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photography • 4 days, 3 nights

Photographing Palm Springs: The Quirky & Surreal

Palm Springs, California
photography • 4 days, 3 nights

Photographing Palm Springs: The Quirky & Surreal

Palm Springs, California
No dates currently available. Notify me when dates are added.
  • Group Size 6 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
  • Travel Style
from $860 USD per person
No dates currently available.Notify me when dates are added.

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  • Implemented expansive new safety protocols
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Trip Overview

Join National Geographic author, photographer, and Palm Springs resident Christopher P. Baker on this one-of-a-kind photography workshop exploring the most striking and photogenic sites in and around Greater Palm Springs. Cameras in hand, embark on exciting day trips to Pioneertown, Joshua Tree National Park, the Salton Sea’s Bombay Beach, and the Galleta Meadows sculptural oasis. We’ll make the most of the gorgeous winter and early spring weather, taking in both the region’s natural beauty and manmade quirks, from a repurposed movie set to towering dinosaurs roaming the desert. Plus, we’ve arranged a harp performance for you in one of the dramatic locations along our route. You’ll learn new photography and storytelling skills with instruction from Christopher on how to compose, use light and shadow, and tell a story with your images—and imagination.

Note on Safety

We’ve designed this workshop with current health and safety precautions in mind. To maintain appropriate physical distancing, participants will drive in their own vehicles and be responsible for their own lodging and meals. All photography will take place outdoors. Staff and participants will be expected to follow the latest CDC and local guidelines, which include keeping six feet of distance between people who are not traveling together. Visit Atlas Obscura's Trips FAQ for more information.

See here for the latest California travel alerts as well as the California Responsible Travel Code.

  • Expert instruction on how to compose, use light and shadow, and tell a story
  • Masterpiece Modernist architecture
  • A lived-in Western movie set in the High Desert
  • An enigmatic offbeat art hub and surreal scrap-metal sculptures


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Trip Leader

Christopher P. Baker
Chris, the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 Travel Journalist of the Year, is an acclaimed travel writer and photographer based in Palm Springs. He has written and photographed hundreds of feature articles for publications from BBC World and Conde Nast Traveler to National Geographic Traveler and Penthouse. His almost 30 travel guidebooks and coffee-table books for Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and other leading publishers include Palm Springs & Desert Resorts and five other books on California. His profession as a full-time travel journalist informs his vision and work, which is represented by Getty Images and Alamy. A National Geographic assignment photographer, he has taught for Santa Fe Photo Workshops and leads travel photography tours around the globe.

Additional Info


The total cost of this trip is $860 per person. Note that participants are responsible for their own transportation and accommodations.

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip.


Accommodations in Palm Spring are not included; we encourage locals to join us, and would like to provide participants with as much flexibility as possible. There are a number of options to choose from, depending on your price point and other personal preferences.

Arrival & Departure

You'll need your own means of transport during this trip, as we’ll be driving caravan-style between locations. The workshop begins at 2 p.m. on Day 1 and concludes around noon on Day 4. From here, you can depart for home or, if you'd like to extend your trip, we’d be happy to provide suggestions for things to do and see in the area on your own.

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking one to two miles over the course of each day, spending most of the day outdoors, and remaining on their feet for long periods of time, including walking on uneven terrain. We encourage participants to bring a water bottle, some snacks, a hat, and sunscreen, as we’ll be spending very active, outdoor days together.

  • An experienced photography guide accompanying you throughout.
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue.
  • Private harp performance.
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences.
  • Accommodations during the workshop.
  • Meals and drinks.
  • Photography equipment.
  • Travel insurance  (recommended).
  • Transportation between locations.
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