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 as 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 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 locals 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 a Skywatcher Star Adventurer tracker 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. My next investment will be a second tracker just for people to borrow. 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.

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 12th and Saturday13th will be the first workshop of the year at the Gresford Property. 
  • April: Friday 9th and Saturday 10th. The early evening will be star trails followed by capturing the rising Milky Way.
  • May: I am making this one of 2 advanced 3-night workshops. May it is one of the best times to capture the rising Milky Way. The dates will be Friday 7th, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th. Due to the extra night's accommodation, the May workshop will be $900
  • June: We Will have 2 workshops depending on demand. The first one will be held in Coonabarabran at the Warrumbungle Mountains Motel on Friday 4th, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th. The cost of the Coonabarabran workshop will be $450 as accommodation is not included. You will need to book your own accommodation. The second workshop will be held at the Gresford property on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th. June is the best month of the year, with longer nights and the rising Milky Way occurring after sunset.
  • July: This is the last month to really capture the rising Milky Way and the first to start to get the Setting. The workshop will be held at Gresford on Friday 9th at Saturday 10th (cancelled due to Lockdown)
  • August: I am looking at a workshop at a Costal Location, on either Smith's or Myall lakes. The Dates are Friday 6th to Sunday 8th. I finalising the location. The cost for August is $900 due to the extra accommodation cost.  
  • September Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th At the Gresford Property, the best workshop to capture the Setting Milky Way, an amazing sight and a great spot to capture it from.
  • October Friday 1st to Monday 4th is an advanced workshop covering Star Trackers Deep Sky Processing. The cost of the advanced workshop is $1000. Includes 3x Star Adventurers and an Orion equatorial mount with an ED80 telescope for shooting. Great if you want to see what shooting Nebula and Galaxies are all about. at the Gresford Property
  • October Friday 8th to Sunday 10th is the standard workshop at Gresford.  
  • New Moon is early in November and presents the last opportunity to capture the setting Milky Way. I plan on making the November workshop based around both Nightscape and Landscape photography dates to be confirmed.

 

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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