Gold Rush Hwy photography workshop

May 17 - 21, 2021

Open to traditional and digital photographers of any experience level.

Registration below

Tree and Pond, Hwy 49, gold rush highway workshop

Old Truck, Dusk, Mokelumne Hill, Hwy 49, CA. Copyright © Lynn Radeka

Please join us for our 2021 California Gold Rush Highway photography workshop! Lynn Radeka and Ron Gaut will be hosting this new photographic workshop, open to all photographers, traditional and digital, of any experience level. Not only one of America's true historical locations, the Gold Rush Highway (California's Hwy 49) is exciting, colorful and extremely photogenic. Step back in time to see these amazing towns built in the mid-1800's after gold was discovered in California. Along the entire scenic route, skirting the western foothills of the high Sierra mountains, many original buildings, lovingly preserved and restored, are still standing. Dine in restaurants that served gold miners during their heyday and sleep in colorful wild west hotels that have kept their original gold country charm.

Our workshop begins in historic Placerville, a booming gold rush town in the middle of Hwy 49. Traveling south we visit Plymouth and Dry Town, then the historic Sutter Creek with it's old western buildings, photogenic signs, shops and restaurants. Founded by John Sutter, one of the original discoverers of gold in 1848, this historic town enjoyed the fruits of the gold rush and quickly grew because of the large deposits of placer gold nearby. Continuing south we visit the larger and very picturesque town of Jackson, then after some twisty forested road the small and quirky town of Mokelumne Hill with it's streets and buildings showing many signs of frequent earthquake activity.

Further south the next photogenic gold rush town is Angels Camp with it's many buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Laundry is displayed hanging on ropes across the main street as a tradition of commemorating the past.

The next stop is Columbia State Historic Park. This is one of the best preserved historic towns in the American West. We will very likely spend at least a half day here.

Further south we photograph the historic towns of Sonora and Jamestown. Then it's on to Chinese Camp, with it's tiny but very photogenic Main Street and side streets. Old brick buildings, carefully preserved with their iron-clad doors, are still standing. Depending on time, participants may wish to go even further south to the small historic mining town of Coulterville with it's historic Main Street. Beyond that lies Hornitos, a very small town with a ghost town feel nestled among the oak tree covered hills where Ansel Adams made several photographs.

Please check back frequently for updates to our itinerary and feel free to email Lynn Radeka if you have suggestions on potential locations. Contact Lynn Radeka

Outhouse, Chinese Camp, Hwy 49
Copyright © Lynn Radeka

Sutter Creek, Hwy 49, CA.
Copyright © Lynn Radeka



Covid19 safety for Radeka Photography Workshops

All 2021 Gold Rush Hwy workshop participants will be given a
Covid19 protection kit containing face masks,
hand sanitizer liquid and disinfecting wipes.


This workshop is open to all photographers whether shooting large or small format black and white or color, traditional or digital! No photographer will be rushed regardless of his/her film format or digital format and experience level.

Each participant is expected to be self-sufficient with regards to all meals including indoor dining and all lodging in historic hotels along the route. A list of hotels, including Bed and Breakfast lodging will be furnished far in advance of the workshop. Camping is also available at many locations along the route. Please inquire about any concerns or limitations.

Lynn and Ron may be reviewing each day's shoot on a laptop computer and commenting on possible image manipulations and improvements. Contrast masking (for photographers shooting film) will be discussed as well as other traditional developing/printing methods. Digital photographers will enjoy the array of interesting software programs and techniques we may be demonstrating as well, including focus stacking for extreme depth of field and HDR for controlling extreme contrast. More importantly, the workshop flow will be largely determined by the needs and desires of the workshop participants, ensuring a very enjoyable experience for everyone.


Placerville, Hwy 49, CA
. Copyright © Lynn Radeka

Lynn will be handing out durable viewing cards (an aid in visualizing compositions) to everyone. He will be assisting attendees in obtaining the best exposures and white balance settings using RAW format for those photographers shooting digital, and zone system methods, previsualization, exposure, development, view camera controls and selection of filters to those photographers shooting traditional large format.

This photography workshop will also teach the use of contrast masking in your previsualization routine. This will help traditional photographers learn how to previsualize images with the intent of applying contrast masking (or other specialized darkroom procedures) to the final prints. Surprisingly, this often results in images being shot that otherwise might be passed up due to lack of local contrast on the scene or elements that aren't well separated from surrounding detail. The intended use of masking can alter the exposure and development given to the negative.

Tag-alongs are not allowed on this workshop except for spouses, which will be required to be self-sufficient. This workshop is limited to eight paid participants. Please see the signup details below.

About Lynn Radeka

Influenced in his early work by Ansel Adams and Wynn Bullock, Lynn Radeka’s professional photography career spans fifty years. His love of the grand landscapes and intimate details of the American West was born on his first trip to Death Valley in 1966.

Lynn Radeka’s Black and White photography has been featured in eight National Park posters and several calendars including the calendar series Radeka: The American West and several ghost town calendars published by Browntrout publishers. In 1989 and 1990 he was commissioned to do the photography for five full-color books, resulting in a 2 year journey that took him through the back roads, historic places and ghost towns of the entire American West. Lynn also has the honor of being a featured photographer in the book publication "World's Top Photographers: Landscape" and has been published in B&W Magazine, View Camera Magazine and other photography publications.

Lynn Radeka currently teaches workshops in Death Valley and Canyonlands National Parks, and Contrast Masking workshops in his home darkroom. He is the producer and co-author of the Contrast Masking Kit - a technical manual for traditional film-based photographers. Lynn feels completely at home using a 4x5 view camera for his film-based work and more recently a Sony A7R mirrorless camera for his digital work.

Please visit the bio page of this website for more information.

About Ron Gaut

Ron Gaut discovered the outdoors at an early age and developed a deep passion for wilderness and photography. Not surprising, with Ron's 30-year engineering background and thirst to learn about photographic processes, in the early 1990's he began to experiment with many different films, developers, silver papers and alternative processes. He quantified much of his work by sensitometric analysis to determine the film/developer and paper/developer combination properties for different film and paper development methods, submitting the results as thesis papers at a local college.

Influenced in his early work by Ansel Adams, John Sexton, Lynn Radeka, Ray McSavaney, and other contemporary "west coast" landscape masters, Ron traveled and photographed the southwest with his 4x5 view camera.

Ron Gaut is an expert in digital techniques. "I enjoy the digital workflow. However, there is a steep learning curve to becoming proficient and printing your own work is essential." Ron uses Lightroom for global adjustments and Photoshop to fine-tune his images before printing. He has firmly established himself as an accomplished photographer and printer, receiving awards and accolades from critics and through photography competitions.

Gold Rush Hwy Photography Workshop Registration

May 17 - 21, 2021

Limited to eight paid participants

Inquire regarding space availability and other questions or to be placed on a reserve list

Location: Beginning in Placerville, CA

Tuition: $1400. $700 Payment required in advance to reserve a space, remaining amount due April 20, 2021
This workshop is expected to fill quickly.

Duration: 5+ Days.

Materials to bring: Cameras (digital or traditional),
accessories (film, storage media, changing bags), lodging money and food money

Contact: Lynn Radeka via e-mail for questions or more information.


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