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Night Skies of the Outer Banks Photo Workshop

Cape Hatteras National Seashore holds the title for being not only the very first national seashore in the world, but also the first official Dark Sky Park. Little more than a string of big sandbars unfurling along the coast some 30 miles offshore of North Carolina, Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a profoundly beautiful place. Wind swept beaches. Towering sand dunes. The biggest surf on the East Coast. More shipwrecks than anywhere else in the Western Atlantic. A string of still operational lighthouses. And one of the darkest skies you will find east of the Mississippi. 

Given the sparsely populated nature of the islands, and the fact that the national seashore consumes roughly 80% or more of those islands, AND the fact that those islands are so far off the coast, artificial light is very limited, and skies are very dark. Add to this the unique cultural artifacts of this coast and we will have no shortage of great night sky compositions to work with. 

This workshop is timed for both the new moon and a unique positioning of the Milky Way across the night sky. These astronomical events will give us the best and most creative opportunities to compose beautiful photographs of the heavens. 

Workshop Details

Dates: May 4 – 10, 2019

Location: Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Price: $2500

Lodging: All lodging is included with this workshop.

Transportation: All ground transportation is included on the Outer Banks during the course of the workshop. It will be your responsibility to get here. 



What to Expect

  • five full days / nights of field photography and hands on education
  • participants will learn the techniques used to capture both the Milky Way and star trails
  • participants will learn how to focus stack to get the most out of their landscapes and night photography
  • In depth Lightroom and Photoshop instruction detailing the unique processing techniques for night sky photography
  • a full day of Lightroom and Photoshop bootcamp where we will be working specifically on your photos from the workshop
  • all lodging during the workshop
  • all ground transportation during the workshop
  • all permits 
  • Day 1: Arrive on the Outer Banks. We will check into our private beach cottage for the week, grab dinner, and head straight out into the field to shoot for the night. 
  • Day 2- 5: These days will all function very similar to each other. Depending upon weather and the rise and positioning of the Milky Way, we will head out into the field for night photography sessions. Depending upon which side of midnight that we are working on, we may have a sunset or sunrise shoot added to the night sessions. 
  • Day 6: Though we will be working on post-processing techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop all along, this final day will effectively prove to be something of a LR and PS bootcamp. We will set aside the entire day to work on YOUR photos, making sure that you have learned and mastered techniques such as focus stacking, blending layers for star trails, and the unique processes involved with make your night sky images come to life. 
  • Day 7: Farewells and return home

Do I need a remote release and intervalometer?

Not necessarily. Remotes or cable releases can be worked around by using the self-timer on your camera. Many modern day cameras also come with intervalometers built in (though some do not). If you have these things, bring them. If not, do not worry about them as everything we will be covering on this workshop, you will be able to do in camera with out the use of the BULB setting. 

Will I need to bring a laptop with me for this workshop?

Yes. All participants will need to have a laptop of some sort with them where they can process photographs during the workshop 

Do I need Photoshop and Lightroom?

You will need Lightroom (or Bridge) and Photoshop for this workshop. So much of what we do to create captivating night sky photographs requires special processing that can only be achieved with these programs. I highly recommend both Lightroom and Photoshop but you must at least have Photoshop. If you are not comfortable using Photoshop, don’t worry – I will walk you through every step. 

What lenses will I need for this workshop?

I recommend bringing the following lenses (or at least something that covers similar focal lengths):

  • 24-70mm or 24 – 105mm
  • 70-200mm
  • 12-24mm or 16-24mm

In other words, you will want an extreme wide angle lens, a good mid-range zoom, and a short telephoto lens. 

Will I need a tripod and ballhead?

You bet! We will be working with shutter speeds of 20 seconds and longer. A solid tripod and tripod head are crucial for this workshop. 

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Jared Lloyd Photography

1627 W. Main st #407

Bozeman MT 59715

c: 406-600-2047

e: jared at jaredlloydphoto dot com