Timelapse Moab Frequently Asked Questions
What is the class size?
Class sizes are kept small in order to provide as much personal attention as possible. Our 6:1 student/teacher ratio helps to ensure that.
Where is the workshop being held?
"Home base" for the workshop will be at the Gonzo Inn in downtown Moab. The Gonzo Inn is within walking distance to shops, restaurants, gas, and groceries.
Where should I stay?
The Gonzo Inn is one of the coolest places to stay in Moab and the workshop participants love it there as well. The Gonzo Inn is offering discounted room rates for workshop participants. Once registered for the workshop you'll receive a welcome email that will include the group discount code. There are also many other hotels and campgrounds in the area and you are free to stay where ever you're comfortable.
When Should I Check-In and Check-Out?
Moab is located four hours from Salt Lake City and 90 minutes from Grand Junction, CO. It is highly recommended that you arrive the day before the start of the workshop in order to give yourself a little down time. Night sky workshops will keep us shooting late into the night, so sleep will be much appreciated when you get there.
What does the registration fee cover?
The registration fee covers the cost of the workshop, park entrance fees, permits, insurance, certifications, scouting, and many other extras. Lodging, Food, and Transportation is not included.
How much hiking is there going to be?
Shoot locations and terrain will vary. Most of our locations will include short walks (1/5th to 3/4 mile each way) on paths set up by the parks, but there will be locations that require us to walk on soft sand, over rock, and uneven terrain. Keep in mind
that most of our locations will include a return walk in the dark using flashlights or headlamps.
Do I need a special camera?
This workshop is designed to teach you the skills needed to capture breathtaking night-sky images and time lapses with a digital SLR or Mirrorless camera. As long as a remote timer (intervalometer) can be attached to your camera (DSLR or Mirrorless) then you already have a camera that is capable of capturing timelapses of the night sky. If you are not sure what an intervalometer is or do not know if your camera can connect to one please send me an email with your camera model and I'll gladly research it for you.
Newer model cameras do a better job at capturing the night sky since they have sensors and image processors that are more light sensitive and less noisy when shooting at higher ISO sensitivities. Camera's with full-frame (35mm) sensors are highly recommended, but newer models with smaller sensors are getting better
all the time, and should pose a problem.
Intervalometers can be purchased online at various retailers such as B&H Photo, Amazon.com, Hunt's Photo & Video, Adorama, and more. I will also have a few extra intervalometers on hand for a variety of camera brands.
What Should I Bring?
Camera and lens (Required)
The reason this workshop requires a digital SLR or Mirrorless camera is because
these type of cameras offer large sensors for improved light gathering and also provide the ability to keep the shutter open long enough to capture the night sky (15-30 seconds or longer). Some point & shoot models will do this as well, but usually their sensor is so tiny that they capture images with too much noise to make them usable in low light.
Most digital SLR's today come packaged with a kit lens that offers a wide-angle f-stop rating of f/3.5. This should work fine if that's what you own. If you have a faster lens (f/2.8, f/2.0, f/1.8 or f/1.4) definitely bring it along as larger f-stops (smaller numbers) allow more light to pass through to the camera's sensor.
Night photography requires the use of long exposures and a tripod is required to
keep the camera stable during each exposure. While any tripod is better than none,
a sturdier tripod will reduce or eliminate the effects that wind and vibrations can have on the camera during an exposure. Carbon fiber tripods tend to offer great stability with lighter weight compared to Aluminum tripods - but aluminum tripods models are getting lighter and lighter and are usually more affordable.
An intervalometer is a small external remote control that connects to your camera to take control of firing the camera at an interval we program into it. Most camera manufacturers have these available to purchase (usually around $130), but you can also find very affordable 3rd party intervalometers ranging in price from $14-$39 on sites such as Amazon and B&H Photo.
Some camera models have built-in time lapse functionality. If your camera does you can use that instead.
I will also have a few extra intervalometers on hand for those that forgot to bring
one. If you do pick one up for your camera make sure to get one that has a connector compatible with your camera model. If you are unsure please feel free to email me information about your camera so that I can assist.
