Bodie Night Photography: Mono Lake Festival 2011

Bodie house with bicycle and sawhorse -- by Joe Reifer
Bodie house with bicycle and sawhorse -- by Joe Reifer

The Bodie night photograph above is one of the few keepers from a 2006 workshop. Plagued with focus problems on a pesky Canon 17-40mm lens, I ended up with a 2-3 digital shots and a couple of good film shots. A question that comes up from time-to-time is how can you shoot Bodie ghost town at night? Bodie is open 8a.m. to 6 p.m. in the summer, until 5 p.m. in October, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the winter if you're willing to ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile in. Lance Keimig is typically one of the only people who gets the permit to be there after dark, and this June is your big chance.

The Mono Lake Night Photography Festival runs June 12-15th, 2011. The Festival is $395 and includes one night of shooting at Bodie, as well as the South Tufa area of Mono Lake, and the weird rocks of Olmstead Point in Yosemite. For an additional fee you can opt to take a beginner's workshop with Tim Baskerville of the Nocturnes, an advanced workshop with Lance Keimig and Scott Martin, or both. Workshop attendees get two nights of shooting at Bodie.

The Festival includes afternoon lectures from 3-5:30 p.m. each day with night photography luminaries including: Troy Paiva, Tom Paiva, Susanne Friedrich, Stu Jenks, Joe Reifer, Gabriel Biderman, Andy Frazer, Dan Squires and Al Hiltz. Word on the street is that there will be a extra special guest presenter from Adobe, too. Here's an outline of my presentation:

23 Epiphanies: Take a rollicking ride through the work of 23 visual artists with Joe Reifer as he discusses the value of cultivating a wide range of artistic influences. Zig-zag through time and across genres with examples of vernacular photography, conceptual art, painting, and cinema that have something to teach us about night photography.

Photographers in Bay Area night photography circles including myself still speak fondly of the 2006 Festival. I'm sure the 2011 event will be just as legendary. For more details see Lance Keimig's Night Skye website. See you at Mono Lake!