Land of Stone and Light

The rugged beauty of the Badlands draws visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient horses and rhinos once roamed here. The park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today

Join us in Badlands National Park in South Dakota in August for 4-nights of spectacular Milky Way photography.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota, is not surrounded by big cities or other major sources of light pollution making night skies in the park very clear.

Its vast vistas and exceptionally dark skies provide excellent shooting opportunities.

Each area of the park will provide you with remarkably unique night-scape shooting and lighting challenges to better hone your skills.

Each night our shooting will begin at sunset and continue for several hours of astrophotography to be able to maximize our time in the park.

Some of the more popular locations include:

  • Panorama Point
  • Burns Basin Overlook
  • Sage Creek Rim Road
  • Big Badlands Overlook
  • Norbeck Pass
  • White River Valley Overlook
  • Schwabacher's Landing
  • Cottonwood Ghost town

Required Equipment and Accessories :

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera with "native" non-extended ISO range to at least 12,800 and shutter speeds to at least 30 secs
  • Wide angle lens with a aperture of f/2.8 or larger and a full frame equivalent of 14 - 24 mm
  • A sturdy tripod (long exposures require it to be very stable)
  • Shutter release cord (best option), intervalometer, or wireless remote
  • Extra batteries
  • Headlamp with a RED filter
  • Small flashlight

NOTE: If you need to purchase or rent any of the required equipment - please, feel free to contact Craig at 520-732-1440 to help you get set up.

Recommended Items:

  • Warm clothes (as the night gets later it does get cooler)
  • Gloves and hat
  • Hiking Boots
  • Snacks and beverages
  • Bug Spray
  • Camping chair or any portable seat. We do a lot of standing.

What You Will Learn:

  • Single Shot Milky Way
  • Star Trails and Processing

We only teach in our workshops single exposure wide-field astrophotography, which can be best described as landscape photography in the dark, with an emphasis on capturing brilliant Milky Way images using wide-angle lenses. Over the years a variety of techniques have been developed but our shooting time will be focused on getting the most out of your equipment with just a single exposure. This is a great place for the beginner astrophotographer to start their journey or the intermediate photographer to hone their skills before moving on to the more advanced techniques.

We will also take a look at:

  • The best times to photograph the Milky Way
  • How to find the best dark sky location
  • Best equipment to use
  • How to focus in the dark
  • How to set exposure and ISO
  • Rule of 400 / 500 / 600
  • Identifying other lights in the night sky

What You’ll Need For Processing Class:  

Digital processing is a crucial step in astrophotography for creating striking images.

We will also spend an afternoon on post-processing techniques that can help you create striking images using Lightroom Classic CC.

Make sure you have the latest version of Lightroom Classic CC pre-loaded.


More Details:

Participants: Limit 10

Experience Level: Who will benefit from this workshop?

This is designed for the beginner to intermediate photographer as defined below:

  • Beginner I : Someone having a strong knowledge and firm understanding of their camera with "little to no" experience in astrophotography.
  • Beginner II : Someone having a strong knowledge and firm understanding of their camera and have "tried" their hand at astrophotography.
  • Intermediate : Someone having a strong knowledge and firm understanding of their camera with "some" experience in astrophotography.

Endurance Level: Moderate - Light hiking is involved, but nothing too strenuous. We’ll drive to each location then hike to the best position

Transportation: We will car pool to the park every night

Badlands Workshop Dates: August 12 - 15, 2023

Arrival Date: August 11, 2023 or morning of August 12, 2023

Departure Date: August 16, 2023

Lodging: Our home base for this workshop is Badlands Frontier Cabins in Wall, SD where we have reserved a block of rooms at a reduced rate.

Please call Badlands Frontier Cabins at 605.279.2619 to reserve your room

What is Included?

The cost of the workshop DOES include:

  • Welcome reception lunch on our first day
  • Group dinner on one night
  • Workshop instruction by Craig Wennersten
  • Star trail photography instruction and processing
  • Post processing instruction using Lightroom Classic CC
  • Permits and park entrance fees
  • Plus...all the Milky Way Bars you can eat! :-)

This workshop DOES NOT include:

  • Lodging
  • Transportation to and from the workshop
  • Flights, rental cars, trip insurance etc.
  • Meals (other than dinner on our second night)

Price: $ 2,995.00


About Your Instructor: Craig Wennersten (Image 10 Photographic)

Image 10 Photographic began in 1988 with a passion for landscape photography and a desire to experience God's creation and capture God’s handiwork.

My first experiences with photography began in high school in journalism class as a yearbook photographer and also for the local newspaper in my home town, Holland, Michigan. It was at this time I began my extensive journey and education in manual cameras, black and white film and printing in the darkroom. During this time I built a strong foundation and learned the true “art of photography”.

In the 90’s – completely self-taught – I worked at refining my photographic techniques using my trusty Nikon SLR and transparency film before finally moving over to the “digital world” in 2012.

Now, I enjoy all the creative doors digital photography has opened and all it’s post-processing challenges – similar to that of my early years in the darkroom but now using computers and software.

Seasoned professional business owner, photographer and instructor who is passionate about all things photographable. I am a dark sky defender and member of the International Dark Sky Association. The night sky is disappearing worldwide at an alarming pace. As a dark sky defender I am dedicated to advocating for its conservation and protection. The brilliance of the Milky Way isn’t the only reason to protect dark skies.  What else is at risk ?

While specializing in capturing all things looking up, my photography is a collaboration of astrophotography, cityscapes, abstracts and landscapes. I am a global traveller and have taught, led and organized numerous photography workshops, clinics and classes throughout the US .

Photography has always been a way for me to slow down my life, a way to stop and reflect on what is important. A time to refuel, refresh and recharge – I am grateful for it in my life.

Time is a precious commodity for all of us with busy lives, so whenever you can immerse yourself in God’s country, engage with your surroundings under the majesty of the galactic grandeur of the Milky Way and enjoy the “recharge” that outdoor photography can provide – I highly recommend it.

Hope To See You There! ~ Keep Looking Up!

Please feel free to contact Craig at 520-732-1440 if you have any questions or need any help with your gear or equipment requirements.

Cancellation Policy:
> 90 days prior:  Fully refundable.

< 90 Days Prior: Deposit Nonrefundable.

< 60 days prior: 1/2 of Tuition refundable as credit, after nonrefundable deposit.

< 30 days prior: No credit or refund.

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