Milky Way Photography Workshops
Master the Art of Photographing this Majestic Sight
What Gear Do You Need To Bring?
The Minimum Equipment Needed
Milky Way Photography
Successfully photographing the Milky Way has got to be one of the most rewarding of all photographic accomplishments. It brings to the viewer a chance to marvel at the incredible vision of a sky filled with the millions of stars that make up the iconic sight that is the Milky Way. In our polluted and constantly lit cities and towns the potential to see this spectacle has all but disappeared such is the influence of 'light pollution'. This also becomes evident in most of the locations we shoot from in Okinawa. Due to the settings required for night sky photography we invariably will see a distant glow from the accumulated light from homes, street lighting, traffic and billboards etc, sadly that is one aspect we cannot change. Even when photographing the Milky Way over Mount Fuji I was getting huge light pollution issues in the resulting images from the glow of Tokyo, over 100 miles away!
What Will Be Taught?
In order to get the most from photographing the night skies there are a number of factors involved in the photographic application. Pretty much everything comes down to stability and timing. There are formulas that I will teach relevant for lens choice and how to figure the more complex issues out but in a simple and easily understood delivery. Core elements that will be outlined will include the following.
- How Do I Photograph Stars?
- Planning and Execution
- Composition and Focus at Night Time
- Shutter Speeds and Focal Length
- ISO and Considerations for Digital Noise
For the most part, attendees of this course are those who have an idea about their gear, they understand the basics of photography and are simply looking to expand their creative knowledge base. Folks should be comfortable with the menu system of their cameras and be happy about manipulating them during times of reduced light.
This is an overnight trip and there are no beds booked! Make sure you get a decent rest before attending, "If you snooze, you lose". Locations per Workshop change given the Monthly progression of the track of the Milky Way. Personally I like to incorporate the Ocean or moving bodies of water such as rivers or waterfalls in such imagery as it adds another incredible dynamic to the image.
Our 'Day' in fact is an evening, an overnight at any one of a number of carefully selected locations around Okinawa. These may be on the mainland or even at times on islands accessible by late afternoon ferries. This is a standard workshop timeline:
- 1700hrs - Meet and Greet at a to be determined rallying point.
- 1730hrs - Depart for shoot location
- 1930hrs - Arrive at shoot location
- 1930hrs - Theory and Technique Lecture
- 2000hrs - setting up initial shooting placements
- 2100hrs - Shooting commences
- 0300hrs - Shooting ends
- 0330hrs - Depart for Southern Okinawa
- 0530hrs - Arrive Southern Okinawa, End of Workshop.
I prefer to work in smaller groups with a maximum attendee number of six photographers, given that I will also be acting in a personal overseeing role during the practical part of the shoot. Attendance is on a strictly first come first served basis with all fees being settled at least one week prior to the departure date. Minimum attendance is one photographer.
Minimum Equipment Requirements
In order to get the best from this workshop the below outlines are for what I suggest as the minimum equipment requirements. There are also some Amazon links for recommended gear in the right hand sidebar of this site. Feel free to snoop around those links:
- DSLR Style camera that allows manual access to ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture
- A good sturdy Tripod
- A Wide Angle lens with a minimum focal length of 14mm and maximum aperture around f2.8
- Electronic Shutter Release capability
- Adequate clothing for the weather forecast
- Adequate liquid and snacks to get you through the dark hours.
- Insect repellant. I've yet to find a bug free location on Okinawa!
As we all know we get a bit of rain here in Okinawa! If it looks like we're going to get slammed on the day of the trip I simply return any payments that have been made and hope to look at rescheduling. I don't want, or like, to hold on to payments if an event has been cancelled, it's better to keep everything simple and straightforward. That said I have been with folks on shoots where we've had covered skies until the middle of the night only for the clouds to part and have some of the best shoots for the Milky Way. It all comes down to the popular vote, if people want to forge on I'm fine with that. In this eventuality I am prepared to return the workshop fee, minus the deposit, to those who decide to bail on the shoot.
Does shooting the Milky Way hold a deep fascination with you? Why not reach out and fire away with any questions if I may not have covered them here. You can contact me here.
- From: 09/21/2017
- To: 09/22/2017
- Starting at: 18:30
- Finishing at: 06:00
- ¥ 15,000.00
- Hamahiga Island