Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail:    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email:

Jennifer Woolley – Director of Operations • Email:

We look forward to hearing from you!


Limit 10 spaces | $4,350* Register
Creative Core November 5 - 9, 2018 | View other workshops

Napa with Elizabeth Carmel and Jerry Dodrill

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"Wine is bottled poetry." –Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island, and Napa Valley resident

Coinciding with amazing Napa Valley fall color, this workshop captures the essence of autumn in wine country. Napa has figured prominently in the lives of instructors Elizabeth Carmel and Jerry Dodrill, both of whom have spent significant portions of their careers here. Not only do they know the valley like the backs of their hands, but they each have excellent connections in the community and at some of the world's very best wine estates, which enables us to offer exclusive access to unique Napa Valley photo locations, along with wine tasting and gourmet dining. Our accommodations and classroom will be based at the Mount View Hotel & Spa, in the charming historic town of Calistoga, California, located beneath Mount St. Helena at the north end of Napa Valley.

Participants can expect attentive and thoughtful instruction both in the field and in the classroom, all in an atmosphere of camaraderie and fun. Elizabeth and Jerry will lead eight field trips to locations in and around the local vineyards and beautiful Napa Valley, including highlights such as special visits with our friends at Chateau Montelena, the historic and very photogenic winery featured in feature film Bottleshock, as well as the architecturally splendid Castella di Amarosa. In the classroom, Elizabeth and Jerry will present classroom lectures, and provide two constructive group critiques of images made by participants during the workshop. Elizabeth will also give a tour of Carmel Gallery in downtown Calistoga, and well as her fine printing studio and frame shop. Elizabeth and Jerry will each demonstrate the processes and techniques they use in the creation of museum-grade fine prints.

This course is suitable for a wide range of experience levels, from enthusiastic beginners to serious amateurs, and professionals. Anyone who understands the basic operations of their camera will advance their skills with this workshop. Manageable group size ensures that every participant has ample opportunity to ask questions, photograph alongside Elizabeth and Jerry in the field, and discuss the exciting world of photography with fellow enthusiasts. Excellent group meals provide an informal setting to socialize and address specific interests that may not be covered during lectures and classroom discussion.

For the scheduled workshop itinerary, please click "read more" in the tab below right.

ITINERARY: Please note, this schedule may be adapted and modified in response to weather, seasonal conditions, and photo location opportunities during the workshop.

Monday, Nov 5th
1:00pm  Meet for introductory session in our classroom at the Mountain View Hotel in Calistoga.
1:30pm  Slideshow: Wine Country, Elizabeth Carmel
3:00pm  Leave for afternoon field session, Hanna Winery, Alexander Valley
5:05pm  Sunset
6:30pm  Dinner

Tuesday, Nov 6th
6:42am  Sunrise
7:00am  Breakfast
8:00am  Depart for morning field session at Castella di Amarosa
Noon     Lunch in Calistoga
1:30pm  Wine tasting and afternoon shoot at Chateau Montelena
5:04pm  Sunset, Return to hotel
6:30pm  Dinner in Calistoga

Wednesday, Nov 7th
6:00am  Meet in lobby. Depart for sunrise shoot
6:43am  Sunrise
8:30am  Breakfast in Calistoga
9:30am  Download and edit images
10:30am Image critique session
1:00pm  Lunch followed by break
3:00pm  Depart for afternoon field session.
5:03pm  Sunset, Return to hotel
6:30pm  Dinner in Calistoga

Thursday, Nov 8th
6:00am  Meet in lobby. Depart for sunrise shoot
6:44am  Sunrise
8:30am  Breakfast
9:30am  Presentation on image development in Lightroom and Photoshop
1:00pm  Lunch followed by break
3:00pm  Depart for afternoon field session
5:02pm  Sunset, Return to hotel
6:30pm  Dinner in Calistoga

Friday, Nov 9th
6:00am  Meet in lobby. Depart for sunrise shoot
6:45am  Sunrise
8:30am  Breakfast
9:30am  Check out of hotel
10:00am  Begin download and edit of images
11:00am  Image critique session
2:00pm   Adjourn

Elizabeth Carmel

Elizabeth Carmel is a professional fine art photographer specializing in unique, expressive landscapes and “waterscapes”. In partnership with her husband Olof Carmel, Elizabeth owns and operates two art galleries in California featuring their highly regarded fine art photography.  Her fine prints combine dramatic composition, insightful use of color, and artistic touches to create new, captivating visions of the natural world. Using ultra-high-resolution cameras, she is able to capture the subtle details of the natural world and transfer them to large prints with stunning clarity and color. She does her own printing on fine art paper or canvas using large format printers. Her award-winning images are in numerous galleries and private collections throughout the United States. Among the institutions that have exhibited Elizabeth's prints are the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., the California Museum of Photography, and the Nevada Museum of Art.

