November Milky Way at Zion NP Workshop

Photography in Zion National Park

A Daytime and Starry Night Photo Workshop via Springdale, Utah

Dates: November 5-8, 2013

Overview: Zion National Park in early November is magical time of the year. The crowds are gone. The park's mandatory shuttle service has shut down and you are allowed to use your own car within the park. The temperature are warm and moderate, and the autumn foliage is at it's peak color. This will be my last workshop for 2013.

My workshop are more about shooting than spending time in a workshop classroom setting. Most of my instruction is on location while we are preparing to shoot. My workshop are also about having a lot of fun with fellow photographers who share a common passion.

This will be much more than just a night photography tour and workshop. We will also be covering three sunrises, three sunsets and six twilight periods — 12 to 18 hours of prime-time daylight photography, and six hours of twilight photography. All this, in addition to at least 12 hours of night photography on three of the darkest evenings of the month! You can expect to finish this workshop with a significant portfolio of images you will be proud to showcase.










My goal is to share with my students everything I know about night photography. Nothing is off limits. I will do everything I can to make you a better photographer. I want to give you the tools to apply your vision to night photography.










I limit my workshop to only nine (9) participants to ensure you get the level of attention you deserve. I also want a strong bond to be created in this small group. I encourage you to share ideas and help each other learn during the workshop.

Locations we plan to visit:
• Court of the Patriarchs
• The Watchman
• Virgin River
• Big Bend
• The Organ
• Great White Throne
• Temple of Sinawava
• Towers of the Virgin
• The Grotto
• Oak Creek

Workshop Photo Examples (All of these photos were taken within the park. We plan to shoot at most of these locations.)















(Recently removed for security purposes.)

Fall & Winter Night Sky vs. Summer: As we approach Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the brightest portions of the Milk Way, the central bulge, disappear below the horizon for several months (and appear in the Southern Hemisphere). However, other stars take their place on the night stage, i.e. Sirus, the brightest star in the sky (showing between the man's legs), and the Orion Constellation (between his outstretched hands) — arising only in the winter months.

Below is a similar photo, taken in late Spring (May) with a fisheye lens. By August, the Milky Way will be in a near vertical position, and further to the right (south). About one-half of the central bulge will also have disappeared below the horizon. Both the Spring/Summer and the Fall/Winter night skies have their own kind of beauty.

Some have asked, "How are the peaks illuminated behind the man?" There is a valley between the hill the man is standing on and the mountain behind him. In that valley is the small town of Springdale, Utah. The light pollution from the town (mainly, from the orange-ish sodium vapor street lamps) is illuminating the peaks. Because it is such a small town, its light pollution does not over power the stars. Light pollution can be beautiful and useful.










What Will be Covered?

Shooting, shooting, shooting: Unlike many workshop that spend much of their time in classroom instruction, we will spend most of our time traveling to and shooting at some of the park's best locations!

Understanding night exposures: You will learn how NightScape photography is different from regular landscape photography.

Shooting Techniques: In addition to tips for daylight and twilight photography, you will learn how to prepare and operate your camera for night shooting. You will learn how to properly exposure for a starry night sky, including the Milky Way.

Night Preparation: Learning how to find subjects on the night sky. Planning the right time to go. How to find dark skies. Finding foreground landscapes that compliment the night sky. Using the right light source to enhance your foreground (light painting), when needed.

Additional Information & FAQ

Meals and Lodging: are not included. Your are free to stay anywhere in the Springdale - Rockville, Utah area. Lodging is fairly inexpensive at this time of the year. My favorite place to stay is at the Quality Inn at Zion Park because it's very close to the park entrance and the rate are reasonable. Zion Lodging lists 28 hotels that range in price from about $90 to $180 per night. Because the workshop ends on a Friday morning, you may wish to arrive a day early or stay an extra day or two after the workshop and put to use what you've learned (or take a rest after three straight sleepless nights).

Transportation: Each participant is responsible for their own transportation to Springdale, Utah. You are also responsible for local transportation to our featured photography locations within Zion National Park. You can use your own car, a rental car, or your can carpool with other members of the workshop. You are also responsible for your own park entrance fees ($25).

