Sunset and Beyond – Low Light and Night Photography in the Peak District

Peak District building lit by flash at night - at the location being used by Peak Digital Training for a night photography course

“It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly coloured than the day” – Vincent Van Gogh.

Saturday October 7th – 5.00pm to midnight. Cost: £90.00 per person.

This course is now fully booked.

Most photographers have tried to photograph a sunset at some point (many cameras even have a special “sunset” mode), but the results are often disappointing. On this course you’ll find out why this can happen, and learn some of the techniques that will make your sunset photos really come alive. Many of these same techniques also apply to twilight and night photography, and during this course, you will learn how and when to use them.
Modern digital cameras work extremely well in low light conditions, and have made night photography much easier and predictable than it used to be in the days of film. So if you’ve ever wanted to try low light, night photography and “light painting“, this course will show you how to get started, and what fun it can be!

It is being held at a very safe, rural location at a Field Centre in the Derbyshire Peak District – which has relatively little light pollution and is ideally suited for sunset and night photography. With wide horizons, barns and trees and amazing old industrial buildings and chimneys silhouetted against the sky, this is one the prime locations in the whole of the Peak District for this type of photography. The course will begin nearly two hours before sunset (so we will be able to take full advantage of “golden hour” light), continue through “blue hour” after sunset, and into darkness proper – with the light of the almost full moon to help us. There will be a maximum of only 6 people on the course.

Please contact us if you would like more information, or to request a booking form for this course.

As this is an advanced level course, you need to be able to set shutter speeds, apertures, ISO and focus in fully manual (M) mode – if you’re not able to do that, you might like to consider coming on one of our landscape photography courses first to develop your skills. We will be working in groups, so not only will we and our equipment be safe (safety is not really a problem in such a rural location), but we will also have “human slaves” to hold and direct flashguns and lights for us. It should be great fun!

Star trails over the Peak District © Chris JamesThere is often some lovely weather for sunsets and night photography at this time of year. The evenings are already drawing in, but still relatively warm, and there are often light winds as well. On October 7th, the sun will set just before 6.30pm. We will then have the chance to take photos during “blue hour” before the moon rises just after 7.30pm, Once the moon has risen, we will be able to take photographs just by moonlight (the moon will be almost full) – an ideal and relatively easy introduction to night photography.

The photographic possibilities on this course are obviously dependent on the weather and cloud conditions, but even if it’s cloudy, we will still be able to get some great photos using combinations of natural light and “light painting” using flashguns and/or torches.

You do not need any special equipment for this course, but your camera must have a manual (M) exposure mode, and be able to take photos using long shutter speeds – ideally 30 seconds. Digital slr or mirrorless cameras should all be fine, but some compact cameras are also suitable (if you are in any doubt about the suitability of your camera, please contact us for advice). A sturdy tripod is also a must, and some sort of cable or remote shutter release would be useful (though not essential). Apart from that, all you will need is a torch – both to help you set up your equipment and to use for light painting. LED torches are best, as their light is close to the colour temperature of daylight, but any other torch will do – the more powerful, the better. If you have a flashgun (a separate one, not just the pop-up flash on your camera) do bring that as well, though we will also be providing several for us to use, as well as some wireless flash triggers and flash gels.

The cost of the course will include hot drinks and biscuits. The Field Centre provides some interesting indoor subjects that we can practise techniques on if the weather turns bad, and it also has a wood-burning stove to keep us warm, as well as drinks making and toilet facilities. We will also be bringing along a laptop with various bits of photo editing software (including Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop), so we can review the photos you take straight away.

Please contact us if you would like more information, or to request a booking form for this course.

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