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From Milky Way to Star Trails: Photographing Nightscapes in Yosemite

Photography Education

Instructor: Kirk Keeler
2024 Date: June 5 - 8 
Focus: Field and Digital Darkroom
Medium: Digital

Join Kirk Keeler in this 4-day workshop designed to get you to the right place, at the right time, so you can capture your stunning nightscapes of Yosemite. Enjoy learning from an excellent local instructor who delights in teaching, while gaining an inside perspective on the Valley's wonders.

$1,200.00 USD
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Overview

Join us for a 4 day photographic workshop; From Milk Way to Star Trails: Photographing Nightscapes in Yosemite. With little light pollution and access roads that lead to the high prominences of bare granite, Yosemite National Park boasts some of the best locations in the world to photograph at night. With a decade of night photography knowledge and experience in this national park gem, Kirk Keeler  will get you to the  right place, at the right time, so you can capture your stunning nightscapes of Yosemite. From the Milky Way, to Star Trials, and Stars As Points Of Light above Yosemite Icons, you will come away with an extraordinary and varied array of night images from your week out amongst the stars.

SUMMER 2024 – June 5 - 8

Workshop Details

Photographing Nightscapes in Yosemite
INSTRUCTOR Kirk Keeler
FOCUS Field / Digital Darkroom
MEDIUM Digital
LEVEL Intermediate to Advanced
ATTENDEES 8
TUITION $1200

This four-day workshop is designed for the intermediate to advanced photographer. Due to the advanced digital darkroom techniques used, you are required to be proficient in using Adobe Lightroom’s Develop module, as well as have a thorough understanding of layer methods in Adobe Photoshop.

With little light pollution and access roads that lead to the high prominences of bare granite, Yosemite National Park boasts some of the best locations in the world to photograph at night. With a decade of night photography knowledge and experience in this national park gem, Kirk Keeler  will get you to the  right place, at the right time, so you can capture your stunning nightscapes of Yosemite. From the Milky Way, to Star Trials, and Stars As Points Of Light above Yosemite Icons, you will come away with an extraordinary and varied array of night images from your week out amongst the stars.

Emphasis will be on bringing you to several prime locations to teach the art of capturing images at night. Kirk will demonstrate how to use apps to visualize your night photograph prior to going to the location. There will also be a discussion on equipment and photographic setting choices that offer the foundation for attaining the best RAW images for dark sky night photography. A handy PDF with chronological steps will be given to download onto your mobile device for use in the field as a reference.

This workshop offers a blend of field and digital darkroom experience. Evening and night hours will be dedicated to field sessions, with morning and afternoons devoted to learning how to optimize and assemble your RAW images using a blend of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.


Concepts include:

Stars and Sensors: How our cameras ‘see’ light in the digital age, especially star light.

Tools of the Night: From Lenses and Cameras to accessories – all the tools you need for a successful night of shooting.

Composing in the Dark: Tips you need for creating visually engaging, technically proficient night compositions.

Sharp Stars: A comprehensive guide on obtaining sharp focus in the darkest of environments.

Night Performances: How to make your night captures ‘sing’, using a blend of Adobe Lightroom and advanced Photoshop blending techniques.

Due to the extreme low-light conditions this workshop will encounter, you are also required to have a full-frame SLR or mirrorless camera and lenses with apertures of 2.8 – 1.4 or lower to gather enough light onto the sensor. A questionnaire and list of products will be sent to you in advance of the workshop to ensure you have the appropriate gear.

Some locations will be near roadsides, while others require a 1-mile round-trip hike on unpaved, uneven surfaces at night. You MUST be in good physical condition to participate in the workshop.

Typically, field sessions begin around sunset and might last into the early morning hours, with morning and afternoon time spent indoors on digital processing and final image assembly. The goal is to have you leaving the workshop with one or more finished night images you are proud to call your own!

