1164 Alvira Street
Los Angeles, California 90035
323 377-7565

Myth, Magic and Romance - Old Southern California

- Friday through Sunday, March 2-5, 2011 -


                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Oceanside Pier (Dan Wyman)

Ah, yes – Southern California! There's Los Angeles and freeways and Disneyland, of course. There's a second Southern California, too, this one under cerulean skies, a Southern California that looks in many ways as it did a century or more ago, where palm trees sway gently in the breeze and must compete for attention with historic architecture and grand landscapes. From our base in lovely Oceanside, California, we will explore some of the more picturesque reaches of the Golden State, from wooden piers and Spanish-era missions, to orange, avacdo and cactus groves, from wild mountain vistas to Indian reservations, from rocky cliffs to early-season wildflowers.

This is romantic California, the place of myth and magic, a place that exists both in reality and as the shared, internal vision we all have of a simpler age, half-way back to Eden. It is this second California to which our group will turn its collective and creative photographic eye.

This will be a hands-on photography tour. As such, we won't spend much time in front of a computer, and we won't sit in a classroom listening to lectures about f/stops and shutter speeds. We'll be outdoors (and occasionally indoors) making photographs, learning new ways to see creatively as we connect with the world around us.

So join Dave and Dan Wyman and Ken Rockwell in the southern reaches of Soutehrn California, where the sun almost always shines, it's never too cold or too hot, and unpleasant thoughts are banished, at least for our weekend of photography. 

Who this trip is for: Anyone who loves photography and the thought of spending a few days in the company of like minded people, in some of the more interesting areas of Southern California. The instructors will accommodate novice through advanced photographers. And if you're in a place where winter actually exists, this may also be your trip, to serve as your excuse to escape from the frozen north to sunny, southern climes.

Transportation: By private car; Dave will help with carpooling for those so inclined, and we should all do our best to carpool once we're on site.

Arrival Date/Time: 2 p.m., Friday, March 2, 2012
End Time: We'll end officially by mid-afternoon on Sunday, March 4.

Trip difficulty: None - the trip will be conducted at a photographer's relaxed pace. Participants do need to be able to walk a mile or so over the course of a day, with their camera gear.

What Will be Provided:

- Guided photography walks at a cornucopia of locations
- Equipment demonstrations and talks
- Help with carpooling where possible
- One group meal
- Any entry/parking fees

What to Bring:

- Camera gear (see below)
- Clothing for warm and cool temperatures; recommended
- Money for meals (other than the two provided)

Photographic Equipment: you don't need to spend any money on equipment you don't already have. A basic digital or 35mm camera will serve you well. Two accessories: a tripod & cable release. These items will allow you to photograph in the early morning hours and into evening, and also allow for creative techniques. Medium format cameras are welcome, too; the only issue is set-up and breakdown time, which will mean less chances to find and make creative photographs (that said, both Ken and Dave may have medium format cameras on the trip).


Dont Forget: CF or SD cards: bring plenty of storage space for your digital photographs. Bring enough battery power to last through a day.

Film: the instructors recommend film from ISO/ASA 25 to 200. Fujichrome slide film offers excellent color saturation for slide film and has fine grain. Fujicolor and Kodacolor are good print films. Print film speeds up to ISO 400 are fine.

Going light: This is the trip to bring it all: telephotos, tripods, macro lenses, filters, flashes, etc., etc., etc. However, this isn't the trip to carry of all of that equipment at one time. Ken (and do a lesser extent, Dave) are minimalists. Ken carries most of what he'll use for a day in a small bag; Dave will have a camera bag full of equipment in a car, and then choose one lens for the camera, and an extra lens for a pocket. In other words, don't overdo it. The less you bring, the more you will probably come back with in fine images. Please feel free to contact Dave with questions about what to bring.


