KISSIMMEE PRAIRIE, DEEP SPACE!

DEEP SPACE ASTROphotography COURSE

An all-inclusive photo expedition at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve, Florida

NOV 24-27, 2019

Rho Ophiuchi © Peter Zelinka

Rho Ophiuchi © Peter Zelinka

the wonder of astrophotography

Looking out at the stars, not only is the birth place of new matter - new life - reflected back to you, but also, you undergo the bewildering experience of looking back in time.

The objects we seek in the thick black ink of the Universe are thousands or millions of light years away, and thus, it takes these objects’ light an equal amount of years to reach our eyes from their distance. For the gorgeous spiral that is Andromeda Galaxy at 2.5 million light years away, when we look out to it today we are looking 2.5 million years into the past.

Think about the history of our Earth and how it has changed dramatically over the course of the last couple million years; different species like mastodons were common and the very first giraffes began to appear. Ocean levels were 30 meters higher and major peaks in the Cascade Mountains were beginning their debut on our blue-green marble.

Pleiades © Peter Zelinka

Pleiades © Peter Zelinka

When it comes to some astronomical targets we see today, there's a chance they no longer exist, look completely different, or in the case of nebulae, that they have now formed planets! With astrophotography, you are capturing a period of Universal development that is essentially a "limited edition" sight, and you may be one of the few to capture it permanently.

Aside from the mind-blowing science behind this all, it doesn't take much for one to simply be awe-struck by the neon glows in a nebula photograph. Something just draws people to it -- and perhaps it’s a subconscious awareness that in that image is a whole world of life, fleeting forever.


EXPEDITION Price

$3,300

Reserve your spot with a 30% deposit and
agreement to our Expedition Terms & Conditions.

Add To Cart

Remainder of expedition payment is due 90 days prior to expedition start date.


Orion Nebula © Marisa Marulli

Orion Nebula © Marisa Marulli

WHO THIS PHOTO EXPEDITION IS FOR

You know if it's happened to you; you've been browsing through a magazine or an image feed online and -- POW -- something stops you. It's a photo with a jet black background, a glowing whispy shape unlike any you could ever describe, and sparkling stars of all colors wrapped like Christmas lights around it. It's different than all of the other pictures. Something really grabs you in this one. Perhaps it's that sense of a vague and mysterious life calling to your subconscious.

You've always wanted to capture a deep sky image, but you didn't think that doing so was actually possible for you to accomplish in your lifetime without a ton of work, expertise and equipment. Well, it is. And it's easier than you think!

Yes effort is required and yes there will be an extra device helping guide your camera, but with the help of astrophotographer Peter Zelinka, photographer Marisa Marulli and 3 nights of remote, light-pollution-free skies in Florida, your chance to capture deep space astrophotography images has arrived!

This photo expedition is for:

  • Beginners! All skill levels are welcome, but it is highly recommended that you have some familiarity with your star tracker and can operate your camera in the dark.

  • Those with light experience in astrophotography, who want the chance to take it to the next level

  • Experienced astrophotographers who want the opportunity of 3 nights of capturing deep space objects!

  • Astrophotographers who are looking to be around like-minded individuals

  • Astrophotographers who prefer to shoot in a safe, group setting (we get it -- the dark can be spooky!)

  • Astrophotographers who want to come to a dark-sky site and not have to worry about any of the logistics like timing, conditions, food, transport and more!

  • Astrophotographers who want to hone in on their skills and spend time picking the brain of Peter Zelinka!

North American Nebula © Peter Zelinka

North American Nebula © Peter Zelinka


JOIN THE COURSE

EXPEDITION PRICE: $3,300

Reserve your spot with a 30% deposit and
agreement to our Expedition Terms & Conditions.

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Remainder of expedition payment is due 90 days prior to expedition start date.


why this course over others

  • This course is limited to 6 astrophotography participants!

  • Astrophotographer Peter Zelinka is known for his remarkably simple and clear guidance, getting first-time astrophotographers to capture an image they’re proud of on their first shot!

  • This course includes classroom lectures, in-the-field shooting guidance, and post-processing guidance!

  • We have everything taken care of for you, from hotels, food, airport pickups and all the classroom and in-the-field lessons in between! All you have to do is show up and be ready to focus on photography and having fun!

  • During this expedition, it is likely you will make new astrophotography comrades who will last a lifetime!

  • Being in a group setting helps provide a sense of security when shooting astrophotography in the dark for extended periods of time!


not sure if this trip is for you?

want to ask a couple of questions before booking?

You've got it. Shoot us an email with your questions,
and we'll get back to you within 1 business day!

