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Sunsets and Stars in Rocky Mountain National Park
Digital Night Landscape Photography Workshop
August 22-24, 2022

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 computer programs, Sun Surveyor and Photo Ephemeris Web, 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

Milky Way over the Rock Cut, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Milky Way over the Rock Cut, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

image in Lightroom, then how to combine the images in Photoshop.

I will demonstrate these techniques using the latest versions of Lightroom LrC (the desktop version, formerly called Lightroom Classic) and Photoshop CC. Students will be able to follow along using sample images that I provide. This workshop is suitable for intermediate to advanced-intermediate photographers who have a basic familiarity with Lightroom's Library and Develop modules and with Photoshop's Layers and Masks. 

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 an hour and 40 minutes 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 42-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.

The workshop cost is $945. Enrollment is limited to eight students.

Rocky Mountain National Park has implemented a timed-entry permit system that will operate between May 27 and October 10, 2022. However, students do not need a timed-entry permit to enter the park while participating in the workshop.

The classroom portions of this workshop will be held at the Ridgeline Hotel, which is offering a substantial discount to students who book their room no later than July 23, 2022. Students are responsible for booking and paying for their own room. Registered students will receive instructions on how to book their discounted room.

Read the syllabus

Register for this workshop

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