• High Sierra Workshops

    We offer intensive educational photography trips, including: Yosemite in Winter Photography Workshop, the Yosemite in Spring Photography Workshop, the Eastern Sierra & Owens Valley Photography Workshop, a Big Sur Photography Workshop, Death Valley Photography Workshop, the Giant Redwoods of Northern California Photography Workshop, Urban Photography: Vancouver Photography Workshop, and the Santa Ynez Valley and Wine Region Photography Workshop.

    In addition, our technical offerings include Macro Close-Up Photography Workshops, Time Lapse Photography Workshops, and DSLR Video Cinematography Workshops.

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  • When: Sept. 11-14, 2014
  • Where: Las Vegas, NV
  • Price: $895

Join expert night photographer Howard Ignatius on this workshop designed for those that want to learn more about and excel in taking images at night or in very low light situations. Combining classroom work with three consecutive nights on location, by day you meet to go over equipment, camera settings, shooting techniques and how to best post-process images taken during the previous day. When the sun goes down, you head out to apply what you have learned in the challenging low light situations in & around Las Vegas.

Workshop Capacity: Minimum of 5 students, maximum of 15 students

Eventbrite - Nocturnography: Night Photography Workshop

What a fantastic workshop! I had a blast. Your presentations were flawless in timing and detail. Fun in the field was superbly staffed and coordinated. One of the best workshops I’ve ever attended. Thank you very much!
Howard’s presentation was very encouraging & amazing!
“Howard is thorough, patient & very knowledgeable – he rocks!

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Eventbrite - Nocturnography: Night Photography Workshop

Our “Giving Back” Partner:

Logo_NevadaStateParksThe Nevada Division of State Parks plans, develops and maintains a system of 24 parks and recreation areas for the use and enjoyment of more than 3.3 million visitors a year.

Read our Giving Back Promise

High Sierra Workshops strives to support the photographic curriculum with a cultural and natural history perspective. This aides workshop participants in understanding what they are photographing as well as what their impact will be in their surroundings.

In recognizing the impact of our footprint, we are committed to giving back to the lands we visit during the workshop. For every location workshop, 5% of the workshop proceeds are donated to a non-profit organization that is working to preserve, enhance or restore the land in order to secure its ability to accommodate tomorrow’s visitors.

There is no question that Las Vegas has always had a surreal draw to people, pulling into its remote desert location a historical assortment of characters…from mobsters to entrepreneurs, dreamers to dancers, and tiger tamers to tourists.

Outside of Las Vegas, the remains of the hard-scrabble dreams of miners and gold-seekers are dotted across the desert landscape. With scattered pieces of past lives, ghost towns full of weather-worn wooden buildings, once home to bars and churches and mercantile stores, still line the main streets of these forgotten once-thriving mini-cities.

Beyond these man-made remains, the landscape built by Mother Nature creates the final piece of the perfect photographer’s trifecta.

The Noctournography Workshop reveals the beauty and opportunity of the Las Vegas region that the regular photographer and tourist never sees. A sampling of some of the locations we will photograph during the workshop:

Las Vegas is noted for its many casinos, decorated with various, brightly lite themes. Circus Circus, Bellagio, Pyramid, New York New York, Paris, and Treasure Island are just a few of the many casinos along the four mile stretch of road known as the strip.

Located El Dorado Canyon, some 45 miles southeast of downtown Las Vegas, is the Techatticup Ghost Town. In its day, it was one of the most successful mines in Southern Nevada. Millions of dollars in gold, silver, copper and lead have been taken from the mine throughout the years.

Today, the property is privately owned and is declared a historical landmark. Here we will see old buildings, rusted-out antique cars, old road and gas station signs, and some of the old mining equipment used back when the gold mine was in full swing. (Several movies have been filmed here including 3000 Miles To Graceland.) It is truly is a photographer’s dream location — and with our exclusive nighttime access — you will be creating images beyond amazing.

Valley of Fire is the oldest state park in Nevada and is located 50 miles east of downtown Las Vegas. It derives its name from red sandstone formations shaped from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs. These unusual features, which are the centerpiece of the park’s attractions, often appear to be on fire during the day.

However, at night we will use them to take compelling images with the night sky as our backdrop. Instead of sunlight we will use light painting, stars and a rising moon to create beautiful images on our night canvas.