All skill levels are welcome, but it is highly recommended that you have some familiarity with your star tracker and can operate your camera in the dark.

Andromeda Galaxy © Peter Zelinka

Andromeda Galaxy © Peter Zelinka

course overview

november 24-27, 2019

The opportunity is calling you to join a 4-day, 3-night astrophotography excursion in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve, Florida! You and a select few others will explore the night sky in a remote and formally designated International Dark Sky Place, during one of the most pleasant times of year. Under Bortle 3 skies, make your astrophotography dreams a reality!

In this multi-day group setting, participants will learn from each other, have the opportunity to put a dent in the targets on your lists (nebulae, galaxies, and more), and make astrophotography comrades that will last a lifetime.

Enjoy the ease of an all-inclusive, no-worries experience, where all the details are sorted so you can focus completely on your photography — not to mention, have fun, too, with activities like an authentic airboat ride!

ITINERARY

Day 1 — ARRIVAL, ORIENTATION, classroom lesson, 1-4 targets in the field

We will pick up participants at the Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) at 12 p.m. Participants coming from other locations or arriving on earlier days may simply meet us at our quaint, old-town Florida hotel at 3:30 p.m., which will be orientation time.

At 3:30 p.m., we will gather in the hotel's meeting room for introductions, photography concepts, techniques and tips for shooting over the next few days. Then we depart for a dark and starry night of shooting at our reserved astronomy viewing pads in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve!

We will work on polar alignment during twilight and be ready to shoot our first target when the sky gets to a true dark. We will have a tent set up to relax in an area that aims to protect from mosquitos, where we can eat our picnic-style dinners under the stars. Once our cameras are done collecting data on the first target, we will move on to the next! Tonight our goal is to capture at least 3 targets. However, if tonight is our most favorably forecasted night, we will aim for more targets.

Day 2 — classroom lesson, 1-6 targets in the field

Breakfast can be had at everyone’s leisure at our charming hotel. We suggest finding a spot where you can take in the sights of the lake! Our day will start later with a highly rated lunch outing in historic Sebring Circle. Today’s classroom lesson will include a recap of last night’s shoot as well as post-processing techniques on those very images. Questions are welcome!

Tonight we will head out to Kissimmee Prairie and complete polar alignment during twilight. We will enjoy another dinner under the stars as our cameras collect the light of the galaxies, nebulae and other DSOs we are targeting.

Rosette Nebula © Peter Zelinka

Rosette Nebula © Peter Zelinka

Day 3 — authentic airboat ride, 1-3 targets in the field

Breakfast can be had at everyone’s leisure, or you may enjoying sleeping in and waiting until our lunch outing. Today we have an exciting, authentic Florida airboat ride! Cameras are welcome, or simply take a break to enjoy yourself on a nice, breezy ride! Get ready to see exciting wildlife and enjoy a day on the water!

During our lesson today, we aim to discuss more techniques prior to our final night shooting under the stars! Once you set up polar alignment and lock on your targets, sit back and relax (and eat your delicious To-Go dinner!) under our tent and exchange ideas with your new astrophotography friends!

Day 4 — lesson and departure

To close out our time together, in the morning we will have breakfast together and a final discussion. We will have some time to say goodbye and exchange contact information with our new friends that will last a lifetime! After the expedition is over, you will be invited to our private facebook group where you can keep in touch with all, share images, and get feedback!

We will arrive to the Palm Beach International Airport at 1 p.m. for your afternoon departing flights. We’ll see you on our next adventure (hint: eclipse)!

Horsehead Nebula © Peter Zelinka

Horsehead Nebula © Peter Zelinka

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

EXPEDITION PRICE: $3,300

Reserve your spot with a 30% deposit and
agreement to our Expedition Terms & Conditions.

Add To Cart

Remainder of expedition payment is due 90 days prior to expedition start date.


GEAR LIST

HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO BRING TO big cypress

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera

  • At least two camera batteries

  • At least two memory cards

  • A telephoto lens (we recommend a 150-600mm, and a lens you enjoy for landscapes so you’re able to photograph during our airboat ride and elsewhere if the opportunities arise.) If you don’t have access to a 150-600mm, the shortest length we recommend bringing is 200mm.

  • Tripod

  • Intervalometer

  • Star-tracker, declination bracket and counterweight

  • Hand warmers (approximately $7 on Amazon or $5 at your local Walmart) and rubber bands

    • As your camera is brought from warm interiors to cooler settings, dew can accumulate on your lens glass and completely fog up your images! Photographers have come up with the ingenious solution of securing a couple of hand warmers onto the lens with a rubber band, which keeps the lens temperature regulated enough that it prevents the condensation from occurring!

