ONE DAY COURSE 3:00 (or 4:00) PM – 10:00 (or 11:00) PM
Digital photography enables us to capture the beauty of the night sky in unprecedented detail. This astrophotography workshop will introduce students to the wide range of astronomical phenomena that can be photographed using an ordinary digital single lens reflex camera (without a telescope). A full explanation will be provided of techniques to make stunning images of stars, planets, the moon and the Milky Way, in conjunction with terrestrial landscapes. The course also covers photographing star trails as well as rare, elusive and fast-moving astronomical phenomena such as meteors, aurorae and eclipses.
Sufficient scientific detail will be included to enable course participants to understand the astronomical phenomena they can photograph and the extraordinary variety of scales of the Universe that can be recorded with an ordinary digital camera, ranging from ~100 km in the case of aurorae and meteors to 25 million million million km for the Andromeda galaxy.
An evening practical session photographing Lacock Abbey at night will enable students to put into practice what they have learned, with guidance in the field. If the sky is clear, we will use moonlight to photograph the Abbey with stars above. Course dates have been selected to optimise moonlight conditions.
To get the most out of the course students should already understand the basics of exposure, shutter speed, aperture and ISO; and be comfortable handling their cameras using manual exposure mode.
To ensure individual attention, the astro photography course is limited to six participants.
This astrophotography workshop will provide a comprehensive introduction to landscape astrophotography and all the technical details needed to photograph the night sky with a digital SLR camera. Subjects covered in depth are:
• The moon
• Moonlit landscapes
• Stars and constellations
• Milky Way
• Aurora borealis (northern lights)
• Lunar eclipses
• Solar eclipses
• Star trails
• Selecting foregrounds
• Lighting foregrounds
• Exposure at night
• Focus at night
- Introduction to landscape astrophotography
- Photographing the moon and moonlit landscapes
- Photographing planets, stars and the Milky Way
- Selecting foreground subjects
- Using artificial light and moonlight to illuminate foregrounds
- Photographing aurorae and meteors
- Photographing eclipses
- Photographing and Processing Star Trails
- Lacock Abbey Astrophotography Shoot
Camera Technical Requirements for Students
This course is suitable for students with DSLR cameras. Please bring:
• digital single lens reflex camera capable of taking acceptable quality images at ISO 1600 or higher
• wide angle lens (at least 24mm on full frame or 16mm on cropped sensor) with maximum aperture of at least F/4 (ideally F/2)
• sturdy tripod
• lockable remote cable release
• chemical hand warmers and elastic band (to strap round lens to reduce likelihood of dew forming)
• warm clothes and hat
• hand torch and head torch
The Tutor – Robert Harvey
Professional photographer Robert Harvey BA ARPS EFIAP CEnv CSci MCIWEM has created Natural World Photography, dedicated to creative images of landscapes, wildlife and the beauty of the night sky. A Chartered Natural Scientist and Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, Robert leads photography tours throughout Britain. More than 200 of his photographs, including over 20 astrophotography images, have been accepted in international exhibitions worldwide.
Living near the World Heritage Site of Avebury, some of Robert’s favourite images have been taken in Wiltshire, where our ancient past resonates through the landscape. Monuments such as Stonehenge, Avebury, Devil’s Den, Lacock Abbey and Glastonbury Tor regularly feature in his astrophotography images. Robert’s astrophotography includes the moon, stars, planets, galaxies, aurorae and eclipses.
Robert is inspired by remote locations such as coasts, mountains and deserts, where untamed land is sculpted by natural elements. His astrophotography portfolio has involved extensive travel, most recently to Oregon for the total solar eclipse on 21 August 2017. Other recent destinations include Arctic Norway for the aurora borealis, Utah for spectacular foregrounds and meteors, the Namib Desert to photograph the Milky Way and the Falklands where the far southern hemisphere skies are exceptionally dark and free from light pollution.
Astro Photography Workshop Content
The Astrophotography workshop will be delivered as a classroom/workshop session followed, after a light supper, by a landscape astrophotography shoot under the guidance of Robert Harvey. “Please note the photoshoot will be dependent upon suitable weather and in the event of thick fog or persistent rain would be replaced by an indoor presentation on daytime landscape photography”.
Once you arrive we look after you for the workshop duration.
Included in the price is:
● Refreshments (coffee, tea etc)
● Light supper prior to the Photoshoot