Crater Lake National Park star photography workshop, June 25-27

*Crater Lake National Park star photography workshop, Sunday, June 25th through Tuesday, June 27th, with a final post-processing session on Thursday, June 29th*

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Spend three nights photographing the starry skies above the only national park in Oregon, beautiful Crater Lake, during my flagship 2017 workshop. Early summer at Crater Lake NP is a great time to take advantage of clear skies and dark starry nights with little need to worry about smoke from wildfires or high-season crowds.


The workshop will begin the afternoon of Sunday, June 25th in the park with a 3-hour outdoor session in which we’ll cover the fundamentals of in-field capture, including a quick test of the equipment we’ll be using so that we know our individual optimal performance settings. That evening, we’ll meet in Crater Lake National Park for a sunset/twilight shoot while we wait for the real show to begin. Instruction will wrap up around 2 am, although you’ll be free to continue shooting.

On the afternoon of Monday, June 26th we’ll re-convene for a presentation on composition in night-sky photography, followed by group discussion. Then we’ll spend a couple of hours going through post-processing techniques. (Total time of afternoon meeting will be about 4 hours.) That evening we’ll meet again at Crater Lake for sunset and night-sky photography. Instruction will wrap up around 2 am, although you’ll be free to continue shooting.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, June 27 we’ll get together again and cover additional topics, such as multi-row panoramas and focus stacking for night-sky photography. That evening we’ll meet again at Crater Lake for sunset and night-sky photography. Instruction will wrap up around 2 am, although you’ll be free to continue shooting.

Wednesday, June 28th is a free day.

On Thursday, June 29th, we’ll meet at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Bend for a long final post-processing session (9:30am to 5 pm). I will guide you through my RAW processing workflow in Lightroom, followed by my edits in Photoshop. I will then spend individual time with each participant and their photos.

Workshop goal

This workshop is intended to arm you with strategies for capturing the night-sky and jump start your post-processing. I’ll be holding nothing back, covering every facet of my in-field techniques and my thoughts on composition.

Number of openings: 1 out of 6

Experience level: This workshop is intended for intermediate beginner up to more advanced photographers.

Cost: $1200. I accept both credit cards, debit cards, and Paypal. Payment can be made below.

A $300 nonrefundable deposit reserves your spot. Final payment is due 60 days in advance or your space is not guaranteed. Cancellation must be made 60 days prior to the workshop date to receive a refund (minus deposit). If cancellation is made less than 60 days prior to the workshop date no refund (minus deposit) is given unless the spot can be filled. Note that prior to participating in my workshop I do require my students to sign a liability release that will be delivered electronically.


What’s included:

  • My ebook “2017 Gear Guide” (pdf)                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • My ebook “Planning the Shot” (pdf)
  • My workshop syllabus (pdf)
  • Both classroom sessions and all in-field instruction
  • My four new post-processing videos, totaling almost 1.5 hours of post-processing instruction in Lightroom and Photoshop CC (mp4)







Performing your first RAW edits may not be sexy,
but they’re most important edits you can make to
your photo. In this tutorial, I cover my beginning
workflow for high-ISO Milky Way photos, including
my RAW processing goals, adjustments to avoid in
RAW processing, reading your photo’s histogram  as it
relates to night-sky photography, and achieving sharp
and low-noise photos.





Recent updates have made Lightroom a formidable panorama
-assembly tool. In this tutorial, follow along while I go through
my Lightroom workflow for multi-row panoramas, including
preparing the RAW files for assembly in LR,  using the
boundary warp tool, and putting the final touches on the assembly
in Photoshop.





STITCHING PANORAMAS IN PHOTOSHOP – 15:02                                                                                                                     

Stitching panoramas in Photoshop


Sometimes Lightroom just can’t get the job done
when it comes to assembling panoramas. In this
tutorial, I show you my plan B: assembling the pano
in Photoshop. I also cover preparing the RAW files
as well as the use of guides and warping tools to
correct stitching errors.





Veiled threats



Twilight’s a great time to shoot dramatic,
low-light photos with great color and low noise.
In this tutorial, I cover my basic twilight shooting
workflow, including RAW conversion, working with
twilight colors, and how to blend a sprinkling of
stars into your photo in Photoshop.




What’s not included:

Gear, lodging, transportation, national parks pass, food, and drink are not included in the price of the workshop.


What kind of gear will I need for this workshop?

I recommend having a full-frame DSLR with live view as well as a wide (24mm or wider) and fast (f/2.8 or faster) lens. If you don’t already own these items, I would recommend renting them rather than buying them. You’ll also need a tripod and a wired or wireless remote. Additionally you’ll need appropriate (ie, warm) clothing and a good flashlight or head lamp. For the post-processing portion you’ll need a laptop with Lightroom and Photoshop (CC is preferred, but you’ll be able to follow along on older software). My personal kit is covered extensively in my gear guide, which you’ll receive prior to the workshop.

