Nightscape and Landscape Photography Workshop
with co-leader Mike Taylor
October 11-14, 2018
Availability - Limited to 12 participants
Based out of Farmington, NM
Fly into Albuquerque (See 'How to Get There' section below)
Join us for this rare opportunity to learn from two of the most respected night photographers. Mike Taylor and David Kingham are joining forces for an exciting adventure in the Bisti Badlands and Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah. We will spend three nights under the stars along with shooting sunset each night in some of the most alien landscapes you will ever see.
Expand to see testimonials from past night photography clients
Arches Night Workshop
I learned so much in this workshop! This is going to take my night photography to a whole new level! David was flexible in his teaching and scheduling to accommodate both the group and the weather; he gave LOTS of one-on-one instruction both in the field and in the classroom! David is an exceptional photographer with an ability to pass his knowledge along to others! I would definitely take another one of his workshops!
David is an extremely talented photographer so I knew I was learning from a professional. He picks the best locations, helps with composition and in-the-field techniques. Learning David’s processing workflow was very valuable and will help me refine my own process to create better images.
Great course. David is a laid back guy. Easy to talk to and approach. He is very helpful and will show you things about your camera if you do not know. Knows his subject very well. Would not hesitate to take another course from him and I hope to do this soon.
Arches Night Workshop
Dave has the unique skill to get you out of your comfort zone and learn new things. He’s the Yoda of Photography...which would be appropriate for his star photography. He’ll get you to unlearn what you have learned and develop you into a better, well-rounded photographer. I also appreciated that Dave never assumed you knew something. He took the time to explain things just in case. He’s a great teacher!
This was my second workshop with Exploring Exposure, and the experience has been top-notch on both. The scouting is great, and David knows where to be at the optimal time. David is an expert in nighttime photography and post-processing, and presents excellent imaging sessions. Relaxed atmosphere. Joined by his partner, Jennifer Renwick, who is an accomplished photographer in her own right. Locations are not only the well-known iconic spots. Ideal workshop for an advanced amateur.
Arches Night Workshop
It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of the Arches Workshop. Excellent instruction from a proven professional, that is as down to earth as the guy next door. Vast amounts of information were placed before us in an easy to understand format and were explained piece by piece so that everyone followed along. David Kingham you are the Master, I strive to achieve half your knowledge and abilities. It was an honor to attend your workshop and you have helped me to be far better than I was prior to. I will recommend your workshops to everyone I know interested in shooting the night sky.
David promises to teach his students everything he knows about night photography, nothing is off limits and he delivers. Ask any question and he will give you a straight answer and teach you how to do it. His post-processing classroom teaching is great.
Arches Night Workshop
I found David to be a very competent, giving individual, not holding back on sharing all he knew about Night Photography, which is substantial. His knowledge was vast and he communicated it in a clear, precise and logical manner, both in the field and in the classroom/post-processing portion of the workshop. If you are looking for a great teacher to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your own nightscape photography, look no further.
I had a great time and learned a lot attending one of David’s Rocky Mountain Workshops. He shares information about scouting, camera setup and technique, and many specifics on post-processing. David is very familiar with the area and where to get some great night photographs. He has a relaxed personality and it is easy to speak with him about photography.
A number of years ago, I was lucky enough to study guitar with one of the best guitarists in the world. (Bear with me for a second.) So I’m trying to drain all the information I can from this guy and out of left field he says, ‘There are more important things than being a good guitar player.’ I was STUNNED! ‘HUH?? Like what??’ He replied, ‘Like being a good person.’
David Kingham is a good person.
All anyone has to do is look at his work and they can see what a wonderful photographer he is. What you don’t see is what a great teacher he is.
I am a teacher by profession and one thing I’ve learned is that a person can have all the knowledge in the world but that doesn’t mean s/he can teach it.
Not so with David. He has his material well organized and laid out so that each step makes sense as you go along.
