February 2021 UPDATE:

Hi everyone!

Welcome to 2021, hopefully a year of less stress and more imaging! We are hard at work planning our workshops and outings, especially those centered around the Nightscape Conference in May. Right now we are reaching out to people who had signed up last year and cancelled or rolled over their signup to this year. As of right now we are planning on keeping our workshops to 10 or less people so we can better control the environment and help you learn more. We are planning 2 or 3 workshops prior to, during, and after the Conference and our workshops will be held in the Kanab area, most likely the east side Zion National Park where we have easy access and multiple compositions. Once we have reached out to prior commits and determined our list for this year we will decide on workshop availability for further signups, so stay tuned!


Thank you,

Eric and Bry


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As part of the second annual Nightscaper Conference we will be hosting 2 or 3 photography and 1 post-processing workshops over the course of the 7 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 10th through the 12th, 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 most likely be held the nights of May 8th and10th, possibly a 3rd workshop held the 12th or 14th. 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 10 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, 10 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. 


Utah Astrophotography Photography Terms and Conditions

Tracked Nightscapes (click to enlarge)