. Highly recommended to anyone serious about improving their photography!" Michael Renner – Colorado
"I have been on a half dozen or so workshops and this one had the best balance of in-the-field and in-the-classroom sessions. We visited amazing locations in Death Valley and experienced equally inspiring presentations and discussions on the ART of photography. highly recommend Visionary Photography Workshops!” R. Michael Liskay – Oregon
"Over the years I have attend 5 or 6 photography workshops, although this was my first large format workshop. With no disrespect intended to the instructors at the workshops I had previously attended, the tandem of Michael Gordon and Guy Tal were simply the best instructors I have had."
Rick Russell - California
"For anyone who might be on the fence about attending one of the Visionary workshops here are some thoughts. This is a workshop for photographers who are ready to move beyond, "getting the shot." This is a workshop for photographic artists who are weary of thinking about and worrying, while taking a picture, of what people will think of it. It is a workshop for photographers who know how to use their camera (digital and film cameras are both welcome). That is to say, there is very little to no education on how to use your camera equipment. What Michael and Guy do in the workshop is provide novel approaches to looking at, seeing, and experiencing what we're photographing. But they also provided the means to then to take that visualization, in truth that experience of making the photograph, and turn it into a photographic image that impacts the viewer emotionally; the tools and techniques to make an image that is much more than just a pretty picture. Ultimately, the intent I believe is to communicate through the photograph some measure of the emotional experience of the photographer in making the image. The workshop is a balance of classroom and field work. Each day they took us to some of their special places in Death Valley and provided the opportunity to put into practice the visualization techniques we'd learned; and then stand side-by-side with us as needed, ready to answer questions, provide feedback and suggestions, and perhaps give us another way to look at, to see, to visualize, what we were photographing. For me, even with 50+ years of experience, it was a worthwhile, rewarding, and enriching time. I look forward to future opportunities to study and work with these two artists." Bob Younger - California
"After waiting two years to participate in Michael’s and Guy’s Visionary Death Valley Workshop, I can say it was certainly worth the wait. Both in the classroom and the field, we were encouraged to think outside the box and spend time “seeing” before ever looking through our camera’s viewfinder. We visited remote locations virtually void of other photographers or tourists as well as popular viewpoints. We hiked off the grid to find scenes we never would have found on our own. Michael and Guy were very attentive in field and truly interested in making sure their participants were engaged, taking their images which they had envisioned, and answering any questions. I came away with confidence I can produce art though my photography not just photographs. If you want a true visionary experience in an extraordinary location, this is the workshop for you."
Gail Berreman - California
"Over the years, I have attended several workshops with well-known photographers, but the Visionary Death Valley Workshop experience was by far the best. The Visionary Death Valley experience is not about equipment, f/stops, top ten tips or instilling the presenter’s approach; to paraphrase Ansel Adams, it is really about the most important element in photography, the “12 inches behind the camera” – the head, more precisely, the mind … vision. In conventional terms, I learned a lot about seeing, but, more than that, it was a profound experience. I was looking for a pathway forward with my photography and came away with both the inspiration and the knowledge to help me in my next steps. Michael and Guy were the perfect guides for this part of my photographic journey, and Death Valley was the perfect locale. The classroom sessions were the most informative I have ever experienced in a workshop format. The best parts, though, were the evening supper sessions with Michael, Guy and the rest of the class." Michael Berg - Virginia, USA
""Intense" is how Michael and Guy described the Death Valley photo workshop I just attended. With all due respect let's try to do better with this description. "Intense" is good but tends to relate to a response to something. So, that means it's accurate. But, "Intensive," which this workshop certain was, better describes covering a lot of ground, which is also true of this photo workshop. Still, both seem to come up a little short. So, for anyone considering a GuyTal/Michael Gordon workshop I'd suggest being prepared for exceptional, extraordinary, powerful, serious, great, potent, impassioned, emotional, spirited and vigorous. Need I say more? I sure do. THANK YOU BOTH!" Tom Dwyer - New York
“If you want to expand as an artist and a photographer, spending time with Guy Tal and Michael Gordon is most rewarding. With a group of photographers eager to expand their knowledge and artistic vision, I felt extremely supported, guided, well informed and fulfilled beyond my expectations during my back to back Visionary workshops in Death Valley in November 2016. I am planning to do it again in 2017. See you there." Monique Fay - California
"The Death Valley workshop provided an abundance of learning which was very thought provoking and exactly what I was looking for. We had an outstanding group of participants who shared their extensive photography knowledge and skills. Thank you, Michael and Guy, for a fabulous workshop. It was a significant experience for me." Carl Zanoni - Connecticut
"...your workshop was a very significant event for me. I believe it was a sea change in my photography. This belief has been reinforced by people to whom I’ve shared my images from Death Valley. Your (and Guy’s) approach to encouraging a personal artistic interpretation in our photography has helped me immensely and I want to both acknowledge that and thank you." David Bird - Missouri
"You complement each other tremendously. Each of you, at different times and about different subjects, answered my questions with simple, straightforward, and accurate information that not only expanded my knowledge, but was immediately useful in my practice of photography. How wonderfully refreshing!"