I went into this class with no knowledge of Night Landscape Photography and learned EXACTLY what I wanted to learn.
If you’re thinking about taking one of David’s workshops, do it. It will be worth it. I traveled halfway around the world to do it. You will ‘GET IT.’
Arches Night Workshop
When signing up for a workshop with an instructor that is unknown to you, it is difficult to imagine what you might find. I had seen David’s work and was impressed enough to take a chance on the man. BEST. DECISION, EVER. I learned more about astrophotography in the 3 days of this workshop than in the previous 3 years of trying to muddle through on my own. David covered every aspect from scouting and preparation to shooting, to the all-important post-production. Beyond that, he made all of us realize that we gained a lifetime resource. He holds absolutely nothing in reserve; if he knows it (and he does), he will share it. If you are interested in night photography, please, do yourself a favor, and take one of this man’s workshops.
Arches Night Workshop
I came into David’s workshop knowing quite a bit about night photography. I wanted to take a workshop with someone who didn’t mind sharing everything they know. That’s where David comes in.
I have learned so much from David. From the little tricks in the field to post-processing. David does a great job at balancing all skill levels, giving everyone individual attention.
Not only did I meet some great people but I feel like I’ve made some lifelong friends.
Arches Night Workshop
This was an amazing class. I learned a lot about night photography and post-processing. David is talented, willing to share his knowledge and very patient. The location was great. Thanks for a fun, informative experience.
If you are an advanced landscape photographer looking to quickly jump-start your night sky photography, then I highly recommend David’s program. It takes the guesswork out of taking great photos of the Milky Way, star trails, and the night sky.
From advanced planning techniques and tools, great selection of accessible locations, excellent recommendations on equipment and software, classroom training and field work on an end-to-end workflow from camera settings to advanced post-processing in Lightroom and Photoshop, and just the wealth of knowledge and experience that he freely shares, the program is an amazing value for the money!
Grand Staircase Escalante
This is my second time going out with David and Jennifer. The thing I like best is how they are flexible and adapt depending on the weather. We ended up doing the night shooting the first two nights when we expected the skies to be clear and keep the sunrise and sunset shoots for when there were clouds. Not only are they helpful they are interesting and amusing, which helps on the longs drives. If you are interested in shooting the southwest I'd check the Exploring Exposure site first.
I am extremely pleased with David’s workshop and would recommend his instruction to anyone interested in night photography. Every part of the class is very well laid out and David does a great job spending time with each student throughout the duration of the workshop.
Devils Tower Night Workshop
David’s workshop at Devils Tower was exactly what I needed to take my night sky photography skills to the level. I learned a ton about scouting, planning, gear, software tools, and post-processing. The location was amazing, and I came away with the best night sky shots I’ve ever taken. If you have any interest in this kind of photography, save yourself the trouble and just do one of these workshops. You’ll be glad you did.
Arches Night Workshop
David’s Arches Night Photography workshop was exceptional! David was so generous in sharing his expertise with the entire group; no question went unanswered! He also did a suburb job teaching his skills both in the field and classroom setting.
I am a professional wedding photographer, and my husband is a hobbyist landscape photographer. We took this course together as something special that we could learn together. It amazed me how well David’s workshop fit both of us: plenty of technical tips and tricks, but enough explanation and examples that my husband had no problem following it. David’s knowledge of both Canon and Nikon, and what needed to happen for good nighttime images absolutely blew us away. The examples were inspiring, and we truly enjoyed the ‘workshop’ portion every bit as much as the ‘field trip’ portion. Not only did we get some very neat images as a reminder of the adventure, but it was amazing to just get to SEE the milky way, when neither of us normally would know how to find it, or what to look for. David helped us to have an adventure, and to give us something that we can do together for years to come!