Trip Leaders

Ken Rockwell ( is a well-known – some might even claim notorius – web presence. Love him or hate him, he is a force to be reckoned with, as his Ken's voluminous website offers a cornucopia of lens tests, camera reviews, and his clear-sighted, if not occasionally contrarian viewpoints, about the meaning of art and photography. He has the training of an engineer and the soul of an artist and Ken is willing to share his encyclopedic knowledge of photography with all-comers. He has conducted numerous workshops in California's mountains, deserts and coastal regions, in the canyon lands of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, and along historic Route 66. Ken lives in the San Diego area.
Dave Wyman brings unbridled passion and commitment to his photography, whether he's peering at a sea anemone in a Oregon tide pool, photographing wildlife in Yellowstone, or summiting a mountain in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He has conducted photography workshops and tours since 1984, and he originated and directed the travel photography program at the University of Southern California. His articles and photographs have been published in magazines such as Outdoor Photographer, Outside, and Backpacker; his pictorial guidebooks include Backroads of Northern California, Backroads of Southern California, and Yosemite in Photographs.  

Dan Wyman - Yes, he's Dave's brother. Dan is an excellent photographer. Dan conducts his own business, photographing surfing classes in Oceanside, which is where he lives, and why he will serve as an invaluable guide to the areas we will photograph over the course of our weekend. His photographs have been diplayed in Oceanside area art galleries (and we may see some of his seabird images on the Oceanside Pier). Dan also concentrates much of his photography on nature – from macro images to wildlife and landscapes – as well as travel. When he's not out photographing, Dan is likely to be pedaling a bike along the coast or over the backroads of Southern California.

: we can expect mild to warm days, and cool evenings. In the unlikely event of  "bad" weather, we'll keep making photographs, because unsettled weather is is sometimes the best weather for photography


- On Friday, we'll gather at the Oceanside La Quinta Inn, to meet each other, enjoy a welcoming presentation by Ken, have an early dinner, and then head to the historic Oceanside Pier for our first photography session.  After dinner, we'll spend some time looking at photographs that participants would like to share with the group (for those who do want to share, bring up to 20 images, and put them on a thumb drive or CD, or bring your own laptop).

- On Saturday, we'll start early and spend the day on the go. Depending on weather and group dynamic some of our locations may include the Spanish-era mission (last of it's kind in California) on the Pala Indian Reservation, Anza-Borrego State Park (if the flowers are out), The Palomar Observatory, Julian (an old-west gold mining town), groves of avacads, oranges and cactus, and mountain vistas, not returning to Oceanside until after evening falls.

- On Sunday, after breakfast, we'll have an early morning session at the beautiful San Luis Rey Mission, and have a final session before saying goodbye to each other and to the pleasant confines of Southern California by noon. 

Note: Participants are encouraged to bring up to 20 slides/digital images and/or prints to share with the group. Digital images can be on your laptop or a thumb drive or CD (that the instructors can show via a laptop computer or with a digital projector).


Dan Wyman photo
Cost: $355 - Deposit: $100. Total due: February 15, 2012

Cancellation: $100 cancellation fee. Cancellation less than two weeks before the starting date of the trip may result in no refund. If another participants signs up after cancellation, the full amount will be refunded, minus the deposit.

How to register: Send a check or money order by good old fashioned U.S. snail mail to: Image Quest Tours, 1164 Alvira Street, Los Angeles, California, 90035.

Although we prefer payment via the mail, you can also  use your credit card, via (check with Dave first).

When you send payment: you'll receive via email a receipt and any additional information, such as maps and a liability form. An instructor will touch base with you by phone and/or e-mail prior to the departure date and, where possible, help arrange for carpooling for participants. 

Accommodations: Dave will stay in Oceaside, at the La Quinta Inn; feel free to stay there, too. It's clean, has a meeting area, breakfast is included, it's close to our first field session, and it's where we will meet with Ken Rockwell on Friday afternoon, and each morning (and the Internet price is excellent). There are many other places to stay in the Oceanside area, too, at every price range.

Where is Oceanside?
Oceanside, California, is located about 40 miles north of San Diego (and the San Diego International Airport), and about 90 miles south of Los Angeles (and the Los Angeles International Airport). Contact Dave if you need help with directions, or making a reservation for accommodations.

If you have any questions: call the trip leader, Dave Wyman, at 323 377-7565, or e-mail him at


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