Workshops - Utah Astrophotography

UPDATE:

Happy New Year! As of 01/08/2020 the 05/22/2020 Coral Pink Sand Dunes Workshop is sold out! There are 11 remaining spots in the 05/23/2020 Coral Pink Sand Dunes Workshop as well as 6 remaining spots in the Post Processing workshop (being held 05/20/2020). If you select the both option you will be signed up for the 05/23/2020 Sand Dunes Workshop.  


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As part of the second annual Nightscaper Conference we will be hosting 2 photography and 1 post-processing workshops over the course of the 4 nights! The photography workshops will be focused on using tracking mounts in order to generate Nightscape shots, including panoramas, and will take place at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The post-processing workshop will focus on the techniques you can use to edit your tracked Nightscape images, including generating panoramas and blending your tracked sky exposures with your untracked foreground exposures.

The Nightscaper conference is being held in Kanab, Utah from May 20th through the 22nd, more information on the conference can be found at www.nightscaper.com. During the days the conference will feature presentations from a variety of night photographers, including yours truly, while at night there will be a variety of workshops offered to help teach. The photography workshops will be held the nights of May 22nd and 23rd, the post-processing workshop will be held the night of the 20th. The price for the photography workshop will be $250, the price for the post-processing workshop will be $100, if you sign up for both a photography and post-processing workshop you'll save $50 and pay $300 total. The photography workshops will be limited to 15 participants, 20 participants for the post-processing workshop.

So what can you expect from a workshop taught by Bry and Eric?

+ A hands on approach, we won't be fussing around with our own equipment,  or our own exposures, we'll be focused on you and the other workshop attendees, answering your questions, helping with your exposures.

+ Assistance with optimizing equipment setup, learning things like polar alignment and weight balancing, tricks on how to perform obstructed view polar alignments and complex tracked panoramas.

+ Learning how to use low level lighting to generate interesting foreground compositions with tracked sky backgrounds in mind. 

+ Tricks and ideas  we've put together over the years to improve your experience out under the stars, while photography is the focus it's also key to remember to enjoy your time in dark areas seeing the night sky the way most cannot. 

What will be included?

+ We will meet at the center the conference is being hosted at, 15 total attendees will be apart of the photography  workshop and up to 20 will be part of the post-processing. In May the Milky Way core rises to the Southeast around midnight, so earlier in the night we will be teaching some basics for setting up your tracking mount, going through the whole process from pulling out your tripod to taking your first exposure. We will be performing this in the conference center area with better lighting so everyone can see and learn as easily as possible. Prior to the conference I will be sending out specific meeting area location info as well as a more detailed itinerary. 

+ Travel to the park will be a combination of our vehicle and carpooling; we will be driving and can carry up to 3 attendees, we prefer to travel in as few vehicles as possible, but we can't stop people from driving themselves in/out. We will use at least 2-3 other vehicles from one of the attendees to get the rest of the group in and we will travel together into the park at about 10-10:30pm. Specific shooting locations in the park will be chosen based on crowding, unfortunately we cannot control what areas will be very busy and so we'll have to adapt based upon how many people are shooting in the following areas. We'll choose locations which are suitable for carrying gear easily into, none of these places will require incredibly strenuous hiking, but please be prepared with proper footwear and backpacks to carry your gear. We will be staying until ~4:30-5am.

+ We will provide low level lighting tools, it is critical that nobody uses their own flashlights and other lights so we can properly control the lighting times for everyone's exposures during the night.

+ The post-processing workshop will include several hours of presentation from Bry and myself on how to edit pictures:

Post Processing:

Best Editing Techniques for Tracked Nightscapes

Blending Tracked Sky/Untracked Foreground

Editing Workshop Attendee Images

Real-time QA with editing feedback

What is not included?

+ Travel to and from Kanab, including your airfare, hotel/accommodations, food/drinks, park entrance fees (not during workshop times). 

+ Camera gear, including tracking mounts, bodies, lenses, intervalometers, etc. 

+ Travel insurance and gear insurance.

What we recommend you bring:

This will be a workshop designed around the complexities of shooting nightscapes with tracking mounts, having prior experience with nightscape photography is recommended, but not required. We've got plenty of experience teaching all levels of nightscape photography, including teaching to those who've never used a tracking mount, so that will not be an issue. Here are a list of things we recommend all should bring:

+ Camera with a wide aperture lens (focal length shorter than 85mm, but longer than 20mm preferred, aperture of f2.8 and wider recommended).

+ Sturdy tripod with a weight supporting capacity of 15 pounds or more. We also recommend an under-tripod hanger or weight/stone bag.

+ Tracking mount, we've got experience with a variety of mounts from iOptron, Sky Watcher, Orion, etc. We can recommend add-ons as well, including things like pano heads, wedges, counterweights, etc. 

+ A compass and an angle finder, either in app form on your phone (I find that the angle finder apps are fairly accurate, but compass apps can be wildly inaccurate) or a physical one. If you would like recommendations on these items, Amazon links, please reach out to us.

Camera accessories such as an intervalometer, backup batteries, backup SD/storage cards, lens cleaners/rocket blowers, double-A or triple-A batteries for headlamps, etc.

+ Headlamp with red-light mode and a good backpack to pack things into.

+ Appropriate clothing, it's generally warm at night this time of year, but it is the desert and it can cool down, please be sure to check weather forecasts and bring appropriate clothing.

+ Water and snacks to keep you going, coffee/tea to keep you awake (please don't use high sugar energy drinks which will cause you to sugar crash later).

+ For the post-processing workshop we recommend people bring a laptop or tablet, although this is not necessary if you would like to just take notes, but having a laptop will allow you to do some post-processing of your own and we can provide feedback. The post-processing workshop will recorded and can be viewed again by attendees after the conference at any time. 


Keep in mind that we cannot control the weather, clouds aren't the end of the world and we can still teach you how to use your tracking mount even with clouds. Also keep in mind that some clouds can provide some drama to a scene and the clouds can change rapidly, so even with clouds we will proceed with the workshop. If weather is so uncooperative that we cannot shoot we will provide post-processing instruction and we can go through gear setup and basic imaging. 


From the options below you can select the photography night workshop, post-processing, or both. Please select the correct date for the photography workshop, if you sign up for both a photography and post-processing then please write in the comments which date you want for the photography workshop. Checkout is through Paypal and accepts credit cards. If you have any questions please reach out to us through the email icon/link at the bottom of the page. Prior to purchasing please read and understand the Terms and Conditions at the following link:

Utah Astrophotography Photography Terms and Conditions

Tracked Nightscapes (click to enlarge)

Workshop Choices