In addition to being a columnist for Outdoor Photographer magazine, Elizabeth's work is regularly featured in books and magazines, as well as her own book “Brilliant Waters, Portraits of Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and the High Sierra,” with a foreword by Robert Redford.  In 2006, Elizabeth was one of only twelve photographers in the world selected as Hasselblad Masters. She recently founded the Vista Channel which produces video presentations that turn televisions into art displays. A lifelong outdoors person, Elizabeth is an experienced world traveler, whitewater kayaker, backcountry skier, backpacker, scuba diver, competitive tennis player, and drone pilot. She loves sharing her passion for photography with others, and for the last several years has led photography workshops with Visionary Wild instructor Jerry Dodrill.

Click the "read more" tab below to view her photo gallery...

Jerry Dodrill

Jerry Dodrill is an award-winning landscape and adventure photographer who in the early years of his career was a protégé of the legendary Galen Rowell. An unrelenting passion for photography and outdoor adventures made it clear that Jerry was not destined for a desk job. An avid climber for twenty years, he feels equally at home in a rocky bivouac or a soft bed. In college, pre-med classes gave way to studies in fine art and weekends spent scaling Yosemite's granite walls. Photography was at first a byproduct of his adventures but quickly became his artistic medium of choice as he captured each experience with a concise aesthetic and quality of light revealing his inspiration.

Jerry's adventures have led him around the globe. He has climbed all the major walls in Yosemite Valley, at crags across the West, close to a hundred summits in the Sierra, and peaks in Bolivia, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan, and China. His full embrace of the many disciplines of climbing have led to many adventures and tales best told late at night around a raging campfire.

Jerry holds degrees in fine art and photography, which in 1997 led him to work for acclaimed photographer Galen Rowell at Mountain Light in Berkeley. There, he managed Galen's gallery space and workshops, an amazing experience (akin to a photographer's bootcamp).

Since 2000, he has been pursuing his own adventures and photography career. Jerry's immense talent and creative eye have been well recognized through international awards and exhibition in fine galleries, such as the Ansel Adams in Yosemite, Mountain Light, Mumm Napa Valley, and the Banff Center for Mountain Culture. Through his numerous workshops for Mountain Light Gallery, Visionary Wild, and Sierra Nevada College, and college-level teaching at Pacific Union College in Napa Valley, he has proven himself as a highly engaging and effective photography teacher and workshops leader.

After running his own gallery on California's North Coast for five years, he now resides in the Sonoma County town of Sebastopol, California, focusing on commercial and editorial assignment photography, exhibitions of his work, and sharing his vision and expertise with others. Jerry's work has been featured in many ad campaigns, books, and publications and is represented by Aurora Photos. Editorial and commercial clients include The North Face, Vanity Fair, Sunset, Men's Journal, Outside, Alpinist, Rock & Ice, and Climbing magazines. Expert in Photoshop and digital color management, Jerry is regularly sought out as a color pre-press manager for high-end photo books, and as a fine digital printmaker. He was also recently recruited as a design consultant for the exciting new outdoors-oriented photo pack company MindShift Gear, a spin-off from Think Tank Photo.

Visit Jerry's website

Visit Jerry's blog

Jerry Dodrill portrait: © Grant Ordelheide.


  • Prime time for fall color in the vineyards
  • Special exclusive access at some of Napa Valley's finest wine estates
  • Eight field photography sessions, morning and evening
  • Composition
  • Working the scene to capture its essence
  • Using various qualities of light to best effect
  • Exposure and tonal control
  • Essentials of digital workflow
  • Optimizing images in post-processing
  • Constructive group critique sessions
  • Packaged with single-occupancy lodging, all meals and beverages

Accommodations & Travel

The Mount View Hotel and Spa, a modernized Gold-Rush-era establishment, will be our basecamp and indoor classroom.  This workshop is packaged inclusive of single-occupancy accommodation, with prorated options for double-occupancy or without lodging if you live nearby or prefer to make your own arrangements. Dinners will be served at the area's fine restaurants.

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For those traveling by air, Calistoga is 30 minutes from Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) and less than two hours from all three of Northern California's major international airports: San Francisco International (SFO), Oakland International (OAK), and Sacramento International (SMF). During field sessions, we will be carpooling to locations within 45 minutes of Calistoga. Walks during field sessions will be easy to moderate, and none very long. Autumn weather in Napa Valley is lovely, with highs around 70ºF, lows around 40ºF, and rain only one day in five.