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Total Solar Eclipse in Oregon Photography Workshop

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NASA photo from a satellite.

2017 U.S. total solar eclipse photography workshop
Wed., Aug. 16 through Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 in eastern Oregon
While in Oregon, we’ll photograph the beauty of the Oregon coast, huge waterfalls and the high desert in the eastern part of the state.

Early registration by March 1, 2017 is $2,679.
Previous clients and Premium Members: $2,479.
Regular Price: $3,179.
Price includes hotel accommodations (double occupancy) and ground transportation.

On Aug. 21, 2017 something will happen in the U.S. that hasn’t happened in 35 years, a total eclipse of the sun will travel across the entire country, going from Oregon to South Carolina.

I have done a ton of research to see where the best place to view it will be. The worst thing I can think of is making big plans to see it and clouds cover the sky. So I looked for where the least chance of clouds will be and it only makes sense that would be in a dry, desert climate. Then looking at the path of the eclipse, the only place that happens is eastern Oregon or western Idaho. Let’s do Oregon!

Since the totality of the eclipse will be about two minutes and 20 seconds, I figured we should get the entire Oregon experience while we are there. So we’ll explore the variety that is Oregon, a hip city, incredible ocean coast, massive waterfalls and the unique high desert mountains, which is where we will photograph the eclipse on the last day of our workshop.

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My photographer friend Walter on an Oregon beach at sunset.

Our schedule

We will meet at a Portland hotel near the airport where we will get to know each other, talk about our days ahead and have an education session. The next morning we will shoot around Portland and then head to the beach where we will be spending two nights at a beach side hotel. We will photograph the beauty of Oregon’s famous coast, the haystacks and gorgeous sunsets.

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I love shooting the haystacks at Cannon Beach.

After two nights along the coast, we’ll head inland. On the way to the ski resort that will be our base for the next two nights, we’ll go through the Columbia River Gorge and photograph amazing waterfalls and beautiful scenes.

The next day we will explore the Mt. Hood area and photograph amazing mountain scenes. We will be walking a little but there won’t be any major strenuous hikes. Everything will be accessible from the van we will all be traveling in.

While out in the high desert, we’ll photograph the Milky Way, the brightest portion will visible from 9:49 p.m. until 12:39 a.m and since the moon sets at 8:00 p.m., the sky will be dark and we’ll be seeing tons of stars. We will be at a great location that will let us do some light painting and create some incredible photos. It will also be during the later part of the annual Perseid meteor showers, so we will see some streaks of light flying through the sky, which make our photos even more dramatic.

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During low tide, I was excited to see how the wet sand became a mirror.

Our hotel is about an hour away from where we will be photographing the eclipse on Monday morning. (All the closer hotels have been booked for two years!). We will be in the high desert, which gives us the greatest chance of not having clouds. We will arrive several hours early at the location I will have scouted and we will be watching detailed weather radar. If there happens to be local clouds that morning, we’ll pile back into the van and head to a second location over the mountain ridge. Obviously I can’t control the weather and we are at the mercy of nature, but I’m confident that we will be in the location that has the best odds of a clear morning anywhere in the country.

After the eclipse and we are breathing again, we’ll drive back to Portland, getting there by 3 p.m. where we will part ways at the hotel near the airport where we initially will meet.

Photographing a total solar eclipse

I have never photographed a solar eclipse but I’ve done lots of research and I’ll be doing more and talking with other pro photographers who have made pictures of an eclipse. There are several ways to photograph the eclipse and I’ll work with each participant long before we leave to assure you have everything you need to make this an unforgettable experience. You’ll need special filters to protect your eyes and your camera. This is a must! I’ll provide glasses for your eyes.

If you want tight photos of the sun, then you’ll need a super telephoto or a telescope. Think about how big the full moon is when you look through your camera. That is the size the eclipse will be, so you can practice using your camera and tripod. I will be renting a 600mm f/4 and putting a 2X teleconverter on it along with the proper filter to shoot the sun before it becomes a total eclipse. During the total eclipse, the filter comes off, and then quickly back on once the totality is done. There are lots of tips like this we will talk about once you register and long before we meet in Oregon.

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Multnomah Falls is the second tallest U.S. year round waterfall. I’ve never been there when it didn’t look great.

What is included:

  • Six days of photography
  • Lodging for five nights (Double occupancy)
  • Workshop Adventure
  • Small group size of eight participants
  • Hotels close to photography locations
  • Local transportation in 12-passenger van
  • Professional photography instruction including how to photograph the eclipse, the Milky Way, coastal beauty and the high desert.

