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

Badlands National Park August 2023 Alumni Workshop

A Land of Stone and Light

The rugged beauty of the Badlands draws visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient horses and rhinos once roamed here. The park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today.

Join us in Badlands National Park in South Dakota next August for 4-nights of spectacular Milky Way photography. 

Badlands National Park is not surrounded by big cities or other major sources of light pollution making night skies in the park very clear.

Its vast vistas and exceptionally dark skies provide excellent shooting opportunities.     

Each area of the park will provide you with remarkably unique night-scape shooting and lighting challenges to better hone your skills.

Each night our shooting will begin at sunset and continue for several hours of astrophotography to be able to maximize our time in the park.

Some of the locations we will shoot:

  • Panorama Point
  • Burns Basin Overlook
  • Sage Creek Rim Road
  • Big Badlands Overlook
  • Norbeck Pass
  • White River Valley Overlook
  • Cottonwood Ghost town 

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. 

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera with non-extended, "native" ISO to at least 12,800 and shutter speeds to at least 30 secs
  • Wide angle lens with a aperture of f/2.8 or larger and a full frame equivalent of 14 - 24 mm
  • A sturdy tripod (long exposures require it to be very stable)
  • Shutter release cord or intervalometer (best option for exposure blending) 
  • Extra batteries
  • Headlamp with a red filter
  • Small flashlight

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:
    • Warm clothes (as the night gets later it does get cooler)
    • Gloves and hat
    • Hiking Boots
    • Sunscreen
    • Snacks and beverages 
    • Bug Spray
    • Folding camping portable chair. We do a lot of standing.

    What You Will Learn: 

    Techniques we will be focusing on: 

    • Single Shot Milky Way
    • Star Trails and Processing

    We will also take a look at:

    •  The best times to photograph the Milky Way
    •  How to find the best dark sky location
    •  Best equipment to use
    •  How to focus in the dark
    •  How to set exposure and ISO
    •  Rule of 400 / 500 / 600
    •  Identifying other lights in the night sky 

    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 10

    Experience Level:  Intermediate - Advanced  This workshop is only designated for those who are "Alumni Members" of Craig Wennersten.

    Endurance Level:  Moderate -  Light hiking is involved, but nothing too strenuous. We’ll drive to each location then hike to the best position. 

    Transportation: We will car pool to the park every night.


    Workshop Dates:

    Badlands Workshop Dates: August 16 - 19, 2023

    Arrival Date: August 15, 2023 or morning of August 16, 2023

    Departure Date: August 20, 2023



    Our home base for this workshop is Badlands Frontier Cabins in Wall, SD where we have reserved a block of rooms at a reduced rate. 

    Please call Badlands Frontier Cabins at 605.279.2619 to reserve your room. 



    Price For Workshop:

    $2,695.00 For Photographer Participant / Deposit $495.00    

    *Only 5 Spots Available

    Already signed up? Need to pay a balance? Click here.


    The cost of this workshop DOES include:

  • Welcome reception lunch on our first day
  • Group dinner on one night
  • Workshop instruction by Craig Wennersten
  • Star trail photography instruction and processing 
  • 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
  • Transportation to and from the workshop
  • Flights, rental cars, trip insurance etc.
  • Meals (other than dinner on our second night)



    Hope To See You There!  Keep Looking Up! 


    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!