Night Sky Utah - May 18-21
Moab Session I - 4 Day Workshop
Please read our Mission Statement for info regarding Mike's teaching style.
Visit the General Overview & Itinerary Info page for more information about gear specifics, clothing, weather, etc.
While no knowledge of night photography techniques is required for this workshop, please understand this is not a Photo 101 class - you should have a decent working knowledge of your camera gear and how the Exposure Triangle (aperture, shutter speed & ISO) works. Please contact us with any questions or concerns BEFORE signing up for this workshop. Thanks.
This workshop has been planned around the New Moon cycle to maximize the visibility of the features of the night sky in the surrounding areas of Moab, Utah. The outskirts of Moab have very little light pollution which makes for incredible night photography opportunities. You know that you are in truly dark skies when you can see the Dark Horse section of the Milky Way with your naked eyes. Some of the great attractions in this region of Utah include the impressive features in Arches & Canyonlands National Parks, Dead Horse Point State Park, Goblin Valley State Park and other less photographed spots like the La Sal Mountain range and the Castle Valley area.
This is a comprehensive workshop with an emphasis on post-processing that will consist of 3 nights and 4 days - approximately 12 hours of in the field photography and over 15 hours of classroom tutorials & processing time. Check out our Processing page for some examples of what we will be covering in class.
In late May the Milky Way begins to rise around 11PM and appears as an arc in the sky. We will be set up & shooting before then and for 4+ hours each night. Classroom time will begin at 2PM each day and end around 6:30PM for a long dinner break before we head out to shoot the night sky. You will have a few hours to relax, explore, shoot sunset if you choose, etc.
In The Field Photography: We will be covering the entire skill set of shooting at night including the techniques involved in taking very long exposures for foregrounds to blend with sky shots and how to actively and statically use different lighting to light paint features in the dark. We will also be covering the process of shooting horizontal & vertical panoramas. Some of the spots we will be photographing will include some of the most spectacular arches in Arches & Canyonlands National Parks, Dead Horse Point State Park, Goblin Valley State Park, the La Sal Mountain range and the Castle Valley area. Mike will take turns helping each participant with composition, lighting, troubleshooting, etc.
Classroom Instruction: Our classroom time will mainly consist of processing tutorials and techniques via Lightroom & Photoshop and some of our favorite plug-ins to create remarkable images. Bring your laptop with Lightroom and Photoshop installed to learn techniques for processing in the digital darkroom. We will cover Mike's entire digital darkroom workflow from RAW file to finished image - from the basics of adjusting highlights & shadows, white & black levels, contrast, clarity, noise reduction, color balance, sharpening, lens corrections, graduated & radial filters, etc. to the more advanced techniques involved in complex masking, layering, transforming and exposure blending. We will also go through many detailed and progressive instructions regarding the capturing & processing of star trails, horizontal & vertical panoramas, exposure blending and time lapse. Mike will take time to help each participant with their images as we progress through class time. Check out our Processing page for examples. The planning and scouting of night sky shoots, including the apps that are instrumental for reconnaissance, will be covered at length as well.
May 18: Late afternoon meet and greet, discuss camera settings and features of the night sky - in the field photography 10:30PM - 2:30AM
May 19: 2PM - 6:30PM classroom instruction & image processing - in the field photography 10:30PM - 2:30AM
May 20: 2PM - 6:30PM classroom instruction & image processing - in the field photography 10:30PM - 2:30AM
May 21: 2PM - 6:30PM classroom instruction & image processing
Home Base: Our home base for this workshop will be held at the hip and unique The Gonzo Inn where we have arranged for a block of rooms with a reduced rate. To reserve your room, call 435-259-2515 and tell them you are with the Mike Taylor Photography Workshop in May 2017. You are of course free to stay anywhere in the Moab area. Please keep in mind that May is a busy time in Moab and it is not uncommon for ALL the local hotels to be sold out months ahead of time.
Lodging, transportation and meals are not included. We will be carpooling to the photography locations. For our classroom sessions we have reserved a conference room in a building located three blocks from the Gonzo Inn.
More specific information regarding meet up time & location and a PDF covering the essentials of night photography will be sent out to participants via email well before the workshop date. All participants will receive a hard copy of the PDF handout to go over during our meet-and-greet session.
Availability: This workshop is limited to 6 participants.
Physical Requirements: Most of the areas where we will be photographing are short hikes that are within visible distance of the parking lots. We have tentative plans for a couple of areas that require longer hikes to get to some spots but nothing that should bother anyone who is in decent shape. Just be prepared for some uneven terrain that includes rocks, sand, cacti and some elevation changes.
Investment: $1799 per participant - Alumni discount of 20% if you've taken a previous workshop with Taylor Photography. A non-refundable 50% deposit is required to reserve a spot or you may pay in full. Due to the logistics and planning of this workshop the full balance is due before February 1, 2017 or your reservation will be subject to cancellation. Please contact us ASAP if issues arise.
If you have a friend or significant other who would like to attend the workshop but not participate, they will still need to register as a participant by paying 50% of the investment amount and sign the required waiver & consent form before we head out into the field. It is important that we have an accurate headcount for each workshop.
If you have any hesitation about signing up, check out the Testimonials page where clients have shared their experiences.
Payment: Use the Paypal buttons below to pay the full amount, a 50% deposit or the remaining balance.