Tekapo Astro Photography Workshop with Mark Gee and Rob Dickinson - 25th April 2014

Friday, 25th April 2014 at 6pm - 11:30pm

Location: The workshop starts at MacKenzie's Cafe Bar at 7pm to welcome people to the evening

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Dark Skies Of Wonder


Tekapo Astro Photography Workshop with Mark Gee and Rob Dickinson - 25th April 2014

Dark Skies of Wonder,April 25th  is now available for booking. If you would like to attend and cannot make this date or you would like to be informed of future dates for a repeat of this workshop please contact us.

Come along to the beautiful Lake Tekapo, a gold-level International Dark Sky Reserve for a night of astrophotography hosted by Mark Gee and Rob Dickinson.

Tekapo's skies are some of the darkest in the world allowing glorious views of the Milky Way. Autumn in Tekapo will provide a stunning backdrop of Snowy Mountains and buildings to learn wide field astrophotography.

The workshop starts at MacKenzie's Cafe Bar at 7pm to welcome people to the evening, organise groups and start to get to know each other and your photographic needs. We will discuss some basic technique and gear setup and also some information on the nights activities and safety. After this at about 8pm we will head out to the first location to begin shooting. This will be an ideal quiet place to begin the evenings photography with a wide range of photographic options, here we will start exploring the techniques for wide field astro photography. As we get into the night the groups will move on to other locations around the Makenzie area including other lakes & buildings. Ending with a session at the Church of the Good Sheppard. We will continue to shoot until the early hours depending on conditions, astronomical sunrise is 5:45am on Saturday morning. By the end of the workshop you will have a good understanding of how to take stunning star photographs and how to plan and compose future shots.

Cost per person for this workshop is $225 NZD.

What will you learn?

During the early evening we will cover basic photography topics if required:

  • Basic camera settings, aperture, shutter, ISO and how they affect the image
  • Lenses, focal lengths and depth of field
  • Managing exposure in low light conditions
  • Good techniques for achieving high quality images
  • Correct use of filters and when to use alternative techniques
  • Composition, timing and working a scene

As we continue through into darkness we will cover astrophotography specifics:

  • Shooting low light star fields
  • Focusing in low light
  • Composition and framing
  • Making star trails
  • And avoiding star trails

What will you nead to bring?

  • A Digital SLR camera or large sensor mirrorless camera. Larger sensors and a more modern camera is better.
  • A wide to 'normal' lens, or primes. A standard kit lens will do, but a better quality and faster lens is a good idea. Faster lenses, 14-35mm primes, are great for astrophotography.
  • A solid tripod.
  • Cable release.
  • Memory card and charged batteries.
  • If you don't have all the suggested camera gear - talk to your local camera shop about hire (contact us if you would like some recommendations).
  • A torch or two - preferably a head torch (with a red LED mode if possible) and a hand torch for light painting.
  • Appropriate WARM clothing for the conditions, good walking shoes and hard warmer!
  • A flask of coffee and some food.

Vanessa Patea has a blog article on th eporevious Dark Skies of Wonder workshop.

Transport and accommodation is not provided - we will be moving from location to location during the night but can provide only limited transport. However, we will be organising carpooling via the workshop Facebook page for interested participants.

A small amount of fitness will be required but no long walks or steep climbing are expected.

A full refund will be made for cancellations with a months notice (by 25th March) , 50% refund after.

If the sky is completly obscured by cloud we will reschedule for the following night (26th April) or offer a 50% refund.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or queries.


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