Astrophotography Workshops

workshop

Astrophotography is the new kid on the block and it's here to stay. The advancement in camera and lens technology in the last 10 years has opened the door to capturing images that were essentially impossible in the past. The speed of the Sensor or film just wasn't enough to capture the landscape and night sky together. Now even a basic DSLR or Mirrorless camera can capture some amazing images. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as it sounds. How do I stop the stars from trailing? or How can I focus at night? are just 2 of the questions that need answering. People have asked why they should attend one of my workshops? Firstly I have been shooting the night sky since 1983, I am an internationally recognised amateur astronomer and winner of the prestigious Lone Star Observers award at the Texas Star Party. I have even discovered a Planetary Nebula which is called Murrell 1.

For my Astrophotography workshop, you will need to take a trip to Gresford in the Hunter Valley near the foothills of the Barrington Tops range. The sky is Dark and the property we stay at is pure luxury. The property has 6 separate bedrooms so I have a maximum of only 5 attendees at each workshop. You each get your own private room many with ensuite, a large comfortable room where we will learn the process of the images taken. Other amenities on site are a games room, a Pool, amazing local wildlife and a full kitchen if you would like to prepare your own meals. Rather than cook, the local pub has the best Bistro I have ever been to and the local café cooks a great Bacon and Egg roll as well as a good coffee.

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We spend 2 nights under the dark skies on an amazing property with some amazing and interesting scenes for Nightscapes. I have also gained permission from several local properties to use their locations for some different foreground interests.  The first night you will learn the basics, how to focus, how to calculate the exposure time for your camera and lens to prevent star trailing and the general setup and settings for the camera. We then advance into how to shoot star trails and even timelapse. The following morning after breakfast we start the processing. We start with the processing of a single image, shot the previous evening. Then onto how to apply that process to multiple images. After a lunch break, you learn how to build a star trail image. After dinner, we head out again to shoot the second night under the dark skies.

I have invested the small profit I earned from last years workshops back into the business and I now have a Nikon and Canon 14mm Samyang f2.8 lens that attendees can borrow if they don't have a fast wide-angle lens. I also have Several Skywatcher Star Adventurer trackers that can be used by everyone. If you have a tracker I encourage you to bring it along as I will be able to help you with tips and tricks to set up and use it better. I also have a variety of chargers and batteries for many common cameras plus some extra intervalometer remote controls for shooting the star trail images. I have also invested in both the EQ5 and EQ6 Goto style equatorial mounts along with several photographic telescopes. Several of the Workshops will cover Deep Sky Photography if this interests you. I can also run a one on one meeting for this type of photography. 

These workshops are a unique opportunity to learn about nightscape photography and Astronomy from one of Australia’s leading amateur astronomers.

Dates for 2021

 

  • March: Friday 4th to Sunday 6th will be the first workshop of the year at the Gresford Property. Milky Way will be rising early, several hours before Dawn. A fantastic opportunity to capture a unique composition of the Milky Way with the glow of Sunrise.
  • April: Friday 29th and Sunday 1st May. The early evening will be star trails followed by capturing the rising Milky Way at the Gresford Property
  • May: Friday 27th to Sunday 29th Milky way is perfectly positioned to capture rising just after Sunset, giving the maximum amount of time for shooting. This Workshop will be held at the Gresford Property
  • June: Friday 24th to Monday 27th The 2nd last opportunity to capture the rising Milky Way for 2022 as it will be above the horizon just after sunset. Still, plenty of opportunities to get some great shots. This workshop is to be held at the Warrumbungle Mountains Motel in Coonabarabran.  For the Coonabarabran Workshops, I leave the attendee to book their accommodation. The cost of the Workshop is $500. I will have several telescopes available for Deep Sky shooting as well.
  • July: There are 2 Workshops from July 1st to the 3rd This is the last chance to really capture the rising galactic core. This workshop will be held at the Gresford property
  • July also has Friday 29th to Monday 1st August. The northern end of the Milky Way is still rising so some great composition opportunities are available from a good dark sky. The extra day will allow us to cover Star Trackers, Equatorial Mounts, and visual Observing via a large Dobsonian telescope. The extra day will increase the cost of the Workshop to $1000.  
  • August: Friday 26th to Sunday 28th, The Milky Way will be overhead after sunset and this will be the first opportunity to capture the Setting Milky Way for 2022. This workshop will be held at the Gresford Property
  • September Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th, This is the best workshop to capture the Setting Milky Way, an amazing sight, and a great spot to capture it from. This workshop will be held at the Gresford Property.
  • October Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd The last opportunity to capture the Setting Milky Way before it gets too low to easily capture. This workshop will be held at the Gresford Property.
  • November: 18th to Sunday 20th.New Moon is late in November. I plan on making the November workshop based around both Nightscape and Astrophotography with telescopes. I have several equatorial mounts and Star Adventurer trackers available for people to use.

 

The fee for the workshop is $800 and includes the accommodation. Couples can come as four of the six rooms have queen beds and ensuites. The fee for a couple is $1500.

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