Nightscape Photography Workshop - Joseph Cali

Nightscapes and Star Trails, Astrophotography by Joe Cali
"Under the Milky Way Tonight"

2020 Workshops Contact
& Field Trips

COVID19: With the spread of COVID19, associated  travel and social distancing restrictions, I have, in consultation with PhotoAccess, postponed all workshops indefinitely until things return to some semblance of normality.

I will be thinking about what other  workshops or presentations could be offered via online channels.  Please check back here in a few weeks.

Even after restrictions are relaxed, COVID19 will continue to be present until a vaccine is available in about 18 months. Before restrictions were imposed, we began making plans how the workshops could be delivered with distancing and segregation.  As the situation evolves, we will give further consideration as to when and how workshops can be delivered safely and hygienically without risk to participants or staff.

If you have already enrolled, please contact Photoaccess. You can choose to get a full refund or keep your place in the postponed.

Stay safe look after yourselves and we'll all meet on the other side of this difficult period.

Joe Cali

Workshops @ Photoaccess
Interested?  Contact me and you will be emailed when courses & excursions open for enrolment. Your email won't be used or passed on for any other purpose.
  • Weekend  Workshop at a Dark Sky Retreat
  • Nightscapes and Star Trails 3
  • Photoshop and Lightroom -  from the ground up
  • Photoshop and Lightroom -  stacking and compositing astrophotos

Margaret was a participant in  the Nightscapes and Star Trails course [May 2019]. She took this dreamy nightscape during the course fieldtrip.

A Weekend Under Pinchgut Skies
Cost $565.00

Joe Cali                                        Greg Bond
Spend a weekend shooting under spectacular dark skies at 'Retreat' a private property out past Cootamundra with astrophotographers Joe Cali (Canberra) and Greg Bond (Brisbane) and joined by some of the Photoaccess staff. Both Greg and Joe have more than 40 years of experience as astronomers and astrophotographers and have been best friends for most of that time. This two night residential course starts Friday afternoon and runs until  Sunday lunch and includes food and  accommodation and a 2 hr drive from Canberra.  Fully catered : breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, tea and coffee provided. BYO snacks.

To capture red hydrogen alpha emission nebulae such as Barnard's Loop (above) requires
a longer exposure
using a tracker, and good red sensitivity in your camera. Barnards Loop will
be setting as it gets dark but other nebula targets in the central and southern Milky Way will be
available throughout the night.

"The light fantastic, Milky Way Panorama, West Wyalong"  (top right)
Skies at West Wyalong are simiar to our workshop location at 'Retreat' near Pinchgut Creek.

"Will you pleeeeaaase turn off that torch" (lower right)
The red in the sky is in this photo is airglow a chemical luminescence
in the upper atomosphere. The red on the ground is Greg Bond who just loves
to get into the foreground of Joe's nightscapes. The Milky Way will rise
and  be in a similar  position to this after 1am.

Guidance will be given throughout the night with night sky orientation (astronomy 101) including some Wiradjiri dreamtime astronomy. We'll assist with target identification, capture techniques and camera operation.  Early in the night we'll shoot the rising Milky Way around Scorpius. Later, the full milkyway loop will be able to be captured as a panorama or circumpolar star trails. If we are rerally lucky, we might get an airglow display or a faint aurora invisible to the eye but  that can be recorded photographically.  Bright aurorae visible from this latitude to the eye are extremely rare.

Some motorised tracking devices will be available for you to try out.  We will demonstrate set up of such devices including all important polar alignment technique. Bring your own tracker & learn how to set it up or take turns trying your camera on Joe's trackers. Objects such as Eta Carina and Rho Ophiuchi shown below are within your grasp with the use of the trackers. Naturally, the program will  also include plenty of wide angle fixed tripod nightscape photography targets in addition to the tracking targets.
Eta Carina   Rho Ophiuchi

After midnight the central Milky Way will reach peak altitude.  If you have the energy, it remains dark enough to do photography until 5am. By 4am, the zodiacal light will be visible and able to be photographed.

Requirements: DSLR, Lenses, Tripod, remote release (intervalometer recommended), small pair of binoculars useful but not essential, towel, bed linen - bottom sheet, pillow and sleeping bag for bedding, powerboard and chargers, very warm clothes.  Own transport to Pinchgut (195km/2hrs). We will try to facilitate carpooling arrangements between participants if requested.  Meals area, accommodation in the properties shearers quarters, and astronomical activities are all co-located, once there, you don't need to travel. Road access is good, some of the road is unsealed but well maintained and accessible with a small low ground clearance sedan. 

Enrol securely online now

places available

11 people are interested
3 people have enrolled

Nightscapes and Star Trails
Cost $220
Enrol securely online now

Do you stand outside at night, look up at the stars and dream of capturing the awe-inspiring beauty of the Milky Way? If you’re in possession of a DSLR camera, a tripod, warm clothes and a sense of adventure, then your dream can come true!

Join experienced astrophotographer and tutor Joe Cali for this hands-on workshop focusing on creating nightscapes. Together with fellow astro-enthusiasts, you’ll consider how to compose after-dark land and skyscapes, explore practical aspects of night shoots, such as forecasting clear skies and staying comfortable during long cold shoots, and experiment with processing your images to create striking stills, star trails and panoramas. During long exposures, you’ll no doubt also have lots of opportunity to discuss the wonder of the galaxy.

The workshop comprises two 3 hours classroom sessions at PhotoAccess and a Saturday field trip of about 6 hours (1 hour drive each way, with 3 – 4 hours field time). The field trip is scheduled for Saturday 18 April, but due to cloudy weather we may need to delay it. We’ll be able to give you 24 hours’ notice if it’s re-scheduled.
For this workshop, you'll need basic to intermediate photography skills, a good working knowledge of your camera controls and any associated equipment. If you’re not sure about your skill level, give us a ring in advance to discuss.

You'll need:
  • DSLR camera;
  • wide-angle lens;
  • charged batteries;
  • memory card/s;
  • a solid tripod;
  • a cable release or intervalometer*
  • a red torch** (not a head torch or mobile phone).
  • a small pair of binoculars useful but not essential
  • very warm clothing+

* We recommend that you purchase an intervalometer, which costs less than $30 on Ebay (https://tinyurl.com/y6qy9w25). Please make sure to purchase the cable adaptor/connector appropriate to your brand and model of camera.
** Red cellophane held over a white torch by elastic bands works fine.

 + You'll be shooting outside in late autumn, so you'll need to dress warmly – as in really, really warmly! You may also be working alongside country roads at night, so a Hi-Vis outer layer is recommended. There will be some Hi-Vis vests available
for loan.
I plan field trips for my courses so that we travel to
locations with dark skies  drive of 40 minutes up to a one hour
each way.

Enrol securely online now

9  places available

  person has enrolled

"Sari Sari Night"
 Sari shoots the stars at a "Nightscapes and Star Trails" workshop field trip

Nightscapes and Star Trails fieldnight

Central Milky Way - photo Joe Cali  2017

Photoshop and Lightroom for Photographers

Do you look at elegantly processed images astronomical or otherwise and wish you could do that.  Tutor Joe Cali has been using Adobe Photoshop since version 2 in 1992. He began teaching photography workshops at photo access in 1995 and has taught photoshop workshops since 2004. He has taken numerous masterclass workshops in Photoshop, Lightroom and raw capture with Les Walkling formerly of the Art School at RMIT.

In this two-part series, Joe will give you a ground up introduction to Lightroom and Photoshop then move into more advanced techniques.

Part 1 : Back to Basics
Cost TBA

We will look at various file types and the differences between raw and jpg capture.  We'll run through the whole of the develop module in Lightroom and look at how the library module can help you stay organised.  We'll also look in less depth at the map module and how you can use it for nightscaping, the slide show and web gallery generator. 

Then we'll unravel the mysteries of Photoshop. Photoshop is a complex behemoth of a program. This is because it tries to be all things to all people. It's the industry standard in layout, graphic design and publishing as well as digitial painting and rendering, 3D AND photography.  Joe will help to cut through the complexity and introduce you to "Photoshop for Photographers." A reduced but powerful function and tool set that will give you more control than you thought possible for all photography not just astrophotography.

The course assumes you can use a computer, mouse, keyboards, understand how to use your operating system and file organisation but you do not need any prior experience with Photoshop or Lightroom, we start at the beginning and work up. We do ask you to have your licenced installed versions of Lightroom and Photoshop already running on your own computer that you can bring to class to gain full benefit  from this hands on workshop. Please ensure the programs are installed and licenses registered and everything working before coming to class. Class time is valuable and it's unfair to your classmates to expect them to sit aroundwhile the tutor helps with basic IT issues that are better handled out of class. 


10 places available
  7 people are interested
  0 people have enrolled

Photoshop and Lightroom for Photographers

Part 2 : Astronomical Image Processing
Cost TBA

In this workshop, Joe Cali will build on skills developed in back to basics and concentrate on techniques he uses for processing astronomical images.  Back to Basics is suited to anyone who wants to become proficient using Photoshop and Lightroom whether they are an astrophotographer or not. However, if  you are not an astrophotographer, this astronomical image processing workshop probably isn't the workshop for you.

We'll look at various sharpening techniques, stacking and blending techniqes that are used for noise reduction, stacking and blending sequences of images into star trails, advanced masking to separate landscapes from sky in a nightscape so that stars can be de-rotated and stacked and then recombined with the foreground landscape. We'll then apply this technique to separating and stacking stars before recombining to a landscape, adding stars from one picture to another landscape.


10 places available
  6 people are interested
  0 people have enrolled

Michael was a participant in  the Nightscapes and Star Trails course [May 2019] He has since done a lot of individual work in Namadgi such as this beautiful Milky Way panorama taken at Brayshaws Hut.


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