Nightscape Workshops

workshop

Nightscape photography is the new kid on the block and it seems everyone wants to try. 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. In the past, the sensitivity of the Sensor or the speed of the 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 of the night sky. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as it sounds. How do I stop the stars from trailing? How can I focus at night? These are just 2 of the questions that need answering. People have asked why they should attend one of my workshops? Very few people have my experience in astronomy and come from a professional photographer background. 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 have your own private room, many with an ensuite. A large comfortable room where we will learn the process of the images taken with room to social distance. Other amenities on site are a games room, a Pool and Spa, some amazing local wildlife and a full kitchen if you would like to prepare your own meals. Meals are provided for Breakfast and Dinner in the attendance package. if you would rather enjoy a meal out, the local pub has one of the best Bistros I have ever been to and the local café cooks fantastic Bacon and Egg rolls as well as a great 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 stars trailing, the general setup and settings for the camera and how to compose your image in the dark. We then advance into how to shoot star trails and even timelapse. The following morning after breakfast we start the processing of your images. Starting with the processing of a single RAW image, it doesn't matter if you haven't don't it before. Then we advance 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 at several different locations.

I have invested the profit I earned from previous 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 attendees if they are interested. 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. I will be running Workshops covering Deep Sky Photography if this interests you as well throughout the year.

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

Dates for 2022

  • April: Friday 1st to Monday 4th  will be a combined Nightscape and Deep sky workshop to start the year. The Friday Night will be the night for Nightscapes where we will head out to several locations to capture the rising Milky Way. Saturday and Sunday Night will be where you will learn how to set up and shoot Deep Sky objects (Galaxies, Nebula and Clusters). This workshop will be held at Coonabarabran at the Warrumbungle Mountain Motel. This workshop will be $500 per person, including the use of mounts and telescopes. 
  • 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. This will include Nightscape photography on the first night followed by Deep Sky Photography via telescopes on Saturday and Sunday. This workshop will be $500 per person, including the use of mounts and telescopes. 
  • 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. This will be held at the Gresford Property
  • 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 if both attend the workshop sessions.

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