Arches National Park Night Photography Workshops Moab, Utah.
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Arches National Park & Moab Area
Night Photography Workshop

Moab, Utah
  August 5th - 9th, 2024
Instructor: Andy Cook
Time Compressed Imagery

Andy will be leading a night photography workshop to capture the stunning beauty of the Milky Way above the American Southwest. Join us as we photograph the night sky with some of the most iconic foregrounds in Arches National Park and the Moab area.

This night workshop is geared for the intermediate to advanced photographer. However, beginners with a working knowledge of their camera can gain a lot of experience and instruction. Each participant is assisted at their level. We focus on helping participants create the most appealing compositions of each location we visit. This is a workshop environment, the instructor is present to aid in the field and teach his techniques for night landscape photography. If you're an advanced photographer he is happy to help or stay out of the way.

The workshop is intentionally timed with a new moon to provide as much sky darkness as possible; revealing as much Milky Way as possible.

When photographing in Arches National Park the workshop is geared to Time Compressed Imagery (TCI). The basic idea of TCI is to take a foreground image at dusk before it gets too dark. This allows one to use a low ISO setting and smaller aperture for better depth-of-field, to draw close items into focus. Then one waits for the Milky Way to appear in the desired location and one takes another photo with camera setting such that the Milky Way will record in detail. Later in post processing these two images will be merged to create one image with fine detail in the foreground allowing for larger prints. Andy will provide field and post processing instruction using Photoshop for TCI. Participants should return home with most of their images already processed. Requires participants to bring a calibrated laptop with Photoshop installed.

When photographing in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands, we will use TCI and another technique, our foregrounds will be gently lit by a constant light source (dimmable LED light panels).
Night Photo Workshop
Images on this workshop page were not taken in August and were done using dimmable LED light panels. To see samples of TCI images visit our Big Bend Night Workshop page.

Itinerary Outline

The workshop starts on Monday, August 5th, 2024 at 3:00 pm with an introduction and discussion. Afterward, we will photograph at sunset and into the stars. The formal workshop ends after photographing late on Friday night, August 9th, 2024.

On several nights participants can expect to leave the hotel in time to capture a sunset (about 8:24 pm) and we'll stay out until we've finished. Then we return to the hotel for sleep. Participants will require different amounts of sleep so we will not schedule a group breakfast, but Andy will usually go to breakfast at least 1 hour before the chosen restaurant stops serving breakfast. Every midday Andy will be available to instruct / aid with night sky post processing using Adobe Photoshop. Then, we will have another break before it's time for a group dinner and more photography.

Note: We've schedule this workshop in August because as soon as it gets dark the Milky Way will be in position and ready to photograph, about 10 pm. We don't have to be up all night, typically we will be finished shooting and heading back to the hotel by 11 pm.

Arches and Canyonlands Night Photo Workshop

COST: $1,690.00 per participant. Maximum number of participants is 6.
Deposit Amount: $300.00 due at time of registration. This deposit becomes non refundable 90 days in advance of the workshop.

Full Payment of the workshop is due 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. If final payment is not received when due, we reserve the right to treat the reservation as canceled, please review the cancellation policy on the registration page.

Arches and Canyonlands National Park, Moab, UT. Moab Photography Workshop

This workshop does involve some trail hiking and elevation gain to arrive at certain shooting locations, while other shooting locations will be just beyond the parking lot. The elevation range of our photography locations is 5,500 to 7,000 ft. The trail hiking may be deemed vigorous activity or light activity based upon one's condition. Trail hiking surfaces and those beyond the parking lot are generally uneven, hiking boots are recommended. Our longest trail is about 1.4 miles each way. One doesn't have to be in tip-top shape, but one's enjoyment will be enhanced by good health and preparation. Participants should consult with their doctor before attending our workshop or venturing to higher elevations.

Proper hydration is a must at higher elevations. Without it one will lose strength, energy and may develop a severe headache. To avoid dehydration one MUST drink beyond one's thirst; drink even though not thirsty. Please bring a large reusable water bottle.

Be prepared for possible temperature extremes and sudden changes in weather. Be aware that night in the high desert may be chilly. Please bring a flashlight.

We will provide packaged snacks to eat while in the field.

More Information

LODGING: Moab is a small town and all hotels are no more than 10 minutes from the Comfort Suites so please select a hotel that makes you feel comfortable. Moab can run out of vacancy, participants need to contact their hotel directly and reserve their room upon registering for the workshop, if not earlier. Even if you have not registered for this workshop, but you're considering it, we recommend making hotel reservations.

Instructor's Hotel - August 5th, 2024 (Check-in) - August 10th, 2024 (Check-out): Comfort Suites, 400 N Main Street, Moab, UT 84532 Phone # 435-259-5455.

