Bodie After Dark:

September 9-10, 2018 (with an optional extra image-processing session on September 11th)

Where does the workshop take place?

This workshop is based in Lee Vining, California, with field sessions at Bodie State Historic Park.

When does the workshop begin and end?

We’ll start with an introduction and instruction session in Lee Vining beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 9th. The main workshop will end around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, September 11th. If you’d like additional help with processing the images you make during the workshop we recommend that you stay for the optional image-processing session on the 11th, which will conclude at approximately 4:00 p.m.


Participants must provide their own transportation to and from Lee Vining. The nearest major airport is in Reno, Nevada; driving time is about three hours. During the workshop we’ll carpool to our field locations – we’ll discuss these arrangements at the introductory session.


Most cameras with APS-size or full-frame sensors can handle photographing star trails. For capturing pinpoint stars and the Milky Way you’ll need a relatively fast wide-angle lens (24mm or wider for full-frame sensors, 16mm or wider for APS-size sensors, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or better), and a camera that can be pushed to 6400 ISO or higher. You can always rent a camera or lens for this workshop. A sturdy tripod is a must. We’ll send you a complete list of things to bring prior to the workshop.


Since we won’t have much time for basic instruction before our first session in Bodie, previous nighttime photography experience is required for this workshop. This includes being able to focus and compose in the dark. Some Photoshop experience is also helpful for assembling star-trail and light-painting sequences.


There is no real hiking in this workshop, but we’ll be walking up and down small hills over rough terrain in the dark. Since Bodie is at 8,400 feet in elevation, you should not take this workshop if you have a heart condition, or any other health issue that could be affected by altitude. You also need to be comfortable with navigating rough, uneven terrain in the dark with only a red headlamp for illumination. If you have any questions about this, please email Michael.


We’ve reserved a block of rooms at Murphey’s Motel in Lee Vining. You can also choose one of the other motels in Lee Vining, and camping is available nearby. When you register for the workshop we’ll send you information about all the lodging options. Lodging is not included in the workshop tuition.


Restaurant choices are limited, but there are a couple of good ones in Lee Vining, and we’ll send you some suggestions when you register for the workshop. We’ll break for an early dinner each afternoon, but you’ll want to bring snacks or a sandwich to the nighttime field sessions. Meals are not included in the workshop fee.


The workshop tuition includes the permit fees for our two nights at Bodie State Historic Park. Our permit allows us to photograph this wonderful, historic, well-preserved ghost town until 1:00 a.m. – long after the park is normally closed to visitors. The fees from photography workshops like ours go to the Bodie Foundation’s vital building and structure stabilization programs.


We know you’ll enjoy this workshop and learn a great deal, but should you need to cancel for any reason we will refund your tuition (or deposit) in full up to 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. Should you need to cancel within 45 to 59 days we will refund your tuition less a $150.00 cancellation fee. Refunds are not available less than 45 days prior to the workshop unless we can fill the vacancy, in which case you’ll be charged a $150 cancellation fee. If you do need to cancel we ask that you let us know as soon as possible so we can alert people on the waiting list.

In the rare event that we need to cancel this workshop because of lack of enrollment or an unforeseen event you will receive a complete refund or credit toward a future workshop. We recommend that you avoid purchasing non-refundable airline tickets, and consider getting trip cancellation insurance.

This workshop is full!
Please email us to sign up for the waiting list.


Legal Stuff:

This workshop is conducted by Michael Frye Photography and is operated under special use permit with the Inyo National Forest. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.

To file a complaint alleging discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at, or at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provided in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (a) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (b) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (c) email:

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.