Special Equipment Requirements: There are NO special equipment requirements for this workshop. As long as you've got a DSLR camera, a tripod, some decent walking shoes, and a warm jacket for evening shooting, you are all set. Most participants bring their camera, a tripod, and a couple of lenses along with a backpack to carry their gear....and lots of media cards to store their images. Some people bring their laptops to use during our resting hours, but that's personal preference. Those who register for this event will receive emails with pre-workshop tutorials and suggestions that will help them become better prepared for this fun workshop.

Note: We will be resting during the middle of the day (typically from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM), so bring your earplugs and sleeping masks! (These are the poor light conditions times, when other tourists are most active in the park.)

Are significant others allowed? Yes, as long as they are not a photographer.

Does weather affect the schedule? Definitely! While partly cloudy skies can add interest, completely overcast skies will block all the stars in our night scenes and dampen our daylight shoots. Although I cannot guarantee clear skies and perfect conditions, it is uncommon to have several days of poor conditions. Even if the skies are overcast we will continue to go out and learn everything this workshop has to offer.










Investment: $695.00 per student. ($795.00 for registrations after August 5, 2013.) Note: Many photographers charge about $1,000 for a workshop like this! A 50% deposit ($347.50) is required to reserve your space, or you may pay in full. Full payment is due by September 5, 2013. Cancellations with full refunds are allowed through September 5, 2013. Cancellations between August 6 and September 5, 2013 will be refunded any amounts paid less a $100.00 processing fee. Cancellations between September 6 and October 5, 2013 will receive a 50% refund. No refunds are given on cancellations after October 5, 2013. No exceptions can be made for this policy. Any cancellation must be in writing (mail or email). Travel insurance is recommended, along with refundable airline tickets.

Payment: When you RSVP, you will be taken to my PayPal account (Stock Solution, Inc.) for online payment. The default payment is a deposit of $347.50. You can also change this and pay the full amount of $695. Any balance of payment should be mailed (to arrive by July 9, 2013), to:

Royce Bair - Stock Solution, Inc., 6640 South 2200 West, West Jordan, UT 84084.

Join or login to comment.

  • James R.

    First time I photographed stars. Your great advice and patients to ensure even a newby like could come away with a WOW! James Ronan

    1 · November 18, 2013

  • Charli B.

    How do I get to the evaluation page.

    November 17, 2013

  • Larry Goldman (.


    I'm recommending your workshops to every serious photographer I know. You and Phill Monson make quite a team. Let me know when you plan to come out to California to scout the Alabama Hills, I might join you since I'm very familiar with the locations in that part of California. Have you set a date yet for the Oregon Coast Workshop? I want to do that one.

    1 · November 17, 2013

  • Stan K.

    I learned a lot. The experience was great. I look forward to the next Meetup.

    1 · November 11, 2013

  • Harriet S.

    Hi Royce,
    Please let me know where your next workshop will be as I would love to learn from you

    October 18, 2013

    • Larry Goldman (.

      Royce. I'm please to learn of the Monument Valley, Alabama Hills, (Californians non-Californians who have never been or photographed in the southern Eastern Sierras will love the place. It is one of the most beautiful and photogenic areas in the continental US. You might want to check with the National Park Service to see whether they would permit Night Shooting at the near by Manzanar National Historic Park --- the cemetery with its iconic monument and majestic Mount Williamson in the background would be an ideal shooting location), and Oregon Coast. I'm looking forward to attending at least one of them.

      October 19, 2013

    • Royce B.

      I should have more info on Monument Valley by next week. As for Alabama Hills, it was one of Hollywoods favorite locations for westerns during the 40's, 50's and 60's. I'll have to check into Manzanar NHP :) Thanks for the tip.

      October 21, 2013

  • Allen U.

    I know there is a chance that this workshop will be cancelled because of what is happening in Washington, but I don't plan to cancel my trip. There are lots of dark skies in Utah that aren't in national parks. If the workshop is cancelled and anyone wants to join me on an ad hoc photo shoot, please contact me. I'll be happy to share my methods for photographing the night sky with anyone who wants to join me.