  • Laptop (If you would like to follow along with us during our post-processing instructions, we recommend that you bring a laptop to be able to participate and edit your photographs while with us.)

  • Headlamp (We recommend something like this because it can switch between a regular and a red, night vision light. While having a regular light will be important for walking in the dark, having red lights are important for night photographers because this type of light preserves your night vision and does not negatively impact other photographer's exposures in the way that regular light does.)

  • Camera bag (We will be out shooting for a few hours at a time, so be sure to bring extra water and snacks in case you tend to get hungry during the middle of the shoots.)

  • A good pair of sneakers or hiking shoes that feel comfortable when on your feet for extended periods of time.

  • Bug spray! We’ll have a bug tent, but the bugs can be serious in Florida, so you’ll want to be protected while you’re outside of the tent!

Veil Nebula © Peter Zelinka

Veil Nebula © Peter Zelinka

TAKE YOUR astroPHOTOGRAPHY TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH THIS GEAR:

Peter recommends an auto-guider, guide scope, and a laptop with PHD2 and SharpCap installed. For more information, please visit Peter's website.


meet peter

ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY instructor

Peter Zelinka

Peter Zelinka

Peter Zelinka is a nomadic nature photographer originally from Northeast Ohio. As an avid hiker and backpacker, Peter spent most his free time exploring the forests of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.  After spending countless hours hiking with a point-and-shoot camera, Peter eventually became more interested in photography. In June 2014 he purchased his first DSLR - a Nikon D7100. He spent the next few years practicing macro, wildlife, astro, and long exposure photography. 

Peter graduated Summa Cum Laude from Youngstown State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science. After graduation, he began working as an Information Systems Specialist at The Vindicator in Youngstown Ohio.

In June 2016, Peter quit his full-time IT job to pursue photography. He spent the next 4 months living out of his car, traveling across the country on a 15,000-mile roadtrip. Upon returning home, he began teaching photography lessons. 

Peter has now spent over 1 year living out of his car!  In April 2019 he began his latest adventure - teaching people all across America how to take amazing images of the night sky.


MEET MARISA

PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPORT

Marisa Marulli (on frozen Lake Baikal, Siberia)

Marisa Marulli (on frozen Lake Baikal, Siberia)

Marisa is an explorer, photographer and journalist with a passion for connecting people to the unknown.

Her passion for documentary photography has lured her to remote corners of the world to experience the fire and ice of Iceland, ice-driving across the world’s deepest lake in Siberia, zodiac-riding over the world’s strongest current - Saltstraumen - in the Arctic circle, and more.

Marisa’s work has been featured in AFAR magazine, Ink Magazine, Palm Beach Illustrated, and more.

As a former student herself, Marisa is appreciated by all levels of students for her tactful ability to break down the elements of photography and post-processing, and convey them in a simplified way.  


expedition price: $3,300

Price is for single accommodation. A whole room to yourself!

Reserve your spot with a 30% deposit and
agreement to our Expedition Terms & Conditions.

Add To Cart

Whirlpool Galaxy © Peter Zelinka

Whirlpool Galaxy © Peter Zelinka

BOOK NOW

Reserve your spot with a 30% deposit and
agreement to our Expedition Terms & Conditions.

Add To Cart

COURSE overview

 

LOCATION

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve, Florida

Dates

Nov 24-27, 2019

PLACES

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve

Lake Kissimmee

Brahma Island

Sebring

Florida

THIS TRIP IS FOR

*All* levels of photographers and astrophotographers (it is highly recommended that you have some familiarity with your star tracker and can operate your camera in the dark)

Those looking for an astrophotography *experience*

Those looking to capture the deep sky targets they’ve been so drawn to!


photographic themes

Astrophotography

Deep space objects

Nebulae

Galaxies

Florida nature and wildlife

Old Florida charm

The experience behind photography


ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY TARGETS

Pleiades

Orion Nebula

Rosette Nebula

Horsehead Nebula

California Nebula

Andromeda Galaxy

Triangulum Galaxy

Whirlpool Galaxy


Education

In-the-field astrophotography instruction

Polar alignment

Classroom discussions of best practices, tips and techniques

Post-processing instruction in star-stacking software, Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop

One-on-one critiques


EXPEDITION Price

$3,300

Reserve your spot with a 30% deposit and agreement to our Expedition Terms & Conditions.

Add To Cart

Remainder of expedition payment is due 90 days prior to expedition start date.


Price includes

Astrophotography guidance and in-the-field lessons

An authentic Florida airboat ride!