Las Vegas is a visual rolling monster of towering hotels and buildings. But by night, the desert mecca transforms into a flashing and dancing colorful show of light—a visual buffet of photo opportunity!

Outside of Las Vegas, discovering the ghost towns of times-past is a visual treasure trove — a photographic gold mine waiting to be discovered!

Valley of Fire State Park, with the towering red sandstone formations, are popular by day for the traditional landscape photographer. But at night, a new secret landscape awaits the nocturnographer!

Following a welcome lunch at the hotel, the workshop begins with a brief orientation lecture and an afternoon of lecture and instruction (the first of many!) on the approach, techniques and methods in Nocturnography. We then head out to the Las Vegas Strip pre-sunset for an early dinner and an evening of photography. Departures back to the hotel begin before midnight, with later shooting options available.

Your morning is free to allow for rest from the late evening photography session. Following a group lunch near the hotel, we meet for a lecture on Low Light Photography and prepare for the evening photo shoot. We then carpool out to the Valley of Fire State Park, about one hour travel time from the hotel. Dinner will be a bag lunch on location. We will arrive onsite before sunset and shoot until 11PM, then carpool back to the hotel.

Your morning is free to allow for rest from the late evening photography session. Following a group lunch near the hotel, we meet for a lecture on post processing your images using Lightroom and Photoshop. We then have a group image share and critique of images from the previous evening before carpooling out to the Techatticup Ghost Town in Nelson, NV, about 45 minutes travel time from the hotel. After a brief safety lecture from the owner, we spend the evening photographing the many old buildings, cars, mining equipment and a rising moon. Dinner will be a bag lunch on location. At 11PM we start the departures back to Las Vegas, with the last group out at midnight, for a well-deserved rest.

Following an optional morning breakfast, we will meet in the hotel for the final workshop session, to share images and review all the workshop concepts & methods, answering any questions that come up. We end with a farewell lunch, allowing time for those with early afternoon flights home.



As with all High Sierra Workshops, this workshop focuses not only on the ‘where’ to take the pictures, but also on the ‘how’ to take pictures, incorporating photographic education throughout the workshop at each location.

By building on the previous location’s techniques and lessons, this allows for culmination in a comprehensive lessons in:

Techniques, methods and approaches used with Pre-Visualization.

Philosophy applied to nocturnography, specific to the night photography opportunities in Las Vegas and the surrounding region.

Night photography has its own unique set of challenges. We will discuss them and how to maximize your success by planning ahead.

You will learn how best to edit your images using Lightroom, Photoshop and popular plugins. You can bring your computer and follow along using your images with hands-on instruction from Howard.

We will dig into your camera’s setup menus and discuss how to use some of the built-in features that have been designed in for low light work. (Note: bring your camera’s manual!)

We will discuss what equipment works best for low-light photography, including tripods, cameras, batteries, lenses, filters, remote controls, lighting sources, and optional equipment



The recommended airport for arrival and departure is the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), located just south of the Las Vegas Strip.

Airport Arrival: Before noon, September 11, 2014
Airport Departure: After 12pm, September 14, 2014
Rental Cars: All major car rentals available
Tranport to Hotel: Taxis available curbside (approximately $18 one-way to workshop’s recommended hotel)
Carpool: Encouraged (An email workshop planning and preparation discussion with all workshop participants will be started by the instructor approximately one month prior to the workshop start.)



For this Nocturnography course, we will provide to our registered workshop participants the details for our discounted group rate at our host hotel.


In order to balance the various individual meal and budget preferences, time is allocated for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day at one of the various dining establishments in Las Vegas or the surrounding region and near the workshop locations.

While we will eat as a group, meals are the individual responsibility of each workshop participant. Each dining establishment is chosen to provide a wide variety of meal options to satisfy multiple dietary preferences. For some workshop locations, due to the unique timing of the Nocturnography workshop itinerary, some sit-down meals will be substitute with a “box meal” or “meal to-go” purchased in advance of the departure to the shooting location. Time is allocated in the workshop itinerary for all participants to secure their meal to-go.

