Since the beginning of human consciousness, human eyes have scanned the nightly heavens searching for meaning in the brilliant points of light. We are lucky in many areas of the southwest to have dark enough skies with little or no light pollution so we can see the Milky Way and the constellations fairly easily to our naked eye. With telescopes we can study much farther into our universe. And recently, with the increased sensitivity of the DSLR sensor in our digital cameras that many of us own already, we can capture these celestial images within a 30 second exposure with just the right settings-ISO, aperture, white balance, and so on. Although many of us prefer to just allow the modern DSLR do the work on automatic in most of our daytime shots, with a little knowledge about manual settings, anyone can capture these images very successfully for a brilliant forever memento of that special place and dark sky you visited that evening. Many photographers are beginning to enjoy and specialize in this fulfilling photo art, and some professionals who are on the forefront are teaching seminars and multi-day workshops all year round in the best dark sky locations. Zion is a favorite dark sky workshop location, for example. The Grand-canyon Parashant has just been given an award for its dark skies.( http://www.darksky.org/assets/Night_Sky_Conservation/Parks/Parashant/Parashant_Press_Release.pdf )
Many St. George residents can just step outside in their back yards and shoot the starry skies with great success, or take a hike to locations as near as Snow Canyon and many others short hikes to obtain the darkness needed.
Click Photography has a professional photographer, Royce Bair, who specializes in teachingstar shooting seminars coming to St. George Thursday, April 10, to do an in-depth star shooting seminar for Washington County residents. Geared toward the beginning or the more experienced DSLR photographer, Royce will share all of his latest information on the how-to of stars shooting, followed by a lengthy and technical Q and A session for all who are interested. Says Royce, “This seminar will be significantly more in depth than any program I’ve ever done. The seminar will last for two hours. I will then stay for another hour to answer Q and A’s and give extensive training to those who wish to learn more.”
Participants will be shown a digital slide presentation loaded with a lot of technical how-to information, such as: planning when and where to shoot, forecasting, finding dark skies, calculating star alignment, choosing the right lens, exposure calculation, noise reduction techniques, light painting, and blending exposures. Expect a lot of time to be devoted to Q&A. Bring your own star shots on a USB and Royce will give you a an individualized critique as time permits.There are handouts at the event and on-line pdf’s that the audience will have access to assist in getting started or refining their star shooting art. Post-processing techniques will be discussed as well.
Students at Dxie have been given an extra credit assignment to attend this workshop and produce some results according to Yvonne Baur, a Dixie U 4 year degree student in photographic arts, who is already very successful in star shooting, and who plans to attend the seminar for some refining pointers from Royce.
Many amateur and professional photographers have experienced the thrill of seeing how their DSLR sensor can capture the night skies much more effectively than their naked eyes can normally see them. Many more will be able to do so as a result of Royce’s Seminar. Additional info is available through click Photography Club of St. George: http://www.meetup.com/CLICK-Photography-Club-St-George-Utah/events/172104402/
by Meredith Bowman 805-633-0113