Dark of the Moon Night & Bristlecone Photography

The third annual Bristlecone Pine workshop is sold out.

Please call Point Reyes Field Institute at[masked] X373 for the waiting list for this workshop.

Dark of the Moon: Night Photography in the Patriarch Grove of the Ancient Bristlecone Pines, August 2-5, 2013

After you have registered, you can RSVP YES here. Please do not RSVP YES unless you have already registered.

In response to some confusion, please note that registration for this workshop is only maintained by Point Reyes Field Institute and not by any Meetup group. The is the SAME workshop that is also listed on Star Circle Academy. Once again, and all together now, you can only register for this workshop via Point Reyes Field Institute.

AFTER you have registered with Point Reyes, as one of the followers of this Meetup group please feel free let the rest of us know you are going by RSVP’ing here so we know who from THIS group is participating.  Remember, this is not a complete list of attendees or part of the registration process---it is an option and you are just letting folk from this Meetup group know you are going.

Join award-winning photographer Harold Davis, author of bestselling Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), for a once in a lifetime adventure high in the White Mountains of Eastern California. This workshop will be co-lead by Steven Christenson, a 2010 Astronomy Photographer of the Year and co-founder of Star Circle Academy, and have the assistance of Eric Harness, a light painting expert and faculty member of Star Circle Academy.


The gnarled, ancient, and beautiful Bristlecone Pines are the oldest living things on earth - but their isolated location makes photography, particularly at night, logistically difficult. The White Mountains are among the least light polluted in the continental United States and a frequent favorite destination of astronomers. This class is timed to coincide with the dark phase of the moon in order to maximize the potential combination of star circle photography with imagery of the ancient trees. Classroom demonstrations include instructions on using an intervalometer (interval timer), how to minimize noise in long exposures, nighttime safety considerations, and post-processing night photographs.

Lodging at the 10,000 foot Crooked Creek Research Station allows participants ample time for night photography of the ancient Bristlecone Pines in the Patriarch Grove, as well as daytime photography in the magnificent environs of the White Mountains. The dramatic scenery includes views of the grand Sierra Nevada crest, Nevada’s dramatic basin and range country, the desert landscape of Death Valley, a nearby picturesque abandoned mining settlement, and local wildlife including Bighorn Sheep.

Comfortable dormitory-style lodging and delicious house made meals are included.

Please note: The drive to Crooked Creek includes a stretch of 15 miles of primitive unpaved roads along the crest of the White Mountains where cell phone coverage is not available.

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  • Renee

    I had a wonderful time trying my hand at star trails and I learned so much. The food was great I haven't been so well fed in quite awhile and it was a pleasure meeting everyone.

    1 · August 8, 2013

  • Meggi R.

    This was a marathon for me with 6 consecutive nights under the stars and little sleep. Exhausting but so exhilarating! Wouldn't have missed a minute!

    August 8, 2013

  • Walker

    Great, nothing like an old guy hiking up hill at 12,000 feet. Slowly! Saw the milky way like I have never seen it before. God in all her beauty.

    3 · August 7, 2013

    • Sergey K.

      He-he. I am trying to outsource photoshopping to Olga. She is now pretty enthusiastic about learning it with signature books ;)

      August 7, 2013

    • Meggi R.

      Well said, Gary! The Universe at her best.

      August 8, 2013

  • Nataliya A.

    what time should we be there? Here it says 5pm, on Steven's page 2pm.

    August 1, 2013

    • Harold D.

      Natalya, the workshop starts at 5PM promptly. We are going to begin with a bang. You are welcome and encouraged to arrive at Crooked Creek anytime after 2PM. Look forward to seeing you here!

      August 1, 2013

  • Sun-Yo

    Anyone interested to carpool? I can drive and take 1-3 passengers comfortably with photo gears. I'm in San Ramon, we can meet at predetermined place in Tri-Valley or San Jose...it will take ~7hrs according to Google maps. To get there by 5PM, we'd need to leave by 9AM to have times for lunch and a couple breaks; leaving at 7AM is preferred so that we can take leisure drive and occasional stops for photo-ops, but I'm flexible.

    We'd need to leave at 10AM on Monday, right after the workshop ends. It's a long drive back and we'd be too tired to stop at any place, but lunch and a couple breaks; my goal is to be back home by 5-6PM. It's about 700 miles around trip, and with my car's gas mileage [masked]Runner), it'd be around $200 for gas. We'll have to figure out how to split the costs as I'm also taking additional burden on the car's wear-n-tear and other expenses; I'm flexible.

    I can also be a passenger if you have a better mileage car; I can share the driving as I love to drive.

    July 24, 2013

    • Daniela B.

      Hi Sun-Yo, I am looking for a carpool as well. If you still have space, let me know. I would love to get a ride with you!

      1 · July 25, 2013

    • Sun-Yo

      @DanielaBuhr definitely! I'll put you on the list. Where are you coming from? My personal e-mail is [masked]; let's connect directly.

      July 25, 2013

  • Sun-Yo

    Are there any carpools from BA? With such a long drive, it'd be nice to have a company or two....

    July 23, 2013

    • Steven C.

