Night Photography Adventure Workshop

We will circle the caldera of this extinct mountaintop volcano, focusing on expansive Milky Way dappled vistas and massive star trails over water.

This workshop was held on August 4 - 6, 2016  
Workshop begins at 10am on August 4 and ends after the shoot the night of August 6th
$895 + applicable taxes
Workshop leaders: Gabriel Biderman & Matt Hill
 (learn more about your teachers)
Official NPS website: Crater Lake National Park


Where We Go: Deep in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, on the peak of an ancient mountain, rests the deepest lake in the U.S. – Crater Lake.  Created over 7,700 years ago by the eruption of Mt Mazama, this sacred site now boasts one of the most awe-inspiring attractions in the country. Look down and you are treated to views of the caldera’s pure, blue waters. Look up and you’ll see the darkest skies, brightest stars, and mesmerizing arc of the Milky Way. Void of almost any light pollution, there is nothing like experiencing a national park at night. Doing so with nocturnal know-it-all’s Gabe and Matt at the front of the classroom is an unforgettable experience. Strategically planned when there will be little to no moonlight, the conditions for viewing and capturing the Milky Way are ideal.

What you learn: This is a very hands-on workshop with the emphasis on honing your night skills and creating the most spectacular and otherworldly photographs once the sun sets. During the day you will become familiar with all the considerations for making a successful night image. Star trails, star points, and putting together awe-inspiring night panoramics are just the starting point.  As a group you will explore the rim of the crater and go over the importance of scouting and the tools used to help prepare for the celestial skies.  Once the sun dips below the horizon, Gabe and Matt will help you begin to see in the dark while you learn to finesse your composition in low light. Due to being out photographing late into the night (early morning?) hours, a bit of sleeping in is built into the schedule. But once you have had your first cup of morning coffee, it’s time to prepare your images for the next day’s critique session. Throughout your time with these two night owls, Gabe and Matt’s combined goal is to spark your imagination, enhance your technique and work with you in order to produce some spectacular shots on this three-night workshop.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Personal story about CrateR Lake

I don’t feel I conquered the crater as much as I felt a oneness with the place.
— Gabe

I’ve always loved a good story. Ancient history and mythology were my favorite subjects in school.  In photography, I’ve adopted the theme of 'ruinism' – the beauty of decay.  

Having heard tales of Crater Lake for many years, I was deeply fascinated. It's an ancient volcano, now filled with the bluest waters the eye could see. I wondered when and why did the first person reach the top of Mount Mazama? Was there anyone even here to witness its eruption 7,700 years ago? There must have been, because the Klamath tribe of Native Americans have long regarded the lake as a sacred site. Stories become legends as each generation continues to tell the tale; in this case it was the epic battle between the sky god Skell and Llao - the lord of the underworld. Their war was fought with lightning, lava, thunder, and soot. The final result was the eruption of Mt Mazama and the creation of Crater Lake.

In later years the Klamath people used Crater Lake as a vision quest, testing their mettle against the steep cliffs of the caldera. Those who were successful were regarded as spiritual leaders amongst the tribe.

When I first visited, I needed to cut through thick fog (or was it smoke?) when approaching Crater Lake at night. The wind was whipping madly by me and I pushed myself to the edge and finally witnessed these legendary waters. And then, the sky opened my eyes to all the stars. I was in some sort of surreal-scape — blue both above and below.

I continued to explore the caldera and several secret spots around the Cascade Mountain Range over the next few days. I don’t feel I conquered the crater as much as I felt a oneness with the place. And perhaps when you join us on this night vision quest of Crater Lake National Park you will feel similarly.



Sun and Moon During Workshop:  Waxing Crescent just after New Moon

4-Aug 5-Aug 6-Aug
Sunset 8:25 PM 8:23 PM 8:22 PM
Sunset position 294.1˚ 293.7˚ 293.3˚
Civil Twilight 8:57 PM 8:55 PM 8:54 PM
Nautical Twilight 9:36 PM 9:34 PM 9.33 PM
Astronomical Twilight 10:20 PM 10:18 PM 10:16 PM
Moonset 9:28 PM 9:58 PM 10:27 PM
% Illumination 5.8% 11.6% 18.8%
Moonset Position 279.7˚ WNW 274˚ WNW 269˚ WNW