Giant Redwoods of Northern California

City Area Date Instructor Price (Member) Price (Non-Member)
Eureka/Arcata CA 21-JUN-2012 Michael A. Mariant $895 $925 Sold out

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Giant redwood forests, breathtaking scenery and fog shrouded trees make for an incomparable photographic journey. 2015 dates: Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28

The towering, giant redwoods of Northern California are the stuff legends are made of. Trees so wide at the base, it takes 20 grown men, linked hand-to-hand, to circle the circumference. Tree tops lost in the clouds as single redwood trees that rise to heights greater then a 40-story building. Foot trails cut through the dense understory of vibrant green ferns as sunlight streams through the fog-shrouded trees, fingers of light illuminating the branches and trunks of these old-growth behemoths. With thousands of redwood trees clustered in hundreds of groves tucked away in Northern California, this workshop brings you to the perfect and ideal redwood groves, at times and locations predetermined to be the best photographic opportunity.

This workshop focuses not only on the 'where' to take the pictures, but also on the 'how' to take pictures, incorporating photographic education throughout the workshop at each location. By building on the previous location's techniques and lessons, this allows for culmination in a comprehensive lesson in pre-visualization, composition, modified exposure and light controls.

This truly is a collaboration of extensive, comprehensive landscape photography education coupled with a dynamic location. Each location has been carefully scouted for the optimum time of day and angles to ensure you get the best photographic experience, and bring home the best images portraying the Giant Redwoods of Northern California.

COURSE CURRICULUM: Comprehensive lessons in exposure values, tonal range, dynamic range, post workflows.


Starting where our beginner courses end, academic principles in the intermediate courses push the level of learning, incorporating the visual with the technical.


Day 1 - Following our breakfast orientation meeting, we depart south from our workshop base into the Avenue of the Giants and an old-growth redwood grove tucked against the banks of two rivers for our first lesson in layering, composition and exposure controls. We follow the first location up with two subsequent locations that are considered by past participants as some of the most photographic redwood groves in the workshop, with winding paths and a dense, lush and vibrant green understory. As the sun begins to drop low, we head to an isolated grove for our beaming sunset images, and one of the principle locations used for the filming of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Day 2 - Following an early breakfast, we head to a true mountain-top redwood grove, to capture the early-morning light as it streams into the grove. This location is quickly followed by a short, easy hike into a former logging camp with several old-growth trees mixed in with second-growth and a dense fern understory, followed with another easy hike to a hidden waterfall along a path through several redwood groves in a setting that has been regarded as “movie-like”. The entire afternoon is devoted to a pre-determined network of trails in one of the most treasured redwood groves in California, as we follow creek-side trails and cross low ridges to pass from one section of the grove to the next. The grand finale for the day is sunset inside a low valley of redwoods and ferns, in a location that is as isolated as beautiful.

Day 3 - The final day provides a visual treat and diversion from the giant redwoods, as we head to the coast for a morning of photography in a narrow and towering fern-walled canyon, as seen in numerous films, including Jurassic Park II. We then head back inland to two towering groves along with mixed conifers and a variety of understory, before heading back to the coast for the final grove being the classic ‘sunset in the redwoods’ location.

The above itinerary is the standard itinerary, however is very fluid and can change daily — even hourly — as changing weather conditions can lead to adjustments in the schedule.

VENUE INFORMATION: Our base of operations will be Eureka/Arcata. A list of recommended hotels located adjacent to each other will be provided upon workshop registration.

  • You will learn

    • As with all of Michael Mariant's workshops, this workshop focuses not only on the ‘where’ to take the pictures, but also on the ‘how’ to take pictures, incorporating photographic education throughout the workshop at each location. By building on the previous location’s techniques and lessons, this allows for culmination in a comprehensive lessons in:
    • Techniques, methods and approaches used with Pre-Visualization.
    • Philosophy applied to landscape photography, specific to the forest conditions of the giant redwoods.
    • Based on the concepts by the master’s of photography.
    • A comprehensive lesson in traditional tonal value determinations that is intertwined with exposure values.
    • Sought by professional photographers to craft the powerful, final image.
    • A deconstruction of the myths of exposure, with a simple visual tutorial that reveals the ease in shooting and post-processing for maximum tonal values.
    • An extensive understanding of this concept, the biggest challenge in photographing the giant redwoods.
    • All workshop participants receive the “Workshop Guide”, which includes the workshop itinerary, reference material and maps for the Redwoods of Northern California, as well as the always-popular “Workshop Tip Card” for the camera bag!
  • What to bring

  • Required

    • Water bottles, at least one of 24-32oz capacity. (Not bottled water but bottles that can be filled with water, such as Nalgene.)
    • Sturdy hiking boots, long pants and cool long-sleeve shirts. (Plan for cold mornings and brisk to warm days. Layered clothing is ideal.)
    • Camera equipment should include the full range of lens from ultra-wide to zoom; suggested filters: polarizer filter, gradated ND filters); sturdy tripod and (recommended) cable release. Usually our shooting locations are far from our venue, so spare memory cards and batteries are a must.
    • Laptop computer to edit your images. Additional memory cards and/or download device or hard drive.
  • What is provided

    • Guidance by our professional photography instructor
    • Training materials from the workshop
    • Amazing photo opportunities
    • The workshop pricing includes the training and resources, but does not include food or lodging. We will be using the town of Eureka/Arcata as our workshop base; a list of recommended hotels will be provided to you following workshop registration. We will be carpooling to all our shooting locations each day.
    • The recommended airport of arrival & departure is Arcata/Eureka Airport (ACV).
    • Car rental companies can be found at the airport terminal. Car rental reservations are highly recommended.
    • All workshop participants need to arrive by Wednesday evening for the early Thursday morning breakfast orientation.
  • Venue Information

      A venue for this workshop has yet not been locked down.


Come along for a journey to this enchanted forest.

Class size limited to 5 participants only, to maximize interaction with your instructor

Cancellation policy: If you cancel more than 30 days before the workshop, we will refund your tuition except for a $125 fee. If you cancel less than 30 days before the workshop, we will refund 50% of the tuition. If you cancel less than 15 days before the workshop, we cannot offer any refund.


Following Giant Redwoods of Northern California workshops are organized in Eureka/Arcata CA:

Date Instructor Price (Member) Price (Non-Member)
21-JUN-2012 Michael A. Mariant $895 $925 Sold out
27-JUN-2013 Michael A. Mariant $895 $995 Sold out
26-JUN-2014 Michael A. Mariant $895 $995 Sold out

Member prices are only applicable to Nikonians Silver, Gold and Platinum Members. Non-members can register as Nikonians members here. Nikonians Basic members can upgrade the membership level here. Membership payments help sustain the growth of the Nikonians community and its services such as the Nikonians Academy.