TBD, FALL 2019
Oregon Outback Expedition
Let's learn about adventure photography while undertaking a bike expedition! We'll spend six days biking through and exploring one of the most remote corners of the Lower 48. Our van-supported route follows a 200-mile loop around Steens Mountain and through portions of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. It's one of the American West's best-kept secrets. Some have even argued it could be a national park. Massive vistas and very little traffic make for relaxed riding (when the wind's cooperating!). Biking offers the perfect pace for immersing oneself into this landscape.
Overnight accommodations and workshop sessions will be at the historic Frenchglen Hotel, cabins at Crane Hot Springs, and the Field Station Cottage. We'll spend two nights camped under the stars in the sage brush sea. Highlights include the stark Alvord Desert, lonely high-desert hot springs, Malheur Wildlife Refuge, and epic magic hours shooting in the soft desert light. We'll be biking around 50 miles per day, with light packs, carrying only cameras, snacks and water. The terrain is mostly paved and flat with two climbs of 1,200 feet and a day and a half of mostly packed gravel road. Hybrid/cyclocross-style bikes required. A sag-wagon will haul extra luggage, laptops, and meals (and any overly tired participants!).
Day 1: Meet in Portland or Hood River. Ride in group van or personal vehicle to Crane Flat Hot Springs for the evening introductions, workflow session and gear prep and a big pasta dinner.
Day 2: Bike roughly 50 miles to Camp 1 on the spectacular east side of Steens Mountain. Tents will be set up upon arrival and food will be prepared at the Mann Lake Campground. *25 miles of moderately flat, hard-packed gravel to Mann Lake.
Day 3: Ride roughly 45 miles* to Fields Station, OR. Lunch stop and soak at the Alvord Hot Springs (seen in top image). Dramatic scenery with the 4,000' cliffs of Steens Mountain to the west and the vast, dry Alvord Lake bed to the east. Workshop session/image review and dinner at Fields Station Cafe. Camping and limited bed space available in Field Station's two hotel rooms. *45 miles of hard-packed gravel
Day 4: Giant breakfast at Field Station Cafe, morning lesson covering Photoshop/Lightroom editing. Ride 37 miles to Roaring Springs Ranch. We'll get a tour and afternoon photo session at the historic and sustainably managed ranching operation. Camp on site at the ranch with facilities.
Day 5: OPTIONS: Van shuttle up to the Steens Mountain crest, one of the most spectacular mountain environments in Oregon. Your choice to bring bikes for a 4000' gravel descent into Frenchglen, or return to camp and ride the mellow 15 paved miles to Frenchglen. Spend the afternoon riding or walking through the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as migrating birds fill the wetlands. Overnight, dinner and workshop session at the Historic Frenchglen Hotel.
Day 6: Ride roughly 50 miles, past fascinating Diamond Craters to Crane Hot Springs for the final night: photo reviews, hot springs soaking, burgers, beer, wine, high fives!
Day 7: Group van returns to Portland for a ~2pm arrival.
There will at all times be a Van, aka "sagwagon," available to carry weary riders and their bikes. The Sagwagon will SAFELY carry all clothing, camping gear, laptops, extra lenses, hard drives, etc. Sagwagon staff will establish campsites, prepare meals, and handle bike mechanicals, as needed.
FALL TBD, 2019 (inquire for details)
Alvord Desert, Oregon
- Per person. Includes three nights lodging (shared rooms) and most meals.
- Level I: Basic understanding of camera settings when shooting in auto mode.
- Level II: Basic understanding of camera settings when shooting in manual mode.
- Level III: Full understanding of camera settings. Possible interest in stepping up to professional level and shooting for hire. 10 portfolio images requested with application.
What You'll Learn
Capturing landscapes with people and action sports
Taking advantage of natural light
Workflow / File organization
Documentary style color correction (Lightroom)
Gear planning and care for expeditions and shooting in rustic conditions
Things We Don't Cover
Tedious debates over best brands (and most other techy talk)
The Ansel Adams Zone System (Bless his heart, but we aren't mathematicians!)
Super-long zoom photography
HDR and other melodramatic forms of post-production
DSLR camera, >32 GB memory cards, 2 batteries, external hard drive, laptop
Basic understanding of camera operation
Ability to bike 50 miles per day
Appropriate clothing to stay warm and dry + tent, sleeping bag, pad
Some good ole fashioned grit!
"I've been working with David and Michael for years. I've sent Michael on numerous feature assignments, including to remote Patagonia, Alaska, and British Columbia. Whether it's David's portraits at 14K feet on Denali or Michael's images of a blind vodka distiller, the Hanson brothers always deliver."
- Amy Silverman, Photo Editor, Wired Magazine (formerly of Outside Magazine)
"The Hanson brothers have led programs for us in Costa Rica, Spain, Peru, and California. David and Michael have the rare ability to push participants beyond their comfort zone in a way that's both supportive and fun. It's clear they love exploring, story telling, and sharing that curiosity with others."
-Jeffery Shumlin, Director, Putney Student Travel
A photographer represented by National Geographic Creative and frequent contributor to The New York Times and Outside Magazine. Named PDN30 in 2013, Michael has 10 years experience shooting for some of the world's best magazines. In 2017, his Republic of Baseball series received awards from POYi and Communication Arts. Michael leads international photography workshops as a National Geographic Expert.
A photographer, writer, and former features editor who has shot and produced assignments for national magazines for over a decade. He's produced an award-winning documentary film on a deep south river and his National Park travel broadcast won a 2017 Gold Lowell Thomas Award. He's a contributing writer and photographer at Sunset, Mountain and Gorge Magazines.
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT MICHAEL HANSON + DAVID HANSON