Michael DeStefano: Astrophotography: An Evening of Landscape and Night Sky in Joshua Tree National Monument

(c) Michael DeStefano 2020


Thursday, September 24th 7:00pm – 1:00am.

Learn to capture star trails, the Milky Way, and general night sky photography while exploring one of the most amazing astro photography destinations, Joshua Tree National Park.We will spend the night exploring the park of Joshua Tree near the New Moon so as to get night skies at their darkest. This will be an excellent introduction to night photography for those interested in capturing the Milky Way as well as a beautiful location for experienced photographers to test more advanced techniques.

Supported by Sky Watcher, a tech will be on hand with several of their camera-mounted star tracking platforms available for attendees to use and experiment with. Sky Watcher is one of the leading manufacturers of telescopes and Astrophotography products.

By attending this Astrophotography workshop you will learn the fundamental knowledge and techniques needed to capture beautiful and amazing night sky photography. You will be given the opportunity to take your night photography to the next level by learning how to prepare for and find dark sky locations anywhere. Get real world experience using star tracking mounts, and experience a night sky from one of the most amazing National Parks.

Topics that will be covered:

  • Scouting/Planning using mobile Apps
  • Camera modes and basic principles
  • How to use “the 500 rule”
  • Focusing at night
  • Optimal and advanced equipment
  • How to use star tracking mounts
  • Various techniques for capturing night pictures
  • Tips and Tricks for star trails and time-lapse
  • Light painting and creative lighting
  • Landscape and foreground compositions

Recommended Camera Gear

A DSLR or Mirrorless camera
A fast and wide lens (14-20mm) is best but a telephoto can give unique options
Tripod or other stabilization device
Shutter release or Intervalometer
Extra charged batteries

Attendees should be prepared for a light hike into the desert brush a short distance off the road. Joshua Tree can get cold at night so wearing layers for varying weather conditions is important. Additional items to consider bringing: headlamp or flashlight, bug spray, gloves, and a knit hat.

PRICE: $450



Michael Destefano is a Boston based Outdoor Lifestyle Photographer, Astrophotographer and writer specializing in commercial and editorial work that combines his love of the outdoors with adventure sports. He creates beautiful, often environmentally-based images that capture both the subject and surroundings to tell a deeper story.




Sky-Watcher is the premiere manufacturer of astronomical tracking mounts and high-end astrophotography products, such as apochromatic refractors, imaging Newtonians, and computerized equatorial mounts. Sky-Watcher’s tracking platform, the Star Adventurer, turns a standard photographic tripod into a powerful astrophotography mount using its unique modular design.

In addition to a full line of astrophotography products, Sky-Watcher offers a complete line of Dobsonians, ideal for beginning astronomers looking to explore the night sky visually.