Night Sky Utah - May 29-31 - miketaylorphoto
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Night Sky Utah - May 29-31

Valley of the Gods - 3 Day Workshop

Please read our Mission Statement for info regarding Mike's teaching style.

Visit the General Overview & Itinerary Info page for more information about gear specifics, clothing, weather, etc.

While no knowledge of night photography techniques is required for this workshop, please understand this is not a Photo 101 class - you should have a decent working knowledge of your camera gear and how the Exposure Triangle (aperture, shutter speed & ISO) works. Please contact us with any questions or concerns BEFORE signing up for this workshop. Thanks.

This workshop has been planned around the New Moon cycle to maximize the visibility of the Milky Way and other features of the night sky. Join us for two nights of night sky shooting in the gorgeous sandstone valley of red-rock formations called Valley of the Gods. This geologic masterpiece of southwestern Utah is located less than an hour from the iconic but more crowded Monument Valley between the tiny towns of Bluff and Mexican Hat. Valley of the Gods is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management and features a 17-mile dirt road that winds through stunning Cedar Mesa sandstone formations nicknamed by the locals as Rooster Butte, Setting Hen Butte, and Balanced Rock/Lady in a Tub.

Valley of the Gods has very little light pollution and is one of our favorite places to view and capture the night sky. You know you're in truly dark skies when you can see the Dark Horse section of the Milky Way with your naked eyes. Nearby attractions and photographic opportunities are plentiful in this area including Mexican Hat Rock and Alhambra Rock, Goosenecks State Park, Moki Dugway, Muley Point, Monument Valley and the House on Fire Ruin in the South Fork of Mule Canyon are all located nearby.

In late May the Milky Way begins to rise around 11PM and appears as an arc in the sky. We will be set up & shooting around then and for 4+ hours each night as the waxing crescent moon sets around 12:45AM, giving us plenty of time to use the subtle moon as foreground lighting before capturing the full darkness of the night sky for a couple hours. 

In The Field Photography: We will be covering the entire skill set of shooting at night including the techniques involved in taking very long exposures for foregrounds to blend with sky shots and how to actively and statically use different lighting to light paint features in the dark. We will also be covering the process of shooting horizontal & vertical panoramas. Mike will take turns helping each participant with composition, lighting, troubleshooting, etc. 


May 29: Late afternoon meet and greet, discuss camera settings and features of the night sky - in the field photography 10:30PM - 2:30AM

May 30: Afternoon meetup + discussion of images & processing techniques - in the field photography 10:30PM - 2:30AM

May 31: Afternoon meetup + discussion of images & processing techniques

Please note: although there is no conference room to rent in this area, we will be getting together on both afternoons for a discussion of the images we shot the night before which will also include an impromptu processing session for a few hours. Bring your laptop with Lightroom and Photoshop installed to learn techniques for processing in the digital darkroom.

Lodging, transportation and meals are not included. We will be carpooling to the photography locations.

Home Base: Our home base for this workshop is The Hat Rock Inn where we have arranged for a block of rooms with a reduced rate. To reserve your room, call 435-265-3321 and tell them you are with the Mike Taylor Photography Workshop in May 2017. You are of course free to stay anywhere in the Mexican Hat area.

More specific information regarding meet up time & location and a PDF covering the essentials of night photography will be sent out to participants via email well before the workshop date. All participants will receive a hard copy of the PDF handout to go over during our meet-and-greet session.

Availability: This workshop is limited to 6 participants.

Physical Requirements: All of the areas where we will be photographing are short hikes that are within visible distance of our vehicles. Just be prepared for some uneven terrain that includes rocks, sand, cacti and some elevation changes.

Investment: $699 per participant - Alumni discount of 20% if you've taken a previous workshop with Taylor Photography. A non-refundable 50% deposit is required to reserve a spot or you may pay in full. Due to the logistics and planning of this workshop along with our Moab Sessions the full balance is due before February 1, 2017 or your reservation will be subject to cancellation. Please contact us ASAP if issues arise.

If you have a friend or significant other who would like to attend the workshop but not participate, they will still need to register as a participant by paying 50% of the investment amount and sign the required waiver & consent form before we head out into the field. It is important that we have an accurate headcount for each workshop.

If you have any hesitation about signing up, check out the Testimonials page where clients have shared their experiences.

Payment: Use the Paypal buttons below to pay the full amount, a 50% deposit or the remaining balance.


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