    I have been doing night sky photography for some time and I included a chapter on how to to it it in my book "THE Photographer's Guide to Minnesota's North Shore". You can see some of my night photos on my website at You can find them in the "After Dark" and "New" portfolios. You can learn more about me there too.

    You can contact me through my website or at [masked].

    I hope that this workshop goes on as scheduled, but if it doesn't, I'm working on Plan B.

    October 6, 2013

    • Royce B.

      I, too, have been considering a similar "Plan B", and will formally lay it out as an option, should we be closed out of Zion Nat'l Park (for those who should want to keep their hotel and flight reservations). I'll contact you and see how our ideas might mess for the benefit of all.

      1 · October 6, 2013

    • Almoustine

      I think it is a bloody pain. Those are public lands that belong to the people. We pay the government to guard them, repair the roads, and clean the bathrooms. Its like the janitor deciding to shut down the school *getting off my soapbox now.... Sad to miss the event.

      October 7, 2013

  • Jeff S.

    So disappointed to just find this group and realize the session is full! Hope to catch another one.

    September 24, 2013

  • Allen U.

    Royce, will we doing any shooting in the Kolob Canyon section of Zion?

    August 12, 2013

    • Royce B.

      Hi Allen. I don't plan on doing any shooting in the Kolob Canyon section.

      August 15, 2013

    • Royce B.

      Here's an interesting quote from the Desert News on Kolob Arch, a main feature in that section: "There are …several reasons why Delicate Arch is on the license plate and Kolob Arch isn’t. Among them: Delicate Arch is 1 ½ miles from where you park your car. Kolob Arch is 7 miles. ...When you get to Delicate Arch you can see it, walk around it, lie down underneath it if you want to. It’s impossible to take a bad picture of it. In contrast, you can’t get within a quarter-mile of Kolob Arch and even then it’s hard to pick out. It is situated in front of a mountain painted the same color. It’s an arch in camouflage. Ansel Adams would have taken one look and fled."

      August 19, 2013

  • iqbal m.

    Hi Royce,
    2 weeks ago I mailed a check for the balance. I am not sure if you got it as I may have put the incorrect address. Please let me know so that I may send you another . Looking forward to the workshop.
    Thanks. Iqbal

    August 19, 2013

  • michael b.

    mike braunstein

    July 30, 2013

  • michael b.

    I would like to get on the alternate list for Zion if there is one.

    July 29, 2013

    • Royce B.

      I've opened up the waiting list.

      July 30, 2013

  • Allen U.

    Royce, my photo is of Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, OR. It is this photo that got me hooked on night time photography. I now plan vacations around moonrise/moon set and moon phase. I love all of southern Utah and I'm looking forward to photographing Zion with you and the other members of the group.

    June 4, 2013

    • Royce B.

      I love that area of Oregon. It will be great to have you with us, Allen!

      June 5, 2013

  • Larry Goldman (.

    Can't wait to meet you Royce!

    April 17, 2013

  • Almoustine

    I am so thrilled to be a part of this workshop...a question? Is anyone interested in splitting lodging costs?

    April 1, 2013

  • Sherry b.

    I have a special love for this amazing place. I had planned to go to Zion's again this coming fall, so this workshop works out great for me. November is a wonderful time to visit Zion NP.

    April 1, 2013

  • iqbal m.

    Looking forward to the workshop. Is there much hiking involved at Zion?

    March 16, 2013

    • Royce B.

      There is very little hiking in this Zion's workshop. We will be driving our cars right up to most locations.

      March 18, 2013

    • iqbal m.

      Thanks Royce.

      March 18, 2013

Your organizer's refund policy for November Milky Way at Zion NP Workshop

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 90 day(s) before the Meetup

Additional notes: Additional notes: Cancellations between August 6 and September 5, 2013 will receive a $247.50 refund on their $347.50 deposit. Cancellations after October 5, 2013 will not receive a refund on their deposit.

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

Our Sponsors

  • BlackRapid

    Meeting room location for Seattle lecture & workshop (Feb. 26, 28)

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create your own Meetup Group

Get started Learn more

I started the group because there wasn't any other type of group like this. I've met some great folks in the group who have become close friends and have also met some amazing business owners.

Bill, started New York City Gay Craft Beer Lovers

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy