Big Bend National Park Under Night Skies
May 18 – 24, 2025
Big Bend National Park is known for its ancient limestone and volcanic rock formations, but did you know it has one of the darkest skies in the world? Explore one of the most fascinating Southwest landscapes, where the Rio Grande River flows through deep canyons and meanders through the desert terrain. We will also head high into the Chisos Mountains, where black bears, bighorn sheep, and deer are often spotted in this photogenic setting. We will photograph old, abandoned buildings and make our way through ghost towns and graveyards. With June being one of the warmest months of the year at Big Bend, it is the perfect time to be in the desert under the stars, with an average low temperature of 73 degrees. We will spend the warmest part of the day in a comfortable, air-conditioned meeting room behind our laptops, learning Muench’s specialized technique of processing our night photographs. It is one of the most comprehensive night workshops we offer.
The Milky Way will be first and foremost on the Big Bend agenda. Of course, we will photograph the sunset to take advantage of the big Texas skies and dramatic landscape. You will learn astrophotography and how to properly create images in low light—your night sky and landscape will look amazing! For the seasoned photographer who wants to take their night skills to the next level or the advanced beginner who wants to dive a little bit deeper into nightscapes, you will find this workshop a perfect fit.
We will have resort accommodations, tasty cuisine, and a coffee shop with amazing lattes just steps from our processing den in the wild-west setting of the Lajitas Golf Resort. It will be a week full of learning, adventure, and photography.
Muench Workshops is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
May 17, 2025: Big Bend is in a remote corner of Texas. We recommend flying into the closest airport which is in Midland and spending this night at the Comfort Inn & Suites. The tuition does not cover this night. Also, you will need to rent a vehicle to make the 4-hour drive south to Lajitas Golf Resort, where the workshop begins. We will help arrange ride-sharing for those who are interested.
May 18, 2025: Your instructors will meet everyone in the hotel lobby in Lajitas, Texas, at 3:00 PM. After an orientation and early dinner, we’ll head out for our first sunset shoot along the river.
May 19, 2025: We’ll start very early (around 3:00 AM) in the dark to get out for our first night shoot of the landscape and Milky Way. After sunrise and breakfast, there will be time for a break, followed by our first image review and editing session. You’ll have some downtime before eating an early dinner, then out again for the sunset shoot near the hotel.
May 20, 2025: Very early start to photograph the Milky Way over another stunning landscape. These early morning shoots of the stars offer an excellent opportunity to capture the Milky Way and dawn. After our shoot, we’ll have a big breakfast and short rest before we meet again for the afternoon image review and editing session. Another early dinner before heading out for sunset. Following the sunset shoot near the hotel, it will be time to get to bed early for another long day ahead.
May 21, 2025: Early morning to photograph the night skies and Milky Way. We’ll enjoy another great breakfast following the morning shoot, then check out of the hotel. Today, we’ll head up into Big Bend National Park. We’ll take the scenic drive into the Chisos Mountains and check in to our mountain lodge, where we’ll be spending two nights. We’ll have an early dinner before heading out to one of many magnificent vistas for the sunset shoot.
May 22, 2025: We’ll leave the Chisos Mountain Resort early to capture the sunrise up on the mountains. Then we’ll head back for breakfast and quick break before checking out and driving back down to our first hotel. We’ll have time to check in and settle back in before an early dinner and out for sunset light.
May 23, 2025: Depending on conditions, we’ll get up early again to capture the galactic core over another incredible landscape. We will then have time to spend in our private meeting room to review images and process. After an early dinner, we’ll head out for sunset light.
May 24, 2025: We’ll take our last chance to photograph the Milky Way together. Another hearty breakfast, then goodbye.
Moderate: You are able to handle short walks to shooting locations with some uneven and rocky surfaces, sometimes in the dark.
Arrive Midland International Air and Space Port (MAF), Midland, Texas anytime on May 17, 2025. Flights out can be made after 6:00 PM on May 24, 2025. Air travel delays are common. Please arrive early, possibly even the day prior, so you don’t miss any of the workshop.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $1,200 supplement.
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop.
- All permits and park fees.
- All transportation during the workshop.
- Many hours of basic and advanced Lightroom instruction.
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros.
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction.
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- Travel to and from Lajitas Golf Resort.
- Unscheduled airport transfers.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic Beverages.
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $1,200 supplement.
“Wayne is a superb photographer and a superb teacher. One does not necessarily lead to the other, but he is most definitely both. He was generous with his praise and his critical feedback, both much appreciated. ”
“The post processing sessions - and there were many - were overall, the best I have ever had. The gift of confidence this instruction provided is priceless. ”