Night Photography, June 22-25, 2017 - Aaron Priest Photography
Night Photography Workshop

Night Photography, 3-Night Workshop

Instructors: Aaron Priest & Vincent Lawrence

Up to 6 participants (only 2 spots remaining!)

June 22-25, 2017

Capture and develop breathtaking images of the Milky Way over Acadia National Park with experienced photographers and instructors Aaron Priest and Vincent Lawrence. We’ll enjoy pristine views of the night sky--some of the darkest skies on the East Coast--as we learn to photograph the stars. The developing of the images is equally important to the shooting; this workshop will have a major focus on processing and teach the best ways to get your images to really shine.

This comprehensive workshop will feature at least 9 hours of shooting (weather dependent) and 9 hours of post-processing.

Workshop Schedule (weather dependent):

June 22nd: Plan to arrive anytime after lunch and be ready for an intro class session 2pm – 6pm. We’ll head out shooting at 10pm – 2am. 
June 23rd: Get a good sleep and be ready to dive into post-processing from 2pm – 6pm. Once again shooting from 10pm – 2am.
June 24th: Post-processing 2pm – 6pm, shooting 10pm – 2am.
June 25th: Wrap-up of post-processing in the morning.

Workshop Topics:

• Camera settings for capturing the stars and the landscape
• Planning dates, times, and movement of the night sky 
• Post processing the Milky Way with Lightroom and Photoshop
• Advanced masking and compositing of images in Photoshop
• How to shoot star trails

Airglow over Cadillac Mountain - Full Sky

Anytime technology is pushed to its limits–in this case the minimal light of the night sky–the importance of quality equipment becomes obvious. You should have a camera that performs well at ISO 3200 or higher, full frame is preferable (see list below). You will likely need a spare battery for your camera and intervalometer, as long exposures at night quickly eat up battery power. The other basic gear you’ll need is a sturdy tripod, remote shutter release (wireless or cabled), and a fast, wide lens. f/2.8 or larger aperture is preferred, and 14-16mm range is ideal for sharp photos of the Milky Way. 24mm and 35mm f/1.4 primes make great secondary lenses for more detailed shots. 

Recommended Cameras:

Nikon: D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D810, D810A, Df, D3s, D4, D4s, or D5. If renting, the D750 is a particularly good value. Some crop sensor cameras would be suitable for a secondary camera such as the D7100 or D7200, but rent a full frame camera if you don't have one.

Canon: 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, 5D Mark IV, 6D, or 1Dx. If renting, the 6D is a particularly good value. A crop sensor 7D or 70D could be used as a secondary camera in a pinch, but rent a full frame camera if you don't have one.

Sony: a7R, a7S, a7R II, a7S II

Several Pentax, Fuji, and mirrorless cameras are also suitable. Contact us with your list of equipment if you'd like advice.

Recommended Lenses:

Nikon: 14-24mm f/2.8 (exceptional)
Canon: 16-35mm f/2.8 II or III (3rd gen is much improved) 
Rokinon: 14mm f/2.8, 24mm f/1.4 (very good), 35mm f/1.4
Tamron: 15-30mm f/2.8 (very good)
Sigma: 35mm f/1.4 ART (very good)
For crop sensor cameras: Rokinon 10mm f/2.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 II, or Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8

Be sure to bring your own laptop with required software. We will be teaching with Adobe Creative Cloud and the latest versions of Photoshop and Lightroom. Bring an external drive to backup your images on. 

Read this article on Night Sky Photography for more information on shooting the night sky, and visit Acadia Images' website for more information on the guesthouse and classroom.

Payment to Acadia Images, LLC

Photo Gallery

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I like shooting star trails when there is still some color in the sky. This is 136 frames stacked from 8:17 – 10:02 PM on May 20, 2015 of Hunter’s Brook on Hunter’s Beach in Acadia National Park, Maine, facing north for circular star trails around Polaris. I started shortly before the beginning of nautical twilight when stars were just becoming visible and the sky was still blue, and shot until the end of astronomic twilight, about an hour and forty-five minutes. After dark we went back to the truck to grab cold pizza and some warm blankets to enjoy the view while the cameras were clicking away, leaving some light trails with our headlamps and flashlights.

I ramped the exposure from ISO 1250 to 2500 with DslrDashboard on a Nexus 7 tablet and ramped the white balance from 7000°K to 3022°K with LRTimelapse. RAW conversion to 16-bit TIFFs was done with Lightroom and stacking with Advanced Stacker Plus in Photoshop.

Nikon D700 & 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, f/2.8, ISO 1250 – 2500, 30 seconds

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From Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island