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Nightscapes Workshop in the Central Wheatbelt

Event description

Dark Sky Milky Way Nightscape Workshop

Be inspired by awesome dark skies to photograph nightscapes of the beautiful southern sky as the Milky Way, Southern Cross and Pointers rise throughout the night. The galactic core will be peeping above the horizon as the night goes on.

Learn how to photograph nightscapes, about the night sky, and how to get the most out of your camera equipment for astrophotography during the afternoon indoor workshop session.

Enjoy comfortable facilities on this private property with indoor workshop space, ablutions, mains power for all your equipment needs. Optionally stay overnight or bring your partner/family enjoy the open space while you participate in the workshop (capacity limits apply).

Photograph with other participants or on your own, on-site with assistance as you need it from Roger. Ultra-portable astrophotography tracking mounts available for use (1x Vixen Polarie, 1x iOptron SkyTracker). During the night return to the shed where there is refreshments, comfortable chairs, tables and mains power to look at your results, use your laptop, warm up or cool down.

View the Night Sky

There will be a telescope set up onsite for visual use. View deep space objects of our beautiful southern sky such as Eta Carina nebula complex, Tarantula Nebula, open clusters and globular clusters.

    Location

    This workshop takes place in the Shire of Cunderdin, in the Central Wheatbelt of Western Australia.

    Located at the private property of Roger Groom and his family, the property was purchased and has been purpose designed for astronomy including astrophotography such as nightscapes. The dark skies are unparalleled at this distance from Perth. Roger and his family bring you a relaxed and well equipped environment in which to experience nightscape astrophotography.

    Registered participants will receive exact location and directions after booking.

    Facilities & Provisions

    • Water, ice, Tea, coffee, milo, hot chocolate and afternoon tea light refreshments provided
    • Ablutions available onsite (flushing toilet, shower)
    • Microwave, fridge and WebberQ BBQ available for participants
    • Mains power is available for charging and powering devices such as laptops
    • 4G (Optus and Telstra) is available onsite for your internet needs (no Vodafone)

    Timing

    Workshop schedule:

    • 15:00 arrive from this time, overnight camping participants set up camp
    • 16:00 - 17:30 workshop presentation
    • 17:30 - 19:00 time for refreshments, dinner BBQ (BYO), sunset and twilight photography, socialising
    • 19:00 - 21:30 practical workshop
    • You are permitted to continue photography onsite as late as you wish following completion of the formal workshop, providing you maintain minimal disturbance to those accommodating onsite.

    Next day:

    • Image processing session (optional) 8:30am-10:30am in the indoor workshop space
    • Last departure by 11am (for those staying overnight).

    Optional Image Processing Session

    Following the night of photography there is an optional image processing session in the morning. Anyone who attended the night session is welcome. Prior booking essential.

    This session will be customised to those present. The aim is to work through your images from the night prior, learning from each other's images and what image processing we can do on those images. Roger will direct the image processing using software including Photoshop, Lightroom, PixInsight, DeepSkyStacker and Sequator. Participants will need their own software installations/licenses pre-configured for the workshop, or can follow Roger's demonstration.

    • 8:30 - 10:30 (2 hour session)
    • BYO laptop/computer/IT equipment
    • Tables with mains electricity available to power your devices
    • Refreshments provided
    • $100pp

    What to Bring

    For the evening workshop please bring:

    • Appropriate warm clothing including fully enclosed sturdy footwear. Long pants are recommended (to protect against vegetation and bugs)
    • Hat, insect repellent or other such personal items
    • Head torch with white and red light modes, ideally dimmable
    • Food or drinks beyond those provided that you may require
    • Camera gear for nightscape photography such as wide angle fast lenses, cable release/intervalometer, batteries/charger (contact if unsure, happy to advise)

    For the optional image processing and overnight accommodation see other sections.

    Who can attend?

    Workshop attendees participating in photography must have knowledge of how to operate their camera in manual mode (manual exposure time, ISO, aperture, picture format settings) and must be self-equipped (camera, tripod, etc).

    We know that being a remote workshop you may wish to join the workshop and also bring a partner or friend along to enjoy an evening out in the country but not have them participate in the workshop. When booking you must book for these people via the add-on feature at the reduced ticket price. Additional people "along for the ride" are charged at $19pp.

    Seating in the indoor workshop space for the workshop presentation and image processing will only be guaranteed for workshop attendees due to space limitations.

    Booking of additional people "along for the ride" is essential. A whole of site capacity is set and so it may not be possible to accommodate additional people, checkout will confirm this.

    No pets are permitted without prior arrangement.

    Accommodation

    It is recommended you either accommodate onsite or in a nearby town to ensure participants are not driving back to Perth late at night when tired. The site is approximately 110km or 1 hour 30 min drive from Mundaring in the Shire of Cunderdin. Exact location of this private site will be shared with registered participants upon booking.

    Onsite Accommodation

    Camping is permitted on-site. Cost $19 per person (workshop attendees and extras), per night (swag, tent, caravan, camper)
    Comfortable ablutions (including hot shower) are available onsite
    Booking is required (see checkout add-ons options)
    Maximum numbers enforced.

    Offsite Accommodation

    I recommend the following offsite accommodation:

    • York is the recommended location for a large variety of accommodation options, at a distance of about 35 minute drive.
    • Quairading is recommended as the closest location at about 25 minute drive. where there is new campground with great facilities including modern onsite cabins and adjacent pool (seasonal opening times).
    • Farmstay and AirBnB options are available in the Central Wheatbelt within the regions of Cunderdin, Quairading and York.

    Weather / Cloudy Scenarios

    A decision will be made regarding weather when the 48 hour forecast is available and this decision will be communicated to all registered participants via the email address used in booking.

    It is at the discretion of Roger Groom the organiser of this event to decide if the event will proceed or be cancelled due to weather. By booking you accept this.

    Guidelines for go/no-go based on weather:

    • If the forecast for cloud is 70% or less cloud cover and no rain is forecast the event will proceed. Some cloud makes for fantastic nightscape photographs and does not detract from the workshop experience.
    • If the forecast for cloud is above 70% cloud cover or rain is forecast with greater than 40% chance for the whole period of the event window the event will be cancelled.
    • If a severe weather warning is issued for the time and place of the event, the event will be cancelled.

    If the event is cancelled for one of the above reasons a refund of the total amount minus booking fees will be provided and we will hope to see you on a subsequent workshop with better conditions.

    Please note that weather conditions can vary significantly between the Central Wheatbelt and Perth Metro regions.

    Milky Way nightscape under dark skies.
    Milky Way nightscape under dark skies.
    Milky Way nightscape under dark skies.

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    Refund policy

    Refunds are available up to 14 days prior to the event