Can I bring my friends/relatives/pets?

Unfortunately, I cannot accommodate non-paying participants or pets at my workshops. This has to do with permit limitations, the safety of other participants’ gear, and the integrity of other participants’ photographs. Adding extra flashlights can ruin photos, and extra legs (including animals’ legs) mean a higher risk of a tripod getting knocked over in the dark.

I’m a beginner photographer who just bought my first DSLR–is this workshop going to be too difficult for me?

This workshop is intended for intermediate beginners and up. During the introductory classroom session my goal is to streamline and simplify my students’ workflow so that they will spend a minimal amount of time switching settings while they’re in the field. However, as much as possible I like to provide my students with an understanding of why we do what we do because I believe it leads to a more comprehensive understanding of how to take good photos at night. If you’re a true beginner who has just started your photography journey, you may feel a little overloaded with information. One way to avoid information overload is to study basic photography terms and have a good understanding of your camera, its functions, and how to change your camera’s settings. As an example, if you don’t know what “stop down” means and have no idea how to do it on your camera, your opportunity to get the most out of this workshop may be compromised. The same is true of the post-processing portion: If your Lightroom isn’t properly set up to import files or your Photoshop workspace isn’t arranged so that, for example, the Layers palette is visible, you may find yourself using your time inefficiently. With that said, reading about photography, studying photography books available to the library, and familiarizing yourself with basic terminology can go a long way in moving a photographer from “true beginner” to “intermediate beginner” in a short amount of time.

Am I going to have to hike a lot on this workshop?

I encourage my workshop participants to have a reasonable base level of fitness, which includes an ability to walk slowly at night (with the aid of a flashlight or head lamp) up to a quarter mile while carrying your own gear. If you have any questions or concerns about your fitness levels, don’t hesitate to contact me (with the “Contact me” button below).

What about lodging?

Like many national parks in the summer, lodging books up well in advance. Crater Lake in particular has limited indoor lodging in close proximity to the park. The closest (and most expensive) indoor lodging is at the Crater Lake Lodge. Cabins are available at Mazama Village, in Crater Lake National Park. Additionally, Crater Lake has two campgrounds, with the Mazama Campground having showers and laundry facilities. If you cannot find lodging within Crater Lake National Park, I would advise looking into the Diamond Lake Resort, which has a number of indoor lodging options. Diamond Lake also has a very large and nice campground with showers if you cannot find camping options at Crater Lake.

Regardless of your preferences, I would advise you to book your lodging as soon as possible, as problems finding last-minute lodging have arisen with past workshop participants.

Should I plan on staying near Crater Lake National Park during our “free day” on Wednesday, June 28th? Or should I stay in Bend that night?

That’s entirely up to you. Staying near the park would allow you another day/night of shooting before our final post-processing session. And staying in Bend would ostensibly allow you to be less rushed and more rested before our final post-processing session the following day.

What airport should I fly into? Will I have to rent a car?

Portland’s PDX is the nearest large airport to Crater Lake. Both Bend and Eugene have smaller airports that you may want to consider. If you’re flying, you will need to rent a car, as Crater Lake is a rather remote location.

I can’t bring my camping gear if I fly. What should I do?

I would consider one of two options. A) You could pay the extra baggage fees and check your camping gear, including your tent. B) Bend has plenty of options for outdoor supplies, and you could probably buy or rent (at REI) camping gear for less than the cost of checking your regular camping gear in your bags.

What about food?

Crater Lake’s Rim Village has a small cafeteria with limited food options. The Mazama Village has a small grocery store where you can pick up provisions. Additionally, the Diamond Lake Resort has a small restaurant, a pizza place, and a small general store where you can get food.

What if I drop my camera in the dark?

I encourage all of my students (and all photographers in general) to insure their equipment. Although I have a clean record thus far of my students remaining injury-free and their equipment being undamaged during my workshops and lessons, from my personal experience taking photos in low-light situations runs a higher risk of personal injury (tripping or losing your balance in the dark) and equipment damage (tripod falling over or getting knocked over).

When will I receive the pdfs and other pre-workshop instructionals so that I can begin studying on my own?

You will receive all pre-workshop instructionals at least 60 days in advance of the workshop, assuming you have paid in full.

What if the weather’s not conducive to night-sky photography?

Unfortunately, I cannot offer refunds for poor weather unless the weather conditions are outright dangerous, such as blizzards, tornadoes, or extreme lightning. I do recommend that my workshop participants allow some flexibility in their schedules so that last-minute changes (such as moving the workshop up a day or back a day) can be made to avoid dangerous weather. Otherwise, regardless of cloud cover, we’ll go ahead with our curriculum so that you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to capture and post-process starry skies when the conditions are right.