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


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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Airglow over Cadillac Mountain

On July 26, 2014, Matt Pollock and I captured a spherical panorama of green airglow and the Milky Way over Bar Harbor from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine. This is a crop of the panorama. Cassiopeia can be seen in the left side of the Milky Way arch. The Big Dipper is to the left of Bar Harbor. Polaris (the north star) and the Little Dipper sits between them. The full sphere consists of 5 photos of the sky blended with 4 photos of the ground. It took about 22 minutes to shoot from 11:30 – 11:52 PM. We spent the rest of the night shooting a timelapse for star trails.

Camera settings: ISO 6400, f/2.8, 40 seconds, & 3550°K white balance for the sky blended with ISO 6400, f/2.8, 160 seconds, & 3786°K white balance for the ground.

Hardware used: Nikon D810, Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 (lens hood shaved off for full frame use), Promote Control, and Really Right Stuff TVC-34L tripod with leveling base & multi-row pano package.

Software used: Edited with Lightroom, stitched with PTGui Pro, and blended with Photoshop. Pixel Fixer was used with a dark frame to remove hot pixels from long exposures at high ISO. The star spikes on the Big Dipper were added with Star Spikes Pro.

2014100MilkyWayAcadia National ParkBar HarborBig DipperCadillac MountainMilky Waymount desert islandair glowgreennightnight skypanoramawide

From Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island