Howard Ignatius

Howard Ignatius is a retired high-tech marketing executive from Morro Bay, CA. He grew up in Minnesota where he was surrounded by the natural beauty of Lake Superior and the great “Northland”. Upon graduation from the University of Minnesota, he enlisted in the US Navy and purchased his first 35mm camera and a complete darkroom. When he returned home, the demands of his career took precedence over photography and he soon found himself in the fast paced world of Semiconductor Manufacturing in Silicon Valley.

As the digital revolution soon eclipsed film and older technologies, he started to invest in new cameras and software for image enhancement. However, photography would still remain a hobby until his retirement. He now combines his love for photography with a strong technology background to enhance his art in non-traditional and unique ways. He has traveled the world extensively and displays his work www.nocturnography.com.

Q: How big is the group? How many students are there in the workshop?

This workshop is always limited to only 15 participants with two instructors, to ensure the one-on-one educational environment.

Q: Is there a deadline to sign-up for this workshop? Does it sell out? Will you add more room if it does?

No, there is not a deadline to sign up for the workshop. However, space is limited. And it does sell-out, as it is a popular workshop! We inevitably receive emails from those who waited until it was too late, inquiring if more spots can be added. Unfortunately, to keep the small group size and to ensure the critical one-on-one educational environment between the instructor and student, we do not add additional seats.

Q: Is there any special camera gear I need to bring?

 While a full-range of focal-length lenses, from wide to medium-tele is sufficient for this workshop, I am not one to state that the workshop requires certain lenses or cameras in order to properly capture the scene. Lenses that start in the 17mm range on the wide side and top out at 200mm on the long side will do a fine job. For Star Trails and Star Fields, the general rule of thumb is the faster the lens the better the results.

A tripod is required, however, filters like a polarizer or ND are optional – we would only use them on the off chance we get to photograph a good sunset. Also, bring your laptop if you choose to download and/or edit your photos

Make sure you bring spare batteries. Night photography tends to consume battery power more then the daytime hours.

If you have a remote control for your camera, bring it. There are many third party remotes that you can purchase if you are on a budget. You can always use the self-timer setting on your camera, but a remote is ideal.

In regards to carrying your camera equipment, a small photo backpack or waistbelt (such as those from ThinkTank) is strongly recommended over a shoulder bag. It will be much easier to carry your gear in this manner than with a bulky camera bag. When packing and choosing your gear to bring, remember one thing: keep it simple and light!

Q: OK, what about non-photo gear? What should I bring? Will it be cold?

It can get cool at night in the desert. As a rule, dress in layers to keep warm and comfortable. Other non-photographic equipment you should bring is a flashlight or headlamp (with a red gel or red light for night photography) is REQUIRED.

Q: What time does the workshop start…and where?

The workshop starts on Thursday afternoon after the optional group lunch with the required orientation. The workshop meeting location is at the workshop recommended hotel, found above.

The workshop will conclude Sunday after lunch, to allow time for everyone to travel to their evening lodging or make it to the airport for late afternoon or evening flights.

Q: What is the workshop schedule like? How much hiking are we doing? Or driving?

Each day/night will include a full-schedule afternoon lectures and evening shooting in a variety of locations within the Las Vegas region. We will begin after lunch and go to almost midnight each day, with options of going past midnight. With the exception of the evening on the Las Vegas Strip, we will be within 100 yards of the vehicles at all times. We will carpool to the two locations outside of Las Vegas.

Q: What are the meal plans? How much should we expect to spend on food?

The recommended hotel provides a free breakfast each day. We will organize group sit-down lunches on the second and third days. Evenings will require a bag lunch and/or snacks. During orientation, the itinerary/schedule will detail the meal times and locations, and bag lunches.

You should plan between $30-45 per day for food. This may vary by individual preference.

Cancellation Policy:

In order to ensure availability for those on our waiting list, all workshop cancellations will have the following fees applied:

Cancellation up to and within 60 calendar days prior to workshop start date:
Full refund of workshop tuition; no cancellation fee (Refund applied within 3 business days of cancellation notice)

Cancellation up to and within 30 calendar days of workshop start date:
Refund of workshop tuition minus $100 cancellation fee (Refund/fees applied at conclusion of scheduled workshop; waived if workshop seat booked prior to workshop start date)

Cancellation up to and within 7 calendar days of workshop start date:
No refund of workshop tuition (Waived if workshop seat booked prior to workshop start date with applicable refund applied at conclusion of scheduled workshop) [/styledbox]