TRANSPORTATION: Most people flying to Moab for this workshop will find flying into Grand Junction, Colorado (about 2 hours) to be the best choice, others will find Salt Lake City, Utah (about 4 hours) to be adequate.

Driving Conditions: Driving conditions will consist of mainly paved roads. When possible we prefer that participants car pool with each other to help limit our impact and get to know each other. A standard rental car will be sufficient.

Equipment Recommendations: Bring all camera equipment including the camera's manual. With night photography Andy finds a cable release to be very useful. He also recommends having an intervalometer. For these check Amazon, Andy has been happy with one made by Neewer, they run $15-$25, it may not last forever, but it seems to do the job at a reasonable cost. Typically a wide angle lens with a max aperture of f/2.8 or bigger (smaller number) is required. For cameras with full frame sensors the lens should be at least 24mm wide. For cameras with partial frame sensors (1.5 LMF) the lens should be at least 16mm wide. One should test the wide aperture performance of their lens in advance of the workshop; find lens testing information at this webpage: Field Lessons and Handouts
Generally, a newer camera will have better high ISO performance than an older camera, so if you've been thinking about a new camera, it may make sense to buy it before this workshop.

One should shoot with a sturdy outdoor tripod that can adjust from standing height without cranking up a center post, to very close to the ground. This type of tripod does not have attachments connecting the legs to the center post; i.e. the legs can move independently. Unless your camera has a built-in level, we recommend having a 2 axis flash shoe bubble level, it is the easiest way to make sure photos are level. Please buy these at a reputable dealer; they run about $35.00. In order to process images during the workshop please bring a laptop with Photoshop installed. Two other useful programs to consider Topaz Denoise, Starry Landscape Stacker (Mac) or Sequator (PC). We highly recommend each participant download the phone app PhotoPills to use during the workshop.

When photographing a sunset then the information below may apply:
We recommend having a polarizing filter to use with some of the photographs on this workshop. Andy combines images of various exposures in post processing. Andy will be happy to teach participants his field and post processing techniques for doing so (requires a cable release with some cameras). A lens range from 18 mm to 300 mm after the lens multiplication factor is recommended. However, we think participants should bring their entire range of lenses.

The Fine Print

We do not guarantee the weather. Workshop fee does not include transportation, lodging or meals. In order to keep workshop fees as low as possible we may overbook any given workshop by 1 space. Usually this results in 6 participants, but from time to time we may have 7 participants attending. Our itinerary does fluctuate year to year. We may not visit every location visited in previous years. We require an acknowledgment of risks be signed before going into the field. We will send the acknowledgment of risks upon registration, please return it at the start of the workshop. In the event Rocky Mountain Reflections Photography, Inc. (RMRPI) cancels a workshop due to unforeseen circumstances such as inability to obtain permits, instructor injury, death… Then, RMRPI will refund fees collected by RMRPI for the affected workshop. In the event of a natural disaster, government closure or other happening of this nature that causes a workshop to be canceled, RMRPI may be unable to refund workshop fees. If this happens then funds collected by RMRPI will be applied as credit toward a future workshop of the participant’s choosing. RMRPI will not be held responsible for other expenses (airline tickets, hotel deposits, rental car…) that may be associated with any canceled workshop.
Night Sky Photo Workshop

Spare Camera Batteries
Camera Manual
Lots of Memory
Extra Shoes and Socks
Rain Gear
Hiking Boots
Warm Clothes
Umbrella (just in case)
Oh Yes! Don't Forget the Camera

Arches National Park Night Photography Workshop

To be as prepared as possible for this workshop, please review the 2 videos, 7 lessons and 10 workshop handouts found at the link below:
Below please find the PDF handouts recommended for this workshop. One needs to print or download to a digital device these documents before the workshop from the link above.

For this workshop we recommend that participants:

*Print: Blank Workshop Locations Visited.

*Print or download to field digital device: Night Photography Rule of 400.

Print or download to field digital device: CFDER Field Reminder (This is useful to those new to our workshops and/or trying to develop a useful field workflow.)

Print or download to field digital device: Steps to Capture Panorama Photographs (If the tripod is properly set up before shooting, one can take panoramas of the locations we visit.)

Print or download to field digital device: Hyperfocal chart for camera’s LMF. (Unless you already have a depth-of-field app on your smart phone.)

Print or download to digital device: Andy’s Camera Settings (Only if unsure about what the camera’s settings should be.)

*Print or download to digital device: Tripod Tips and Techniques (Only if one is new to tripod use or are considering a tripod purchase.)

Click Here for Complete Workshop Schedule
Moab, Utah - Milky Way Photography Workshop

Rocky Mountain Reflections Photography, Inc. is authorized by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, to conduct services in Arches National Park.

Images on this website are property.
Please do not use them without the photographer's Permission.
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