2020

Seizing a World of Nights: Announcing Our 2020 Workshops and Tours

As we enter our fifth year of workshops, I must simply say, we are so very humbled and grateful for all of you–readers, attendees, friends and all.

Now … it’s time to announce our 2020 itinerary! Our dream locations span the world. From coastlines to mountain peaks, boats to four-wheel-drives, we will explore this amazing planet and work together on capturing photos of the darker side of its beauty.

Let’s go find those amazing places, improve our skills and become the best night photographers we can be.

Note: Several workshops have already sold out. As always, we announced them to our alumni and our email list first. However, if that workshop truly speaks to you, be sure to sign up for the waitlist! There is no fee to do that, and we’ve had many waitlisters become happy alumni! See our 2020 Workshops page for updates on what is sold out and what is still open.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

A Slight Change in Direction

You may notice above that we're going to Joshua Tree this year. Didn't we do that in 2017? Yes, we did.

From our beginning, we have been committed to offering a workshop at every U.S. national park, one at a time, without repeating. However, for four years we’ve heard the refrain from our most loyal attendees: “Please go back; we want a chance to go with you.” So we’ve listened, and we’re adjusting our mission. We are still committed to running a night photography workshop at every national park possible, creating new experiences, exploring new places, seizing new nights. But we will also do this: Once per year, we will host a workshop in one of the parks we’ve visited before. For you. Because you’re right. These places are too amazing not to revisit.

And this year we start with Joshua Tree, a gem of the desert in southern California.

Our 2020 Night Photography Workshops & Tours

Without further adoing, below is what we’re up to in 2020. This includes all our workshops and tours. A simple rundown, with links, dates, photos and brief descriptions. A ton more info is available about each event by simply clicking on the links provided.


Passport Series Workshops

Our signature event workshops. We take a deep dive into a national park, and a deep dive into the fundamentals and intricacies of night photography, exploring and photographing some of the most beautiful places that have been set aside for the preservation and enjoyment of all. Involves shooting every night, and at least a partial daytime curriculum of lessons and/or image reviews.

  • Joshua Tree, April 25-30

  • Shenandoah, June 6-12

  • North Cascades, August 2-7

  • Badlands, August 9-14

  • Yellowstone, September 20-25

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park encompasses sections of two different deserts—the Mojave and the Colorado—both full of opportunities for remarkable images. We will extensively explore this IDA Dark Sky Park. People come for the trees and bouldering on the rock during the day, but at night these features take on a heightened surreality and make for great foreground subjects while the Milky Way stretches across the sky. We will also have special access to Keys Ranch, a photogenic “ghost ranch” that has several buildings, old cars and lots of machinery to light paint. The workshop will feature dark starry skies, Milky Way explorations, as well as a gentle waxing moon that we can mix with our light painting to create wonderful night images.

Dates: April 25-30, 2020
More Information: Joshua Tree National Park

Shenandoah National Park

Road-trip through time as we fully immerse ourselves in the scenic Shenandoah area. We’ll visit historic towns like Harpers Ferry and venture deep into the surreal underworld of the Luray Caverns. Then of course there is the 105-mile Skyline Drive, which features 75 beautiful overlooks of the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains. We’ll do some daytime hikes to photograph waterfalls, and nighttime shoots to capture the Milky Way rising above the Appalachians. You are sure to enjoy an incredibly immersive experience in our nation’s 20th national park.

Dates: June 6-12, 2020
More Information: Shenandoah National Park

North Cascades National Park

In the northern regions of Washington state, some of the least-visited and most beautiful mountains in the U.S. rise dramatically from the landscape under untainted dark skies. An alpine wilderness rife with dramatic peaks, lush forests, placid lakes, gushing waterfalls, curious wildlife and more. We will explore by day and night, visiting and photographing different regions of this peaceful, special place.

Dates: August 2-7, 2020
More Information: North Cascades National Park

Badlands National Park

Nestled in the Northern Great Plains, Badlands National Park comprises 244,000 acres of otherworldly landscapes, grassy prairie and wildlife such as bison, black-footed ferrets, mountain goats and bighorn sheep. We’ll be visiting during the 2020 Perseid meteor shower, and will be focusing on capturing the incredible eroded landscapes with Milky Way, meteors and some moonlight.

