G E N E R A L O V E R V I E W A N D O U T L I N E
These small workshops take place in some of the most beautiful places in America. They are geared to help you master the technical aspects of your camera and to help you apply that knowledge to real life situations on your own beyond the workshop. My goal is share my knowledge Many of the Night Sky Workshop will have both morning shoot times and evening shoot times. A sleep break is built in between evening and morning shoots. During the day, you will edit down your images to your top 5 from each shoot, do your own exploring, charge your batteries and relax before out next night shoot.
Do you need prior experience in night photography to join one of these workshops? The answer is, NO. However, you should have a pretty good idea how the camera operates. What does that means? It means, you should have an simple understanding of how your shutter speed, aperture and ISO work together to form your "exposure". There will not be any "auto or program" modes used for this night photography workshop. Priority modes are fine for shooting during the daylight hours, but not at night. If you have an questions please contact me here
DATES AND LOCATIONS
Dates and locations are carefully selected to work with the Moon and around the Moon. To witness the darkest sky possible from whatever location you are at, it is best to observe when you are close to the New Moon phase. Moon glare hides most of the stars, so it is best to shoot "dark skies" when the Moon has set. Half of a night could be used with the Moon and the next half without the Moon. You can still see the Milky Way from dark sky locations when the crescent moon is still in the sky.
I suggest you arrive the day prior to the workshop especially during the winter months where winter storms can often cause major delays around the United States.
WEATHER AND PROTECTING YOUR EQUIPMENT
Weather has been my friend for my entire life, it has also been my enemy at times. Most of the workshops are planned with "clear weather" in mind, well, unless you are on a storm chasing tour of mine, then we are looking for bad weather! There are many different ways our equipment can get damaged and / or destroyed. Upon signing up for this workshop you will receive tips on protecting your gear during any situation. Water, sand, dust and dirt are the biggest problems. I use Aquatech to protect my camera body and lens systems.
Weather is the most constant thing on Earth. It can not be predicted and we can not guarantee that the weather will be perfect during our 1 night, 3 day or 5 day workshops. If we encounter poor weather conditions ( ex. thunderstorms, rain, snow, sleet, etc..), we will modify the schedule or move inside for post processing tips and workflow. Regardless of rain, snow, sleet, fog or lightning, you will still be able to learn the necessary skills needed to capture incredible images at anytime during the day / night. If snow or ice threatens the safety of the instructor or clients during the workshop, we may be forced to reschedule.
Leading up to the workshop, I will inform you of what to expect weather-wise during our stay.
Post processing tips , techniques and treatments are discussed during all workshops. These will apply to Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. It's doesn't matter if you use CS2 or the current version of Photoshop. All principals apply.
Payments can be made through the workshops webpage you are interested in. We accept PayPal and most credit cards, You may make a non-refundable deposit or pay the workshop in full. If you wish to send your deposit / payment in the form of a check, please let us know by sending an email to [email protected] . Your final payment should be made no later that 21 days before the workshop start date. If you are signing up within the 21 day window, you must make your payment in full.
Unfortunately, once a payment has been made, a refund can not be issued. The amount paid up until that point will be credited to a future workshop with us.
TRANSPORTATION AND HOTELS
Transportation to the workshop , during the workshop and after the workshop is not included in the ticket price. Hotel accommodations / camping fees are also not included unless otherwise mentioned on the workshop page. Meals are also not included but I do supply bottles of water.
CAMERA EQUIPMENT / WHAT YOU NEED ?
Depending on where the workshop is located, it will determine what is needed as far as clothes and other gear not related to your photography equipment.
- DSL with high ISO settings (for night sky photography)
- Camera Manual. (Even if you are familiar with it, it's good to have with you)
- Lens with a minimum of f/2.8 with a focal length of at least 17mm to 35mm for wide sky shots. f/3.5 could work, but it's not optimal.
- Strong , Strudy Tripod for long exposures
- Intervalometer for timed shots, super long exposures and timelapse photography. Some camera's include this functions. Check to see if yours does
- (2) Fully charged batteries with battery charger
- Plenty of memory cards (16GB - 64GB)
- Laptop and card reader to transfer images and back them up
- Hiking boots | shoes | Hat | Gloves
- Headlamp, with a red light setting
- Flashlight for light painting
- Sunscreen | Bug Spray
- Camping chair
- Drinks and Snack for when you get hungry
- Filters for Daytime landscapes ( circular polarizer, 2 - 6 Stop ND grad filters, 10 stop solar filter for long exposures during the day)
If you would like a private (one-on-one) workshop, they can certainly be arranged in any of the 50 states. Please contact me with specifics of where you would like to conduct the workshop? What dates are available for you and how many days/ nights do you prefer. Here are a few of the popular tours.
- Arches NP, Colorado Rockies, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier NP
- Fall Colors Tour | Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts
- Acadia National Park, Maine
- Florida Keys Milky Way Madness
- Lighthouses of North Carolina
- Mt. Rainier, Cannon Beach, Olympic National Park
- Night Sky / Autumn in Yellowstone NP and Grand Tetons
- Night sky / Autumn in Colorado
- Arches and Canyonlands National Park, UT
- Death Valley, Yosemite and Mono Lake
CERTIFICATIONS & SAFETY
Your safety always comes first, besides our families. Nature is the most beautiful thing, but it can also be dangerous and sometimes deadly if we do not give it the proper respect it deserves. We do not want to get caught up in the moment and slip off a cliff, get bitten by a rattlesnake on Death Valley or have a wave blind side you in Florida while trying to capture that perfect shot on the beach. None of these have ever happen to me, but I do read stories of such things happening. I will let you know what to expect upon signing up for the workshop of your choice. A 10 minute safety speech is given at the beginning of all workshops to make sure we are all on the same page.
I am certified by the American Red Cross in Adult / Infant CPR / First Aid and AED. This certification is usually required for all photography workshops being conducted on the grounds of most National Parks. I also hold a degree in Photography and have worked in many area's including the Professional Sports (NFL), Steve McCurry of Nat Geo / Magnum, Advertising / Commercial, Portraits and weddings among many more.
DISCLAIMER / ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Jeff Berkes Photography reserves the right to make changes to the schedule, dates if need be. We are not responsible for bad weather, delays or cancellations. We are also not responsible for lost or stolen items, injuries, sickness, death or damages to personal equipment and lost of personal travel expense. Failure to comply to park rules, regulations and will result in you being ejected from the workshop. By signing up for a workshop you agree to all of the above.
This workshop does not include travel to, from and during the workshop, meals or overnight accommodations (except where specified)
For more information please contacts us here at [email protected]
If you would like to suggest a workshop location or are interested in signing up for our mailing list please contact us here. 2020 Night Sky Photography Workshops are being planned at this time. Email us if you would like us to add a certain location to the schedule and we will try to make that happen for you.