What isn’t included:

  • Travel to Oregon
  • Meals
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Non-meal time snacks and soft drinks

Who should Attend

Anyone who wants to be awed by photographing a total solar eclipse and the beauty of Oregon – your photographic experience doesn’t matter. I will be working with you to help you improve your photography, no matter your level. I will help with mastering your camera settings, using the proper lens, composition and how to capture what you are seeing with your camera. Exposures during the eclipse will be tricky and I’ll be helping you make sure you are getting a great shot. Most of our shooting locations will near our van, some walking will be required, including wandering on sand beaches. There won’t be long, strenuous hiking.

Rates

Early registration by March 1, 2017 is $2,679. Previous clients and Premium Members: $2,479. Regular Price: $3,179. A limited number of single occupancy rooms are available for an extra $750. Registration fee includes lodging (double occupancy) and ground transportation. It does not include airfare to Oregon or meals or gratuities. Rates are net, per person, in U.S. dollars.

Maximum group size: 8

Stormy Sunset pano

Weather can change rapidly along the coast, so I’m always ready for anything.

Weather

The last two days of the workshop will be in the high desert where it is dry and hot. Daytime could be in the 90’s and the nights in the 50’s. Weather doesn’t change faster than along the Oregon coast, it could be sunny and then raining 10 minutes later and then the sun is back out. Or it could be foggy, although August is the driest time of year. You should have shorts and comfortable clothes, a hat or cap and some casual clothes for night. I wear pants from North Face and other adventure companies that have zip off legs, so if it is cool in the morning or I go to a place where shorts aren’t appropriate, I can put on the legs. I stay away from cotton clothes like blue jeans that get wet and stay wet. I send you more detailed clothing suggestions after you register.

Dining

You are responsible for dining expenses. We will be on the move but taking breaks to enjoy the scenery and dining.

Hotels

Double occupancy hotel accommodation costs are included. There are a limited number of single rooms available for an extra $750. You may want to tip the friendly service.

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I shot this waterfall from many angles, including walking behind it.

Photo Equipment

You’ll want to have a wide angle, telephoto and possibly a macro lens. Depending on how you plan to photograph the eclipse, you may want a super-telephoto lens (600mm or longer) or a telescope with a camera attachment. If you bring a telescope, make sure you have used it several times, there won’t be time to learn how to shoot it during the eclipse. A SOLAR ECLIPSE FILTER IS MANDATORY unless you want to go blind and ruin your camera’s sensor. Traditional ND filters aren’t good enough to protect your camera or eyes during an eclipse. Make sure you have lots of memory cards, spare batteries and charger and maybe a polarizer filter. You’ll need a sturdy tripod, don’t skimp here either on quality or size. I suggest staying away from light “travel tripods” since we are going be shooting things you probably won’t see again in your lifetime and getting a fuzzy photo because of shaky tripod would be criminal. I also suggest bringing a laptop to download your photos and a way to have a backup, either on the original cards or an external hard drive. If you aren’t absolutely sure of everything that your camera does, bring your instruction manual so we can help you fix any problems. Once you register we will talk about how to approach the eclipse shoot and what equipment you will need.

Payment

The full fee is required 120 days prior to the workshop.

Deposits and Cancellations

A $750 deposit must be paid in order to secure your space in the workshop. Full payment must be received 120 days prior to the workshop.

Notice of your cancellation must be made in writing, at which time the following refunds are offered:
120 days or more before workshop: Full workshop refund minus the deposit.
119 to 60 days before workshop: 50% of workshop cost. Your payment, minus the deposit, will be refunded if your spot can be filled.
59 or fewer days before workshop: no refund. Your payment, minus the deposit, will be refunded if your spot can be filled.

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a workshop. Workshops are sold as a package only.

If a workshop is cancelled, you will receive a full refund of any money paid, but I’d have to be on my deathbed before I’d cancel. But if I’m on my deathbed and need to cancel the workshop, I will not be held responsible for your other expenses, such as airline ticket, that may be associated with the canceled workshop. I suggest you purchase trip insurance to be safe, but I’ve never cancelled a destination workshop and it would take a major catastrophe before I cancel.

About Loren Fisher

This workshop is being led by Loren Fisher, who has been a professional photographer since 1978. He worked at seven newspapers including USA Today, is a past president of the New Jersey chapter of ASMP, is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University and sells his fine art photography at juried art shows from Florida to Vermont. He has lead dozens of workshops in places like Italy, Guatemala, Florida, New York, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Boston and Washington, D.C. He has published two photography books “Pope John Paul II: An American Celebration” and “Branson Backstage.” Loren has been to 50 states and nearly 20 countries.

What else you need to know

Once you register, you will receive a packet of information about the trip. It includes a Liability Release Form that needs to be immediately returned, an Emergency Contact and Medical Information Form, a detailed listing of our hotels with contact information, details about some of the locations we will be visiting and more suggestions for equipment and clothing.

Questions? Email Loren at Loren@LorenPhotos.com or call 802-332-6611.


Register now