      My suggestion to anyone seeking to carpool is to post your clear plans here. When you plan to leave, when you plan to return. Where you will leave from (name a town not a region), whether you plan to drive, how many passengers you can take, whether you'd prefer to be a passenger. Also note any important particulars: e.g. non-smoker, will share expenses, will share driving, will stop at every photographically interesting place on the way out (or back)... etc.

      Anyone interested can/should respond to you via email.

      Please do update your status, too, so if you've found a carpool, use the Reply to let others know that you're full or no longer looking.

      I, for example am fully booked with Eric H. in my carpool.

      July 24, 2013

    • Sun-Yo

      Steven, great idea! I'll start a new thread....

      July 24, 2013

  • Renee

    Question for Harold or Steven…and it may be considered stupid but I am pretty much a newbie at night photography….experienced though during the day :) & I have done a couple of night shoots. I am trying to figure out all of the equipment to bring and I know the basics around which lenses, the remote, etc. but I am wondering about keeping the camera warm, the batteries and any other equipment considerations. I have taken your online class Steven…which I will likely go through again this weekend…but want to see if there is anything else I should put on my packing list.

    July 23, 2013

    • Harold D.

      Renee it is not a stupid question. In the summer this is not an extremely cold environment so you do not have to worry much about special concerns in terms of keeping your camera warm. Don't worry, there will be plenty of help once you get there. My main question would be your batteries and/or external power supply. Why don't you drop me an email offline with some of your equipment specifics and we can discuss. You will have a blast at Bristlecond. Best Harold

      July 23, 2013

    • Steven C.

      It does get nippy at night at this elevation, but that's a matter of *you* being comfortable. Your camera will love the climate. Expect a range of temperatures from the low 40s to the mid 80s. Here is a link for weather forecast near the place we're staying. http://forecast.weath...­

      July 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are there any Carpools from Los Angeles? Thanks.

    July 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd love to attend - but wow that's pretty steep...

    November 28, 2012

    • Walker

      Harold: I also have a pair of Buff mini Voyagers and I will charge and bring them as well

      July 16, 2013

    • Harold D.

      Thanks Walker, really appreciate it!

      July 17, 2013

  • Gail Miller B.

    Harold, thanks for the update on power outage at CCRS. I have a Paul Buff battery and will bring it fully charged. Looking forward to the weekend. When you said "dark of moon" you really meant it! :-)

    July 16, 2013

    • Harold D.

      Thanks Gail. Appreciate the battery and the can-do spirit!

      July 16, 2013

  • Harold D.

    @Renee and @Stu: Thanks for the question Renee. Connectivity at CCRS is flakey at best, and often only at certain hours in the morning (despite the official description Stu pointed). If your work situation is truly critical, it would be a serious mistake to bank on connectivity at CCRS. I can get a good cellular signal in the White Mountains if I am line of site to Bishop (about a 15 mile drive to Sierra View, or a shorter drive plus scramble) but otherwise connectivity in the Whites is basically hypothetical. Sorry not to give you the news you were looking for. HD

    July 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    See: http://www.wmrs.edu/facilities/cc/default.htm

    The facility includes a classroom, computer room with broadband internet, a backup satellite internet connection, and a smaller meeting room

    July 12, 2013

  • Renee

    Is there internet connection at the research station? I have some critical happening at work that Friday and Sunday night so I'm trying to figure out how to stay connected.

    July 12, 2013

  • Cliff B.

    sorry again

    June 24, 2013

  • Susan T.

    I will try to register . . for some reason I cant find the price. Thank you. I photographed this area last year and would enjoy sharing with others and enhancing my skills.

    March 15, 2013

  • Lili

    + 1

    March 12, 2013

  • Renee

    Hi Harold - I had a few questions…first off I really enjoyed your HDR class this past weekend. I've always wanted to see and shoot the Bristlecones but I don't have any night photography background so I'm not sure if this would be an okay workshop to join. Also I was wondering how large the group will be.

    January 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have registered. Thanks!

    January 9, 2013

  • Cam M.

    My wife Elise will also attend

    January 6, 2013

  • Sergey K.

    I will be together with Olga

    December 28, 2012

  • Steven C.

    Sunyo reported that she is registered and I have added her to the YES RSVP list.

    December 5, 2012

  • Craig S.

    My wife, Lynda, and I signed up through Point Reyes.

    December 3, 2012

  • Daniela B.

    Registered via Pt Reyes Website.
    Looking forward to this event!

    December 2, 2012

  • Harold D.

    Marilyn, as noted in the description above "In response to some confusion, please note that registration for this workshop is only maintained by Point Reyes Field Institute and not by any Meetup group"---you can add your name here once you have registered at Point Reyes Field Institute, but this is voluntary.

    December 1, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I registered and paid at Point Reyes Field Institute but when I went to Star Circle Academy, I am not on their list.

    December 1, 2012

  • Elizabeth S.

    Steven -- my schedule is changing and I may be able to attend.

    November 30, 2012

  • Manoj J.

    Yes . I will attend.

    November 29, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm in - this sounds pretty fantastic and should not be missed event - what with all those fantastic photographers I might actually learn something!

    November 28, 2012

  • Subrata

    I have registered with Point Reyes Field institute.

    November 28, 2012

  • Manoj J.

    I am definitely interested in this workshop.

    November 13, 2012

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