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Summer Skies and Starry Nights in the Big Bend Regional Event (JULY 28-31, 2022)

July 28 - July 31

Leaders | Travel and lodging | What to expect | Preliminary itinerary

 

Registration is now open

 

Night skies and the Milky Way, classic black and white landscapes, dramatic clouds, and iconic formations in southwest Texas

Event Overview

From our base in Terlingua, Texas we’ll explore some of the iconic locations within Big Bend National Park in western Texas. This event is timed to provide us with some exceptionally dark skies for night photography, and also falls during the peak monsoon season in Big Bend – giving us the possibility of dramatic skies in the afternoons. Clear night sky for starry night photography is our target, but mid-day black-and-white photography will be outstanding, and we’ll take advantage of the vast views to photograph distant storms over the landscape from the afternoon to late in the day. Daytime temperatures can vary with the monsoons, but can get over 100° F, so nighttime photography will provide a nice respite. Once night falls, attendees can photograph star trails, the milky way, and do foreground light painting until late in the evening.  We will take advantage of whatever the weather provides, so with longer days and evenings, we will rest in the mornings and shoot the remainder of the day. Most photographic locations are within a relatively easy walk of the vehicles, but we may take a slightly longer hike (no more than 2 miles roundtrip) if conditions warrant.

This regional event is structured like a photo workshop, with hands-on shooting complemented with classroom sessions on “Making the Most of the Landscape & Night Sky Photographic Experience” and “Post Processing – Landscape & Night Sky Images.”

Cost: $890 NANPA Members/$1,090 Non-members

Last Date to Register:  June 25, 2022

Maximum number of attendees: 18

Desert landscape photo. Outstanding mid-day black and white photo opportunities. © Lee Hoy

Outstanding mid-day black and white photo opportunities. © Lee Hoy

Leaders

Lee Hoy

Lee Hoy, has been exploring the Big Bend region for over 30 years and was a key scout, assistant and animal scout for the PBS Nature special, “Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas.” He offers photography tours/workshops in the Big Bend region year around and knows where to go to get the “shot!”

 

Jeff Parker

Jeff Parker has been a longtime Texas resident until recently relocating to New Mexico and has led many photo workshops to Big Bend National Park. Jeff is owner of Explore in Focus, and his work has appeared in many magazines and books. Jeff leads photo tours throughout the western U.S., Europe, and South and Central America. Together with his wife, writer Mary O. Parker, he published the award-winning nature travel guide, Explore Texas.

Travel and lodging

The base for this event will be at the Far Flung Outdoor Center (FFOC), 23310 FM 170, Terlingua, Texas 79852

NANPA is holding reservations for several casitas at FFOC for participant lodging. Each casita has 2 queen beds, a private bathroom and a kitchenette with microwave, coffee pot, toaster, refrigerator, sink, dishes, glasses, and silverware. The lodging price ($790) is per casita for 3 nights lodging (July 28, 29, 30).

There are a limited number of casitas available at Far Flung Outdoor Center, if you would like to reserve a casita, select the lodging option at event registration while supplies last. Let the Regional Events Coordinator know if you are interested in sharing your booked casita with another participant.

If you do not purchase the optional lodging option, or if the FFOC casitas have sold out by the time you register, you will need to make your own reservation at alternative lodging such as the casitas at https://www.paisanovillagervparkandinn.com/accommodations or https://www.airbnb.com/terlingua-tx/stays Given the workshop schedule, having lodging with some cooking facility is advisable.

Airports and Ground Transportation

Recommended airport: El Paso International Airport (Mountain Standard Time)
Southwest and American have connections into El Paso.

Transportation to and from lodging and during the event is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility.

Car Rental agencies are plentiful at the El Paso airport. You do NOT need a 4×4 rental car for this workshop. High clearance wouldn’t hurt but is NOT necessary to enjoy this workshop. Drive time from the El Paso airport is approximately 4 hours 45 minutes.

We will be starting each day from the Far Flung Outdoor Center in Terlingua, TX. Ride sharing is encouraged to reduce the size of our vehicle presence and improve the traveling/following experience. You are welcome to either drive or ride with someone. This is also a great way to meet people and make new friends during the event!

Note that NANPA does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.

MEALS:
All meals except Sunday Breakfast are on your own.  The Sunday breakfast location will be announced at Thursday’s Meet & Greet/Orientation.

Event leaders suggest you bring your dinner with you to the afternoon/evening photo shoots, so you should be prepared with a cooler. Lodging with a kitchenette, like provided at the Far Flung Outdoor Center Casitas, is also helpful to store and prepare food.

Photo of an illuminated ocotillo cactus with night sky behind. Light painting and starry skies © Jeff Parker

Light painting and starry skies © Jeff Parker

What to expect

PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS:

Some of the iconic locations within the park that we will most likely photograph include:

  • Santa Elena Canyon
  • the Chisos Mountains
  • the Window in the Chisos Basin
  • Dead Horse Mountains
  • Mule Ears Peak
  • the Rio Grande
  • and much more

Your leaders will have visited the areas prior to the event; and the field trip locations will be based on what’s most photogenic at the time, weather conditions, etc.  These will be announced on Thursday afternoon during the Registration/Orientation.

HEALTH AND FITNESS

Most photographic locations are within a relatively easy walk of the vehicles, but we may take a slightly longer hike (no more than 2 miles roundtrip) if conditions warrant. Backpacks with a hydration reservoir or water bottles are key to staying hydrated in the dry climate.

