Death Valley Workshop

Death Valley Workshop
Leica in the Landscape – A Discerning Eye
March 23-March 27, 2015

Discover the best that Death Valley National Park has to offer during this Leica in the Landscape program led by fine-art photographer Michael Phaling and Leica Akademie Instructor Tom Brichta. We take the guesswork out of the itinerary planning, allowing you to simply enjoy four days of uninterrupted landscape photography in one of the most beautiful and geographically diverse areas of the world.

Each day will present you with several new locations to photograph beginning with Mt. Whitney and Lone Pine Peak above the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California. A short drive then brings you to the Death Valley locations of the Mesquite Dunes, Dante’s View, Badwater, Zabriskie Point, Artist Drive, and many others.

Tom and Mike will be your guides as you develop a discerning eye towards color, form, shape, light, and content in the desert landscape. Their complimentary teaching styles, along with practical hands-on tips and techniques, will prove invaluable as you encounter one inspirational landscape after another.

For more information, visit or contact Tom Brichta at (415) 686-1522.

Leica in the Landscape: Pt Reyes, CA

Photo by Tom Brichta

Join the Leica Akademie during four days of hands-on instruction in and around the Point Reyes National Seashore.

One of the premier landscape locations in North America, the fog-shrouded seashore of Point Reyes provides a perfect opportunity to be inspired and develop your eye for light, composition, and finding your point of view as a photographer.

Leica Akademie instructor Tom Brichta, and guest photographer Michael Phaling will lead the group through this unique area exploring not only the miles of undeveloped rugged coastline, but also the near by forest and local farms.

The workshop will place an emphasis on photographing the landscape in black & white. Early morning excursions to capture the best light will be combined with afternoon reviews of images and relaxing meals in area restaurants.

Great accommodations and a unforgettable location will provide an opportunity to leave everyday life behind and fully immerse in the learning process.

Topics Covered include:

  • Composition
  • Exposure Control
  • How to see in Black and White
  • What filters to use for black and white photography
  • Metering the landscape
  • Forms and shapes
  • Strategies for editing and processing
  • One on one and group Critique

Who should attend this workshop?
Photographers of all skill levels are welcome to attend this workshop. Attendees should be familiar with the basic functions of their camera and be comfortable with controlling the shutter speed, aperture and ISO controls.

This workshop is ideal for any photographer with an interest in black and white landscape photography and processing in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro.

Sunday, July 13, 2014 – Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cost $1699.

For more info and to sign up, go to :

Photo by Tom Brichta

Photo by Tom Brichta

Photo by Tom Brichta


Tom Brichta: Passionate Artist, Inspired Instructor

Our good friend Tom Brichta was just featured in the Leica Camera Blog - for the 2nd time in 2 years. Tom is the Northern California sales manager for Leica Camera and can be found nearly every Wednesday morning at Camera West in Walnut Creek showing us the latest in Leica gear. Lately, Tom has been mostly involved with the Leica Akademie and the Leica Destination Workshops. sharing his extensive knowledge with Leica enthusiasts.

Here is his inspiring story of how he captures images of transcendent beauty with his Leica X Vario.


The New Leica C

Leica Rep Tom Brichta with the Leica C

Leica Rep Tom Brichta stopped by Camera West in Walnut Creek last week with a shiny new camera from Leica, the Leica C. It was our first opportunity to see the camera first hand since it was only announced just a week before.

The Leica C, a new concept within the Leica compact camera portfolio – combines stylish design with impressive technical features. With the support of the Audi Design Team, the slim, elegant and sophisticated design of the Leica C was achieved.The Leica C is the first Leica compact camera to feature an integrated Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC).

The Leica C is available in two finishes, light gold or dark red and will be available next month for $699.

Key Features :

  • Slim, elegant and sophisticated design achieved with the support of the Audi Design Team
  • Unique yet fashionable accessories designed in collaboration with the Audi Design Team
  • Allows pictures to be transferred to your smartphone/tablet while shooting
  • Electronic View Finder for easy viewing under any lighting conditions
  • Fast Leica DC Vario-Summicron f/2-5.9 lens with the 35mm equivalent 28-200mm zoom
  • Larger sensor 1/1.7” with an effective resolution of 12.1 Megapixels
  • Manual lens ring control which allows for flexibility
  • High-resolution display with 920, 000 pixels
  • Full HD movie recording

Oregon Coast with a Leica

Oregon Sunset with the Leica S2

Meyer Beach with the Leica V - Lux 40

The moon sets near Bandon, Oregon shot with the Leica S2

Leica representative and our good friend Tom Brichta has been roaming the always beautiful Oregon coast with his S2 and V-Lux 40. He has been sending us a few photos just to make us jealous I’m sure. Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of them. And if you happen to be travelling up the coast and see a classic VW Vanagon, wave it’s most likely Tom!

Tom's classic Volkswagen Vanagon shot with his Leica Monochrom