Arches Night Workshop 2014
Aside from all the wonderful technical post-processing learning, the access to the most beautiful places to shoot and the experience of being out in amazingly dark skies, I’d say the best thing about David’s workshop is his total and utter commitment to his students’ learning. I felt throughout the workshop - in the field and in the classroom - that every person’s enjoyment and learning were his #1 concern. Also, the man has the patience of a saint - a great quality in a teacher.
I got to the workshop with a very basic knowledge about night photography ... what I learned in these 3 days was far more than what I have read on the internet in 6 months. but the most valuable thing I learned is how to prepare for the night shot ... from scouting, weather check, milky way position and time of rise and set ..etc it was amazing and worth every penny spent.
David was a great teacher, able to bridge the skill levels of all the students. He led us through the processes needed to successful astrophotography. He also went over many tools need to plan a night time shoot. From finding dark skies, knowing if the moon is too bright and location scouting. I would recommend his workshop to anyone looking to get into night time photography or someone looking to improve their skills and go to the next level.
What You Will Learn
In the Field
- How to read a scene to create compelling compositions using shapes, lines, visual mass, texture, and more
- Reading weather and lighting conditions to know when to go out on your own in the right light
- How to use apps to scout out your own locations and plan your next shoot
- When and how to use lenses to bring focus to your subject
- Depth of field and hyperfocal distance to help you create sharp photos
- Achieving maximum sharpness using focus stacking
- Creative use of ND Filters to create motion in clouds and water
- Creating panoramas without using expensive equipment
- How to take correct exposures for bright skies; to be later used for exposure blending
- Identifying the best light and how to expose correctly
Post Processing for Beginners
- Making dull RAW files pop in Lightroom and keeping files organized
- Use of local adjustments for dodging & burning, and many more creative opportunities
- Using white balance to create mood in your images
- Properly sharpen and reduce noise for maximum image quality
- Stitching panoramas easily in Lightroom
- Exposure blending using HDR for natural looking results
Post Processing for Advanced users
- Exposure blending using luminosity masks to create balanced, natural looking images
- Focus stacking using Photoshop and/or Zerene Stacker for maximum depth of field
- Blending different focal lengths to correct for wide angle diminishment
- Creative burning and dodging techniques to bring focus to your subject
- Using the Orton Effect to add glow to your highlights
- Creating drama with Light Bleed
- Using Midtone Contrast to make images pop off the screen
- Sharpening for web and print
We encourage you to find your unique style of creativity with focused training based on your style and skill level. You will experience a rigorous learning experience in the field and the classroom to take your photography to the next level.
Our passion is seeing you grow in your photographic journey. We put your interests ahead of our own. Early on in the workshop, we will not photograph at all. Our focus is your learning experience, and we will not run off to chase the light and leave you behind. As the workshop progresses, we will take a few photos in a limited manner. This is so you can see how we approach a scene, demonstrate techniques, and create comradery with the group. Our focus will always remain with YOU.
We understand everyone comes to workshops at different points in their photography journeys. We will be there to guide and help you, whether you are a beginner or advanced shooter. There is always something to learn about photography, and we will do our best to help you find your creative vision.
Above all, we want this to be a fun experience for you. With our small group size, we get to know our clients very well, and we feel like they are part of our extended family. We do this for the love of photography, and there is nothing that gives us greater joy than seeing our clients grow and find their artistic vision.
This workshop is somewhat strenuous and will involve hikes of 2-4 miles total daily. Most of the hikes are over fairly level ground with a bit of up and down on solid packed ground. The most strenuous hike is a total of 3 miles out and back with some sandy sections going up and down through washes and some minor climbing up some rocky sections. Those in reasonable health will have no problems with this. If you have any doubts, please contact us before signing up to discuss further.
What is Included
What Is Not Included
How To Get There
We recommend flying to Albuquerque, NM (ABQ), from there it is a 3 hour drive to Farmington, NM. Or for less of a drive you can fly to Durango, CO. It is only a one hour drive from Durango.
Please visit this site for detailed directions.
We recommend using Google Flights to find the best option for where you are coming from.
