Upcoming Photo Tours 2019-2020

Where the Mountains meet the Desert Photo Workshop July 5-7, 2019

Bend, Central Oregon July 5-7, 2019

Travel & Nature Photography Workshop Exploring the Landscapes of Central Oregon with Kevin McNeal and Christian Heeb A weekend long immersion in Nature Photography with two professional photographers. The Mid Cascade Mountains and the High Desert Canyons near the resort town of Bend, Oregon provide a stunning backdrop to our search for the perfect light. We visit and photograph broad vistas of basalt rimmed canyons, rushing waterfalls and rivers in deep green forests and will do our best to capture the famed peaks of the Cascade Range reflected in our mountain lakes here. Kevin and Christian will present their vision of Travel and Nature Photography and provide insights and tips for better photos.

Yosemite In Autumn Oct 27 - Nov 02, 2019

No other photo location in North America can generate as powerful an image of soaring granite monoliths and spectacular glacially-carved valleys than Yosemite National Park. More than any other landscape, Yosemite is the setting that defines the Sierra Nevada and, in a broader context, stands as a geographical icon for the American West. Within the park, the names of its prominent features—El Capitan and Half Dome—not only immediately evoke the legendary presence of John Muir and Ansel Adams, but also embody the quintessential symbols of the American wilderness. "The tour was a wonderful experience that enabled me to photograph the iconic features of the park in vivid fall colors. The helpful leader, the lodging, the great food and the beautiful scenery made this a very enjoyable and productive tour. " - R. Mc Rae Reflected fall colors in YosemiteAutumn in Yosemite is a season of welcome transition. Summer crowds diminish, returning clouds add drama to crisp blue skies, and the mad rush of waterfalls and cascades has stilled, now in wait for early winter rains. The sunlight, harsh in summer, lies at a lower angle, painting the park’s iconic formations with a softer, mellower light. Temperatures are generally mild with sunny days and cold nights, yet in this season anything is possible—dramatic storm clouds gathering for a sudden rain, rolling low-lying tendrils of morning fog, a layer of frost on the fall-cured grasses of Yosemite’s great meadows, or an early snowfall to highlight autumn leaves. The fall is the best time of year for creating “reflectionscapes.” The Merced River flows at a gentler pace and autumn-hued foliage and granite monoliths are framed in the mirror-like waters. Cottonwoods flash a golden stroke of color along river banks. Leaf color in Yosemite has a subdued palette and is at the whim of moisture, light and weather. The rose reds of dogwoods and the yellow hues of black oak and bigleaf maple can highlight dark green groves of conifers or soaring gray walls. Our daily schedule revolves around the light, weather and color. We are out early to catch the fingers of swirling mist in the valley—conditions that can promise a spectacular image. The quiet waters and the always photogenic grand vistas of Yosemite Valley keep us busy until golden sunset light falls on El Capitan. We have time to compose diverse images from wide-angle landscapes with fall color to intimate scenes in still corners. Abstract compositions of rock, leaf and grasses present unique possibilities as textures and colors spring to life in the low light. The towering rock walls that form the bones of Yosemite’s spectacular valley are at their finest in warm autumn light. The swiftly changeable fall weather adds an element of potential dramatic photography as clouds, mist and a possible early snowfall offer options for new photographic subjects and locations. From grand vistas to quiet reflections, from colossal crags to the delicate reds of dogwood leaves, and from expansive meadows to a moonlit nighttime sky, Yosemite in autumn is a never-ending source of inspiration.

