Monument Valley Astrophotography Workshop
Dates: September 29 - October 1st, 2019
Class Size: 6
Spots Available: 0
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Investment: $1,250 (Lodging Included)
Have you ever wanted to create breathtaking milkyway photos in one of the most iconic places in the southwest? If so, this workshop is for you! Join me for a two night workshop under some of the darkest skies in North America, Monument Valley! As an added bonus, we will also be photographing the park during sunset before adventuring out with our Navajo Guide, Quanah (some of his pictures are included below), to caves and other locations the public aren't allowed. So if you’ve been interested in learning how to photograph the night sky and explore this desert wonderland, this is the workshop for you! From beginners to professionals, this workshop is geared for all skill levels! I will work with each individual to ensure every client has a strong understanding of everything from creating unique compositions to the technical skills required to create your best astro photos.
These milky way photography workshops are a lot of fun, but more importantly, safe and secure. I instruct under CPR / AED certifications with location permits. Also, out of the respect for National & State Parks, I also enforce the "leave no trace" rule and "leave it better" ethics to keep parks clean and trash-free.
-"If you're considering attending one of Sean Parker's workshops, let me say as an alumni that after spending a few informative and inspirational days with Sean, you will be prepared to photograph EPIC star pictures of the kind that you now can only dream about. I highly recommend that you book Sean's workshop now!" -Tony Prince
-"This workshop was wonderful to attend. Each individual student got as much assistance and instruction as needed. The opportunity to create dramatic images becomes much easier after working with the Starman, Sean Parker." -Gary Smith
-"After attending Sean's amazing workshop, I took the post processing class. The photo was nice to start, but after learning how to edit, the whole thing popped! It made a world of difference. I would highly recommend his workshops!" - Amy Utter
This is a 3-day / 2 night workshop class which includes both infield and post-processing instruction. Prepare to learn A LOT. This workshop will go over a ton of material and techniques so a 3-day course gives us enough time to explore numerous locations and utilize all the information we learn during the workshop.
We'll spend the first hour during our meet-and-greet discussing the workshop overview, camera settings, and other pre-shoot information. After orientation we will head to the shooting location for sunset and begin shooting! A more detailed itinerary will be provided to confirmed participants.
This is a 6 person max workshop. Smaller class sizes allows the best possible learning conditions in a group setting, and is more personal. If you would like a private 1-on-1 workshop, that can be arranged before or after these dates. Please email me if you are interested in doing so.
What Will I Learn?
-How to prepare for your shoot.
-Camera & lens overview.
-Camera exposure settings for optimal imagery.
-General Timelapse techniques with emphasis on Astro Timelapses (milkyway moving across the sky, startrails, etc)
-How to focus your lens at night.
-A general astronomy course so you can easily understand moon cycles, earth’s orbit, how to find the milkyway, planets, meteor showers, etc.
-How to photograph the milkyway, capture star trails, long exposures, and light painting.
-Special tips and techniques.
-Advanced camera techniques for focus and exposure blending.
-How to post process your photos to get the most detail and best quality for printing!
-Sunset shooting tips
-Social Media & Business Tips
What Will I Need?
-A DSLR Camera that can perform in Manual (M) Mode and user manual.
-At least 2 fully charged camera batteries and 16GBs of memory card storage.
-A WIDE angle lens that is at least 24mm with an aperture of f/2.8 or faster is recommended for astrophotography. I highly recommend renting a 14mm or 15-30mm Tamron F/2.8. For sunset shooting bring a variable zoom lens such as a 24-70 or 24-105 and a 70-200 telephoto. Bring UV and Grad Filters as well. Lens rental is available through www.lensRentals.comif necessary. Click the link above and use code "PARKER15" to save 15%!
-Shutter Release or Intervalometer (Please email me camera make/model so I can find the right one for you.)
-Food and snacks.
Workshop attendees will also get an Overview PDF at the end of the workshop and exclusive access to my Facebook Alumni group! In this group I have over 130+ members who have attended my workshop and is a great place to post questions, events, and even meet up with fellow alumni's!
We will meet mid afternoon for our meet and greet, get to know one another and go over camera gear and our itinerary, have a small dinner, then head out to catch sunset before meeting our Navajo Guide. The night will wrap up around 1am or so and we will be back in our hotels asleep by 3 or 4 am. Our mornings and afternoons will be spent resting and editing our photos in the business center. A more detailed itinerary with locations and times will be sent to participants before the workshop.
