Big Bend National Park Astrophotography Workshop

Milky Way Over The Chisos Basin

This semi-inclusive workshop is a great way to learn about the wonder and beauty that is over our heads most nights, but never get to see! This weekday workshop will introduce you to the some of the darkest skies in the USA, and the best times to take advantage to create the images that you want. This is an intensive night time workshop over three consecutive evenings in the national park and will require you to be adept at using your camera in the dark.

Terlingua Cemetery Milky Way

Day 1: Our workshop will meet at the Chisos Mountain Lodge at 1PM. We will go over any questions from 2 - 4PM including where we will meet up in the evening, and timing for star and Milky Way images. Big Bend National Park is an internationally recognized Dark Sky Park. This park being so dark is good and bad; it's great because we will experience unrivaled dark skies but it is incredibly hard to see. We will use flashlights and head lamps as little as possible to minimize the impact of light pollution from ourselves. We will be shooting into the early morning hours so be ready to stay up late!

Day 2-3: We will meet at 1PM to discuss what strategies worked and didn't from the previous evening. For those who have a laptop with Adobe Lightroom (free trials are available), we will go over post processing techniques from 2-3PM. I will also give an introduction to NIK software, image stacking, and filters to improve your images with solid technique. You will have an introduction to 4K time lapses that take any mystery out of creating video with photography. 

Each evening we will scout at 7PM to check out our shooting location to build on the foreground imagery that will work the best for Milky Way nightscapes. Techniques we learned the previous day will be reinforced so you have an absolute hands on experience that makes you a better photographer!  

Day 4: Sunday, from 10 to Noon, we will go over any questions you may from the previous three days of the workshop we will critique our own work where we can improve our images in the future.

Side Note: Staying up this late, multiple days in a row, is tough on the mind and body. Please keep this in mind when leaving the workshop and make sure to get plenty of rest before driving any distance.

Big Bend National Park Chisos Mountains Milky Way

Big Bend National Park Astrophotography Workshop


4 Days/3 Nights


July 9 - 12, 2018



  • 4 days and 3 nights of Wide Field Astrophotography instruction and fun!
  • Double occupancy lodging and breakfast during The Workshop (Single occupancy request will have an additional cost)
  • Workshops are capped at 8 participants so each student has one-on-one attention
  • Post-processing instruction for Nightscapes
  • Basic instruction to create 4K time-lapses
  • Use and philosophy of on-camera filters for long exposure imagery
  • Travel within the National Park

Not included:

  • Airfare/ travel to The Chisos Mountain Lodge in Big Bend National Park
  • Lunch, Dinner, and Adult beverages are not included
  • Incidentals
  • National Park Admission

What you will learn:

  • Creating an engaging composition.
  • How to shoot the stars and incredible landscapes.
  • Learn the most effecient ways to use your camera and how to see light. 
  • Understanding correct exposure and reading your histogram.
  • How to use neutral density filters, graduated filters, and polarizers for landscapes.
  • Processing images quickly to make a beautiful photograph.

What you will need:

  • DSLR capable of 3200 ISO
  • Fast lens of f/2.8 or faster at 35mm or wider focal length
  • Tripod
  • Headlamp with a red "night vision" light
  • Warm clothing and bug repellent
  • A chair (trust me, it's great to have)
  •  I ask each participant to be very familiar with your camera and its settings prior to taking this workshop, as we will be working with little to no light most of the evening
  • Intervalometer

Big Bend National Park Astrophotography Workshop

July 9 - 12, 2018

Tuition 1695 USD

This Tour:
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Signing up for the Big Bend National Park Astrophotography Workshop

In order to reserve your spot to our Big Bend National Park Astrophotography Workshop, please complete the reservation form and include your retainer of $845. The remainder of the balance will be due no later than 60 days prior to the first day of the trip. Cancellation Policy: Greater than 150 days before the workshop start date: full refund of any payments made. For cancellations made 150-91 days before the start of the workshop: 50% refund of any payments made. For cancellations made 90-61 days before the start of the workshop: 25% refund of any payments made. Cancellations made within 60 days of the start of the workshop: no refund. Note that there are some non-refundable workshops for which the above terms do not apply, and for these workshops we do not offer a refund of any payments made under any circumstances. This will always be noted clearly in the workshop description as “Payments for this workshop are non-refundable under any circumstances, our other Terms and Conditions apply.” No matter when you cancel, if we are able to fill your space, we will provide a 100% refund of any payments made. Payments made for private workshops that you arrange with us are not refundable. JT Blenker Photography reserves the right to cancel a workshop if the minimum of participants is not reached.  A minimum of 4 participants is required for the tour to take place. I highly recommend trip insurance due to unforeseen circumstances. The full itinerary, packing list, and waiver will be sent to you once you have paid in full. If requesting to share accommodations with a friend/partner, please leave this request in the notes when you book your tour. Single supplements for those requesting a single room are $600. This amount will be invoiced to you 150 days before the start of the workshop.