Tour Itinerary Day 1 (Oct 27) Participants arrive in Fresno, California, by early afternoon today. We include round-trip transportation to Yosemite National Park and our convenient lodging within the Yosemite Valley. (D) Merced River in Yosemite National ParkDays 2–6 We spend these five days exploring some of the best photo opportunities in the park. We shoot the classic photo icons and grand vistas of this remarkable landscape—Half Dome, El Capitan, the Tunnel View, Valley View. Eighty-one miles of the Merced River runs through Yosemite National Park, including a stretch in Yosemite Valley that marvelously reflects the surrounding rock formations for innumerable opportunities for beautiful images during the low water levels. In a year of good color, dogwoods turn shades of red and bigleaf maples form bright yellow outlines along river edges, carpeting Fern Spring and the still waters at Pohono Bridge and Sentinel Bridge with their leaves. The soaring columnar trunks in a grove of giant sequoias, the autumn-dried gossamer web of water at Bridalveil Fall, and mule deer feeding at the edges of meadows. Glacier Point, Upper Yosemite Road and Tioga Pass offer an opportunity to create images of classic vistas and to chase tree color in the high country, conditions permitting (the roads typically close by mid-November). Our schedule allows us to take full advantage of color and light conditions and each day’s always changeable weather. (BLD) Day 7 (Nov 2) We drive to the Fresno airport this morning. Please schedule your return flight for no earlier than noon. (B)


Join Kevin McNeal and Max Foster as we explore the world class landscapes of Tuscany! We will photograph the rolling hills of Val d'Orcia, Renaissance Hill Towns & much more!

Price: $3,350 Included: Lodging, Meals, Transportation & More! Difficulty: Easy Maximum Guests: 10 Spots Remaining: 8 of 10 Dates: May 3rd to May 8th, 2020 Location: Val d'Orcia, Pienza, Siena & Much More!

ABOUT THE TOUR Food, culture, history and incredible landscapes make Tuscany one of the most interesting and compelling areas in the world. Join us for 5 days of photography that you will never forget! This tour is all about "la dolce vita," as we explore the many unique and beautiful aspects of Italian life and culture, while photographing world class landscapes and villages. You've seen the rolling hills of Tuscany on postcards, in magazines and in movies, but let us show you how to create your own incredible photos of this magical place. Our home base is a former monastery, famed for its appearance in the movie "The English Patient." Set amongst the beautiful countryside, it is the perfect place for us to introduce you to the charms of Tuscany. We will participate in an authentic Italian cooking class, eat incredible dinners prepared by locals and savor the award winning wines from the region. Each day of our tour will be filled with unforgettable experiences. Read on to learn more!

Kevin McNeal is a Washington State photographer focusing on grand colorful landscapes that reflect the most unique places on earth. Capturing moments of magic light and transferring this to print, images behold a combination of perseverance, patience, and dedication to capture the images in ways unseen before. The stories of how these images are rendered come across in the feelings the images convey. Traveling all over North America with his wife by his side, shooting diverse landscapes and finding remote places to bring the message to the public that this Earth is worth saving. Kevin's award-winning images can be seen in galleries and showings across the United States. Kevin was recently selected to the Art Wolfe Art Gallery for the Environmental Photography Invitational. Additionally, Kevin was the grand winner of the Landscape category for the Natures Best Magazine and was selected for the Smithsonian National Museum of History in Washington D.C..

Max Foster is a Minnesota based landscape photographer with a passion for outdoor adventure. Traveling extensively throughout the US and abroad, Max focuses on capturing unique images that convey the beauty and grandeur of our planet. He believes photography is a journey that encompasses planning, patience, adventure and most importantly, fun! As someone who enjoys continually learning, Max utilizes the latest tools in the field and in post-processing to create his images. His work has been featured in several publications, such as Outdoor Photographer, Digital SLR Photography, Practical Photography and Really Right Stuff’s “Light & Shadow.” Max enjoys working with photographers of all skill levels, from beginner to professional. While chasing the light is a focus of our workshops, Max will show you how to create compelling images in any light and weather conditions. With over a decade of leadership experience as CFO of a manufacturing company, Max has enthusiasm to teach, lead and work with groups. His goal is to help clients capture images they will be proud of and to create lasting memories along the way.

DAILY ITINERARY Our tour will begin in the Renaissance capitol of the world, Florence. We will pick you up at noon and drive directly to our home base for the tour, a former monastery near Pienza. Each day we will drive to our shooting locations in a passenger bus for maximum comfort and efficiency. We will be up before dawn every day (coffee supplied!), getting into prime shooting position long before sunrise. After shooting twilight and the first sun rays of the day, we will head back to the monastery for breakfast and a short rest. In the afternoons we will tour several villages, learning from local guides and photographing quaint scenes. In evenings, we start shooting as the sun casts the last light on the rolling hills. After a long day, we will feast at the monastery or at a local restaurant.

