Milky Way Bryce ~ August 25-28 Workshop

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NightScape Photography Workshop in Bryce Canyon National Park

3-Day Workshop ~ Dates: August 25-28, 2014

Investment: $899.00 (50% deposit of $449.50)

Overview: Bryce is full of exhilarating panoramic vistas at the top of the canyon, and intimate visual encounters as we exploring down in the canyons. This unique area is very close to our lodging, making photography so convenient! Due to its remote location and elevation (8,000 feet), Bryce is has some of the darkest skies in the United States. You'll visit enchanting hoodoos, only minutes from your car, during three (3) nights of dark skies; and get a chance to do it all over again at sunrise and sunset. But most importantly, you'll learn how to capture your own Milky Way vision!

My workshops are more about shooting than spending time in a classroom setting, although we will have six (6) hours of inside instruction. Much 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 workshop. We will also be covering three sunrises, three sunsets and six twilight periods — about 12 hours of prime-time daylight photography and twilight photography. All this, in addition to at about 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.

Class Size: This workshop to limited to only six (6) participants to help ensure you get the level of attention you deserve. To help create a strong bond within the group, I encourage you to share ideas and help each other learn during the workshop.


• Monday, August 25 - 4:00 PM: Arrive in Bryce Canyon - our base. We will meet up at Ruby's Inn ( and use this first afternoon and evening for indoor classroom instruction and orientation. This is a "buffer" day for our 3-day/3-night workshop. If the weather forecast indicates overcast conditions on any of the other days and nights, we will postpone our indoor classes and the this time for shooting!
• Tuesday, August 26: Sunrise and early morning photography. Group breakfast (all other meals are on your own). Early afternoon indoor instruction on night photography techniques. Late afternoon and sunset photography. Milky Way night photography with local landscape features.
• Wednesday, August 27: Sunrise and early morning photography. Early afternoon indoor instruction on post processing. Late afternoon and sunset photography. Milky Way night photography with local landscape features.
• Thursday, August 28: Sunrise and early morning photography. Late afternoon and sunset photography. Milky Way night photography with local landscape features.
• Friday, August 29: Travel home or extend your stay.

~ A more detailed, hour-by-hour itinerary will be sent to attendees in early August ~

What Will be Covered?

Shooting, shooting, shooting: Unlike many workshops that spend much of their time in classroom instruction, we will spend most of our time traveling to and shooting at some of the area'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. Topics covered:

• How to focus your lens and use your camera at night
• Understanding white balance/aperture/shutter speed/and ISO relationships
• How to reduce noise
• Many personal tips and special techniques

Night Preparation: You will learn how to find subjects on the night sky, including the location of the Milky Way. 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.

Advanced Post Processing Methods: You will be taught new skills in how to enhance your night sky photos. I will teach you how to bring out the beautiful, latent colors of the Milky Way and the night sky that are naturally there —without having to resort to the artificial stimulus of garish saturation increases that some photographers use.

Reference Book: Before the workshop begins, you will receive a personal copy of a 129-page ebook that will give step-by-step instructions on night photography preparation, shooting techniques, post processing steps, and help in locating celestial features in the night sky.

Equipment to Bring:

• A DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera capable of shooting in RAW format
• Extra camera body - if you have one
• Lenses ranging from wide angles to telephotos
• One wide angle lens should be at least 24mm or wider, and f/2.8 or faster. (You can rent lenses and camera bodies at ( for the workshop if needed.)
• Sturdy tripod
• Memory cards - at least 32GB in total
• Remote release or intervalometer (
• Extra camera battery(s)
• Lens cleaning supplies
• Camera manual
• Headlamp (must include a red light ( and flashlight
• Warm/layered clothing, including gloves ( (it can get cold at night)
• Extra food and/or necessities you may require
• Polarizing filter (optional)
• Graduated neutral density filters (optional)
• Laptop computer loaded with Adobe Photoshop. You will not need your computer during our shooting sessions, but I recommend you bring a laptop to the post processing tutorial. You can install a 30-day trial ( from Adobe.

Physical Requirements: Easy to moderate (you must be at least 18 years of age). Most of our photography locations are accessible from your car with very little hiking. There is one exception: All of the descriptions that include locations along the "Navajo Loop Trail" will require moderate hiking on a well maintained trail. Although we never go more than one or two miles along this trail, you should be aware that this trail has an average elevation of about 8,000 feet, and has some steep switchbacks. (We will take this trail at a slow pace.) (For your safety, Royce has taken American Red Cross CPR and First Aid Training.)

Does weather affect the schedule? Definitely! Weather is an uncontrollable factor with night sky photography. 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. NOTE: Although this is a 3-day/night workshop, I have scheduled us to arrive one extra afternoon and evening early. If weather becomes an issue, we will use this "buffer" time for extra sunset and night photography —otherwise, this will be optional time that we can use for additional classroom instruction, socializing, and preparation. If we decide to use this buffer night for photography, one of the overcast evenings will be canceled (trust me, you will appreciate the extra rest if you've just completed an all-nighter the day before).

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

Lodging and Meals: are not included. You are free to stay anywhere in the Bryce Canyon area. However, we recommend Best Western's Ruby's Inn ( [masked]), which is only a few short miles from the park. We have reserved a block of discounted rooms under the name, "Royce Bair Workshop #2". (You can also receive another 10% discount when you check in, if you can present an AAA or AARP card.) I recommend that you book as early as possible, as August is Bryce's third busiest month of the year. There are other hotels in the area, but none are closer to the park than Ruby's Inn.

Transportation: Each participant is responsible for their own transportation to Bryce Canyon, Utah. You are also responsible for local transportation to our featured photography locations within the area. You can use your own car, a rental car, or your can arrange to carpool with other members of the workshop.

Getting There: We recommend you fly in and out of Salt Lake City, St George, Utah or Las Vegas, Nevada. Driving distance from Salt Lake City is about 270 miles (about 4 hours). Driving distance from St. George is about 143 miles (about 2.5 hours). Driving distance from Las Vegas is about 265 miles (about 4 hours).

Entrance Fees and Permits: Each attendee will need to pay for any personal park entrance fees ($25). We have obtained and paid for all necessary government regulatory permits.

Investment: $899.00 per student (alumni receive a 10% discount). A 50% deposit ($449.50) is required to reserve your space. Another $449.50 payment is due by June 25, 2014 (the second payment for alumni is only $359.60). Cancellations with full refunds (less any credit card processing fees) are allowed up to 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. If you cancel within 59 days of a workshop event, and we can fill your spot, we will refund 100% of all monies collected from you, less any credit card processing fees. If we cannot fill your spot, your total workshop fee will be forfeited. 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.

Testimonials: "Royce did a wonderful and professional job! He was very knowledgeable and more than willing to share his expertise and time answering questions and working with any individual on their particular questions/concerns." - C.Y. Roby

"The Best! Royce is an excellent instructor. He is very thorough, yet makes the technical details easy to understand. He covers each of the camera settings and why they are important. Reviews astronomical information, so you know where and what to look for so you will know when you are on your own.

He covers information that is important as the night progresses. He was there visiting with each person to make sure they understood the instructions and were getting good pictures. Then he follows up the class with additional information and resources. If you are thinking about taking one of his classes - do it! Opportunities to learn from such a master are rare." - Doug Lawrence

Read More Testimonials (

NightScape Blog: If you can't make it to this workshop, be sure to follow my night photography blog ( I'm constantly featuring the work of some of the world's best nightscape photographers, with great behind-the-scenes info and tips. I also provide equipment and software reviews (example: Shooting Stars ( - an eBook review).