Free Astrophotography Workshop October 13

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Date: September 27, 2012
Contact: Kate Kuykendall, 805-370-2343

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The National Park Service (NPS) will host a two-part program about astrophotography -- and the heavens in general -- on Saturday, October 13 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Mike Shaw, a professor of phsyics and astronomy at California Lutheran University, will conduct the free program.

Part one will be a classroom lecture from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at NPS headquarters (401 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks). Part two will be a field workshop at nearby Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The lecture will explain the science behind sunset colors, star trail photographs, the different phases of the moon and how best to photograph the Milky Way galaxy, Shaw said. "Attendees will learn basic astronomy concepts needed to pinpoint the best astrophotography conditions and about specialized equipment for night photography."

After the lecture adjourns, the twilight/evening field portion will be completely outdoors. "There will be plenty of opportunities to practice taking astrophotographs with a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) and tripod," Shaw said, adding that the October 13 date was selected to coincide with the new moon and dark sky viewing.

In addition to his teaching role, Shaw is a professional photographer who has hiked and backpacked through wilderness areas in North America, Europe, Australia and Nepal. He was co-host of the first annual Sky Star Party held August 15 at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa that attracted more than 250 people.

Reservations are not required and parking at both venues is free. It is strongly recommended that active participants bring a DSLR camera, tripod and flashlight.

About Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park Service, it comprises a seamless network of local, state, and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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