Astrophotography Workshop

May 8-9 and June 5-6, 2024

Deadline to register for the May 8-9 workshop is May 1. A minimum of 5 people must register for the workshop to be held.

Learn how to produce stunning photos under the dark skies at McDonald Observatory. This workshop is intended for beginners in astrophotography or photography in general. The daytime portion of the program will consist of discussions on the basics of astrophotography, types of cameras, lenses, focusing, setup, processing images, and daytime practice. After sunset, you will use these tools under the dark skies of McDonald Observatory.

For the May workshop, the Milky Way will not be well placed for photographing until well after midnight. Although the program is scheduled to end at midnight, you are welcome to stay up as late as you want.  For the June workshop, the Milky Way will be rising at about 11:00 p.m. local time.

Attendees will have the option of staying on site at the Astronomers Lodge (details to follow after registration) or at an offsite location in the area.

Required for participation in this program:

  • Digital single lens reflex or mirrorless camera with an interchangeable lens.  Point-and-shoot and smart phone cameras are not suitable for astrophotography in this form.
  • Detailed manual for your camera, either printed or electronic.
  • Sturdy tripod and the hardware to attach your camera(s) to the tripod.
  • Laptop (strongly preferred) or tablet with which to process images, including (if applicable) a card reader for transferring images to a laptop or tablet.


Optional but useful for participation:

  • External intervalometer (if your camera does not have a built-in intervalometer)
  • Remote shutter release
  • Star tracker

We will use Adobe Lightroom (Classic) for image processing during the workshop.  If you have or can obtain a license, that would be optimal.  If not, a free 7-day trial license is available (please do not download more than a few days before our workshop so that you will have access to Lightroom while you're here). In either case, please ensure that Adobe Lightroom will run on whatever device, laptop or tablet, that you plan to bring.