Due to the prevalence of COVID 19 as these workshops are scheduled, class sizes have been reduced to maintain health safety during the workshop. If the situation changes, class sizes may be increased  to normal.

About the Instructor


Kirk Keeler Portrait

Kirk Keeler has had a life steeped in the arts. At a young age, his parents encouraged an artistic upbringing through drawing and painting, as well as a musical background, providing him with a melodica and piano lessons between 7 and 9 years of age. His musical endeavors continued in high school when his best friend gifted him a guitar, on which he taught himself using a Mel Bay guitar chord book. All of this took place in his hometown of Calistoga, California – a town in the Napa Valley where the world-renowned scenery hugely influenced his love of the outdoors.

It wasn’t until college at Sonoma State University that photography grabbed ahold of Kirk – in particular, landscapes. He immensely enjoyed two gifts his sophomore year – a poster of Ansel Adams’ “Clearing Winter Storm” and a book his Aunt gave him, “The Yosemite” – text by John Muir and photographs by renowned National Geographic photographer, Galen Rowell. These gifts produced two passions for Kirk; a burgeoning interest of fine art photography and a love of a National Park in his native California – Yosemite. Read More

You can see more of Kirk's work on his website (www.kirkkeeler.com)

He can be contacted at: kirk@kirkkeeler.com


Workshop FAQ

Find answers to your questions about our Photography Workshops in our FAQ. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need additional help. You can reach us by email at photoed@anseladams.com or by phone (650) 692-3495. 

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What to Expect

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Clothing / Dressing for the Elements

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Cancellation Policy

Multi-day Photography Workshop Cancellation Policy: We rely on your confirmed attendance to make important arrangements for the workshop. If you need to cancel, please let us know no fewer than 45 days prior to the first day of your workshop for a refund of your tuition, less a 10% non-refundable charge. Refunds cannot be made for cancellations initiated within 45 days of the first day of the scheduled workshop, or for no-shows, for any reason. If you are concerned with this possibility, please consider purchasing travel insurance.

Workshop registration is NOT transferable.

In the extremely rare event that The Ansel Adams Gallery needs to cancel a workshop, we will let you know at least 14 days prior to the first day of the scheduled workshop, and immediately refund your full tuition. However, we will not be responsible for non-refundable airline tickets or lodging reservations. (Lodging reservations made through Yosemite Hospitality, Aramark are fully refundable 14 days in advance).

It is recommended not to purchase airline tickets or make non-refundable deposits on lodging that cannot be canceled 14 days prior to the initiation of the event. The Ansel Adams Gallery highly recommends travel insurance to help with an unfortunate travel event.

COVID-19 Policy

COVID WORKSHOP PRECAUTIONS:The Ansel Adams Gallery is trying to create a workshop environment that is safe for all attendees. In doing so, the gallery realizes that workshop participants will have differing opinions in regards to the Covid-19 Policy. The gallery will side with caution and safety. The Ansel Adams Gallery will follow current CDC Guidelines in pace with the evolution of the Covid-19 Virus. Additional measures may be instituted and updated for the purpose of improved safety of all attendees.

The Gallery will provide the following:
COVID-19 rapid test upon arrival
Masks
Hand sanitizer
Sanitation wipes
Room Air Filtration

COVID-19 POLICY

The Ansel Adams Gallery will require all attendees to show proof of a current negative result from a supplied Covid-19 Rapid Test. This negative Covid-19 Rapid Test result will be required after travel to Yosemite and prior to entry into the first day of the workshop. A Covid-19 Rapid Test Kit will be included in your welcome package available at check in at the Yosemite Valley Lodge or Ahwahnee Hotel. It is very important to inform us if you have chosen different accommodations. A gallery representative will then make alternative arrangements for your receipt of the Covid-19 Rapid Test.

The Ansel Adams Gallery highly recommends travel insurance to help with an unfortunate travel event.

This pre-workshop information may be emailed to the education coordinator at photoed@anseladams.com.

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