Night Photography, September 7-9, 2018 - Aaron Priest Photography
Night Photography Workshop

Night Photography, 2-Night Workshop

Instructors: Aaron Priest & Vincent Lawrence

Up to 5 participants & 4 rooms--SOLD OUT

September 7-9, 2018
$992 (accommodation included)

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 planning and developing of the images is equally important to the shooting; this workshop will have a major focus on planning & processing and teach the best ways to get your images to really shine.

This comprehensive workshop will feature at least 6 hours of shooting (weather dependent) and 6 hours of planning and post-processing.

Workshop Schedule (weather dependent):

September 7th: Plan to arrive anytime after lunch and be ready for an intro class session 3pm – 6pm. We’ll head out shooting at 8:30pm - 11pm. 
September 8th: Get a good sleep and be ready to dive into post-processing from 1pm – 6pm. Once again shooting from 8:30pm – 11pm.
September 9th: Wrap-up of post-processing in the morning, no set schedule, leave whenever you like!

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
• How to shoot star trails

Milky Way over Boulder Beach, Acadia National Park

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, D750, D800, D810, D810A, D850, Df, D3s, D4, D4s, or D5. If renting, the D750 is a particularly good value.
Canon: 5D Mark III, 5D Mark IV, 5DS, 5DS R, 6D, 6D Mark II, 1D X, or 1D X Mark II. If renting, the 6D & 6D Mark II are a good value.
Sony: a99 II, a7 II, a7S, a7S II, a7R, a7R II, a7R III, 7 III, or a9. 
Pentax: K-1 (the Astrotracer feature is quite impressive, requires GPS accessory).

Several Fuji and and other 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 (Version III is much improved over II).
Rokinon: 14mm f/2.8, 14mm f/2.4 (very good), 24mm f/1.4 (very good), or 35mm f/1.4.
Tamron: 15-30mm f/2.8 VC (very good).
Sigma: 14mm f/1.8 (exceptional), 20mm f/1.4, or 35mm f/1.4 ART (very good).

This is by no means an exhaustive list! There are many specialized cameras and lenses not included here. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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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Carriage Road at Eagle Lake

This spherical panorama was taken on one of the carriage roads that goes around Eagle Lake on Mount Desert Island, July 14, 2015, 2:06 AM during a night photography workshop that I co-instructed with Mike Taylor and Vincent Lawrence. I positioned myself in the middle of the road where I would get a good reflection of trees on both sides. While I was setting up this shot a beaver crossed the road, bumped my tripod leg, and made a horrific splash on the other side. I’m not sure who was more startled at the brief encounter!

The Milky Way arcs straight overhead at this time of year and hour, with alternating green and purple air glow. The Andromeda galaxy is visible to the north east over the light pollution of Bar Harbor.

I shot two spheres of different exposures—one for the sky and one for the ground—and blended them via luminosity masks in Photoshop before stitching with PTGui Pro. The tripod was removed from the nadir afterward in Photoshop. I’ll be teaching how to do all this in an upcoming May workshop in Acadia:

Camera settings: 10.5mm, f/2.8, ISO 5000, 30 seconds for the sky and 120 seconds for the ground.

Stitching data: 1 row of 7 photos plus a dedicated zenith for each exposure, as well as a dark frame of each exposure. I wanted a lot of overlap to compensate for the softness of the 10.5mm fisheye around the edges. The finished panorama is 65MP, this image is a 3:1 crop out of the middle.

Equipment used: Nikon D810, Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye (lens hood shaved off for full frame use), Panoneed robotic head, Promote Control, and Really Right Stuff TVC-34L tripod w/ leveling base. Dark frame subtraction with Pixel Fixer, RAW conversion in Lightroom, exposure blended with Photoshop, stitched with PTGui Pro, and planned with my favorite app PhotoPills.

AndromedaCarriage RoadEagle LakeMaineMilky WayMount Desert Islandair glowastrophotographylandscapenightnight photographynight skypanoramasphericalsummerworkshopwide

From Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island