$260 – $290

Dramatic Shoreline Photography

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$260 Member Price / $290 Non-Member Price

Interested in becoming a member of PRNSA? Click Here!

Photograph the lighthouse and some of the seashore's most beautiful coastal landscapes at their very best in this class that combines guided field trips with classroom sessions. We'll cover composition, digital capture, image enhancement, filters, and how to work with the elements to get the best from any landscape location.

Instructed by Bill Helsel

-Accommodations included at Historic Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock, more info below.

-Youth, ages 12 and up, are welcome with adult supervision.

-If you have any special circumstances or questions, please contact us at fieldinstitute@ptreyes.org.

Is this event rain or shine? We use National Park advisories to determine whether or not the class will run. Click here to check out current weather conditions!

Class Cancelation Policy: If a registered participant wishes to cancel their enrollment and receive a refund, notification must be received at least 14 days in advance of the class date. No refunds will be issued for enrollment cancelations made less than 14 days in advance of the class date. Class enrollment fees are non-transferable. In the event that the PRNSA Field Institute cancels a class, participants will receive a full refund of class fee.

Historic Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock


The Point Reyes Lifeboat Station is a National Historic Landmark overlooking beautiful Drakes Bay. It is the last remaining example of a rail-launched lifeboat station that was common on the Pacific coast. Located at Chimney Rock, the Lifeboat Station was built in 1927 by the U.S. Coast Guard and contains the crew’s quarters, a large boat bay, and a marine railway system for launching a 36-foot life boat.

The ground floor houses the boat bay museum where a renovated motor boat is located.

The area around the Lifeboat Station is used by the Marine Mammal Center as a release site for rehabilitated wildlife. While staying here some classes are unexpectedly treated to the release of an otter or harbor seal.


  • Ample working / studio space
  • Large second floor reading / meeting room overlooking Drakes Bay
  • Seven bedrooms accommodating 24 individuals, bunk style sleeping
  • Fully-equipped kitchen with large fridge and commercial range/over
  • Two large multi person bath/shower rooms
  • Central heat
  • Projector

Personal Gear

  • Warm, variable-weather, layered clothing (waterproof windbreaker or rain jacket, hat, gloves)
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Daypack
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • WARM sleeping bag and pillow (linens not provided for bunkbeds, camp-style mattress only)
  • Extra sleeping pad for comfort (optional, but the provided mattress is fairly thin)
  • Ear plugs (to avoid distraction while writing and in case of snorers/elephant seals)
  • Personal toiletries (shampoo, soap, bath towel, etc.)
  • Insect repellant
  • Headlamp or flashlight

A full service kitchen is provided. Please bring all meals and snacks. The nearest stores and restaurants are 20 miles away over country roads, so you will need to be self-sufficient. By tradition, Saturday night is pot-luck with everyone sharing food. So be sure to bring a dish to share for Saturday dinner, as well as food for yourself.

Camera Equipment
• Camera body (digital, film, or both), lenses from wide to tele, macro equipment, lens hoods,
protective filters (skylight or UV)
Note: A digital SLR will be the most useful overall, but also bring, if you have it, a rangefinder
camera (for continuous viewing during long exposures with camera in motion) .
• Fully-charged battery in camera plus fully-charged spare or two, and battery charger
• Sturdy tripod. If your tripod is small and flimsy, consider buying a bigger, sturdier one.
• Cable or other remote release
• Camera instruction book(s)
• Digital storage cards with lots of capacity and/or film of your choice (ISO 100 recommended)
• Filters: polarizer (very useful!), graduated neutral density, and any other filters you own and want
to play with.
Note: If you have several lenses, buy the polarizer and other special filters to fit your largest lens
and use adapter (“step-up”) rings to mount it on your smaller lenses.
• Off-camera flash and synch cord if you have it (don’t buy one just for this class)
• Plastic bags for protecting cameras (when on tripod) from foul weather.
• Umbrella (large and sturdy) if rain is predicted.
• Small notebook and pen
• Lens cleaning fluid and tissues or microfiber cloth
• 3-6 landscape, night, or special effects photos to share, as digital files on small USB drive or CD
(jpegs, 1024 pixels on the long dimension), or as prints 8x10” or larger
For digital shooters only:
• Laptop computer (if you have one) with your favorite image-editing software installed, and
extension cord
• Card reader or camera-to-computer cord for downloading images
• CDs or USB drive for transferring a few chosen images for projection

Interested in becoming a class facilitator to assist PRNSA Field Institute courses or becoming a volunteer for PRNSA? Click Here!
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