Big Bend Under Dark Skies
UPDATE: As of October 9, 2019, this workshop is sold out. Please contact us to be added to the waitlist.
Big Bend is known for its ancient limestone and volcanic rock formations, but did you know it holds title to 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 bear, 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. If winter brings good rains, we could have fantastic flower and cactus blooms at this time of year.
With some of the darkest skies in the country, the Milky Way will be first and foremost on the Big Bend agenda. You will learn about astrophotography and how to set up lights to illuminate your scene—your night sky will look amazing, and your subject and landscape will, as well! You will also learn the tricks of the trade for processing your images during the classroom sessions.
With resort accommodations and tasty cuisine in a wild west setting, it will be a week full of adventure and photography.
Muench Workshops is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service.
April 6–12, 2021
Itinerary and General Information
We recommend spending the night of April 5, 2021 at the Holiday Inn Express in El Paso. This night is not covered in the tuition.
April 6, 2021: Wayne and Sivani will meet everyone in the hotel lobby in the Lajitas Golf Resort located 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.
April 7, 2021: 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.
April 8, 2021: 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.
April 9, 2021: 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 the Chisos 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.
April 10, 2021: Very early start again to spend more time photographing the galactic center of the Milky Way and a wonderful landscape. We’ll have time for a hearty breakfast and quick rest. Then we’ll be off to spend some time exploring the landscape in the park for the afternoon and sunset.
April 11, 2021: After our sunrise shoot, we’ll have breakfast and checkout. Then we’ll make our way back to our first hotel, where we’ll spend time learning techniques to process the night photographs captured. We’ll break for an early dinner and sunset shoot.
April 12, 2021: Depending on the weather, we’ll take our last chance to photograph the Milky Way together. Another hearty breakfast, then goodbye.
What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop
Please see our How To Prepare For Your Workshop page now for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.
Double occupancy lodging (Single available, just ask)
All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
All transportation during workshop
Photographic guiding and instruction from two pros
Image reviews, post-processing instruction
Fun, inspiration, and a great time!