Here’s a release I wrote for my pals Keith and Brian and their California Photography Workshops. I’ve been on three and can say these are a lot of fun and a great way to test out your skills and learn new ones. If you haven’t been to Bodie, it’s a great adventure. Sorry for font glitches here.  







Brian Leng and Keith Skelton, respected professional photographers and instructors, have announced their summer workshop to the historic ghost town of Bodie, as well as Mono Lake and Silver Lakes in the Eastern Sierra June 19-22, and their fall workshop to the majestic Monument Valley, Arizona, September 25-28.


Open to all photographers of any level using 35 mm to large format, film or digital, Skelton and Leng offer all participants one-on-one teaching opportunities to improve visual and technical skills. Included are daily discussions about “seeing,” pre-visualization, specific techniques and exercises to spur creativity. Throughout the workshop, digital work flow, shooting RAW and processing digital pictures will be discussed. Be ready to rise before dawn and experience an adventure!


About Bodie

Bodie, California is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the United States, located in the Eastern Sierra. Founded in the late 1800s during the Gold Rush boomtown era, the rugged and inaccessible town, situated 8,200 feet above sea level, grew to over 10,000 people before the mines went dry. After several devastating fires, everyone left Bodie, leaving almost all their belongings behind, including stores full of merchandise and homes nearly intact. The artifacts have been preserved over the years, giving us a unique and rare look back in time to the turn-of-the-century era of the Gold Rush. One artifact, a letter, recounts a young girl’s dismay at her family’s decision to move from San Francisco to the rowdy, isolated town. She wrote, “Goodbye God, I’m goin’ to Bodie!” Bodie is now a California State Park, open to the public for a minimal admission charge.


About Mono Lake

Mono Lake (rhymes with “OH no”) is the largest natural lake completely within the state of California, and is best-known for its dramatic limestone tufa (two-fuh) towers, usually only seen underwater. Now they tower above due to the battle over the lake’s watery resource. Once endangered when the water feeding it was diverted toward the Los Angeles basin, Mono lost half its volume in the 40 years before an agreement was reached to save it, and the water level still remains low. In addition, over time, rainfall at Mono Lake did not keep up with evaporation, and minerals in the water have so concentrated that the lake is now 2-1/2 times as salty, and 80 times as alkaline, as the ocean. You’ll see brine shrimp and enormous flocks of seagulls at Mono Lake as it is also the breeding ground for the ocean birds.


The price of this workshop is $295.00, not including hotel, food, and travel expenses. Limited to 12 participants. For more info visit, or email


Past participants say:

Keith and Brian are professional shooters (Brooks Institute graduates) who will take you right to where and when the best shooting is and then teach you how to get great shots with infinite patience.” – Denny Clark


“You go away simply feeling satisfied that you’ve explored an exciting location.  But the best part is reviewing the photos you took as they bring you back to your experience through images just vivid as your adventure.” – Len Wilson

The Alabama Hills workshop was an excellent and well-organized workshop.  Keith and Brian warmed everyone up in the early afternoon with shooting assignments, after which we were all ready for the setting sun.  They knew exactly where to take us, and when, to capture the best light for that time of day.   The small number of participants also insured that Keith and Brian spent time with everyone, suggesting, critiquing, and teaching. – Vahe Peroomian


We enjoyed not only the adventure of exploring an overlooked site of extreme variety, but exploring it with the photographic eye, with subtle but experienced guidance of Keith and Brian, who helped reveal the continual surprise of the landscape.” – D Swanson Patrick


About Monument Valley

Deep in the heart of the American Southwest, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park provides perhaps the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. The isolated red mesas and buttes surrounded by the golden sandy desert have been filmed and photographed numerous times by countless photographers. Yet every image is different from the one before. You will photograph free-standing sandstone rock forms that majestically rise 1,000 feet from the desert floor. Learn how to photograph panoramas using Stitching and photograph the stars and star trails. There are not many places where you can see as many stars as in Monument Valley. Come and experience the beauty for yourself!


Cost is $395, not including hotel, food, and travel expenses. Limited to 12 participants.

For more info visit, or email


About California Photography Workshops and Tours

One of the best ways to improve your photographic skills is to join a workshop. Advance your photography knowledge while traveling to destinations throughout the West and the world. We have designed adventures of travel and discussion themes that will enhance your photography and your appreciation of some of the best places on earth. Our workshops are designed for all levels of photographers. Having taught at local colleges for more than 15 years each, Skelton and Leng were recently profiled in Shutterbug Magazine for their innovative workshops designed for anyone wishing to explore or renew their interest in photography. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Keith Skelton in Shutterbug magazine: “For some of us, learning the traditional film methods and developing was easy. The controls on a regular film SLR are far fewer than the controls on a digital camera. In contrast, the many options available in digital photography can be both exciting and scary. Most people default to Auto mode. However, when the Auto mode setting is used too often, the photographer may begin to wonder whether the creative control lies in their hands or the camera’s preset buttons. We offer a solution for the person who wants to ditch the auto setting and regain control of capturing an image.” The solutions are working as many of Keith and Brian’s students return for multiple photographic adventures.

Keith Skelton grew up in rural Oregon working in canneries, on farms, and playing in bands. He has been a professional photographer since 1980, working for clients such as Boeing, Leo Burnett Chicago, and Expeditors International. He has been published in The New York Times, The Oregonian, Travel and Leisure, and Newsweek, to name a few. Keith has photographed everything from Keiko the whale to Presidents Carter and Clinton.

Recent personal projects include photography in India, China, Guatemala, and Mexico. Keith has also been teaching workshops through Santa Monica College and Pasadena City College for seven years. He graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1980 with a BA degree in Commercial Photography and a minor in Photojournalism. He also attended the University of Hawaii and the University of Oregon. Keith’s website:

Brian Leng’s photography obsession began with shooting for the Hamilton High school paper in 1968. After high school, he attended Santa Monica College and later received his BA from Brooks Institute of Photography. In 1974, Brian opened up his first photography studio in Hollywood and began shooting assignments for advertising agencies, design firms, and corporations. Brian operated the studio for over 15 years with his wife, artist representative, Jill Youmans. Some of their clients included J.C. Penney, Herbal Life, and Eastman Kodak. He photographed everything from a camel having lunch in a restaurant, to 300 Groucho Marx look-a-likes. Teaching is now Brian’s main focus. He has enjoyed sharing his knowledge with aspiring photographers at Santa Monica college for 15 years.


Brian is past president of the Southern California chapter of ASMP (American Society of Magazine Photographers) and on the board of directors for APA (Advertising Photographers of America). Brian has recently volunteered his services to a Heart Touch International outreach HIV/AIDS program in Thailand.

For more information about these workshops, and for a full calendar of upcoming workshops, visit or email

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