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4-Night "Dark-Sky" Motion Control Timelapse Workshop

October 3 - October 6, 2015

And Special

Guest Instructor






4-Day Advanced DSLR Timelapse Workshop



This 4-Night Death Valley timelapse photography workshop is an advanced timelapse learning experience that will also include the use of motion-controlled dollies and tripod heads on days 3 and 4.  You'll learn how to use and how to compose your shots while adding dynamic camera movement to your timelapse sequences.  


Multi-Axis motion control gear will be on hand for those that want to learn how and when best to add motion to their timelapse sequences.   We'll have multiple systems on hand from both Dynamic Perception and eMotimo, two of the most popular motion control rigs on the market.   If you already own your own portable motion control rig please feel free to bring it with you to use on our motion control nights.


This an intimate timelapse photography workshop led by award-winning Cinematographer & Timelapse specialist, Ron Risman.   The workshop is designed to teach you how to capture professional quality timelapses day and night - with a focus on the night sky.   The dates for this workshop were carefully selected to allow the capture of the incredible dark skies of Death Valley, as well as to allow moon light to enhanced the foreground in our landscapes for a short time each evening.  


This workshop is open to photographers and cinematographers of all skill levels, though we highly recommend that you have a good understanding of how to change camera settings to control shutter, aperture, and ISO. Familiarity with Adobe Lightroom is also recommended.  


In this workshop you'll learn how to capture breathtaking timelapses by learning how to eliminate flicker, how to change the overall look and feel of a timelapse by changing camera settings, how to choose the right interval and exposure, how to inexpensively light your foregrounds, how to choose dynamic compositions, and how to post process each of your timelapses to create stunning timelapse films.  You'll also learn how to reduce noise while capturing at higher ISO sensitivities; how to capture day to night timelapses using various techniques including bulb-ramping; and what to look for when composing your scene; and

more (see list below),


Each day will include some class room time along with a ton of shooting out in the field in some of the most beautiful locations you have ever seen.   This is a comprehensive class that will teach you everything about timelapse photography - from A to Z - including how to best capture sunrises, sunsets, "day to night" sequences - considered the "holy grail" of timelapses, HDR timelapses, and even hyper-lapses.

•  How to capture breathtaking timelapses day and night

•  How to light and compose your foreground

•  How to eliminate flicker for professional quality timelapses

•  How to location scout before arriving to your shoot location

•  How to use 1-Axis, 2-Axis, and 3-Axis motion control systems

•  How to add a 4th Axis (Focus Ramping) with the Timelapse+

•  How to best compose a scene when using motion

•  What is parallex and how to use it to enhanced your timelapses

•  How to use BULB ramping devices such as the Ramper Pro and Timelapse+

•  How to combine BULB Ramping with Motion Contro

•  How and when to combine HDR capture with Motion Control

•  How to change the overall feel and pacing of your time-lapse

•  Post Production Workflow using Lightroom, After Effects, and LRTimelapse

•  Post Production Tips & Tricks

•  Post Production Editing to Music

I think it is important for you to know that this is YOUR workshop.  As the instructor I am not there to shoot, I am there to help you learn how to capture and create quality timelapses.     I will never set up my camera until all of the participants are set up and shooting.   I am always available to answer questions and class sizes are kept small in order to guarantee a more personal experience for everyone.   


Timelapse Workshops works closely with the National Park Service and operates under a Commercial Use Authorization. We always carry proper permits, insurance and certification.


For more information please read the FAQ page.  

Note: All participants who would  like to participate in our location shoots
will be required to sign a Participant Acknowledgement of Risk Form.

These workshops are designed for you!

When I first started offering timelapse photography workshops I knew that I wanted to create a program that was different, one that truly put your needs first.  To guarantee that you'll have our full attention out in the field, I created a policy where I would not set up my camera in the field until every attendee is up and running and all questions are answered.  I am there for you, not the other way around.    


Death Valley, CA

Death Valley National Park is the largest national park in the continental U.S..  It is also home to  the lowest elevation on the continent - 282 feet below sea level.   Death Valley National Park features beautiful and colorful landscapes - from the salt flats of Badwater Basin to the beautiful badlands at Zabriskie Point and Twenty Mule Team Canyon; to the rippled sand dunes of Mesquite sand flats, and more.   Everywhere you look is another incredible composition.


This Workshop Goes Beyond Learning to Shoot Timelapse

This workshop is more than just learning to shoot a timelapse or capturing the night sky.   It's an intensive workshop that will teach you everything you didn't realize you needed to know to help guarantee a successful shoot each and every time.   You'll learn the software and tools that I use to scout locations even before arriving; to know the best dates and times to shoot; to learn how to best compose your shot - even in the dark;  and even how to read a weather radar map - and how it can profoundly impact the beauty of your photography and timelapses.


Timelapse cinematography is about using movement to tell a story, to evoke an emotion, and to illustrate movements and patterns that are not easily seen with the naked eye.    Composing for the night sky using motion control is different than composing with a static camera and you'll learn  the differences and what to look out for.  For those attending the 4-day advanced motion control workshop, you'll learn how to use parallex and camera movement to create excitement and drama in your timelapses.  


At this workshop you will learn how, but more importantly, you'll learn why.   This way you'll be able to have continued success each and every time even without an instructor by your side.  We'll also teach you how to best set up your camera in preperation of our shoots, so that you're prepared and ready to go when we get to each location. 


You'll learn what causes timelapse flicker and how to eliminate it during capture - saving you time in post processing.   You'll learn the importance of choosing the right aperture, exposure time, and interval to create a specific mood and pace to your timelapses.  


The most difficult capture of all is capturing a timelapse that starts during the day and goes through to the Milky Way  This type of timelapse is often referred as "the holy grail" of timelapses because of its difficulty.   During the workshop you'll learn how to use shooting techniques and external bulb-ramping controllers that allow your camera to capture over 22 stops of changing light in order to go from daylight all the way into the Milky Way in one smooth, continuous timelapse. 


Capturing a timelapse is half of the equation. The rest of the magic happens in post production, and in this workshop you'll learn how to edit, enhance, perfect, and render your timelapses into 2k, 4k, and even 6k motion films using software from Adobe (Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects), LRTimelapse, Photomatix, and more.


Workshop Home Base:  Furnace Creek Ranch

Home base for the workshop is the Furnace Creek Ranch, located about 2 hours (120 miles) from Las Vegas, making it easy to access from almost anywhere in the world.  If you live on the west coast, Furnace Creek is 268 miles from Los Angeles.


Furnace Creek Ranch is offering workshop participants a discounted room rate (double queen rooms) of $155 / night + tax. Once registered you'll receive a welcome email that will include the hotel group code for the discounted room rate.


















The Best Time of Year


I chose October for this workshop because it avoids the extreme heat of summer and the galactic core of the Milky Way stays visible for over 4 hours each night. October also brings with it earlier sunsets that allow us to capture more of the night sky, while also helping the air to cool off. Average temperatures in Death Valley in October is a dry 95-98 degrees, while night temperatures are a very pleasant 70-75 degrees. 


From Ron Risman

If you have any questions about our upcoming workshops, its itinerary, difficulty level, gear, skill set required, etc, please feel free to send me a message at or by calling me at 781.269.2105.


I look forward to helping you at one of our workshops in the near future.


Ron Risman
Founder / Instructor

Workshop Sponsors

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