Dates: August 9-14, 2020
More Information: Badlands National Park

Yellowstone National Park South

At well over 2 million acres, Yellowstone is the second largest park in the lower 48. Covering three different states, this park has such a diversity of scenery and biospheres that we decided it was just too much to cover in one workshop! This, the first of our Yellowstone workshops, will cover the southern end of the park. From the Upper Geyser Basins and Old Faithful to the awe-inspiring yellow stone walls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, we’ll explore and photograph some of the more iconic features in the southern half of our first national park.

Dates: September 20-25, 2020
More Information: Yellowstone National Park South

Adventure Series Workshops

A workshop or tour that explores one or more of the many inspiring night photography locations in North America. Examples include national monuments, national forests, scenic byways, urban ruins and more. May also include specialty experiences in narrowly defined regions of national parks, or even narrowly defined themes in broader spaces. May or may not involve a formal daytime education component.

  • Charleston March 29-April 3

  • Trona Pinnacles & Alabama Hills, May 4-9

  • Maine–Mid-Coast, July 12-17

  • Maine–Monhegan Island and Acadia, July 19-24

  • Colorado High Country, October 4-9

Charleston

This gem of the south is a night photographer's dream. We'll explore the natural—the boneyard beaches, the sandy shores, the dark skies over the Atlantic. And we'll explore the man-made—the cobblestone streets, the Civil War forts, the historic cemeteries. And so much more. Welcome to the ghosts and charm of one of America's prettiest cities.

Dates: March 29-April 3, 2020
More Information: Charleston

Trona Pinnacles & Alabama Hills

Two fantastical places in the southern California desert, both known for rock formations that photographers love to make art with. Trona Pinnacles, a collection of 500 spires of rock rising from a dry ancient lake bed. And the Alabama Hills, a set of arches and other formations in the stark and mesmerizing Owens Valley. We'll be there in full moonlight for a light painting-intensive workshop, capturing the nighttime beauty of these surreal and wild places.

Dates: May 4-9, 2020
More Information: Trona Pinnacles & Alabama Hills

Maine–Mid-Coast

The Maine coast epitomizes coastal New England. Rocky points extending out into the sea, spruce forests and sandy beaches, small harbors full of fishing boats and lobster traps, villages with country stores, churches and lighthouses. We’re used to seeing iconic—or some would say cliché—images of this scenery. We’ll take those photos, and you, a couple of steps further by photographing this quintessential scenery at night, with a special emphasis on techniques for photographing different types of lighthouses.

Dates: July 12-17, 2020
More Information: Maine—Mid-Coast

Maine–Monhegan Island and Acadia

Our night photography expedition of the Maine coast continues for a second week. A small island community, a village surrounded by the Atlantic, a lighthouse standing tall upon a hill, an 80-year-old shipwreck. Then we drive up the coast to an amazing national park, small but diverse, with rocky coastline, crushed-stone carriage roads, the Milky Way hovering above. Monhegan Island and Acadia National Park await, in the dark, ready to be photographed.

Dates: July 19-24, 2020
More Information: Maine—Monhegan Island and Acadia

Colorado High Country

Skies seem clearer at higher elevations and Colorado has plenty of those. We’ll be exploring the state’s San Juan Mountain range, which is the largest within the Centennial State and contains some of the highest and most jagged peaks in the lower 48. It also has a ton of jeep roads which allow fun access into these alpine landscapes.

Dates: October 4-9, 2020
More Information: Colorado High Country

Voyager Series Workshops

Photography tours outside the United States, often overseas, sometimes far overseas. We endeavor to trek the globe finding beautiful landscapes and fascinating cultures to immerse ourselves in, especially in the dark. International tours usually forgo classroom or formal meeting time in favor of exploration.

  • Lofoten Islands, March 8-16

  • Orkney Islands, May 16-23

  • East Greenland Schooner, September 4-13

  • Barcelona, November 15-20

  • Easter Island, January 25-February 1, 2021

Lofoten Islands

This will be a winter workshop focused on photographing the rugged snow-covered mountain islands, northern lights, pristine fisherman huts, and the untouched beauty of this remote and breathtaking region of the world. March is a perfect time to visit Lofoten—the milder winter temperatures make the overall experience ideal for catching the auroras over a snow-globe winterscape.

