Taylor Photography Workshops

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Overview | Dates | Investment | Itinerary | Gear | Weather | Transporation & Lodging
Post-Processing Courses

Thanks for your interest in my night photography & post-processing workshops. Observing and photographing the features of the night sky is an awe-inspiring experience and I invite you to come and join me for a night of adventure and wonder capturing these scenes with your camera! If you’re anything like me, after just one session of shooting the night sky you will be hooked and wanting to go out as much as possible to see what else you can capture—every single time I go out for a night shoot I see and hear something different and amazing.

My name is Mike Taylor and I have been a scenic & nature photographer for over 10 years and a studio photographer for 7 years and counting. I am an accomplished landscape astrophotographer, with my recent work having been featured on Space.com, the International Dark Sky Association, Earthsky.org, Spaceweather.com, Accuweather Astronomy, and multiple other science websites and social media page—you can check out those images on my PORTFOLIO site if you haven’t already.

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Overview:  These night photography workshops are designed to be technically informative, casual and most of all fun. My goal in teaching these courses is to share everything I know about shooting the night sky with you so that YOU can create stunning images of the Milky Way, stars and constellations, star trails & time lapse techniques, meteors, etc. while also incorporating important landscape elements. And while I cannot promise that you’ll get to see the Northern Lights (although there’s always that chance!), I can guarantee you that the in-the-field instruction, assistance and technical expertise that you will learn are the elements of night photography that you will retain and take with you on your next adventure! Whether you are a beginning night shooter or an experienced astrophotographer, I will teach you tips, tricks, light-painting techniques and composition ideas that will take your stargazing photography to the next level, all provided in a casual manner with a humble sense of humor.

Spaces in my small group workshops are available now. If you prefer a one-on-one teaching experience, we can do that as well—simply contact me for rates and schedules. Although I am based in Maine, I am more than happy to accommodate anyone who wants instruction in the US provided our schedules coincide and you can take care of my travel and lodging expenses.

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Dates & locations:  These workshops in the state of Maine have been planned around the New Moon dates. New Moon refers to the cycle when the moon is not present which leads to darker skies and a better chance to see the other, more impressive sky features mentioned above. I have also scheduled these dates on Friday & Saturday nights but I am happy to meet up during the week as well if it works out better for you—and I am always open to teaching a course using moonlight as a tool for foreground lighting or if you want to capture shots involving the moon—as always, simply contact me for scheduling.

Investment: $200 per participant.

Payment: You can use the Paypal buttons linked below for each workshop.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse – Friday August 2

(Aug 6th is New Moon)


Pemaquid Point Lighthouse – Saturday August 3

(Aug 6th is New Moon)

Marshall Point Lighthouse – Friday August 9

(Aug 6th is New Moon)


Marshall Point Lighthouse – Saturday August 10

(Aug 6th is New Moon)

Acadia National Park – Friday August 30

(Sept 4th is New Moon)

Acadia National Park – Saturday August 31

(Sept 4th is New Moon)

Acadia National Park – Friday September 6

(Sept 4th is New Moon)

Acadia National Park – Saturday September 7

(Sept 4th is New Moon)

Moosehead Lake – Friday October 4

(Oct 4th is New Moon)

Moosehead Lake – Saturday October 5

(Oct 4th is New Moon)

Western Maine Mountains – Friday October 11

Western Maine Mountains – Saturday October 12

Itinerary:  For each workshop, we’ll arrive at a predetermined spot for a meet-and-greet just before or during sunset blue hour, take some photos and review camera settings & other pre-shoot details to ensure everyone is informed and ready to get the best shots possible of the night sky. We’ll discuss the “how-to’s” of setting up your gear for awesome night shots by incorporating important landscape characteristics as well as the night sky features. We’ll talk about how/when these features move through the sky during our shoot and how to capture them via still photography and by using star trails & time lapse techniques. We’ll discuss the “Exposure Triangle” (aperture, shutter speed & ISO), how to focus your camera at night, different white balance settings & when to use them, general astronomy including the moon, the Milky Way, Polaris & constellations, as well as information on viewing & photographing the Northern Lights.

In general, we will be photographing the night sky from 10 or 11 PM until about 4 AM.

While we are photographing the night sky I will take time to talk with each participant individually, answer questions that you may have, help with any troubleshooting issues that arise, suggest ways to improve your composition & lighting, and make sure that you understand the technical aspects of shooting in the dark so that you can continue your night photography adventures with confidence!

