Join us for beautiful skies in a great historic location.
Workshop Leaders: David Downs & Barry Benton
On a hill above surrounding plains, a couple of hours west of Ft. Worth, Texas, sits the remains of Ft. Griffin. It rests beneath some of the darkest skies in the state and offers a great local opportunity to capture beautiful night sky imagery.
Based on my experience, you can be assured that this workshop will be loads of fun and will help you do a better job of accomplishing what you want to accomplish with the equipment that you are currently using.
Join us as we focus on the Milky Way, light painting, and even a bit of the Wild West, with longhorns and old barracks.
Friday, July 29, 2022, 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM [ Reserve your spot ]
Saturday, July 30, 2022, 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM [ Reserve your spot ]
Sign up for both nights and receive one on one editing instruction and additional time for individual training.
Ft. Griffin State Historic Site, Albany, TX
- Focusing in the dark
- Creating & avoiding light trails
- Planning for dark skies
- Creating foreground interest
- Proper color balance for night sky
- Processing Milky Way images
- Blending images
- Noise reduction & more…
Additional workshop details
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Fort Griffin State Historic Site
1701 N. U.S. Hwy. 283
Albany, TX 76430
Some past workshop attendees have simply slept in their cars after the workshop, some have driven into Abilene and others have decided to drive home. The area is safe should you decide to grab a few hours in your car before heading back.
Approximately a week before the workshop we will e-mail all registered participants with a detailed agenda, map, etc. So that you’ll know what to expect, here’s our tentative agenda:
5:00 PM – Meet at the Ft. Griffin Campground enclosed pavilion across the highway from the Fort. We’ll get to know each other a bit and cover what to expect over the next few hours. We will cover camera settings and things you need to know before we begin capturing the Milky Way. We will also cover editing tips and techniques at a high level with more detailed instructions to follow in a post class video.
6:30 PM – Short break for dinner then head over to the fort about 7:15. The Sun will set about 8:37 PM, Astronomical Twilight ends at 10:11 and the Galactic Core peaks at 10:52 PM.
Midnight – We’ll wrap up the formal class; participants are free to remain and shoot timelapses or call it an evening as their needs dictate.
Saturday Morning & Early Afternoon – For those that sign up for both days, David will spend some one on one editing time working with the participants images as well as additional guidance on composition and creating time lapses.
Post-workshop – We will send out a video with editing instructions for images captured that evening.
Each student responsible for their own transportation to Fort Griffin. We will team up for driving back and forth from the Fort during the class.
Recommended photography gear
DSLR camera – Crop Sensor or Full Frame
Wide angle lens – The wider the better. For a full frame, 14mm would be best and for a crop sensor a 12mm. I suggest exploring renting a lens through a local camera shop or online through BorrowLenses.com, lensrentals.com or if you’re in the DFW area try aperturent.com. You will also want something with a large aperture so look for an f2.8 or larger.
Tripod – The sturdier the better as we will be taking up to 30-second exposures and there can be a breeze. It doesn’t need to be tall, just sturdy.
Remote shutter release – Alternatively, an understanding on how to set a 2-second shutter delay for your camera.
Headlamp – You’ll need a way to light your feet as you walk around. Some areas are rocky and contain cacti as mentioned earlier.
Apps (optional) – Consider downloading/purchasing the PhotoPills or TPE apps if you plan on doing more night sky photography. It’s also great for planning sunrise and sunset outings.
Batteries – Bring an extra battery if you have one. If not, make sure you have your charger.
Storage – An extra SD or CF card (maybe 2 or 3…)
Bring something to take notes with.
Lastly, bring a desire to learn and have fun! You’re going to walk away with a great experience and a much better understanding of how to take amazing Milky Way images.
Despite the warm weather we will likely experience, plan on wearing long pants. There are cacti and other plants that can leave a nasty scratch.
Bring insect repellent. We will have some in case you forget.
For those that show up early, we may have some opportunity for daytime photography and exploration.
We will be meeting in an air-conditioned room for our pre-nightfall discussion and editing demonstration.
Some past workshop attendees have simply slept in their cars after the workshop was done, some have driven into Abilene and others have decided to drive home.
The area is safe should you decide to grab a few hours in your car before heading back.
If you decide to make a LONG night of it, approximately 30 minutes from Fort Griffin toward Abilene are several very large wind turbines that make for interesting photo opportunities.
No need to worry about water or snacks; we’ll have both available at all times.
Location pro tips
Just below the Fort lays a town simply called The Flat…
“By 1870, a very rough town called “The Flat” sprang up just north of Fort Griffin, which eventually became a stop-off point for cattle drives headed north to Dodge City, Kansas. During that time, several notable characters and gunfighters of the Old West drifted through, including Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Dave Rudabaugh, and the brothers Bat and Jim Masterson. John Selman, who eventually became known for killing outlaw John Wesley Hardin, worked there and in surrounding counties as a deputy sheriff.”
Come early and explore the area!
Class size is limited. Reserve now to guarantee a spot. At least 4 participants are required in order for the class to be held.