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
- Low level lighting
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 presentations.
Note: If we have clouds, we will still be outside learning techniques for low level landscape lighting to subtly light the landscape to enhance your Milky Way foregrounds — this is not light painting. If we have a thunderstorm, we will attempt to capture lightning.
The Night Photography Workshop on Lake Superior is based around a waning crescent moon in one of the darkest locations in the lower 48. We’ll spend lots of time photographing the Milky Way, learning how to shoot star trails and if the northern lights come out, we’ll concentrate on those. If we’re luckily a lightning storm will roll through town and over Lake Superior. If that happens, we’ll photograph lightning over the big lake. You’ll also have an opportunity to learn how to photograph tents, use low level lighting and how to add yourself or another person to a photo to increase its impact.
The schedule is tentative and may change based on conditions.
Day 1 (Wednesday): 7pm to 1am or so
The night sky photography workshop officially begins at seven with a slideshow and lecture about camera control, composition and general night photography principles for capturing nightscape images. After the slideshow, we’ll head out to photograph the night sky and make sure that everyone understands how to make an image. Most likely this will be a Lake Superior night unless the northern lights are out. If the aurora show up, we’ll head inland.
Day 2 (Thursday): 7pm to 2am or so
We start in the classroom with a slideshow and demonstration on how to process night sky 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. After the presentation and classroom session, we head out into the field to photograph the night sky. We’ll try to hit two to three different locations for a variety of foregrounds and image types. Most likely this will be an inland night at several of my favorite night sky destinations that offer great views of the Milky Way and the northern sky.
Day 3 (Friday): 6pm to 2am or so
We start in the classroom by sharing two to three images that you’ve taken and processed during the workshop. You’ll receive constructive feedback that will help improve your photography over the following nights. We’ll also have a slideshow about how to shoot star trails. Then we’ll head out into the field to photograph the night sky. The plan is to create one or more star trail images.
Day 4 (Saturday): 6pm to 1am
We start in the classroom with an optional two-hour processing session. Alternatively, based on interest, we’ll head out to shoot the sunset instead of spending time in the classroom. If we do the classroom session, you’ll have time to process your images, ask questions and get ready for the night. After the classroom, we’ll head out to different locations than those in the previous nights.
Day 5 (Sunday): 1pm to 3pm, 9pm to Midnight
We meet at 1pm to review images from the workshop. Each person will share five images that they made during the week. For people that want to stay Sunday night, we’ll have a final session of night photography.