Post Processing is included in this workshop for attendees in our hotel's business meeting room on the 2nd and 3rd day. I will teach you our successful workflow all the way from importing to exporting your images. You will learn some of the best ways to adjust your photos and reduce noise that is associated with nightscape photography. We will cover how to enhance your photos through Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Starstax. These are programs I use and they are the best for making your images really stand out! Please have these programs installed on your laptop before the workshop. You can download a 30 Day Trial from Adobe. Also ensure that your computer is running at optimal speed and you have an external hard drive with enough hard drive space.
Location & Accommodation
Monument Valley is located in the NE corner of Arizona and Utah and is not exactly close to any major airports. The closest airport is Phoenix and the next closest large airport is either Albuquerque, Vegas, or Salt Lake City. From these airports you will have to rent a car. I recommend flying in a day early and splitting the costs with another participant if you can. We will be based in Kayenta during our workshop so Phoenix is closest.
Accommodation will be shared rooms. Single supplement (your own room) is $250 additional. Please contact me if you would like this option.
Distances to Nearby Airports:
Phoenix – 320 miles
Albuquerque – 324 miles
Las Vegas – 400 miles
Salt Lake City – 380 miles
We welcome all skill levels to our workshop. Please keep in mind that this is not a photography 101 course, so all participants should have working knowledge how to navigate their camera menus and a basic understanding shooting in Manual mode. I keep my group sizes small so I can attend to each individuals needs throughout the workshop and rarely bring out my camera. If you are worried about not receiving enough direction or you have never shot the night sky before, please consider taking a Private 1-on-1 Workshop. As far as physically difficulty is concerned, there is some hiking involved but on both uneven and even terrain. Expect to hike up to 1-3 miles per day and we will stay as close to our vehicles as possible.
Investment & Terms
$1,250 USD per participant. Price includes double occupancy accommodation and guiding. Weather is unpredictable. Weather may compromise our milkyway photography shooting conditions but lessons will continue if the conditions permit. If we are clouded out we will make sure to capture sunset / sunrise and find clear skies at night. A $625 nonrefundable deposit is required to reserve your space in a workshop. Reservations must be made at least 7 days in advance. Please read the full terms and conditions and contact me if needed.
- All access to my brain which includes any questions, recommendations, critiques, or anything photography related
- Hands on instruction with myself and our Navajo Photography Guide
- Photography Permit Fee
- Hotel Lodging (Double Occupancy)
- Workflow, field, and classroom instruction
- Post-Processing course to get the best out of your photos!
(a recorded video of an editing session will be emailed to you!)
What's Not Included
-Transportation (participants will carpool with me and 1 other driver.)
- Food & Beverages
- Photography Equipment Insurance
- Travel Insurance
-Monument Valley Entrance Fee (we will carpool to minimize this.)
Use the Register button below to pay the deposit or full amount on RegFox. If you have any hesitation about signing up, check out the Testimonials at the bottom of the page where clients have shared their experiences. You will receive a detailed itinerary upon completion of payment before the workshop.
About Your Instructors
Sean is one of the most passionate artists I’ve ever known, and it is readily apparent in every photograph he takes. Whether it’s spending long, lonely nights in the desert composing gorgeous star trails or peering into the heavens and gradually coaxing out its natural beauty with advanced telescopes and computer technology, he maintains an unrelenting positive outlook and unmatched work ethic. Knowing firsthand the amount of work required to produce such high quality material, I have profound respect for the mental fortitude required for the journey upon which Sean has embarked. The true mark of a great artist is the constant desire to learn new skills and improve upon the last work, and Sean has these qualities in spades. He has built his incredible set of skills through countless hours of frustrating trial and error, and the amazing thing to consider is that his current output of stunning imagery is simply the tip of the iceberg when compared to the assuredly brilliant career ahead of him. I’m extremely proud and honored to have had the chance to work with Sean and learn from him, and I am confident that he will find success in all of his pursuits, for he already has laid his foundation as a humble, driven, and meticulous artist.
Ryan Olinger is a close friend of mine and has photographed everything from elephants in Africa to erupting volcanoes in Central America. He's assisted my workshops for years and has a strong foundation in a variety of photographic techniques. Additionally, as a wildlife biologist with nearly a decade of experience working around the world he brings a naturalists perspective to every environment. He's currently finishing 2 wildlife documentaries on sea turtles and jaguars he filmed last year.
I go by Quanah and I live and am from Monument Valley, which is on the Navajo Nation. I am Dineh, also known as Navajo. My family and I have deep roots in the Monument Valley areas that go back many generations. I love photography but night photography is what I am passionate about. I am very knowledgeable in photography and locations of the four corners area and often guide photographers around Monument Valley. I am also a photography guide for Majestic Monument Valley Tours.