Night photography workshops are planned around a full moon and dark sky locations to provide you with stunningly dark skies where you can clearly see the milky way with the naked eye.

What will be covered?

Understanding night exposures
Learn how nightscape photography is fundamentally different than landscape photography. In landscape photography we shoot with the lowest ISO possible, a medium size aperture and let the shutter speed land where it may (in general). Nightscapes flip it all around; extremely high ISO's, wide open apertures, and very long shutter speeds.

You will re-learn how to use ISO, aperture and shutter speeds to achieve desired results.

Shooting Techniques
Setting up your camera before the shoot - a small amount of prep work will allow you to focus on composition and exploring new ideas, rather than fumbling with your gear in the dark.

We will cover shooting techniques for capturing the milky way, meteor showers, panoramas, star trails.

Post Processing
Basic editing in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw to achieve stunning results without putting in hours of effort. This will include the essentials of color balance, adding contrast to the milky way, sharpening, noise reduction and removing light pollution.

Advanced usage of photoshop to take your nightscapes to the next level. Don't worry though, most of it is done through the use of plugins which are generally simple to use. You will learn how to increase milky way contrast even further, brighten stars, increase color of stars, add star spikes and the fog filter effect.

How to create star trails, comet like star trails, panoramas, blending exposures, compositing meteors.

Scouting
Creating a great nightscape requires the planets and stars to align, literally and figuratively. Did you know that milky way is not visible for 3 months out of the year? I will share with you the tools and techniques I use to take the guesswork out. By the end of the course you will be well equipped to plan your own dream nightscape.

1. Finding a subject in the night sky (milky way, meteor showers, iridium satellites, comets)
2. Finding dark skies
3. Find a foreground to complement the sky
4. Decide which type of light source to use
5. Plan the perfect time to go
6. Checking/forecasting/reading the weather

How will the weather affect us?

Night photography is best suited to clear skies. Partly cloudy skies can add interest to a scene, but completely overcast skies will block all stars. Even if the skies are overcast we will go out and attempt to capture the stars, but I cannot guarantee clear skies and there cannot be refunds or rain checks. It is uncommon to have several days of overcast skies in this area of country though. Only dangerous conditions such as lightning will cancel a shoot.

How long will we be out shooting?

Going out for 3 entire nights is not healthy and will wear you down physically and mentally. Therefore, if the weather is clear all 3 nights we will go out for at least half the night all nights. If the weather is cloudy one of the of the nights, we will spend more time out on the other 2 nights. I want to ensure a good learning experience, and trying to teach you while you're exhausted is not the most effective way.

Required Camera Gear

Please visit my Recommended Night Photography Gear page to see what I recommend for the items below. If you need gear for the workshop I recommend renting from BorrowLenses or purchasing from B&H Photo. (Note: these are affiliate links, using them helps to support me without costing you anything extra.)

  • Your digital SLR camera - If you have two bodies, bring both.
  • Lenses - Try to cover a range from very wide (14-24mm) and normal focal lengths 24mm, 35mm or a fisheye. Lenses with a large aperture of 2.8 or 1.4 are required. See why I recommend low cost Rokinon Lenses in this blog post - Lenses for Night Photography
  • Tripod - A solid tripod is an absolute necessity for night photography
  • Extra batteries - Bring at least 1 extra battery. Cold temperatures and long exposures can drain batteries very quickly.
  • Extra memory cards
  • Shutter release cable with intervalometer.
  • Laptop - The scouting and post processing portions of the class will be hands on. A laptop is highly recommended, but not required.

Other Recommendations

  • Winter Clothing - Temperatures drop dramatically at night, be prepared for temperatures in the 20's or lower any time of year. Bring long johns, layers and stay warm! Being cold is the fastest way to ruin your experience. Bring charcoal activated hand warmers too!
  • Food and snacks.
  • Small notebook and pen for taking notes.

Who should attend?

Anyone that understands the essentials of digital photography. This is not a beginner's course for photography. No knowledge of night photography is required though. Please come with basic knowledge of Lightroom, you should already have a grasp on the basics of importing and how to get around in the program.

Questions?

Feel free to contact me anytime using the form below, I am here to help.