Charles J. Kozora Jr. // Photographer

Rocky Ridge (Dolly Sods) Workshop: Fall 2021

Reasons to Book

Creating a memorable and amazing image requires a combination of planning in advance, seeing the creative compositional possibilities on location, and applying your technical skills to execute the shot. Chuck will share with you his experience on these elements and apply the local knowledge that only comes from visiting and traversing the Dolly Sods and Canaan Valley region at least 20 times (actually lost count) over the past three decades. Recent trips have focused on the Bear Rocks and Rocky Ridge area of Dolly Sods for their geological formations.


Payment by check in full is required to secure space on this workshop, which is due 14 days prior to the start of your scheduled workshop date. Note on check the workshop name and date attending.


Price: 113.00 USD per person
Date Option #1: October 2-3, 2021
Date Option #2: October 16-17, 2021
Duration: 2 days, 1 overnight
Location: Rocky Ridge & Bear Rocks, Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia USA
Max class size: 3


Dolly Sods is a rocky, high-altitude plateau with sweeping vistas and lifeforms normally found much farther north in Canada. To the north, the distinctive landscape of "the Sods" is characterized by stunted ("flagged") trees, wind-carved boulders, heath barrens, grassy meadows created in the last century by logging and fires, and sphagnum bogs that are much older. The Northern section of Dolly sods is where the workshop will take place, specifically with a morning at Bear Rocks and the remainder of time within the plateau in and around Rocky Ridge.

The workshop capitalizes on the unique terrain and landscapes. Photographic gems are found everywhere but we will start with an easy access to Bear Rocks for early morning sunrise. The Fall colors, rock formation and cliffs, rolling mountains combine with potential low valley fog and rising sun blasting thru the forest. Everyone focuses on Bear Rocks and its beauty demands that we also spend time here. However, to capture more unique photos we will then backpack to Rocky Ridge for sunset, night, and sunrise photo opportunites. Rock formations abound in this area and will be used to good use in compostions. Also, Dolly Sods Wilderness has low light pollution so if the night sky is clear or semi-clear, we will have the opportunity to photograph the Milky Way.

Let me take you on a journey to some of the best spots that the wilderness has to offer.

Includes: Intensive photography instruction in the field, image lectures, image critiques, and optional post processing training in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Does Not Include: Airfare, transportation, and lodging & meals.

Itinerary: A full schedule will be provided in advance of our inital meeting but, in general, the following can be anticipated. We will meet early morning, before sunrise, to photography at the Bear Rocks Preserve. Upon completion, we will backpack to Rocky Ridge, set-up camp, and then focus upon the numerous photographic opportunities. These opportunities include rock formations, sunset, night (milky way and stars, if weather conditions permit), and then sunrise the following morning.

Physical Difficulty: This workshop requires a 2-3 hour hike each day which includes carrying your own backpack with camera equipment and essential items for camping overnight which may involve freezing (< 32 F) temperatures. In addition, you can anticipate uneven rocky navigation while photographing and rocky surfaces while hiking but surprisingly on minimal steep terrain.

Suggested Items to Bring

  • Camera (DSLR, Mirrorless, iPhone)
  • Your camera manual if you're unsure how to change settings
  • Variety of lens from ultra-wide to telephoto
  • Tripod required for low-light, night, and focus stacking techniques
  • Headlamp or Flashight
  • Extra batteries and memory cards
  • Lens microfiber cloth for cleaning
  • Bottled water/snacks
  • Sturdy boots that protect your feet
  • Trekking poles can be beneficial
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • A fully charged cell phone
  • Backpacking & Camping list supplied upon request