From time to time I’ve had inquiries about whether I run workshops on night landscape photography – how to photograph the moon and startrails and night landscapes. So I thought I’d do an Expression of Interest to ascertain whether there was enough interest for me to go to the trouble of putting a workshop together. I’d appreciate any feedback on the idea you may have.
My initial thoughts is the workshop would run in three sessions:
1. Intro to night landscape photography and full-moon night field trip into Royal National Park from my house (RNP is an hour’s drive south from Sydney CBD) – this session would run for 3-4 hours on a night of the full moon. It would include photographing the sky, clouds and moon and also photographing the moonlit landscape both of which require different skills.
2. Startrails and Storms at night – both require very similar skills so, given how unlikely a storm is on the appointed night the focus would be startrails, but the principles are the same. Again this would be a 3-4 hour session including a field trip into RNP from my house and would include photographing startrails in their own right and combining startrails into a landscape composition.
3. Photshop techniques for night photography. Taking night shots is only half the story. To get optimum images (and often just to get an accurate image of what your eye actually saw at the time) you need to be able to process effectively. This session would show the techniques I’ve learned for processing shots of the moon, moonlit landscapes, and startrails which I’ve found are quite specific compared to the processing needed for day shots or portrait photography. This session would also run for 3-4 hours and would include “hands-on” processing of the images you took in Sessions 1 & 2.
So what do you think. Would you be interested in doing a workshop like this that required you driving for an hour to RNP, doing the session and then driving home again afterwards at night? The main problem with a workshop like this is you have to run it at least an hour out of Sydney to even begin to get skies that are dark enough to work with.
The other logistical problem for such a workshop is that it has to cover two phases of the moon – full moon and new moon in order to get full-moon lit skies as well as completely dark skies for startrails. But New Moon follows Full Moon so that means you could run one session per week over 3 weeks.
So in summary, a workshop of one session per week over 3 weeks, with each session 3-4 hours. In terms of cost do you think $400 for the 3 sessions is reasonable? Seems to be pretty much the going rate for 10 hour courses in community colleges from what I can see. In terms of quality I used to be a TAFE teacher and have quals in adult education and a ton of experience in running practical courses for adults.
So as I said, any feedback welcome – good, bad or indifferent. I really don’t want to go to the trouble of putting this together if the logistics of running it makes it too hard for people to do.