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Sunsets and Stars in Canyonlands

September 20-22, 2022

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


The Milky Way from Dead Horse Point, Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

I will demonstrate these techniques using the latest versions of Lightroom LrC (the desktop version, also 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 Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. We'll start by shooting sunset and the soft magic of twilight. When the sky becomes completely dark about an hour and a half after sunset, we'll work on shots of the Milky Way over the dramatic canyons of the Colorado River and Green River. ​

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.

This workshop will be held from September 20-22, 2022.

The workshop cost is $945.


Enrollment is limited to nine students.

The classroom portions of this workshop will be held at the Fairfield Inn, which is offering a discount to students who book their room prior to August 19, 2022. Students are responsible for booking and paying for their own room. Registered students will receive a link to use to book their discounted room. I encourage students to stay at the Fairfield Inn for their own convenience, but there is no obligation to stay at the inn to take the workshop.

Read the syllabus for Sunsets and Stars in Canyonlands

Register for this workshop

Go to the workshops overview page

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