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Tucson Arizona Milkyway & Startrails Workshop

Have you ever wanted to photograph the bright and vivid milkway in a dark desert sky? Well if so, this Tucson workshop is for you! There is a reason why Tucson is considered the Astronomy capital of the world, so come and see why during this exciting Night Sky Photography Workshop! 

Tucson is just a 90 minute drive from Phoenix and offers something for everyone. For me, it's the dramatic landscapes and dark skies which is why I hold workshops here. After shooting for years around Tucson, I have found some of the best locations to teach in. With many scenic compositions around, you'll have lots to do & photograph from sunset to sunrise so be sure to plan an extra day or 2 after attending my workshop if you can. 

As Milkyway Shooting begins around Midnight,  now is the time to start shooting! I encourage you to attend these earlier workshops so you have a full 5 months of practice as conditions improve. My workshops generally sell out during summer months, so spring is a great time to attend and begin learning! 

This workshop is sold out! If you'd like to hire me for a private workshop before or after these dates, please email me!

Dates: May 12-14th 2023

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Class Size: 6

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Spots Available: 0

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Difficulty: Easy - Moderate

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Investment: $375 - $699

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A one night option is available May 12th but will not include post-processing* Just pay the deposit of $375 and you will be registered. 2-night participants will have registration priority over 1-night signups. Optional - 1 night registrations could be moved to the night prior to the group workshop as well. Contact me if any questions.

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-"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 2-night (or 1-night if you chose)  workshop opportunity where we will meet Friday & Saturday night. We'll meet a week prior to our date over Zoom for an pre-workshop introduction to go over gear, the itinerary, and learn about each other and our night sky experiences.

When we meet on location, we will spend some time familiarizing ourselves with the location and our gear, then  head out to shooting location. From there we will spend 4-5 hours under the stars capturing amazing photos! There will be a post processing session / critique in person or after the workshop via zoom as well!

What Will I Learn?

-How to prepare for your shoot.

-Camera & lens overview.

-Camera exposure settings for optimal imagery.

-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.

-Milkyway Panoramas

-Special tips and techniques such as photo stacking to reduce noise.

-Advanced camera techniques for focus and exposure blending. 

-My successful workflow on PC using Lightroom, Starstax, Sequator, and basic photoshop adjustments. All my photos are single photos or stacked...I do not composite my images and teach hours of layers and masks in photoshop! My workflow is very simple and affective.

-Social Media Tips

What Will I Need?

-A DSLR or Mirrorless Camera that can perform in Manual (M) Mode and user manual.

-At least 2 fully charged camera batteries and 32GBs of memory card storage.

-A WIDE angle lens that is at least 16 or 24mm with an aperture of f/2.8 or faster is recommended. I highly recommend variable lenses such as the Tamron 15-30, Tamron 17-28, or other 12-24, 16-35, 14-24 lenses. These lenses are perfect for astro and do not limit you to a certain focal length giving you more photo compositions while retaining prime lens sharpness. I will have Tamron's 17-28 F/2.8 Sony E-Mount lenses available for my clients to use. Other Lens rentals are available through www.lensRentals.com if necessary. Click the link above and use code "PARKER15" to save 15%!

-Shutter Release or Intervalometer (Please make sure you check your  camera make/model. Most cameras come with a built in intervalometer nowadays and will work fine for the startrails but not the long exposure techniques.)

-Sturdy Tripod w ballhead (recommended)


-Warm clothes.

-Bug Repellent (summer months.)

-Camping Chair.

-Food and snacks (some provided.)

Workshop attendees will  get an Overview PDF at the end of the workshop and exclusive access to my Facebook Alumni group! In this group I have over 200+ members who have attended my workshop and is a great place to post questions, events, and even meet up with fellow alumni's! 


This workshop will be held in a pre-selected location in the Sonoran Desert on the east side of Tucson in / around Saguaro National Park (commercially permitted.) A location like this one yields the most stunning photographs, and sets the backdrop for a truly dramatic composition. As the milkyway rises in the Southeast, this is a great location to photograph as we are shooting into pitch black skies!  We will meet around 11pm  and go over the necessary equipment, as well as the camera settings needed for night photography. Before the milkyway begins to rise, we will spend 4 to 5 hours hours working with different techniques such as milkyway compositions, light painting, star trails, and much much more! 

-For visitors outside the Tucson area, I recommend flying into Tucson airport (TUS)
-Phoenix (PHX) is a great alternative but be prepared to drive ~90 minutes to Tucson.

-Workshop lodging and classroom sessions will be held at Hotel Mccoy. Please make your lodging reservation with them. I absolutely love this hotel and I think you will too.  Please Call 844-782-9622 and mention my photography workshop for a 25% discount! Hotel information visit http://hotelmccoy.com/.


I welcome all skill levels to my workshops. 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 will bring out my camera on occasions to get group photos and a single composition after everyone has gotten their shot. If you're worried about not receiving enough direction or you have never shot the night sky before, please consider taking a Private 1-on-1 Workshop. They might be a better fit for you.   As far as physically difficulty is concerned, there is some hiking involved. We will be a ~half-mile from our cars and be prepared to walk on uneven desert terrain.


Post Processing is included in this workshop for 2-night participants! If you're interested in learning a customized &  successful workflow from importing, to color and tonal adjustments, sharpening, noise reduction, and exporting to print or web, please attend the 2-night option. For those who only attend the 1-night session, you can find a 45-minute tutorial video on my alumni facebook group.

Investment & Terms

$375 for 1 night participants and $699 for 2 night participants. Alumni's receive a 15% discount. Use code ALUMNI if you have taken a workshop with me before. Must be 18 or older to sign-up. Prices do not include meals, accommodations, transportation, or park fees. Weather is unpredictable. Weather may compromise our expected photography shooting conditions but lessons will continue if the conditions permit. A 50% nonrefundable deposit is required to reserve your space in a workshop. If weather does cancel our workshop, the non refundable deposit will be transferred towards another workshop or print of your choice. Reservations must be made at least 3 days in advance. Please read my full Terms & Conditions page before registering and contact me for late registration if needed.

What's Included:

– An fun and adventurous workshop in dark sky regions of the Sonoran Desert!

– Quality, professional, photography guiding and instruction

– Post-Processing Session (multi-night participants only)

– A fun, positive, interactive learning environment

– Special Use Photography Location Permits

– A small group size of 6 photographers maximum

– Water & Snacks

Print / Portfolio worthy images

What's Not Included:

– Airfare / transportation to Tucson, Arizona

- Lodging  (Recommendations will be emailed to you)

– Transportation during the workshop (though we carpool as much as possible)

– Meals

– Personal items, souvenirs, passport/visa fees as applicable, and gratuities

– Optional activities

– Trip insurance (highly recommended for any cancellations by both parties) Check out World Nomads for trip insurance!

– Instructor Gratuities 


Click the register button below. You will be redirected to RegFox which is a secure payment website that will process your payment and registration information. You will also fill out a short questionnaire here that will help me get a better understanding of your photography experience and knowledge.  If you have any hesitation about signing up, check out my 5-star google reviews or the Testimonials page where clients have shared their experiences. You will receive a detailed itinerary upon registration before the workshop date.


Please visit my Workshop Information & F.A.Q page for more information, frequently asked questions, and general inquiries. If you don't find your answer there, please contact me!

Group Photos

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