Learn how to use filters to capture stunning landscape and sunset images, and then dive into the world of astrophotography and learn to photograph the night sky in a fun, interactive group setting.



October 9th Workshop - Introduction to Seascapes and Milky Way - Meteor Shower Peak! 5 to 10 PM

We will kick off the evening capturing seascapes and a beautiful Central Coast sunset, and then we will cover the basics of photographing the Milky Way, as we wait for the sky to darken. When the stars are shining brightly, we will be treated to the annual Draconids Meteor shower. 

This is truly a workshop you will not want to miss! Let’s go over that again:

  1. Intro to Seascapes/Sunsets (5 PM to 6:45 PM)
  2. Intro to Milk Way (7 PM to 7:45 PM)
  3. Meteor Shower! (8 PM to 10 PM)

I can’t imagine a better way to end a work week!

Central Coast Sunset

For the sunset and seascape portion of the class, we will be going over best practices, gear, and camera settings for different types of motion blur in water. Shooting a successful seascape image without using HDR requires the use of a filter system. 

Please note: this is not an HDR class. Capturing your unique vision in a single frame is simply the most satisfying experience as a photographer. There are various practical applications for HDR, and it’s a great tool to have in your tool-belt however, this class does not cover that material. 

Instead, I use a rectangular filter system, positioned in front of my lens, to capture the scene. These are the two filters I use for nearly every seascape image I capture:

  1. 3 Stop Solid Neutral Density Filter
  2. 3 Stop Reverse Graduated Filter (Singh-Ray makes the best)

Through my affiliate program with Singh-Ray, you are able to receive a 10% discount on filters purchased with a special coupon code, as a student of my workshops. I will send you this information once you have booked your spot. 

Check out my blog post about using their reverse grad filter:

What if you don’t have filters and are reluctant to invest?

If you are like me, you like to do things on a budget and get the most bang for your buck. From personal experience with trying other reverse grad filters, I implore you to save and get the Singh-Ray. If you shoot a lot of sunsets and sunrises, you will not regret this purchase. However you will regret buying this filter from any other manufacturer. Singh-Ray invented this filter and simply makes the best one to this day. 

Alternatively, if you have a set of graduated neutral density filters (1,2,3 stop for instance) bring those along. We can talk about how to use them for sunsets, and I will have my filters for demo purposes. Bring any and all filters that you have in your kit. I am happy to go over any questions you have about filters and filter system before the workshop and during our time together. 

Shooting the Night Sky

This portion of the class will include the basics of photographing the Milky Way. We will go over camera settings and best practices to start you on your journey to creating stunning night sky images. If you are a previous workshop attendee, this might be the perfect opportunity to brush up on those fundamentals. For new students this will give you a taste and have you hooked on photographing the night sky. 

Unlike the Spring/Summer Astrophotography Workshops where we leave no stone unturned, this workshop will focus on the basics. Once you have these tools, you will want to take the next step in 2016, and attend one of my more extensive Astrophotography Workshops where we talk about Milky Way panoramas, light painting, locations and planning, capturing star trails, and much much more.

We will be treated to the peak of the annual Draconids Meteor Shower! We will photograph the night sky and enjoy the show as a group, and maybe even catch a meteor in frame.


DATES: scroll down to review options. On Saturday we will start in the evening a few hours before sunset, and work our way into the night capturing photos. On Sunday, there will be an editing and post-processing skills class, as well as a bolt-on second session for those who desire more time in the field (additional fee.)

What do I need to know going into this?

All skill levels are welcome. The more you know about your camera and the editing software, the further ahead you will be than other students at all stages. If we need to talk about photography concepts, such as ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed, at the base level, we can and will do that. We will definitely be talking about these very important concepts and how they relate to photographing the a seascape and the night sky. Any and all questions relating to this will be answered. Don't worry about getting behind!

What gear do I need?

  • A digital camera with high ISO capability, at least ISO 3200. Recommendations: Canon 6D, 5D Mark III, Nikon D610, D750, D810
  • Wide angle lens, widest and fastest (large aperture, i.e. f/2.8 or larger) possible. Recommendations: Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (not useful for general landscape and working with square filters), Canon 16-35mm, Nikon 14-24mm (not useful for general landscape and working with square filters), Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 for Milky way panoramas. A general purpose 24-70 or 70-200mm lens are both great for general landscape and sunset work.
  • Sturdy tripod. Recommendations: Really Right Stuff Series 2 or Series 3 tripod, BH-40 or BH-55 ballhead. I also recommend an L-plate for your camera to easily mount in vertical orientation; useful for Milky Way and panorama shooting.
  • Shutter release cable. Recommendations: There are many third-party options available that are worth evaluating. Choose one with many good reviews.
  • Filter system. This can get fairly complex and options are fairly specific to the camera/lens combination being used. I recommendFormatt-Hitech Filters of the following variety: 3 stop graduated ND filter, 3 stop reverse ND grad (sunsets), 3 stop ND filter, 10 or 16 stop ND filter for mid-day long exposures, circular polarizer. I am happy to offer further advice, and I also recommend visiting their website for more information on how to outfit your lens. I would be remiss if I did not mention a budget option for filters. There are budget options to be found online, shop wisely.
  • Flashlight/headlamp and extra batteries. Recommendations: Your choice, but any light with a red LED will help preserve your night vision.
  • Snacks and water. Recommendations: Some water will be provided. Bring snacks that keep your blood flowing; high protein and lower carb snacks will sustain you better through the evening. Can’t go wrong with mixed nuts and water. There will be no nap time :)
  • Laptop with Adobe Lightroom (recommended but not required) and StarStax (available as free download.) If you do not have a laptop, please bring a notepad so you can benefit from the in-class portion of the instruction.

Transportation Information

Please have your own method of transportation to the workshop location. Due to weather or unforeseen events, the workshop location may change during the event, so please have access to transportation for the duration of the workshop.

What is the goal of the group session?

The group session is designed to lead you from start to finish; from taking the photo in the field to post-production and editing on your computer, to create a final image. We will go over basic concepts and best practices for shooting. This will be applied in the field, and I will work with each person one-on-one to ensure that you walk away with photographs you can treasure. The next day, we will meet up for a post-processing workflow session using Adobe Lightroom. Those that choose to book Session #2 will meet back up to solidify the concepts we discussed and spend more time on intermediate concepts. When the instruction is complete, you will have final edited photos to enjoy, print, and share.

Will we be photographing the Milky Way?

Yes. The Milky Way's position in the sky is moving constantly throughout the year and will be rising above the horizon during our shooting time. We are purposefully starting in-field instruction during the twilight hours, so the basics can be covered before optimal shooting time, and the Milky Way can be successfully photographed as soon as it is dark enough and the Milky Way has risen. Can't wait!


".... I can say without doubt it's best photography workshop I ever took. His planning was immaculate and he was constantly in touch with the participants providing weather and location updates until an hour before the workshop. He selected 3 locations for the shoot (from the most to least desirable) and we ended up going to the 3rd location because of the weather. If he hadn't planned, we would have come back with cloudy skies. He spent the first hour explaining camera settings and exposure which was above and beyond any paid workshops (including Nikon) I'd been to. We didn't have worry about the camera settings for the rest of the night. I'd strongly recommend his workshop..."


"...It was excellent, he provided all the information with on the scene instruction as well as thorough notes. The workshop was small and each person got a lot of one-on-one instruction and help. The next day we met in a classroom for post-editing instruction. I enjoyed the workshop and would definitely recommend it..."