"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." - Psalm 19:1

Outer Banks of North Carolina Astrophotography Workshop - May 2024

Outer Banks After Dark - May 2024

The Outer Banks is known for its rich history – the "Graveyard of the Atlantic", the Wright brothers, majestic lighthouses and beautiful beaches. Its barrier islands are filled with opportunities for all photographers alike.

Join us on this 4 day / night photography adventure in some of the darkest skies in the country east of the Mississippi.

Some of the locations we will be shooting are:

  • Cape Hatteras
  • Bodie Island
  • Roanoke Marshes
  • Pea Island NWR
  • Jockey's Ridge SP
  • Duck Boardwalk
  • Frisco Pier
  • Hatteras Pier
  • Jennette's Pier
  • Nag's Head Pier
  • Black Bears of the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula 

 Outer Banks Pier Outer Banks Pier Outer Banks Pier Outer Banks Lighthouse


The Bears of the Albermarle - Pamlico Peninsula 

Just across the water from these islands is the densest concentration of black bears in the entire world. They are also the biggest!

 Bear Facts:

  • Coastal NC has the world’s largest black bears
  • The Albemarle/Pamlico Peninsula has the highest black bear densities in the world
  • There is an average of 4 bears per square mile on the peninsula
  • The current world record black bear is from Eastern NC and weighed 880 lbs
  • There are bears over 880 lbs still walking around Eastern NC today
  • Black bears have a prey mentality instead of a predator mentality
  • Bears don’t stand up to intimidate you. It is for a better view and to get a better scent
  • Bear-Ology Black Bear Museum is in Plymouth, NC

 Photographing the Bears:

We will spend one to two mornings photographing the black bears of Eastern North Carolina in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

We will head to the bears after shooting the Milky Way before sunrise and shoot until mid-morning.  

*Plan on being out from 7 PM to 10 AM the next morning.

OBX Bears OBX Bear Cubs OBX Bear OBX Bear 

May is the time of the year that "Mama Bears" are beginning to bring their COY (cubs of the year) out into the world.


Required Equipment and Accessories:

Astrophotography requires a professional level camera and lens in order to be successful and get the image results you are looking for.

If you do not have a professional level camera or lens, we would highly recommend purchasing or renting them. Mike's Camera offers rentals in Denver and California.

NOTE: Due to the variety of subjects on this workshop my recommendation is that you have a variety of lenses with you to ensure a successful workshop.

 If you need to purchase or rent ANY of the required equipment - please, feel free to contact Craig at 520.732.1440 to help you get set up.

Recommended Items:

NOTE: My recommendation for bug spray is Sawyer Products Permethrin. You can use it to treat everything from shirts to pants to socks to shoes. It can be found on Amazon, at REI and Dick's.

What You Will Learn: 

Techniques we will be focusing on: 

We will also take a look at:

What You’ll Need For Processing Class: 

Digital processing is a crucial step in astrophotography for creating striking images.
We will also spend an afternoon on post-processing techniques that can help you create striking images using Lightroom Classic CC. 
Make sure you have the latest version of Lightroom Classic CC pre-loaded.

More Details: 

Participants: Limit 6 

Experience Level:  Beginners II to Intermediate  

Who will benefit from this workshop?

This workshop is designed for the beginner II to Intermediate photographer as defined below:

NOTE: This workshop is geared toward more knowledgeable photographers with an intermediate or higher skill set. Participants must have a firm grasp of the basic principles of photography and of their cameras, and must have a comfortable understanding of astrophotography fundamentals.


Endurance Level:  Moderate -  Light hiking is involved. We will be climbing some sand dunes. We’ll drive to each location then move to the best position. 


Transportation Included:  We will travel together in a 15 passenger van during the workshop from the hotel to our shooting locations.


Workshop Dates: May 12 - 15, 2024 

Arrival Date in Rodanthe, NC: May 12, 2024

Departure Date: May 16, 2024

Click Here To Reserve Your Spot


Arriving In The Outer Banks By Air:

Closest Airports


Lodging Included: Single Occupancy in Rodanthe, NC 

Our home base hotel is located in beautiful Rodanthe, NC - which is centrally located on the Outer Banks steps away from the Atlantic shoreline.

Outer Banks KOA Resort, 25099 North Carolina Hwy 12, Rodanthe, NC 27968.

NOTE: All rooms provided are single occupancy only - besides your guest that may join you on this trip.  We do not offer double occupancy option for our participants due to our very late night schedule and health safety. 

All rooms are a spacious 2-person Vacation Suite including a full bathroom, large kitchen with refrigerator, cooktop, microwave, Keurig coffee maker, and dining area. Relax on your private balcony, featuring a table and chairs, with a view of either the Pamlico Sound or Atlantic Ocean. 

KOA Resort KOA Resort KOA Resort 

Price For Workshop:

$3,895.00  Per Photographer Participant 

Click Here To Reserve Your Spot

The cost of this workshop DOES include:

  • 4 Nights of single occupancy lodging at Outer Banks KOA Resort
  • All transportation from hotel to shooting locations in our 15 passenger van
  • 4 nights of astro instruction by Craig Wennersten
  • Welcome lunch on our first day in the Outer Banks
  • Final night group dinner 
  • Post processing instruction using Lightroom Classic CC
  • Permits and park entrance fees 
  • Plus...all the Milky Way Bars you can eat! :-)

  •  The cost of this workshop DOES NOT include:

  • Lodging outside of workshop dates
  • Transportation to and from the workshop
  • Flights and rental cars
  • Meals not listed as included in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for instructor(s)
  • Strongly Recommended: Trip Insurance and Medical Evacuation Insurance - Purchase policy here


    See You In The Outer Banks !  

    Click Here To Reserve Your Spot

    Please feel free to contact Craig if you have any questions or need any help with your gear or equipment requirements. I am happy to help! 

     This workshop is co-sponsored by Mike's Camera of Boulder, CO