Bob Johnson - Oregon
"I will probably learn more from the images I did not get on this trip than the ones that I did get. Looking at the RAW files makes me realize how ingrained my habits are and how much of a conscious effort it will take to break them if I want more than pretty pictures. Slow down. Value the moment. The image is not a goal... it is a point on a path to a deeper understanding of the world. As I'm sure you could tell, I am not a very social person but you both made me feel very welcome and that was much appreciated. You have given me a lot to think about and I hope we will have the chance to meet again." David Chauvin - Louisiana
"I am practically high from my experience.....this trip was really what I needed....you really are so complimentary in your styles and techniques....Thanks once again for being such wonderful guides...had a blast." Nicole Teague - California
“…the workshop was outstanding, excellent…The organizational email went smoothly, the sessions were instructive, and the shoots were terrific… You guys took care of the logistics with careful attention to detail so that all went smoothly before we arrived and after we settled in Death Valley. But many could handle those with similar skill. The real bonus was in the instruction and the location work… In short, the workshop was the most inspirational of the many I’ve taken, so that I now find myself with a renewed energy as I return to home.” Roger Pool – New York
"The workshop was as enjoyable as it was informative. I had an excellent time gaining new friendships and acquiring new skills. Guy and Michael are great teachers with an easy-going attitude and a passion for photography." Scott Schroeder - Texas
“I want to make art with a camera and Photoshop. I’m good technically but making art requires something else. This workshop gave me some short term takeaways that will have immediate impact. More important – Guy and Michael gave me so many many trails to explore toward my end of making art that I’ll be following them for years. And last, but most important, they convinced me that its possible. All we need is a process and a lot of work. To boot, it was a lot of fun.“ Dennis Lenehan – California
"The weekend with you and Guy really moved my photography up to the next level. I don't have any more hit and miss situations with the camera. It really is wonderful having a small level of mastery over that camera. Plus one of the images took on that trip has opened a few doors for me. That last very cold and windy morning at South Lake gave me a beautiful image." John Smith - California
"As a photography buff of nearly 30 years, having read countless books and devoured hundreds of monthly subscriptions to photo magazines, I feel qualified in stating that attending a workshop with Michael Gordon and Guy Tal will leave you completely satisfied and fulfilled. There is little doubt that one could finish one of their workshops and have any question unanswered, or leave without great inspiration to develop his/her own style of perspective and genius." Johnny Brown - California
“I cannot thank you and Guy both for the hard work you put into the workshop. I can definitely say that of the workshops I have attended, the two I have attended with you and Guy have been the absolute best and the most fun! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!” Paige Fulton – Texas
“I have been on a number of “photo tours” in the last four or five years, all different in coverage and presentation.This one is right at the top of the list. The nice mix of classroom instruction and discussion was very different from other tours I have been on. Not only were the sessions very much about instruction and discussion, they were also about awareness, teaching us to slow down and think about what it was we are trying to convey with our photography.The other reason to come on this tour was, of course, to photograph Death Valley and all its many scenic wonders…This mix of standard attractions and not so standard ones, made this a very enjoyable trip and instilled in me a desire to return to photograph more of it…My thanks to Michael and Guy for a very educational and enjoyable experience.”
Ron May – Alberta, Canada
"After a killer day at work, opening your photos was very moving. I truly miss being in the desert, made ever more special by the amazing and inspirational tutoring and support from you and Guy. Thanks for making my week memorable and special. Can't wait to do this again." Carol Lesser - Massachusetts
"I wanted you to to know how very, very much I enjoyed your workshop with Guy. For me, it was a tour de force of excellence, humanity, artistry, and knowledge. You two are a perfect twosome for this experience. Your social skills fall somewhere at the 99.9 percentile along with your eye for photography and artistry. You have a warm way of making everyone feel accepted and appreciated no matter what their level of skill or their personal quirks. Put that together with Guy\'s attention to detail and his art and knowledge and you have the best Team imaginable!!!" Michael Gerner - Arizona
"Dare I say the that workshop was "life-changing" for me on a couple of levels? Personally I think the term is too loosely used these days so I was apprehensive to say it but I'm being sincere. In short, the workshop not only encouraged me to reevaluate my photographic methodology, but also my approach on life and I think it\'s pretty safe to say that I will continue to photograph. I thought you...did a terrific job of time management during the workshop. I was impressed with the amount of ground we covered given the enormity of Death Valley. Equally impressive was the fact that you guys provided a pleasant balance of both the iconic and the atypical features of the park while maintaining a regimented yet loose atmosphere. I found the anecdotal and naturalist commentary along the way especially refreshing -- you guys are consummate professionals!" George Vallee - Illinois