Syllabus for Sunsets and Stars in Rocky Mountain National Park

August 3-5, 2021

 

Dates

 

August 3-5, 2021

 

Location

 

Classroom sessions: Ridgeline Hotel, 101 South Saint Vrain Avenue, Estes Park, CO 80517; (844) 744–5525; www.ridgelinehotel.com

 

Field sessions: Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Course Level

 

This workshop is appropriate for intermediate to advanced-intermediate photographers who have a basic familiarity with the Library and Develop modules in Lightroom LrC (the desktop version, formerly called Lightroom Classic) and with Layers and Masks in Photoshop CC.

 

Workshop Fee: $895

 

Enrollment is limited to 8 students

 

Course Description

 

Come to Rocky Mountain National Park to learn how to make spectacular photographs of the Milky Way. Recent advances in digital-camera technology have made it possible to capture the magnificent night sky as we see it, with no apparent movement of the stars. This intensive, three-day master class in Milky Way photography will focus on techniques for planning, shooting, and processing photos of the glowing heart of our galaxy.

 

During the classroom sessions, I'll explain how to use two apps, Sun Surveyor and the Photographer’s Ephemeris, to plan when and where to go to shoot the brightest and most interesting part of the Milky Way. I'll teach students how to focus at night and what camera settings to use to achieve correct exposure and reveal the largest number of stars. I'll also teach students how to set up, shoot, and stitch together a complete Milky Way panorama, which may have an angle of view of 180 degrees left-to-right and 90 degrees top-to-bottom.

One of the biggest challenges in night photography is creating images with clean, richly detailed land as well as sky. I will teach students how to make two exposures of the same scene, one for sky and one for land, how to prepare each image in Lightroom, then how to combine the images in Photoshop. I will demonstrate these techniques using the latest versions of Lightroom LrC and Photoshop CC. Students will be able to follow along using sample images that I provide. 

In addition to the classroom sessions, students will enjoy two shoots at beautiful locations in Rocky Mountain National Park. We'll start by shooting sunset and the soft magic of twilight. When the sky becomes completely dark about two hours after sunset, we'll work on shots of the Milky Way over Longs Peak. On the second night, for some of the images, we’ll use flat-panel LED lights to bathe the foreground rock outcrops in a warm glow. 

 

All students will receive extensive handouts on the key information covered during the workshop, including Mastering Dramatic Light, a 41-page PDF on how to shoot great images in high-contrast situations. When the workshop is over, students will have a deeper understanding of how to find and capture magnificent images of the night sky.

 

About the Instructor

 

I’ve been a full-time photographer, writer, and instructor for 41 years. Over 2,000 of my photographs have been published, including 84 covers, and I’ve sold over 10,000 prints. Rocky Nook published my book The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography in spring 2015 and published the second edition in the spring of 2020. It published my book Dusk to Dawn: a Guide to Landscape Photography at Night in spring 2018. Farcountry Press published three books of my landscape photographs: Rocky Mountain National Park Impressions, Colorado Wild & Beautiful, and Sunrise from the Summit: First Light on Colorado’s Fourteeners. I have had 25 feature articles published in Outdoor Photographer, where I am a contributing editor.

 

Schedule

 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

 

  • 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Introduction to night photography. Slide show with examples of landscape photographs taken at night. Discussion and demonstration of Sun Surveyor and the Photographer’s Ephemeris, two inexpensive, easy-to-use computer programs that make it much easier to plan Milky Way shoots. 

  • 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch (not provided as part of the workshop; students should either bring lunch from home or plan to visit a restaurant in Estes Park).

  • 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tips on composition, focusing, and exposure at night, including a discussion of the best ways to preserve detail throughout the frame. Discussion and demonstration of how to set up, shoot, and stitch together Milky Way panoramas using Really Right Stuff hardware and Lightroom Classic.

  • 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Students will shoot late light and sunset at a spectacular location in Rocky Mountain National Park. Students should bring a dinner picnic to eat in the field. Sunset is at 8:14 p.m.

  • 8:30 p.m. to midnight. As dusk deepens, students will shoot the Milky Way as it emerges from the darkening sky over Longs Peak. Astronomical dusk is at 10:02 p.m. We will return to Estes Park around midnight.

 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

 

  • 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Class convenes at the Ridgeline Hotel at 10:00 a.m. Demonstration of processing single-frame Milky Way photographs in Lightroom. Demonstration of first method for combining two frames, one exposed for sky, the other exposed for land, in Photoshop to produce an image with rich detail throughout the frame. Students will be able to follow along using samples images I provide.

  • 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch (not provided as part of the workshop; students should either bring lunch from home or plan to visit a restaurant in Estes Park).

  • 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Demonstration of second method for combining two frames, one exposed for sky, the other exposed for land, in Photoshop to produce an image with rich detail throughout the frame. Students will be able to follow along using samples images I provide. With my help, students will then begin editing the images from their first shoot.

  • 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Students will shoot late light and sunset at a spectacular location in Rocky Mountain National Park. Students should bring a dinner picnic to eat in the field. Sunset is at 8:13 p.m.

  • 8:30 p.m. to midnight. As dusk deepens, students will shoot the Milky Way as it emerges from the darkening sky over Longs Peak. Astronomical dusk is at 10:01 p.m. We will return to Estes Park around midnight.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

  • 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Students will continue editing their images with my help.

  • 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch (not provided as part of the workshop; students should either bring lunch from home or plan to visit a restaurant in Estes Park).

  • 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. With my help, students will finish editing several of their favorite images from the shoots. I will then project favorite images from each student. This is not a photo contest, but rather a celebration of what everyone has learned and seen during the workshop.

Logistical Details Lodging and meals are not included in the $895 workshop fee. The Ridgeline Hotel is offering a significant discount to students who book their sleeping room no later than July 4, 2021. To receive your discount, please call 970 480-0110. Be sure to mention the group name, Glenn Randall Photography, but make the reservation under your own name. Students are responsible for paying for their lodging. I encourage students to stay at the Ridgeline Hotel for their own convenience, but there is no obligation to stay at the hotel to take the workshop.

 

The second field session during the workshop will take place at 12,000 feet. Students should come prepared for a cold, high-altitude shoot. We will be shooting next to the road, so no hiking is required, but we will be setting up on rocky, uneven terrain.

 

I will be demonstrating editing techniques using the latest versions of Lightroom LrC (the desktop version, formerly called Lightroom Classic) and Photoshop CC. I will also teach students how to use the Photographer's Ephemeris, a web app. Students who wish to follow along should create an account at app.photoephemeris.com before the workshop begins. A basic account is free; the pro version, which I recommend and which is the version I will demonstrate, costs $30/year.  I will also be demonstrating a mobile app called Sun Surveyor (available for iOS and Android). Students may wish to purchase the full version of this app and follow along. Sun Surveyor Lite is too limited to be useful for our purposes.

 

Registered students will receive a complete list of items to bring.

Glenn Randall Photography

2945 Colby Dr.

Boulder CO 80305-6303

Office 303 499-3009  

Mobile 720 320-7126