Digital Night Landscape Photography Workshops in Rocky Mountain National Park
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 course will focus on techniques for planning, shooting, and processing beautiful photos of the glowing heart of our galaxy. We'll start with a classroom session Saturday afternoon, where I'll explain how to use two computer programs, 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.
After the classroom session, we'll head up Trail Ridge Road to shoot 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. For some of the images, we’ll use flat-panel LED lights to bathe the foreground rock outcrops in a warm glow. On Sunday I’ll teach students how to process photos of the Milky Way in Lightroom and Photoshop. I’ll start by showing students my approach to editing a single-frame shot of the Milky Way, then show students how to combine two frames, one exposed for land, the other exposed for sky, to create an image that is richly detailed throughout.
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.
In 2020 I will offer three sessions of Shooting the Stars: June 20-21, July 11-12, and August 15-16. The content of these three workshops will be identical. The workshops are not sequential. The classroom portion of these workshops will be held at the Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park, which recently completed the first phase of its interior remodel at a cost of $6 million.
The workshop cost in 2020 will be $495. Enrollment is limited to eight students.