Shooting Stars at the Pinnacles (Workshop)

Instructor: Seng Mah
Level: Intermediate
Times/Dates: 7.30pm – 11.30pm Saturday 26 October 2013 (shoot) + 6pm – 8pm Friday 1 November 2013 (post-production)
Cost: $240 (includes post-production session on Friday 1 November)
Location: Shoot: The Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park (near Cervantes); Post-production: Up on High Studio, Fremantle.
Maximum participants: SOLD OUT.

Pinnacles and Milky Way

Come and join us for an unforgettable night workshop devoted to showing you how to shoot night sky and Milky Way landscapes.

You’ll be shooting at the majestic Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park, near Cervantes, where you’ll use the incandescent night sky as a magnificent backdrop for the unusual and unique formations of the Pinnacles. Because of the lack of light pollution and atmospheric pollution, you will get much clearer view of the star-studded sky here than if you were to shoot closer to the city.

Then, in a separate 2 hour class in Fremantle on Friday 1 November, you’ll learn how to post-produce your night sky images to make the Milky Way pop and to create star trail photographs by stacking multiple night sky frames.

Night sky image creation requires its own skill set and understanding of exposure and focus, and you’ll learn all about these in the workshop:

  • Obtaining exposure for the night sky and the Milky Way
  • Balancing night sky exposure with foreground exposure
  • Focusing in low light – using Live View and manual focus
  • Composition for night sky and Milky Way photography
  • Including light painting and light trail photography in your night sky landscapes
  • Shooting for star trails
  • Shooting to stack and blend exposures
  • Using StarStax software to stack and blend frames
  • Post-producing night sky images using Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Using layer masks in Photoshop for selective editing of your night sky images.

    What you will need

    • A DSLR or equivalent camera, with the ability to obtain an ISO rating of at least 1600 (3200 ISO recommended). For best high ISO sensor performance, we recommend a full frame DSLR. Live view on your camera is also recommended (though not essential).
    • A wide angle lens or ultra wide angle lens (focal lengths of 8 to 20mm for crop frame cameras, 14 to 24mm for full frame cameras), that is able to obtain an aperture of f3.5 or f4.0 (f2.8 or wider recommended). The wider the angle and the wider the aperture, the better.
    • A sturdy tripod that can be set up to shoot close to the ground. We recommend a tripod head that will let you tilt your camera upwards.
    • A remote shutter release that will let you lock your shutter open eg. on Bulb mode.
    • Lens and camera cleaning kit, as the Pinnacles Desert can be dusty – microfibre cloth, lens cleanser, blower.
    • A flashlight. We recommend a flash light that allows you to control the intensity of the light.
    • A small blanket on which you can lie on while shooting close to the ground.
    • For the post-production session on Friday 1 November, you will need:
      • A laptop with enough memory power to run Lightroom, Photoshop and Starstax at the same time.
      • Lightroom (version 4 and above) – 30-day trial version available here
      • Photoshop (CS3 and above) – trial version of Photoshop CC available here. Please note that to download this trial, you need to sign up for Adobe Creative Cloud.
      • Starstax – free download available here

    Staying at Cervantes

    As this workshop runs during the night, we recommend that you book accommodation at Cervantes for the night and return to Perth on Sunday. There is a range of accommodation options available at Cervantes:



    This workshop is SOLD OUT.

    For information on bookings, cancellations and booking transfers, please view our Workshops Terms and Conditions.



      If you would prefer to book and pay for your workshop using bank transfer (EFT) or cheque, please complete and submit the form below. Workshop bookings will be confirmed by return email and an invoice with bank transfer and postal details will be emailed separately.

      Information about cancellations and booking transfers can be found in our Workshops Terms and Conditions.


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