WEATHER & CLOTHING

Temperatures can vary dramatically during the summer due to the monsoons with temperatures at the Rio Grande being warmer (90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit) and about 20 degrees cooler in the mountains. However, you can occasionally have days in the mid-60’s in summer.  Participants should bring rain gear, good sturdy hiking boots to handle the rocky terrain, and long sleeves and pants to protect against thorns and to keep the sun off your skin. Open-toed shoes are highly discouraged.

CAMERA GEAR:

  • DSLR or Mirrorless Camera Body (Backup camera bodies are always good to have)
  • Wide Angle (14 to 35mm), Normal (35mm to 50mm), and Telephoto (70 to 200mm) Lenses (f/2.8 or faster for night sky)
  • Batteries (Plenty) and Battery Charger(s)
  • Memory Cards (You can never have too many)
  • Tripod
  • Neutral Density, Graduated Neutral Density, and Polarizing Filters
  • Programmable Intervalometer (Phottix Aion or Vello Shutterboss 4.0)
  • Camera backpack with camelpak-type water container or water bottle holders

OTHER RECOMMENDED GEAR:

  • Sturdy Hiking Boots.
  • Wide-brimmed Hat
  • Long Sleeve Shirts & Long Pants
  • Sunscreen
  • Rain Gear
  • Headlamp/Flashlight

GENERAL

We are in a very remote location so if you forget your batteries, chargers, memory cards or other gear, there is NO location nearby to purchase such gear.

Be prepared for limited cell phone service (3G in most places with occasional LTE).

This event is designed for nature photographers at all levels of experience, amateur and professional photographers alike. Assistance will be available in the field for those who wish to improve their photographic skills. If you already have plenty of photography experience, Lee and Jeff will ensure you get to the best locations at the best times to capture those perfect shots. Other participants are also great about sharing techniques, tips and ideas. Please know your camera before you arrive and bring your manual, just in case we need to look up something.

Thunderstorm Over Chisos Mountains Big Bend National Park

Thunderstorm Over Chisos Mountains
Big Bend National Park
Brewster County, Texas
2 June, 2019

Preliminary itinerary

Please note schedules are fluid due to weather conditions and other variables. Group may be split up to accommodate smaller size at each location.

YOUR LEADERS:

For questions ahead of the trip please feel free to call or email:

Day 1 – July 28th (Thursday)
Official Sunset at 8:49 p.m./New Moon

  • Participants should plan to arrive in Terlingua, Texas by 1:00 p.m.
  • 1:30 p.m. – Registration and Meet & Greet in the Oasis Room at the Far Flung Outdoor Center, followed by a class on “Making the Most of the Landscape & Night Sky Photographic Experience”
  • 3:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Depart for Evening Photo Session to either chase monsoons, do some black-and-white or nail an incredible sunset. Bring your dinner with you!
  • 9:00 p.m. until no later than 1:00 a.m. – Night Sky Shooting
  • Return to Terlingua

Day 2 – July 29th (Friday)
Official Sunset at 8:48 p.m./Waxing Crescent Moon Sets at 9:52 p.m.

  • Noon – Group Lunch (Optional- not included in registration fee) 1:30 p.m. – Meet at Far Flung Outdoor Center for class
  • 3:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Depart for Evening Photo Session to either chase monsoons, do some black-and-white or nail an incredible sunset. Bring your dinner with you!
  • 9:00 p.m. until no later than 1:00 a.m. – Night Sky Shooting
  • Return to Terlingua

Day 3 – July 30th (Saturday)
Official Sunset at 8:47 p.m./Waxing Crescent Moon Sets at 10:25 p.m.

  • Noon – Group Lunch (Optional- not included in registration fee) 1:30 p.m. – Meet at Far Flung Outdoor Center for class on “Post Processing – Landscape & Night Sky Images.”
  • 3:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Depart for Evening Photo Session to either chase monsoons, do some black-and-white or nail an incredible sunset. Bring your dinner with you!
  • 9:00 p.m. until no later than 1:00 a.m. – Night Sky Shooting
  • Return to Terlingua

Day 4 – July 31st (Sunday)

  • 6:30 a.m. – Depart for Final Morning Session at Terlingua Ghost Town Cemetery
  • 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast with the Group (included in registration fee). The event wraps up after breakfast.

COVID-19 POLICY

NANPA is committed to the health and safety of all participants and leaders at any of our events.  We have taken steps to reduce the inherent risks surrounding any public location where people are present.  We ask that you familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 health and safety precautions and requirements prior to your trip.  Masks are discretionary unless required by a particular venue or location.

You should evaluate your own risks when determining whether to participate.  By attending this event and signing the NANPA Regional Events Liability Release you acknowledge and agree that you assume these inherent risks associated with your attendance as we have explained them to you.

Most importantly:

If you have been feeling sick or have been exposed to someone in your household who is feeling sick or has tested positive for COVID-19, PLEASE STAY HOME.

NANPA follows the CDC rules and the rules of the state in which an event is held.  Those rules currently are:

Big Bend National Park COVID-19 Information and Updates Link:

Center for Disease Control Travel Link:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

NANPA will let you know if anything changes prior to the event.

We thank you in advance for your adherence and support as we work together to keep everyone safe.

 

Thank You to NANPA’s 2022 Regional Events Sponsor

Other

USA States/Territories
Texas
Type of event
On Location
Cost range
$890-$1090

Venue

Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834 United States + Google Map
Phone:
432-477-2251
View Venue Website