Memory Cards (Required)
With time lapse photography we will be taking hundreds of still frames that will later
be combined into a time lapse movie sequence. To capture the best quality images it
is a must that the camera is set to capture in RAW format. Because of this I highly recommend cards that at least 32GB in size, preferably llarger. Memory cards are more affordable than ever and larger cards will reduce or eliminate the need to swap memory cards during time lapse capture. I also recommend cards that are rated as Class 10 or UHS-1I (SDXC) or that have a write speed of at least 600x (CompactFlash)
Notebook Computer (Highly Recommended)
In this workshop you'll learn how to streamline your post production workflow by using various software applications to produce your final timelapses. Having a notebook computer will allow you to assemble your timelapse sequences while we help guide you through the process.
30 days prior to the workshop you will receive a list of recommended software titles to install on your notebook. Most, if not all of these titles, are available as trial versions, some are free.
Hard Drive Storage (Highly Recommended)
Since we'll be shooting in RAW mode, memory cards may fill up quickly, often in one evening. These images then need to be transferred to your notebook for post processing. Make sure you have at least 250GB free on your notebook or external hard drive in order to store the still frames and assemble your time lapse sequences. This will allow you to free up your memory cards for next day's shoot or if you have large enough memory cards you can keep the images from prior days on the cards as a backup.
Extra Camera Batteries & Battery Charger (Required)
2-3 batteries for your camera should do the trick. Since time lapses are captured without the use of auto focus your camera should not have a problem capturing over 500 frames per charge. My Canon EOS 60D, 5D Mark II and Mark III
will capture over 700 frames per charge under the temperatures that we will be shooting in. My Sony A7s however only captures around 400 frames so a battery
grip is used to allow two batteries to be used in succession.
Flashlight with RED LED Option (Highly Recommended)
In order to truly appreciate the night sky our eyes need about 20 minutes to adjust (dilate) to the darkness. We will use traditional flashlights when walking in the dark,
but will request everyone to switch their white lights off once night fall is upon us. When changing settings in the dark a red flashlight will allow you to see while also preserving your night vision.
A well rested YOU! (Highly Recommended)
This may be the hardest thing of all to bring. Is it me or does it seem like we never
get a chance to breathe? This workshop features long days, but with plenty of time to relax and catch a breath - under the stars. Once our camera's are set up to capture the night sky we can all relax and hangout under the stars - getting some much needed time to breathe. We will likely grab some sandwiches, pizza's, or snacks to bring with us for our nights under the stars.
Hat, Sun Screen and Chapstick (Highly Recommended)
Typical Moab weather is sunny with warm days and cooler nights. Day time high temperatures are usually in the 80's during this time of year with low temperatures ranging from 55-65 degrees.
What Should I Wear?
Thanks to elevation Moab cools off as quickly as it heats up. WIth day time temperatures averaging in the 80's in the spring, the nights often cool into the 50's.
Much of our shooting with take place either in the very early morning or during and after sunset, so long pants and a sweatshirt and/or jacket for our night shoots are often the most desired clothing at this time of year in Moab. Mid-hiking boots are also recommended to help support your ankles while carrying camera gear over the varied terrain.
Purchasing Travel Insurance is highly recommended to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances that might prevent your attendance. It is recommended
to get a plan that offers coverage for medical / dental expenses, emergency evacuations, lost baggage and belongings, missed connections, and trip cancellation.
Timelapse Workshops is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets in the event of a workshop cancellation. Each workshop participant will also be required to sign a workshop release that releases us of liability in the event of a personal health issue or injury during the trip. While we take many precautions to ensure a safe trip for everyone, the desert terrain, mother nature, and your own physical health is out of our control.
Will My Mobile Phone Work in Moab?
Most major carrier networks are accessible in downtown Moab, but service gets spotty once we leave town. Verizon seems to have the best coverage in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, though it is still very spotty.
Here is a link to coverage maps for the major carriers: