Arizona Night Skies and Astro Photography

4 Days - Southern Arizona
Apr 12 - Apr 15, 2021
Activity Level
Skill Level


Registration deadline: March 1, 2021

This night sky workshop will begin with a special stop at the Kitt Peak Observatory where participants will have the opportunity to view night sky galaxies utilizing their special cameras to take your own spectacular astrophotography images then your images. After our time inside the observatory, we will have an opportunity to photograph outdoors using the observatory domes for interesting foregrounds in our night photographs.


After our amazing evening on Kitt Peak, we will depart for Rancho De La Osa Guest Ranch in Sasabe, AZ where we will be based for the duration of the workshop. With many foreground subjects at the ranch and nearby, this is a perfect setting for night photography.


During the course of the workshop, we will have opportunities to shoot the Milky Way and starry skies with little to no light pollution. During the day, photographer and author of “Fun in the Dark: A Guide to Successful Night Photography” Beth Ruggiero-York will host classroom sessions on night techniques, as well hold image critiques and provide instruction on post-processing for night images. Each night, we will choose different foregrounds for our shoot and use light painting as needed to enhance the compositions.


Using the ranch as our base locations, participants have the flexibility to stay outside and shoot as long as they wish or turn-in to their rooms at their leisure. During the daytime, there will some free time to either shoot around this historic ranch, download and work on images, or simply rest and enjoy the surroundings.


Workshop includes:

  • Round trip transportation from Phoenix, Arizona*
  • Four nights lodging based on double occupancy  (lodging at Kitt Peak is only based on double occupancy)
  • Entrance and tour fees and all meals, excluding two lunches en route to locations
  • Pre-workshop webinar
  • Post-workshop critique


*Group transportation is included in the workshop fee with a maximum of 5 passengers per vehicle.  Should COVID pandemic concerns continue to warrant self-driving, your workshop fee will be adjusted accordingly.

Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on lighting and weather conditions. We want to give you the best photo opportunities.


Day 1 – Monday, April 12, 2021

  • The group will meet in Phoenix at the Holiday Inn & Suites Airport at 1:00 pm for our departure to Kitt Peak.
  • Upon arrival at Kitt Peak, Beth will conduct an orientation on night sky photography prior to the group settling into their lodging.
  • After a break for dinner, the group will convene with our guide from Kitt Peak for a tour and subsequent start viewing.
  • Participants will have an opportunity to utilize the Observatory’s camera setups to capture amazing galaxy images.
  • Following our formal guided tour, we will then go out onto the grounds to capture night skies above Kitt Peak.
  • Participants may turn in at their leisure for some rest.

Day 2 – Tuesday, April 13, 2021

  • After sleeping in and enjoying a leisurely morning with breakfast, the group will load their gear and head to Rancho De La Osa in Sasabe.
  • The group will stop for a light lunch break at Three Points before continuing on to check in at the ranch at 3:00.
  • After a ranch orientation and some downtime, we will gather for dinner prior to our shoot sunset (7:15 pm) into the night. The Milky Way galactic center rises at 10:05 pm, and we will shoot into the early morning hours.

Day 3 – Wednesday, April 14, 2021

  • Another leisurely morning to sleep in and have a late breakfast.
  • Mid-morning we will meet in the classroom to post-process the previous night’s images.
  • After lunch, you will have free time for rest or personal shooting at the ranch.
  • Following our dinner, we will head out for sunset and continue shooting night skies until about 1:00 am.

Day 4 – Thursday, April 15, 2021

  • Free morning to rest or shoot at the ranch.
  • In the afternoon, we will gather for image critiques and Q&A.
  • Once again, we will head out for sunset after our final dinner together and continue shooting into the night.

Day 5 – Friday, April 16, 2021

  • Our last leisurely morning with breakfast before packing our gear and vehicles and heading back to Phoenix.
  • We will stop along the way for a lunch break and arrive back at the designated hotel by mid-afternoon.

Physical Strenuousness: Easy to Moderate

This workshop will be primarily conducted during the night hours.  In most cases, the shooting locations will be near the lodging facilities which allow participants to return to their rooms as desired.  Most of the shooting locations will be on easy to moderate terrain.

The Workshop will Depart from / Return to:

Holiday Inn & Suites
3220 S. 48th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: (480) 543-1700

Pre-night and post-night rooms are available for workshop participants at our corporate rate. Participants are required to make their own reservations and pay for these dates. The corporate rate is only available on a space-available status and must be booked online. The corporate rate is not available by phone.


Lodging During the Workshop

Kitt Peak
Tucson, Arizona

One night’s lodging is included in your workshop fee. Lodging is based on double occupancy.  No single rooms are available.





Rancho De La Osa
Sasabe, AZ

Three nights lodging is included in your workshop fee based on double occupancy.  A single room supplement is available for an additional fee.

Beth Ruggiero-York
Megan Galope
Photo Guide
There are a number of reputable companies that provide Travel Insurance.  For your convenience, we offer travel protection through TravelEx Insurance Services.  For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go to or contact TravelEx Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.  Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20


Should you find it necessary to cancel your workshop, the following cancellation policy applies – NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
  • 90 days full payment is due
  • 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $100 administrative fee.  Voucher is good for 18 months.
  • * 60 days or less until departure – No refund.

* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less $100 administrative fee.


NOTE:  Workshop bookings including, but not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging and more are requiring firm financial commitments at 90 days.  Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can sometimes be unavoidable that is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.


Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel or change any workshop if our minimum enrollment is not met or if situations beyond our control arise that may create unsafe or undesirable travel conditions.  Any cancelation or postponement as a result of situations beyond our control, AHPS does not promise any refunds or credits.  If and when feasible, we will attempt to reschedule the workshop at a later date.  Alternatively, we may decide to issue you credit for a future workshop, or issue a refund, less any non-refundable deposits we have paid to workshop providers on your behalf.


Please note that AHPS is not liable for any additional participant expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations, or any other components booked outside of the workshop.


PAYMENT TERMS:  A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space.  Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit.  Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.