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to join us for this, and future, workshops. These workshops can fill quickly, sometimes just from this mailing list. Get on it!

This workshop is full! Let me know if you want to be on the waiting list in case of a cancellation.

Dates: May 1 / 2 / 3, 2015 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Tuition: $975 Check or Paypal. This workshop will be limited to 14 photographers (8 minimum).
Basecamp: Fresno, California

Workshop Description: Since 2008 I’ve taught a series of junkyard-based night photography and light painting workshops with Joe Reifer. We’ve done a few every year, teaching nearly 100 students the intricacies of NP/LP. I’m proud to report that we have been asked back to “The Valley Junkyard” (no, not its real name) to hold another workshop.  The VJ is an old-school, post-war automotive junkyard, with 70+ acres holding thousands of cars. Now operated by 3-generations of ownership, some sections of the yard have recently been cleared, leaving isolated cars, perfectly posed for night shooting. There are sheds, workshops and all manner of wheeled vehicles from the 1930s to the ’90s, just begging to be explored and shot. Past Pearsonville Workshop alumni will find many similarities between the two locations. You’ll love the endless possibilities this site offers. Three nights won’t be enough! Come tour a tiny fraction of the yard for yourself:

Troy’s Night Work from the Valley Junkyard.
Joe’s insanely cool 360° Night Panorama tour of the yard.

The workshop includes 3 afternoons of in-depth photography discussions, critical analysis of your work, and post-processing demos.  After the classroom sessions end, it’s off to the yard for 3 nights of full moon shooting and hands-on, frequently one-on-one instruction with Joe and I.  We’ll have 8 hours of night shooting per night as well as daytime access for scouting. Still not convinced?  Repeat business tells the story: half of our workshop attendees are returning alumni, ready for another productive weekend, immersed in our totally unique locations, and fun, casual approach to teaching.

Technical Requirements: We strongly recommended that you have some night shooting experience, but we’re happy to have anyone, at any experience level, who wants to learn and have fun.  Be prepared to show samples of your work.  You must be comfortable operating your camera in manual mode and understand the difference between an f-stop and a bus-stop. A DSLR, wide-angle lens, cable release, tripod, spare batteries, and a few simple flashlights are required.  A strobe-flash is strongly recommended.  You’ll also need a laptop, card reader, and image processing software. A very detailed PDF equipment list/syllabus will be provided via email after you sign up.

Physical Requirements: You will be spending 3 long, cold nights outside. You will be on your feet for 8+ hours each day and night, spending a lot of time crouching and kneeling while you are shooting. You must be in good physical condition to attend this workshop.

Weather: At night temps will likely dip into the low 50s after being in the low 70s during the day, but you should be prepared for any weather. Make sure to check the local weather the week of the workshop. Significant rain is unlikely, but there are no rainchecks — we will be shooting, no matter the weather.

Accommodations: The official hotel for the workshop is TBA upon sign up.  It will be in Fresno, minutes from the yard.

Schedule: Fresno is a 3+ hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, or 4+ hours from Los Angeles. The closest international airports are San Jose (SJC) or Oakland (OAK). San Francisco (SFO) is another major alternative. There is a small airport in Fresno, but flights will be significantly more expensive. We recommend flying in to San Jose and renting a car. Try to schedule your trip in order to avoid commute hours for the drive. We suggest arriving on thursday afternoon/evening so you’re fresh for Friday afternoon and evening. We can email you some suggestions for nearby places to explore before, or after the workshop. The following schedule is subject to change:

Day 1
12:15 p.m.-12:30 p.m. — Arrive at the workshop/meet and greet at the hotel.
12:30 p.m. — Lecture on night photography and light painting techniques, a review of Troy and Joe’s photos of the location, and logistics/shooting strategies.
3:30 p.m. — Classroom ends. Stock up on food and drinks, travel to the yard (15 minutes).
6:00 p.m. — Meet at the yard for daylight scouting, photography. (7:48 sunset/moonrise 5:44).
6:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. — Shooting in the yard.

Day 2
Sleep in and process your images for review.

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Group brunch, location TBD.
12:30 p.m. — Critique images shot the previous night to help you improve your shooting tonight. Bring your best 3 images from last night. Optional: Bring an additional image that didn’t work.
3:30 p.m. — Classroom ends. Stock up on food and drinks, travel to the yard.
6:00 p.m. — Meet at the yard for daylight scouting, photography. (7:49 sunset/moonrise 6:41).
6:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. — Shooting in the yard.

Day 3
Get some sleep!
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Group brunch, location TBD.
12:30 p.m. — Lecture: Post-production techniques using Photoshop and Lightroom.
3:30 p.m. — Classroom ends. Stock up on food and drinks, travel to the yard.
6:00 p.m. — Meet at the yard for daylight scouting, photography. (7:49 sunset/moonrise 7:38 Full Moon).
6:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. — Shooting in the yard. The workshop concludes with the Day 3 night shoot.

Cancellation policy: If the workshop is full and someone from the waiting list can take your spot, your tuition is refundable minus a $200 cancellation fee. Otherwise your tuition is non-refundable. If the workshop must be cancelled, your deposit will be refunded in full if you paid by check, or minus a $25 processing fee if you paid via Paypal. We are not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other reasons. No fees will be refunded if you withdraw after the workshop begins. We are not responsible for any fees associated with non-refundable air travel, and recommend the purchase of travel insurance.

Testimonials: “I have taken several of Troy’s workshops and  I keep coming back for more.  Each one is an intense learning experience that revitalizes my excitement for night photography.  Despite being a legend in the night photography world and a ground-breaking pioneer in the field, Troy is one of the most down to earth and friendly people you will meet, who also has a great sense of humor.  The workshop is an ideal combination of classroom time with plenty of time for shooting at night and the venue offers more subjects than you can shoot in a year of full moons.  Don’t hesitate to take this workshop–it will revolutionize your night photography.  But warning:  these workshops may be addictive, as evidenced by the number of ‘repeat offenders.'” –Dave E.

“I really enjoyed my time with you guys . . . forget the photography, you guys could be a Vegas comedy act!” –Art N.

“This was AWESOME. It was so surreal being in a junkyard on 3 full moon nights in a row. The lighting was exceptional, the place out of this world, the people really cool and the host funny, knowledgeable, helpful, accomplished and ready, willing and able to share his secrets and skills, honed over many years of light painting.” –Mark S.

Do you have more questions? Feel free to e-mail Troy Paiva