Why the Snowflake, Arizona area? The Milky Way Ranch
is located at an elevation of 6,000 feet and has some unusually clear weather as its annual rainfall is more akin to the high desert. At this elevation, the skies are brilliant at night. With no major cities within a couple hundred miles, the dark skies are perfect for night photography. There are many rock features, such as balanced rocks, all within very short walks so you’ll spend more time learning, shooting, and less time travelling and walking.
Most of the features are on 3 acres within a 40 acre parcel. The walking is rated easy which also lends to a relaxed atmosphere for the workshop. There are no people or crowds as in the parks, only the rocks, trees, stars, the instructor, and you photographing the night skies. If you get tired while shooting a 3-4 hour timelapse, you can grab some sleep as everything is very close to where you’ll be shooting. Equipment can be left out with no worries. The whole area for miles is off grid and peaceful.
What you will learn during the 3 day-3 night workshop…
• Learn how to shoot daytime timelapses
• Day to night timelapses
• Night Sky Photography and Timelapses on static tripods and motion control equipment
• You’ll also become proficient in lighting rock and tree features that are incorporated in the frame while correctly exposing for the night skies.
• Photo composition will be explained
• Focus stacking will also be taught when working with close objects and distant stars.
• You will also learn how to turn your still shots and timelapse sequences into professional photos and videos using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and LRTimelapse.
What you learn here can be applied any place where the stars are visible. Cost of the 3 day workshop is only $995. See our workshop dates below.
Schedule your workshop today.
Call (623) 512-9810 Now!
What You Will Need to Bring (Required)
• A DSLR Camera that has manual exposure settings and is capable of shooting RAW exposures is recommended. It is preferable to use a full frame camera, however, APS-C cameras can work. Having a second DSLR as a backup or to shoot stills while your timelapse is clicking away should also be considered.
• A fast lens, f/4 or faster, is essential for the night sky. Wide angle lenses are a must. Manual lenses from Rokinon, such as the 14mm f2.8 and the 24mm f1.4 are excellent for timelapse. Call prior to coming for some other suggestions.
• Tripod with a ball head.
• Intervalometer – some new DSLRs have them built in.
• Memory cards – 2 or more 32 GB or larger cards.
• Extra camera batteries and battery charger – expect to use 2-4 batteries per day. A camera battery grip that holds 2 batteries will allow you to shoot longer timelapse sequences without running out of power, especially on colder nights later in the season.
• Two LED Headlamps – A small one with a dimmer function and a red light or filter option is recommended, plus extra batteries to keep it going. One headlamp is backup.
• Laptop computer to preview, process and edit your shots. Bring a USB memory card reader so you can transfer your shots and a portable hard drive is recommended for backing up your shots.
• Smart Phone or tablet as there are some helpful and powerful apps that will help you understand weather, clouds, and the movements of the night sky.
• Neutral density filters for daytime shots.
• Appropriate clothing.
Other Things to Consider
Motion Control Rail
We highly recommend Dynamic Perception motion control equipment to workshop participants. DP’s innovative and photographer centered team manufacturers systems that are reliable, sturdy, smooth, and produce perfectly executed single and multi-axis motion timelapse sequences. If you don’t have one, there will be one system on site and available to work with. Call with any questions.
Want to order one of these awesome motion rails from Dynamic Perception? Use this link and please do mention Wild Visions when you do. Thank You!
Accommodations are not included. You can bring your RV, travel trailer, tent trailer, or tent and camp on the property for free. No hookups are provided. We have tents with cots to stay in, but please bring your own bedding or sleeping bags. Showers are available. Milky Way Ranch is about a 40 minute drive from Snowflake where you have restaurants and motels, however, it does involve some windshield time out of each day going back and forth. On-sight generators or solar power is provided to charge batteries and keep the laptops running during classes and post processing.
Meals are not part of the package. We do have a company that provides quality premade and frozen meals (not TV dinners) that we can order for you and prepare so you have nothing to do but shoot, learn, sleep, and enjoy. A typical meal package of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks averages about $40-$50 per day.
Where is Snowflake?
Snowflake is in eastern Arizona and is approximately 200 miles from Phoenix and 270 miles from Albuquerque. Transportation to and from is not included. Maps are provided.
Workshops are 3 days and 3 nights of instruction. Dates are either 3 days prior to new (no) moon or three days after which provides ample dark sky photography. We accommodate 4 photographers in each workshop so you get the maximum instruction possible. Reservations are confirmed with payment in full.
Our workshop dates are filling up fast.
Call (623) 512-9810 Now!
Night Sky Gallery
Night Sky Photography