Alabama Hills Photography Workshop October 19-22, 2017 Trip Report

Alabama Hills Photography Workshop October 19-22, 2017

Scroll down to the end to see the Student Galleries.


Photographers attending the October 2017 Alabama Hills Photography Workshop pose in the Arrastra built for the 1948 Movie “Yellow Sky” starring Gregory Peck.

This October I had the privilege of leading a group of talented and enthusiastic photographers on a Landscape and Night Photography Workshop in the Alabama Hills.  We had great weather and a couple of clear nights on which to photograph the stars.

The Alabama Hills lie nestled beneath the dramatic eastern scarp of the Sierra Nevada.  This rich landscape of sculpted rock creates a spectacular foreground for towering Lone Pine Peak and Mt. Whitney. The Alabama Hills have long been a favorite of Photographers and the Motion Picture industry. Hundreds of movies and TV shows, beginning in the 1920s, have been filmed in and around the Alabama Hills.

The workshop began Thursday night. After sunset we spent the evening photographing the Milky Way at the Mobius Arch. It was a clear night and we were fortunate to be the only photographers at the arch.

Friday morning we returned to the Mobius Arch for the sunrise.  We were rewarded with one of the best sunrises I have seen in a while in the Alabama Hills.  In the golden hour just before sunrise the Sierra peaks reflected the rosy hue of the predawn sky. A band of clouds drifted across the peaks just as the first beams of the rising sun illuminated Mt. Whitney and Lone Pine Peak. After the sunrise we explored and photographed the amazing rocks along the Mobius Arch Trail.


After the mid day break, lunch and an afternoon lecture about processing Milky Way images in Lightroom we returned to the Alabama Hills.  First stop was the Cyclops Arch.  Also known as the Double Arch this is a made for movie rock that looks like a huge skull with Eye Sockets.  For sunset we headed to a scenic overlook along Movie Road. By late afternoon a band of clouds had moved into the Sierras. The clouds brought a cold stiff breeze that cleared the air and made the Sierra peaks stand out sharp against the sky. The setting sun painted the clouds with fiery orange and red light. The clouds remained into the evening and we decided to cancel the night photography in favor of getting an early start on Saturday morning.


Saturday morning we returned to Movie Road for a panoramic view of the Alabama Hills at sunrise. We then visited Hitching Post Arch, Craggy Arch and the remains of a movie set from the 1948 movie “Yellow Sky” that starred Gregory Peck. After lunch and an afternoon presentation about photographing star trails we headed back to the hills for more photography and an informal “Movie Tour ” of the Alabama Hills.  We visited the Lone Ranger Canyon, Gene Autry Rock and the site of the Gunga Din Temple.


Sunset found us again looking for panoramic views along Movie Road. For our evening Milky Way photography we headed over to Boot Rock Arch.  The sky was clear and we were able to get some great shots of the night sky. Around 8:30 PM we packed up and most everyone headed back to the hotel. Chris, Gene and I headed to the Cyclops Arch to photograph star trails.


Parting Shots:  On Sunday morning I was joined by Gene and Leonard for a short hike out to Granite Arch.



Student Image Galleries:

Leonard Migliore

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