The night sky has fascinated people for centuries, serving as both an object of wonder, as a navigational aid, a means of telling time and date, and a source of inspiration. There is evidence that early man depicted the night skies in drawings on cave walls. And over the centuries, artists have used the night sky as a subject of their creations, such as Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
Today’s technology has allowed photographers to capture the night sky in all its glory. Digital sensors with a greater sensitivity to light than film, and even the human eye, allow us to capture night landscapes depicting the Milky Way arched overhead, or star trails showing their movement through the sky over the course of hours.
Join landscape photographer and technical guru, Rick Berk, for an online workshop exploring the fascinating night sky with our cameras. In this four-session program, Rick explains his process for planning, composing, capturing, and processing night landscape images. Session One features the capture process, including determining where elements in the night sky will be in relation to the foreground and then properly exposing the scene for both foreground and night sky. After this session, each participant is given an assignment to experiment and create their own nighttime images.
To start the second session, Rick reviews these assignment images for the technical aspects of the photographs as well as their composition and overall image quality. Then he presents an illustrated lecture on advanced nighttime exposure techniques and dynamic compositions that lead to more creative nighttime images.
In Session Three, after reviewing new participant images, Rick demonstrates the proper processing of night landscapes to minimize noise and bring out certain details. Using various software including Photoshop, Lightroom, Starry Landscape Stacker, and Sequator—Rick shows how to take night sky images and elevate them to unforgettable landscape photographs. The assignment between sessions is to experiment with these software techniques.
Session Four brings everything together with an image review and then final tips, tricks, and troubleshooting from Rick’s vast experience photographing the night sky.
Working knowledge of digital workflow and manual mode on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Participants must be able to download and select images using image editing software for class sessions.
Rick Berk is a fine-art nature and landscape photographer based on Maine’s midcoast. After beginning college as a graphic design major, he took photography as a requirement and was immediately enamored with the photographic process.
Rick has spent nearly 30 years in photography, beginning as a sports photographer covering professional sports, before transitioning to working as a technical specialist for camera companies. His responsibilities included training photographers, consumers, and photo specialty retail staff on photographic technology and its real-world application. In the past several years Rick has transitioned back to being behind the camera full-time, traveling extensively to produce eye-catching landscapes.