Night Photography Workshop
Who hasn't looked at the night sky with its billions of stars or the moon looking down on our planet without a sense of wonder at the beauty and scale of it all? I love being out at night in quiet empty places that only a few hours ago were teeming with people knowing that I have six or seven hours ahead of me on my own to capture the milky way, meteor showers and anything else celestial that appeals to me. I've been asked a number of times if I would consider facilitating a night photography workshop so it gives me great pleasure to announce this is now past the planning stage and will go live to coincide with one of the many predicted night time events coming up in 2019. I've added a link to my workshop dates page which will show you the various workshops for 2019:
There are of course other aspects of night time photography such as shooting cityscapes at night. I'm more than happy to include a mix of night photography techniques if participants are interested in mixing it up a bit.
You can of course register your interest in any workshop without being committed to participating in it until the point of full booking. If you'd like to contact me regarding workshops or have a question around your photography in general you can contact me via the button below:
What equipment will I need?
Night photography workshops, by their very nature, take a little more thinking through than their daytime equivalents. Location is crucial if we're to avoid the virtually unavoidable in Britain - light pollution. Paradoxically the darker the location the more we'll need some light to get set up with. A head torch is right at the top of my list when I go out doing night work. I have one that gives you different strengths of white light and a red light setting. The latter is important as you don't want to lose the valuable night sight you've built up over the last fifteen minutes or so if you can avoid it. Another useful bit of kit is a powerful led torch. This lets you 'light paint' anything interesting as the shutter is open. If you look at my standing stone image above you'll see an example of this technique at work. If you haven't got a tripod then borrow or beg one from someone as you simply can't utilise the long shutter speeds needed for night photography without one. The more stable the better. Some tripods come with hooks on them to let you hang a bag from to give the tripod extra weight. Get to know your tripod before you come on the workshop as there's nothing fiddlier than trying to sort out the now mandatory five levers and buttons on today's tripods in the pitch black. A cable release and/or an intervalometer (a device that lets you fire your shutter remotely as well as count down the shutter times you set it for) are two more bits of kit you need to stuff into your camera bag. Both will help eliminate camera shake as the less you physically touch your camera during the long exposure the better your chances of a nice sharp shot. Photographing star trails and using long exposures can be taxing on batteries so bring plenty with you - I have a power bank I can plug into my cameras (and mobile phone) to give them a boost during the night.
It might be a warm summers day but at 0300 in the morning it can get a tad chilly. This means two things; you will start to get cold and lose interest - particularly around the time your circadian rhythms dip - and your camera will begin to experience condensation with the resulting dew fogging up your lens unless you bring several lens cloths or even better a chemical hand-warmer or two for your camera -and lots of layers of clothing for you. I would bring your widest lens and a telephoto as we'll be shooting the sunrise after our night comes to an end. The wider the lens the more sky you cover which ups your chances of capturing a meteor or two. A flask and something to eat is incredibly reviving and will give you that all important second wind to get you into the dawn and sunrise as it would be rude not to photograph it. Speaking of cameras you will need one that deals with noise in a reasonable way. By that I mean you don't want to be using a camera that produces images that look like the surface of the moon in daylight as it has no chance come the dark. If you have any doubts about your cameras ability to cope with night photography give me a ring first as I have a high end bridge camera I rent out to people with lower spec cameras or those interested in upgrading. Most bridge cameras and DSLR's will do okay especially if you are able to post process afterwards to reduce the impact of any noise - if you can't I do a workshop for that! Your camera must have an option for manual exposure and focus as autofocus at night isn't the best idea. It will also need Bulb mode which allows for longer exposures beyond the usual 30 seconds. If you have a lens hood then bring it as they help protect the lens from the extraneous light we're trying to stop from entering from the side. Finally you really need to shoot in .raw rather than .jpg as the files are more forgiving of noise and can be post produced in a more effective way. That said you can still shoot large file .jpg and reduce some of the noise impact through post production.
If you have any doubts about your camera model and how it deals with high ISO I've added a link to those nice people at DxOMark who spend an inordinate amount of time working these things out for us:
How do I book?
Booking is easy. If this is the workshop for you simply press the button below. It will take you to my contact page where you have a range of options to get hold of me. This will be my only night photography workshop for 2019 and numbers will be limited to six people only. If you have any further questions on any aspect of this or one of the other workshops please contact me.
Cost for this workshop is £140 per participant. This includes full tuition and a 'goody bag' containing a print, postcards and an article designed to support your learning on this much anticipated workshop. It's really important that you have an understanding of my terms and conditions. Click here to take a look. If you have any questions about them or the workshop in general please contact me