Sierra Nevada East Side Photo Tour

Participant Profiles

Michal Ministr: I've been an enthusiast photographer and a big fan of digital photography for 13 years now. I've been mostly interested in travel photography but recently I'm getting into street photography, portraits/people and events as well - and in the last 6 years kids photography :-) .

I love to catch the right moments at the right places and people's moods and emotions - and I'm trying to express my own feelings in my pictures. I love to travel and explore new locations, which is why nature photography is very important for me.

I like to share my experience and to meet new people. I started to attend different photography workshops. I'm really looking forward to attending both autumn workshops with Ken and Dave and I can't wait to travel around California and Nevada.

I live in Denmark, I work as a consulting engineer in buildings industry. My background is strongly technical so I'd like to focus on my artistic skills now - which is the very point of photography :-)

I've been using different DSLRs but the last few years I've been going around with mirrorless cameras - as I like to pack light. I like to work with my pictures in post-processing and I like to shoot raw. 

Looking forward to both trips!

Bill Rogers: I’m a photographer working and living in Los Angeles. I’ve worked in various fields within the photographic industry. I’ve taught photography, worked in publishing, in photo retail (managing a chain of camera stores) and for many years owned and operated a commercial studio in Culver City.

Today I split my time between commercial clients, private tutoring, working on personal photo projects and traveling. I’m especially interested in urban and natural landscapes. My travels have taken him throughout the US, Europe, Middle East and East Africa.

I’ll be accompanying Ken and Dave on both of the autumn workshops. Photographing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is especially beautiful this time of year. I look forward to meeting and working with everyone.

Bill Tetons.jpg

We are Ray and Lois Drever from Simi Valley, California. I retired from the local school district after 35 years. Lois is a C.P.A. with a private tax business that I work in during the busiest part of the tax year.

We love to travel, having taken at least one overseas trip a year since 1999. Our picture taking is what I like to decribe as photo-journaling in that Lois makes a scrap book of each of our trips using the pictures we each have taken. The nature of our travels makes it difficult to do any creative photography during the "Golden Hours" of the day. During our trips I try to be alert to unique photo scenes different than the usual tourist snap shots. ‘

Both of us could benefit from learning ways to take our individal picture taking styles up to the next level. I have been a fan of Ken's website for years.

Bruce McDermott: I’m a retired advertising executive living in South Orange County. I’ve always been fascinated with capturing images and documenting things since my early 20s and have only taken one serious ‘intro to photography class’ in college. Ever since that class, I’m always the one in the group capturing the activities be it with a polaroid camera or any newer device that comes along. 

Most of my recent work, like many of us, is based on the convenience of iPhone photography. But night photography has intrigued me to the point of wanting to explore more with a DSLR and all of the equipment that comes with that journey. With more time (and patience) I’m eager to learn more about landscape photography and explore the potential with night photography and astrophotography. 

I look forward meeting the group and instructors and learning as much as I can from one another and just take in the grandeur of the spectacular locales.  I’m also signed up for the Yosemite class following the Eastern Sierra class so this will be one epic learning vacation.


Michael Stone: I am from the Chicago area. I am a police sergeant from a Chicago suburb and thoroughly enjoy photography in my downtime. I would consider myself a serious amateur and I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself by either going on workshops and/or learning from others. My biggest challenge is composition and lack of beautiful mountain scenery in Illinois. 

I primarily shoot landscapes but also enjoy other types of photography. I have been on numerous trips with Dave and Ken and have always left with more knowledge and a better understanding of photography. I have been to this area several times in the fall but always seem to find something new.


My name is Alex Shashko. Originally, I am from Belarus, but I also lived in several countries in Europe and came to the US in 2015 to study at UVA. Currently, I live in Seattle, WA working for a small e-commerce company named after some South American river.

I've always been fascinated with picturesque landscapes and travel across the world whenever I can to enjoy the variety of natural and human-made wonders. I am looking forward to the trip to enjoy Autumn colors in Sierra and Yosemite, to learn from our guides to see the picture, and to improve on my skills to compose and play with the light.

(One of my photos from this year's trip to Alaska is attached.)


Chuck Krauss: I’m an amateur who’s been dabbling in photography for nearly 50 years. Through the years my enthusiasm has waxed and waned as life intruded, so my skills have not improved much. Now that I am retired I can devote more time and energy to it. I have used Ken Rockwell’s reviews and found them to be interesting and easy to understand. I am hoping to come away from this workshop with similar impressions. 

I have accumulated a good selection of equipment but am not fully functional on any of it. I have also lost my “photo eye” and do not see a lot of good opportunities. I am looking forward to getting some expert advise on technology, composition and post processing. I believe at least part of successful photography is being in the proper mindset. I hope to recover this talent and the self-confidence that goes with it while on this trip.

Otherwise, I’m an old guy who’s still in pretty good shape. I’ve lived in California over 50 years but still consider myself a Hoosier. We sold our hardware store a year ago after 40 years of doing business here in our small Salinas Valley farming community. Then a few years ago, our son took up photography and rekindled my interest as a means of staying connected. This trip should provide me with more tools I can share with him. So, I have quite a number of good reasons to be looking forward to this event.

Matt Michaelis:  I’m an engineer, and live in Boulder CO. I work on test and measurement equipment for clean rooms. I enjoy photography as a hobby. I’m interested in landscapes, macro photography and dilapidated old buildings. I attended Dave’s and Ken’s 2016 Route 66 trip, and really enjoyed it.  Dave was able to pick locations that really worked well with the lighting when we were there. I was vacillating about signing up for this trip, but had several fortune cookies in a row at the local Pei Wei which indicated I should sign up—so I did.

Matt Michaelis.jpeg