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Gear & clothing – what you need to bring with you:

  • Your DSLR Camera that is capable of full manual mode including focusing
  • Your camera’s user manual (you should familiarize yourself with this anyway to use your camera to its fullest potential)
  • Camera lens capable of f/3.5 minimum speed – wide angle lenses with a large aperture of f/2.8 or f/1.4 are preferred
  • Tripod – A strong, solid tripod is an absolute necessity for night photography
  • Extra camera batteries – if you only have one, make sure it’s charged up before you head out!
  • Memory cards – at least one 16 GB card is preferred
  • Shutter release cable / wireless remote IF your camera doesn’t have a self-timer (most newer DSLR’s do)
  • Warm clothes – you can always take layers off. A wind breaker is always great to have.
  • A headlamp or flashlight (and if you have one, a spotlight makes for great light-painting)

Extras:

  • An intervalometer (camera timer) if you are interested in capturing time lapse or star trails – most newer DSLR cameras have one built in, my Nikon D7000 does although some Canon cameras do not
  • Snacks/drinks/cooler – anything you want to eat or drink during the shoot
  • Bug spray
  • Small notebook and pen for taking notes
  • Fold up / camping chair

Waiver & consent form:  All participants must sign a waiver & consent form. There is quite a bit of paperwork that I need to have filled out to be able to hold a workshop but this is the only paperwork that you have to sign or worry about.

Transportation & Lodging:  Participants are required to provide their own transportation & lodging however I will find some local hotels/motels in the areas where we will be photographing to secure special rates for those folks who are interested.

Weather:  Shooting at night always depends on the weather—it is next to impossible to capture the features of the night sky when there is rain, heavy cloud cover or fog, etc. For this reason I’m flexible on the workshop dates—i.e., if the weather is not cooperating on a Friday then we’ll try for Saturday, and if the weather forecast calls for a lousy Saturday then we’ll try for the night before. Ultimately we will keep to the scheduled workshop times as much as possible and go out shooting unless a safety issue arises. Thanks for your understanding. Even if the viewing conditions aren’t optimal I promise you will come away from my workshops with the skills listed above to capture the night sky like a pro!

If a workshop needs to be canceled for any reason, I will re-schedule it as soon as possible by talking with all participants about logistics and schedules.

POST-PROCESSING WORKSHOP INFORMATION:  I am always available for individual, 1-on-1 courses via Lightroom & Photoshop (where you can learn to make your images REALLY pop!) where you and I will spend 4-5 hours processing images together. I will teach you a step-by-step workflow including everything from RAW file conversions and basic light control & color correction changes to the edits of masking, blending, opacity & luminosity adjustments, and finally the different options for saving your images for the web, printing, or other applications. Please contact me for rates & scheduling so we can take your post-processing skills to the next level!

I am still figuring out the details and logistics for small group workshops on post-processing and will be forthcoming with that information ASAP. Thanks for your interest!

Sincerely,

Mike Taylor

 

12 thoughts on “Taylor Photography Workshops

  1. I am interested in your “In Studio” Lightroom and Photoshop Workshops.

    Your photography work is inspiring… and captures the magnificence of our significantly beautiful natural world.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise through workshops.

    Warmest regards,
    Connie, an enthusiastic amateur

  2. I’d like to take your workshop in Main in August3 or 4. I want to be sure that
    I can do star tracks and put it on my notebook to have pictures. I have some training in Night photography. If I will come to August workshop, is there a place to stay overnight ?
    I also interested with post production Workshop, I have PS6 and LR3.
    Thank you,
    Katya

    • Hi Dave,

      I will be posting information regarding online workshops as soon as possible but probably not for a while as I have quite a few projects lined up for the next few months.

      I am available to meet anywhere in the US for individual and small group photography & post-processing instruction provided our schedules line up. Feel free to contact me at info@miketaylorphoto.com to discuss further.

      Thanks!
      - Mike Taylor

  3. Hi Mike,

    Your photos are so amazing. Particularly I like lighthouse with Milky Way photos at the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. I was wondering if you teach us how to shoot such photos during lessons held in Acadia NP this weekend (I missed lessons at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in the early August).

    Also, I have used Ligthroom for the post process a lot, but not much Photoshop. Do I need to use Photoshop for the post process to get excellent images like your examples (like using mask, layer or etc)? Will you explain about post process at the lesson in the field?

    Thank you,
    Rei

    • Hello Rei,

      Thanks for your interest in night photography and for your kind words! I will cover all of the camera settings needed to capture great images of the night sky and we’ll talk about the post-processing as well. Photoshop is definitely the best tool for layering and masking but it’s not completely necessary for processing night shots. Thanks for signing up and I’m looking forward to meeting you at Moosehead!

  4. I am also interested in your online post-processing workshops, if you decide to do something like that. Just throwing my name in the hat. I am not able to live stream, but would be willing to purchase an online tutorial of some sort. I’m located in Alaska and coming to Maine, as well as streaming video, are just not options for me now. You should come up here *HINT HINT* :)

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