Milky Way Photography in Joshua Tree NP

4 Days - Joshua Tree NP
Mar 11 - Mar 14, 2021
Activity Level
Skill Level


COVID-19 Precautions:  Group size reduced to 8. Double occupancy not available except couples or family members.
Price does not reflect mandatory single supplement.

Registration deadline: February 4, 2021

Capture stunning photographs of the Milky Way galaxy in all of its splendor in Joshua Tree National Park. Over the course of this 4-day, 3-night workshop, We will explore dark sky locations with fantastic foreground subjects. We will concentrate most of our photography in the northwestern Mojave Desert part of the Park, where the jagged Joshua Trees and twisted rock formations are abundant and make compelling foregrounds to anchor your night sky images.


During the workshop, we will be based in Twentynine Palms near the Oasis Visitor Center and north entrance of the Park. We will have 3 nights of field instruction, 3.5 days of classroom instruction and critiques. This will give participants an opportunity to improve their skills and have ample opportunity to practice their new found knowledge. Included in the classroom instruction will be an introduction to post-processing techniques for night images.

Workshop includes:

  • Field instruction
  • Three nights lodging based on single occupancy
  • Water, snack and 3 picnic dinners
  • Pre-workshop webinar
  • Post-workshop critique


Workshop Prerequisites:

This workshop is designed for the intermediate to advanced photographer. Participants should have basic photographic knowledge and have familiarity shooting at night or completed a basic night photography program such as our introductory Fun in the Dark workshop.  Understanding your camera settings is essential for operating your camera in the dark.


Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on lighting conditions, in the hopes of giving you the best opportunities possible.


Day 1 – Thursday, March 11, 2021

  • After participants check into their room and enjoy a short break, our group will travel to the park to prepare for sunset and night sky photo shoots.
  • We will enjoy a picnic dinner under the stars.
  • Return to the hotel late in the evening.

Day 2 – Friday, March 12, 2021

  • Sleep in late and download images before we begin our next full day of activities.
  • After lunch, participants will reconvene for a demonstration on post-processing techniques for night images using Lightroom and Photoshop. Participants will be required to bring their own laptop equipped with appropriate software, and they will be guided through the optimization of the previous night’s images.
  • Break for some downtime, before heading out for our Friday evening sunset and night shoot.

Day 3 – Saturday, March 13, 2021

  • Participants will have another leisurely morning before meeting in the conference room for additional post-processing and critique session at 10:00 am.
  • Beth will review techniques and address participant questions before breaking for a late lunch.
  • Participants will have some downtime to rest before the group heads back into the park late afternoon to get set up for our evening and night shooting.
  • Picnic dinner under the stars.
  • Return to the hotel late evening/early morning.

Day 4 – Sunday, March 14, 2021

  • Our last morning the group will reconvene at 10:00 am for a final image critique.
  • The workshop will end by 1:00 pm.

Activity Level: Moderate

Short hikes on unmaintained terrain. Some scrambling on rocks. Sturdy shoes or hiking boots recommended. Must bring headlamp and flashlights. Temperatures in the desert at night can get cold at night so please bring warm clothing to layer.

Lodging During the Workshop

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Twentynine Palms – Joshua Tree
72535 Twentynine Palms Hwy
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
Phone: (760) 361-1000


Three nights lodging is included in your workshop fee based on single occupancy. If you plan to arrive prior to March 11th you will need to contact the hotel to book your own additional reservation.

Beth Ruggiero-York
Ambika Balasubramaniyan
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 some time be unavoidable that is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.

Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel any workshop if our minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event AHPS cancels a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund for the workshop components booked directly with AHPS.  Please Note: we are not liable for the additional 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.