TRANSPORTATION Our rendezvous point at the beginning of the tour is the Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station at 12 noon on May 3rd, 2020. We suggest that you arrive in Florence at least one day prior to this to ensure there are no delays. Once we pick you up, all transportation during the tour is managed by us. We have a passenger van and support vehicle for the entirety of the tour. At the end of the tour, we will drop everyone off at the Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station at 12 noon on May 8th, 2020.

Aurora Borealis, Fairbanks, Alaska  March 08-15, 2020


Leaders: Kevin McNeal  &  Eric Rock

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Photograph the awesome aurora borealis from Fairbanks, Alaska’s famous Chena Hot Springs Resort—one of the world’s top aurora viewing locations Trip timed for peak aurora activity Shoot spectacular colorfully-lit ice sculptures during the World Ice Art Championships Outstanding action photography at the Limited North American Championship Sled Dog Races

   They are nature’s light show. The northern lights rank at the very top of the night sky’s most awe-inspiring phenomena that can easily be observed with the “naked eye.” And, in 2016, the flickering curtains of dancing light known as aurora borealis continue to be the most vibrant and spectacular since the 1950s! As the sun sustains its strong cycle of sunspots and solar flares, the Earth will be hit with extraordinary levels of magnetic energy from huge solar storms. And March is predicted to be a peak month for aurora activity. These magical lights are just one feature of the surprising week of photography we’ve planned in Fairbanks, Alaska. "The trip to Alaska for the northern lights, the ice sculptures and the dog sled races was excellent. We got some really nice images. The logistics on this trip were prefect—it was well organized and we had fun. An additional benefit of these trips is meeting some good people and making new and lasting friendships." - L. Cooper The diverse photography of this adventure “focuses” not only on Alaska’s spectacular and colorful night sky, but also the exciting daytime activities that coincide with the dates of the tour—the action-packed Limited North American Championship Sled Dog Races and the World Ice Art Championships that engross Fairbanks in March. The aurora borealis has both fascinated and terrified humans for millennia. The aurora is probably the progenitor of dragon mythology in China and Europe, a supernatural omen prophesying war, doom and destruction as the heavens “turned red with blood.” For northern peoples living under the “aurora belt,” the northern lights have been incorporated into their stories and legends of creation, death, and even celestial sports. In the past, photography of aurora borealis was a difficult proposition. Exposure calculations of light intensity, and lengthy shutter speeds using film, were usually hit-or-miss—and a night of shooting could have been lost by a simple mistake. Now, in the digital age, with relative ease we can take a few test shots to check exposure and set our ISO, aperture and shutter speed accordingly. And the results can be spectacular! Shoots in Fairbanks correspond with the winter sled dog races and ice sculpture championships. During the day we allocate time along the dog team racecourse, capturing action images of the teams, sleds and “mushers” as they run through photogenic birch and aspen woodlands during 8-dog, 6-dog and 4-dog competitions. In the evening we head out to photograph the intricate large-scale ice sculptures created during the famous Fairbanks World Ice Art Championships. Just at dark and thereafter, the numerous carvings are lit with a variety of colored lights that radiate a photogenic internal glow. Then, as the sky fully darkens, with a clear sky, we concentrate on photographing the aurora. We travel 60 miles from Fairbanks to the acclaimed Chena Hot Springs Resort. Chena Hot Springs is world renowned as one of the best places on Earth to see the northern lights. The resort is located directly under one of the world’s most active regions of magnetic fields producing aurora borealis. It is away from the light pollution of cities, and the skies over Chena are clear more often than those over Fairbanks. As we approach the vernal equinox auroras are typically the strongest. Prior to the nighttime aurora shoots, we spend a portion of our days photographing iconic snowy winter landscapes or relaxing at the resort before our late night photography sessions. Join us in Fairbanks in March! This exciting winter photo shoot will produce a wonderful variety of unusual images to please just about any outdoor photographer!