Frequently Asked Questions
All locations are selected based upon the best time of year to visit the area, whether that is to see the best wildflowers, fall colors, or dramatic weather. We have done the research and planning to give you the best possibility of walking away with an incredible photograph.
During our drives we will discuss weather, how to find dramatic light, planning, etc. This will be more than a photo tour, it will be a learning experience. Out in the field we will instruct you on the proper techniques to create sharp photos, balancing exposure, composition, focus stacking, how to incorporate movement, long exposures and more.
The workshops are limited to 6 participants or less to ensure you get the attention you deserve.
We will provide you with an itinerary, but know that landscape and night photography is all about flexibility, especially being flexible to changing weather conditions. You will learn how to read the weather and select the perfect time and location based upon this.
What about night photography? Most workshops will include at least one night of night photography unless noted otherwise. Again, this will be dependent on the weather, this is the advantage of doing both. If we have clear skies we can change our plans to shoot at night when clear skies are preferred.
The 5 day workshops will be focused on one area rather than quickly moving from one location to the next. We will visit many different locations in this focused area. To understand the weather patterns in an area, you must spend some time there.
Is transportation provided?
Yes! Many of the locations selected require a high clearance 4x4 to reach. All of the participants will ride in our 4x4 vehicles. You will all get to share the experience together without worrying about the logistics. You only need to get to the hotel via taxi, shuttle, or rental car, the rest is taken care of. You are welcome to drive your own vehicle if you prefer.
Is lodging provided?
Unless noted otherwise, no. We typically hold a block of rooms at a discounted rate for the group.
Are spouses/partners welcome?
Yes, but seating is limited. If they come out on location you will have to provide your own transportation, or pay the full price for another seat.
Are these workshops run on the up and up?
We work hard to ensure the workshops are run within all the requirements of the law. We are an authorized permittee with the National Park Service, Forest Service, BLM, etc. We also strive to to keep you safe in such remote locations, David is a certified Wilderness First Responder so you can feel safe no matter where we are.
Will I have cell signal during the Workshop?
Cell signal is extremely intermittent in most of the locations, you should not expect to be connected all the time, at certain locations you may be offline for long periods, enjoy the silence.
Will the instructors take photos during the Workshop?
Early on in the workshop we will not photograph at all, our focus is on you and your learning, we will not run off to make our own photographs. As the workshop progresses, we will take a few photos in a limited manner, this is so you can see how we approach a scene, create comradery with the group, and to show you the same type of images you will be taking for our post-processing session. Our focus will always remain with you.
Will weather cancel the Workshop?
Dramatic weather is when the best photographs are created! Unless there are very dangerous conditions the weather will not stop us, in fact it will encourage us! No rain checks will be given for any weather related circumstances.
What is the cancellation policy?
- If you cancel 90 days prior to the workshop we will refund your initial payment minus a $100 fee.
- 90 days before the start of the workshop, we will refund your initial payment only if we can fill your spot.
- The full balance is due 60 days before the workshop. There will be no refunds on the full amount owed. We will attempt to fill your spot, if filled there will be a $100 administrative fee charged and the rest of your payment will be refunded.
There are NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY, even for medical emergencies. All cancellation requests must be in writing and received either by US mail or E-mail. We encourage participants to purchase refundable airline tickets and trip cancellation insurance. We strongly recommend trip insurance to protect you in the event of an unexpected situation that prevents you from attending the workshop. We recommend Travelguard or World Nomads.
We reserve the right to cancel any workshop if the minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event we cancel a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund. we are not, however, liable for expenses incurred such as airfare or accommodations, and for this reason we also recommend the purchase of trip insurance.
What to bring?
- Your DSLR, nothing specific is required, although we do have a list of recommended gear.
- Lenses - Extreme wide angle is recommended (16-35 range on full frame or 10-20 range on a cropped sensor), a mid range zoom, and a telephoto of at least 200mm. If the workshop includes night photography you will want to take a look at our list of recommended gear for night photography.
