This night photography workshop concentrates on the following teaching topics:
- Predicting where the Milky Way will be
- The changing positions and angles of the Milky Way
- Finding the galactic core
- Planning photo shoots based on the Milky Way and the moon and twilight
- Finding dark skies
- Computer programs and smartphone applications for planning photo shoots
- Camera settings for night photography
- The 600 rule vs. 500 rule vs. 400 rule
- How to focus at night
- Composition for effective night photos
- Adding people to your shots the right way
- Using Adobe Lightroom to process your Milky Way photos
This workshop includes a FREE copy of my Adobe Lightroom Night Sky Presets. I use these presets to process my own Milky Way photos. The workshop also includes a pdf of the classroom presentation. It will be provided on a USB drive during the classroom session, so bring a laptop. You can copy the presentation and presets to your laptop from the USB drive.
Note: If we have clouds, we will still be outside learning techniques for light painting the landscape to enhance your Milky Way foregrounds. If we have a thunderstorm, we will attempt to capture lightning.
The schedule is tentative and may change based on conditions. This is a field workshop with the majority of the time spent in the field capturing images. There is one planning classroom session. You will be able to work on your images during the day and if you have any concerns or problems I’ll be available for an hour before each scheduled class to discuss. But plan on being in the field for most of the workshop. Image review will be completed via the Internet after the workshop.
Day 1 (Thursday):8pm to 2am depending on conditions
The night sky photography workshop officially begins at seven with a slideshow and lecture covering some of the teaching topics. After the slideshow, we’ll head out to photograph the night sky and make sure that everyone understands how to make an image. We will spend the night photographing the night sky.
I’ll also demonstrate how to process Milky Way images using Lightroom and my night sky presets. I designed the presets so that you can fine tune your images and maximize the potential in 30 seconds or less. You’ll receive a free copy of the presets and the presets manual.
Day 2 (Friday): start at 9pm
We will meet at 9pm and photograph the blue hour and then stay out until 2am depending on the conditions.
Day 3 (Saturday): start at 8pm
We start early and photograph sunset. After that, we’ll head out to photograph the Milky Way.
Required Photography Equipment
Camera: Recent DSLR or mirrorless camera. Full frame is best, but APS-C or m-4/3rds sized sensors will also work. Lenses ranging from 14mm to 35mm with fast apertures, i.e. f/2.8 or faster. Most of the time, you’ll shoot wide.
One of the best inexpensive lenses for night photography on full frame is the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. If you don’t have a f/2.8 or faster lens as wide as 14mm, then this is highly recommended for the workshop. After you get the lens test for sharpness, because quality can vary. Send back any lens that isn’t sharp out of the box for a replacement. For APS-C, the Tokina 11-20 f/2.8 is inexpensive and works well for night photography and general wide angle photography. APS-C users should also consider the Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 or the Rokinon 12mm f/2.0. The Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 is one of the best night photography lenses money can buy and it’s adaptable to different camera bodies. For Canon the 16-35mm f/2.8 is an excellent choice.
If you’re renting gear for this workshop, I recommend a Nikon Df, Nikon D750 or a Nikon D810 and the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 lens. These cameras are the best cameras for night photography.
Gear: A sturdy tripod. Ball head. Shutter release cord. Hot shoe bubble level. Headlamp. Bright flashlight.
Other Suggested Equipment: Your camera’s manual. If you want to work on images during the day, your laptop. Adobe Lightroom loaded on your computer if you plan on trying my presets.
I’ll send out a full equipment list a month before the workshop.