Dates: March 8-16, 2020
More Information: Lofoten Islands

Orkney Islands

During our tour we’ll explore the remarkable ways that past and present collide at the crossroads of the Celtic and Viking worlds. A cluster of 5,000-year-old archeological sites on the archipelago are collectively designated as a World Heritage Site called The Heart of Neolithic Orkney. The main sites consist of two major circles of standing stones, a massive chambered cairn, and the remains of an ancient village that was exposed on a clifftop during a storm in the 19th century. Orcadians live with these monuments in their backyards—these relics are part of the cultural, as well as physical, landscape that influences the way the locals interact with the world.

Dates: May 16-23, 2020
More Information: Orkney Islands

East Greenland Schooner

Experience the extraordinary scenery and Inuit culture of Greenland’s captivating coastline. This trip along the striking and sparsely populated east coast of Greenland will begin and end in the village of Kulusuk, but everything in between is truly an exploration. Glacier hikes, stand-up paddleboarding, sea kayaking, and of course photography––you’ll have the opportunity to do all of these and more on one of our grandest adventures yet.

Dates: September 4-13, 2020
More Information: East Greenland Schooner

Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain’s premier city of culture and art, is rich in delicious dichotomies. From the 13th century gothic Barcelona Cathedral to the 19th century Art Nouveau masterpiece of the La Sagrada Familia. From the respectful and beautiful graffiti to the citywide art installations. Here world class food, art and architecture are woven together to create one of the most beautiful and photogenic cities in Europe.

Dates: November 15-20, 2020
More Information: Barcelona

Easter Island

Few places on Earth are as mysterious or compelling as Easter Island. The giant stone figures known as Moai oversee this remote island 2,200 miles off of the coast of Chile. Most of Rapa Nui, as it’s known to the locals, is a national park. Not only is it hard to get to Easter Island, it is notoriously difficult to access the park at night. In Late January of 2021, National Parks at Night will be taking a maximum of 12 people for an unforgettable week with the Moai.

Dates: January 25-February 1, 2021
More Information: Easter Island

Skills Development Series Workshops

Classroom- and education-intensive workshop experiences designed to teach specific skills and goals, such as post-processing, night portraiture and the like. Usually comprises more classroom or studio time, but will always include some amount of shooting.

  • Post-Processing Intensive–Catskill, January 12-17

  • Post-Processing Intensive–San Francisco, April 18-23

  • Catskill Night Portraiture, October 29-November 3

Post-Processing Intensive–Catskill

You’ve spent a lot of time building your camera skills and honing your photographic vision. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. Post-processing has become an integral part of nearly every discipline of photography. Just as the black and white photographers of the 20th century were able to creatively interpret their work in the darkroom, we can now use modern technology to enhance our photos, and even to create images that were impossible only a few short years ago.

Dates: January 12-17, 2020
More Information: Post-Processing Intensive–Catskill

Post-Processing Intensive–San Francisco

Same as our post-processing class in Catskill (above), but in the beautiful Bay Area.

Dates: April 18-23, 2020
More Information: Post-Processing Intensive–San Francisco

Catskill Night Portraiture

Master the fundamentals of night portraiture with our expanded five-night workshop. Mash up night photography with classical portrait lighting to create dramatic long-exposure portraits. Level up your creativity and craft.

Dates: October 29-November 3, 2020
More Information: Catskill Night Portraiture

But Wait, There’s More!

Don’t see the perfect fit for your schedule or location? Throughout the year we continually announce our Ambassador Series destinations with our partners at Atlas Obscura, Rocky Mountain School of Photography and more.

Also, remember to always monitor our Speaking Engagements page. We give lectures and photo walks in the New York City area and all over the country. And if you want us to come directly to your camera club or meet-up group, feel free to contact us. (Click here to see what we can offer.)

We also offer one-on-one tutoring in-person or via videoconference that can help you build your portfolio, organize your images or give you targeted, individualized education to elevate your photography skills.

Finally, we’d like to express a deep thanks to all our alumni—the 300-plus fine photographers who have accompanied us over the past 3.5 years to wonderful night photography locations such as Acadia, Big Bend, Biscayne, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Dry Tortugas, Death Valley, Great Sand Dunes, Great Smoky Mountains, Olympic, Redwood, Zion and more. We appreciate you so very much.

Do you want to see their work? Check out this playlist of all the workshop slideshows.

Seize the Night

Are you ready to leap with us into 2020 and beyond? Sign up today to #seizethenight!

Matt Hill is a partner and workshop leader with National Parks at Night. See more about his photography, art, workshops and writing at MattHillArt.com. Follow Matt on Twitter Instagram Facebook.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS FROM NATIONAL PARKS AT NIGHT