Post-processing lessons, shooting techniques and other classroom lessons, and one-on-one critiques

All park and site entrance fees

Dedicated astronomy viewing pads

Hotel accommodations (single accommodation)

All meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 4

Private transportation from Palm Beach International (PBI) airport to hotel on arrival day

Private transportation from hotel to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) on departure day

Private transportation to and from all sites throughout the duration of the workshop

PRICE DOes NOT INCLUDE

Flights to and from Florida

Travel insurance

Additional food and drinks outside of the meals which are mentioned as part of the itinerary

Alcoholic beverages

Photography and astrophotography gear

Photographic-processing softwares

Gratuities

What is not mentioned as included


Astrophotography instructor:  Peter Zelinka

Astrophotography instructor:

Peter Zelinka

I can’t say enough good things about Peter. He may be like a nebula. A nebula is where stars are born, Peter is where photographers are born.
— Ron Patterson, previous astrophotography student
Since my lesson time to time I have reached out to him for help suggestions and he is more than happy to help. I will definitely look for some more amazing classes with him in upcoming year.

All the very best Peter and thank you so much for everything you have taught me.
— Waqar Ahmad, previous astrophotography student
Photographer:  Marisa Marulli

Photographer:

Marisa Marulli

Marisa Marulli is the person who took my love for photography and pushed it over the edge. Prior to her explanation I didn’t know anything about shutter speed and aperture. Not only did she take the time to explain it to me but she spent the time to show me how to do it in the field. She put everything in terms that I could understand and I am forever grateful.
— Frank DiNardi, Haddam, CT USA

PETER’S INSTAGRAM FEED

@PeteZelinka

SEE WHAT HE'S CURRENTLY SHOOTING!


MARISA'S INSTAGRAM FEED

@MarisaMarulli

SEE WHAT SHE'S CURRENTLY SHOOTING!


peter and marisa arrive to the location days in advance in order to assess real-time weather conditions and confirm best photo ops.


ready to book!

Reserve your spot with a 30% deposit and
agreement to our Expedition Terms & Conditions.

Add To Cart

Journey Further is CPR First Aid AED trained and certified.

Journey Further is CPR First Aid AED trained and certified.

We have worked with park rangers to arrange for our time in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve.

We have worked with park rangers to arrange for our time in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve.

Journey Further is a registered Seller of Travel officially allowed to package transportation, lodging and meal accommodations. California SOT #2137194, Florida SOT #ST41774, Washington SOT #604390112, Iowa travel agency #1575.

Journey Further is a registered Seller of Travel officially allowed to package transportation, lodging and meal accommodations. California SOT #2137194, Florida SOT #ST41774, Washington SOT #604390112, Iowa travel agency #1575.

We keep client funds safely protected in a designated Trust Account to ensure payments pertain to workshop expenses.

We keep client funds safely protected in a designated Trust Account to ensure payments pertain to workshop expenses.


ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate

Level 3 of 5

While most of our activity will be simply walking, we rate this expedition as “moderate” activity level for the stamina you will need to load, unload and manage your camera equipment.

We also rate it “moderate” because it requires some stamina to stay up late to capture astro images (you can always sleep in the car if necessary - and we may have a group that goes back early each night)!


Tips on Getting to kissimmee prairie

Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 4.21.14 PM.png

Here are a few different ways you can get to our meeting place in FLORIDA:

  • Recommended: You can fly into the Palm Beach International, Florida airport (PBI), where we will pick you up and you will not need further transportation. Arrange your flight so you land no later than 11:30 a.m. on Nov 24th, 2019.

  • If you choose to fly into Miami International or Fort Lauderdale International airports, you may take the Brightline train, Tri-Rail, or Uber/Lyft/Taxi to Palm Beach International (approximately a 45-minute to 1-hour drive), where we will pick you up if you arrive by 11:30 a.m. on Nov 24th, 2019.

  • If you choose to come in on a day prior to our expedition start date, you will need to secure your own transportation from the airport to our hotel, Inn on the Lakes.

  • Suggestion: Other nearby airports include Miami International, Fort Lauderdale International, and Orlando International airports.


submit REMAINDER OF EXPEDITION BALANCE

After you’ve submitted your deposit, you may at any time (no later than 90 days prior to expedition) submit the remaining balance, here.

Submit expedition final payment

Submit Remaining Balance

DISCLAIMER

Expedition Terms & Conditions apply. This itinerary is subject to change at any time. The opportunity for photography and astrophotography is based on proper weather conditions. If the weather conditions are in any way hazardous or unfavorable, the photography instructors reserve the right to cancel in-the-field instruction for affected days.