- Tripod - A sturdy tripod is necessary, David uses Feisol tripods, but also recommends Really Right Stuff, Induro, and Gitzo.
- Filters - A circular polarizer is the only requirement, but we recommend neutral density filters (10 or 6 stops).
- Misc. - Bring extra batteries and memory cards.
- Clothing - Temperatures before sunrise are the coldest of the day, bring layers of clothing to quickly change for the conditions. If the workshop involves night photography plan on bringing even more warm clothes.
- Food - Snacks will be provided out in the field, for other meals we will go to local restaurants together and enjoy the comradery of the group. If we have a long day in the field we will stop at a grocery store for everyone to pick up something.
Our Code of Ethics
We are proud members of the League of Landscape Photographers, which is a group of artists committed to behaving in an ethical manner wherever we are photographing, and encouraging others to behave as stewards of our environment. Our clients must abide by these ethics in our workshops.
Our Code of Ethics:
- I inform myself about all rules and regulations relating to photography when visiting a natural area or public attraction.
- I do not knowingly step onto private property without permission even if the property appears abandoned.
- I stay on designated paths and trails. If there is no trail, I follow proper etiquette by educating myself on the principles of Leave No Trace.
- I aim for authenticity by photographing plants and animals in their natural habitat engaging in their normal behaviors.
- I inform myself about the plants and animals I intend to photograph. I avoid photographing them if they exhibit distress signals, and during times of physical strain or breeding seasons. If my presence is causing stress, I leave the area immediately.
- I help to protect the environment by picking up trash I find when in the field.
- I work to improve my photographic skills by using all my tools when making a composition. I do not move objects, pull plants or otherwise ‘tidy’ a scene. I move my position or wait patiently rather than attempt to influence an animal’s behavior or posture.
- I refrain from baiting (including sound baiting), or placing attractants to entice wildlife or influence their behavior. Also, I remove all artificial attractants I find in wild places that were placed there by others.
- I treat wild animals living in an urban environment, such as songbirds, with the same respect that I accord to those living in the wild. I consider their safety and well being before putting out seed. If I do, I research the proper natural organic food and follow proper procedures to ensure the cleanliness of the feeder to minimize the risk of disease. I locate the feeder to avoid cover for predators as well as potential in-flight collisions with reflective house windows.
- I keep rare species safe and intact by not broadcasting the location of a fragile area, plant or animal. I remove GPS data from my images before sharing them with others.
- I treat all people with respect.
- I am patient and courteous with non-photographers visiting a scene. I am creative and can adjust my expectations of the images I planned to make. I am open to new ideas as they present themselves to me.
- I am aware of my position and how it may interfere with the ability of the photographers and non-photographers around me to enjoy a scene.
- If someone wanders into my scene, I am courteous and will wait for them to move. I will consider adjusting my own position, or kindly asking them to move when they are ready.
- If I see someone violating the Code of Ethics, I will consider talking with them about the possible effects of their behavior. I will only do so if I do not perceive any threat to my personal safety. As an alternative, and if their behavior is particularly egregious, I will consider documenting the situation and reporting them to the appropriate authorities.
- I adopt this Code of Ethics and strive to adhere to these important principles.
- I am an ambassador of ethical conduct in the industry through my own behavior and by sharing these principles with other photographers and the public.
- I know and respect my physical limitations and keep myself out of harm’s way by avoiding situations where my health and safety or the health and safety of others could be put at risk by my actions.
- I educate myself about the weather, terrain, culture and potential hazards before visiting a new area.
- If I am leading a photo group, whether commercially or not, I ensure that the group members are informed about the Code of Ethics, potential hazards and other safety concerns, and that the group size is appropriate given the sensitivity of the place we are visiting.
- I am always forthcoming about my post-processing and refrain from representing my photographs as something they are not.