A Fruitful Year


Over the course of four nights last week, I observed  the peak of the 2013 Geminid meteor shower from my private bivouac above the floor of Mesquite Flats (in what was dubbed this year as the “largest international dark sky park“). The desert silence was profound and I was reveling alone in my fortune as a very lucky man. I’m not able to mention the typical darkness, as a near full moon flooded the Valley with spectacular nightlight, making the dunes plain to see well after nightfall. I was in Death Valley National Park – my home away from home in recent years – leading my final photo workshop of 2013 and reminiscing about the spectacular year I have been privileged to enjoy. It’s been a fulfilling year of exciting experiences in nature and wilderness (alone and with a few close friends), excellent growth in all segments of my photographic business, and many stimulating exchanges with inspired photographers who sought my workshops, tours, and training – I cannot thank all of you enough!

On the other hand, I apologize to all who patiently and eagerly wait blog entries and Facebook posts. My life, business, and travel are busier than ever before which has _MG_9340left little time for social media. I admit it: I have no social media “campaign” and have never found it to be an enjoyable medium that works for me and my personality (even though most would likely refer to me as sociable). My limited time at the computer is spent doing what must be done, and I’ve never considered “chat rooms” a must-do. I’ve instead been aggressively building on what I value most: Real life experiences and photographic journeys. Neither require a cell signal, internet connection, or any sort of campaign, and yet both have been tremendously successful for me in 2013.

Over the last calendar month, I’ve exhibited in two Southern California fine art festivals and have led two group workshops. I’ve hardly been able to keep up. The photo above left is my L.A. Center for Photography workshop on Death Valley’s Mesquite Dunes, and the one below and right is my Introduction to Large Format Photography workshop group enjoying a very special canyon last weekend. My sincere THANKS to all the wonderful participants (Amr, Daniela, Graham, Joe, John, Jorge, Jovanna, Ken, Kevin, Michael, Mike, Scott – thank you!) who joined me to learn in and explore one of the most fascinating places on earth.

_MG_9192As the sun begins to set on 2013, I thank you all for being patient readers and inspirational photographers. I hope your year was as joyous as mine and I wish everyone a radiant 2014. Happy holidays!

A few brief announcements:

* Guy and I have just had a cancellation and now have one space available in our February 20-25, 2014 Visionary Death Valley workshop. All of our Visionary workshops have been sold out; come find out why!

* My next  Introduction to Large Format Photography workshop is March 7-9, 2014 and still has spaces available. Kevin J. Mellis took part in last week’s large format workshop and demonstrated his kindness by referring to me an “awesome instructor”.

* My next  L.A. Center for Photography workshop at Death Valley is March 13-16, 2014; this workshop has just opened for registration and is expected to sell out. Register now!

* New for 2014! I’ve added a Fundamentals of Digital Photography workshop for novice photographers. This short and inexpensive workshop will give you all the tools you need to understand your camera, photographic basics, and basic post-production techniques.

You are visiting the blog of fine art landscape photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website. You can also find Michael on FacebookGoogle+, and  Twitter.


Castle Mountains Tour with the NPCA – May 17, 2009

I just received this invitation from Michael Cipra of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). Unfortunately, I’m leaving for Utah on May 14 and will not return until May 24, otherwise I’d be heading to the Castle Mountains with the NPCA! The Castle Mountains area is spectacular, remote, and quiet, so I highly encourage you to participate.

“I’d like to extend the invitation to you to join us this Sunday, May 17, for a tour of the Castle Mountains, a beautiful California desert area that the National Parks Conservation Association is proposing be added to Mojave National Preserve. Full details of this tour are below. If you have questions or would like to attend, please RSVP to me by this Friday. Hope to hear from you, and to see you this weekend in the Mojave!


You’re Invited on a Tour of the Mojave!

Sunday, May 17th, Castle Mountains Auto Tour and Hike

Meet at 8 AM at the Desert Discovery Center
831 Barstow Road Barstow, CA 92311

Join California Wilderness Coalition and the National Parks Conservation Association on a day of exploration and hiking among castle-like rock formations, Joshua tree forests, and exquisite scenery. This will be a driving tour with a couple of short, easy hikes and lots of great photo opportunities!

We’ll leave from the Desert Discovery Center parking lot at 8 a.m. and travel along Historic Route 66, as well as I-15, driving past the Cady Mountains, Afton Canyon, the Soda Mountains, and the Mojave National Preserve, arriving finally at the Castle Mountains. We’ll return by traveling through the Mojave National Preserve and along I-40. We will learn some natural and cultural history along the way while enjoying the beautiful desert landscapes.

We encourage folks to arrive in Barstow a day early to check out some of the interesting history and attractions that the high desert has to offer:

The Harvey House

The Desert Discovery Center

Mother Road Route 66 Museum

The Mojave River Valley Museum

For the day of the auto tour and hike, please dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring 2 liters of water per person and a picnic lunch. We will return to Barstow by mid-afternoon.

Space is limited, so please reserve a spot ahead of time by sending an email to mcipra@npca.org

Mike Cipra
California Desert Program Manager
National Parks Conservation Association
Protecting Our National Parks for Future Generations
61325 29 Palms Highway, Suite B
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.