RBA & AF Astrophotography

AstroCamp - Death Valley

Posted: November 20th, 2017



This is a 3 days/2 nights nightscape astrophotography camp + processing workshop with Rogelio Bernal, that's me. If you've never heard of me, check my list of awards or my work here in DeepSkyColors.com, or in my Flickr account. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Time and weather permitting, I will also demonstrate deep-sky imaging, using the gear I normally use for this type of astrophotography.

SITE: Death Valley National Park
DATE: April 19 to 21, 2018
(Thu, Fri, Sat)
CLASS SIZE: 1 to 7

PRICE FULL WORKSHOP: $799 ($279 reservation)

Price does not include food, lodging or transportation, but free coffee will be available at all times during the sessions :-)


Make your selection


Just to name some of the things we'll be doing, we'll certainly do star trails and discuss several techniques to produce them. Scene illumination and light painting (not the same thing) will also be covered, including some very interesting and novel approaches. And of course, we will all produce Milky Way panoramas and maybe reflections. Each target and technique will be accompanied by explanations, details, alternatives...

Now, when I said "we'll be doing..." that doesn't mean that the main goal of the workshop is for you to come out with nice pictures. Expect also an in-depth explanation about the myriad of topics one cannot get away without: planning sessions and shots, focusing, framing, mosaics, depth, light, sky, rules (and when to break them), the ISO/aperture/length equation, location, inspiration, technique and artistry... Whether you want to just take some nice night (photo) souvenirs, or your goal is to find your very own style and produce unique imagery, this in-field camp/workshop will teach you everything you need to know and more.

About post-processing, I believe that in addition to the concepts and processes everyone needs to know, which will be covered, each of us have our own book, and you'd be learning a lot about mine.

We will visit some classic Death Valley locations. There will definitely be a fair amount of driving at night during at least one of the nights. I will try to keep most sites easy to drive to, but we might also do some light to moderate off-road. We will NOT drive 4WD-only roads unless everyone has a 4WD vehicle and is comfortable. Light to moderate hiking is also expected.


Unlike other fine workshops given by other seasoned nightscape photographers, here you'll be next to a "world renowned" deep-sky photographer - in addition to night landscape photographer. Not many people are aware of this, but knowing some deep-sky imaging fundamentals is going to help you enormously on your nightscape efforts, trust me. I have surprised nightscape photographers before when it comes to this particular aspect, and I'm hoping you too will be learning amazingly useful techniques no other workshop offers today that I'm aware of. 


A high-clearance vehicle is highly recommended. 4WD not required, but also recommended. If you don't have either, please contact me.

For equipment, please bring:

  • Your DSLR camera
  • A wide angle lens of at least 24mm or wider, the fastest the better, f/2.8 or less recommended.
  • A tripod.
  • An intervalometer is highly recommended.
  • A 32GB card for your camera and a supply of batteries to last both nights shooting (bringing a charger is also a good idea, but we will not provide a charging station).
  • A headlamp (it should have a "red light" mode) and a flashlight.

  • Bringing your laptop is highly encouraged, but not a must.

  • Food and snacks! Also a decent amount of water and any non-alcoholic beverage you like.

As for everything else, remember that the weather in Death Valley can be extremely hot and extremely cold. Be prepared for very hot temperatures during the day, and cold temperatures at night, so please bring warm clothes, gloves, hat... Also bring hiking boots if possible, or at the very least, sneakers.


Remember that we don't provide lodging, transportation or food - just insane amounts of coffee - so make sure you can drive a vehicle around the park at night (attendees can arrange groups in less cars, at your discretion) and make your proper arrangements so you can stay fresh, fed and rested during the workshop.

For lodging, there are lodging facilities in and out of the park where you should be able to find a room, but the sooner you book it, the better. If you wait too long you may have trouble finding a place. I recommend the Stovepipe Wells Hotel, as that's the place I and other attendee have stayed in the past, but you're welcome to stay somewhere else.


Frequently described by peers as one of the most recognized and influential deep-sky and night photographers in the world today, I've been all around the globe doing astrophotography in many of its forms, predominantly deep-sky and nightscape photography. I'm told to also have inspired many other astrophotographers with my personal "deep and wide" style and techniques. I have given talks and workshops about
astrophotography and image processing in USA and Latin America, Australia, Europe and Asia... For a list of awards and accolades please click here.

Just as my work has often been defined as a unique, easily recognizable personal style, expect the same from my presentations, field trips and workshops. I will not just share with you the know-how to make standard, average nightscapes. Learning the tools and basic methods is only the beginning.

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