The Atacama Desert – Darkest Skies in the World

Come learn the magic of night photography in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet, the Atacama desert! One of the highest, driest deserts in the world, the Atacama is a perfect spot to photograph some of the darkest skies next to incredible and unique geologic features.

You'll learn to create night landscape imagery with the milky way and other southern hemisphere astronomical features. The "master of night photography," Wayne Suggs will lead you through the technical procedures with the help of dark sky expert Sivani Babu. You'll learn how to capture night landscapes in single and multiple exposures to be post-processed seamlessly into amazing nightscapes. We'll have our own private classroom in the historic village of San Pedro de Atacama, where we'll be stationed for the duration of our workshop.

Each day we'll be exploring the surrounding local desert and high Andes just a short drive away. You'll photograph the milky way from 15,000 feet in altitude making for the bright stars to become genuinely luminescent. San Pedro de Atacama is at 8,000 feet, allowing you to adjust to the thin air while you sleep. Also, each day, we'll ascend into the surrounding mountains incrementally higher and higher. Finally, we'll visit 15,000 feet for our final star shoot high in the middle of the Andes.

Don't wait long. This workshop is sure to sell out fast!

Location:

Chile

Tuition:

$8,495

Dates:

May 8–15, 2021

Fitness Level:

Challenging: Short walks in desert environments at altitudes up to 15,000 feet

Availability:

Open for Registration
Limited to 8 Guests

My goals were to learn how to better process night skies in PS and learn new field techniques - Wayne’s knowledge and enthusiasm exceeded both those goals. Lighting up the foreground with the drone was amazing.
— Kurt Hillman, Wild Utah Night Skies ’19 and 4 other Muench Workshops

Itinerary and General Information

May 8, 2021: Everyone will arrive on the same morning flight into Calama from Santiago and will be driven to our home for the next seven nights. You’ll be given the exact flight to book as well as a recommendation to convenient hotels in Santiago if you need to spend the night. The drive to San Pedro is only two hours and offers a scenic introduction to the unique scenery. We’ll spend this first afternoon reviewing the week’s plans and visit one of the many excellent local restaurants for dinner before heading out on our first night of photographing.

May 9–12, 2021: Each day will be similar, with a late morning breakfast/brunch to recover from the previous late night. Then there will be a mid-morning image review and post-processing lessons. A light lunch will break up the classroom time followed by an early dinner before heading out to photograph sunset and stars. You’ll be spending the afternoon capturing the golden hour as it transitions into the night and finally the very very dark night when the stars become visible.

May 12, 2021: On this morning, we’ll leave before lunch to reach our final destination way up in the mountains. We’ll take lunch and dinner with us to maximize our time in the field. We’ll visit the scenic canyon, Quebrada Escalera, where the Cardon Cactus grow. We’ll continue on to the historic village of Machuca and plan on photographing the stars in the vicinity at an altitude of approximately 13,000 feet.

May 13, 2021: We’ll start the day later due to the long night before, then meet for breakfast, another image review and a large lunch. We’ll take dinner with us and head for the high altitude pass East of town where we’ll visit the Caldera La Pacana. This is a stunning lagoon surrounded by the cone-shaped Andes that rise more than 20,000 feet. We’ll spend the sunset, dusk, and part of the night up here to capture the night sky.

May 14, 2021: Another late morning after the long previous night followed by a later breakfast/brunch. We’ll then hold our final image review and post-processing lesson before heading out to a location for sunset. We’ll partake in a celebratory dinner in town before catching a much-needed sleep.

May 15, 2021: Breakfast, check out of our hotel then drive back to Calama to catch flights home. This flight will be shared with you at a designated time.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)

  • All meals, soft drinks and snacks during the workshop

  • All ground transportation during the workshop

  • All permits, fees, and gratuities

  • Photographic instruction and guiding from two pros

  • Image reviews, critiques, and post-processing instruction

  • Fun, inspiration, and a great time!

Whats Not Included?

Air transportation to Calama, Chile (CJC), and home again. Alcoholic beverages. Visa or passport fees. Medical Evacuation Insurance (required). Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended). Items of a personal nature. Anything specifically not mentioned as included.

Payment Terms

Your deposit of $2,495 will hold your space in this workshop. A second payment of $3,000 will be due on October 1, 2020. The balance of $3,000 will be due not later than February 1, 2021. All of our standard terms and conditions apply. Need special payment arrangements for your deposit? No problem, just ask us.

Additional Information

The workshop will fill fast, so go ahead and click the Sign Me Up button and we’ll see you in San Pedro de Atacama!