KISSIMMEE PRAIRIE, DEEP SPACE!

DEEP SPACE ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

A beginner-to-intermediate astrophotography course 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.


COURSE PRICE

$2,200

Quantity:
Add To Cart

Because we are within 90 days of this course, full payment and
agreement to our
Expedition Terms & Conditions are due in order to make a booking.


Orion Nebula © Marisa Marulli

Orion Nebula © Marisa Marulli

WHO THIS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE 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 don’t mind coordinating their own food, accommodations and transport for a more cost-effective course! (Looking for a nearby hotel? We recommend the Inn at the Lakes, which is where we’ll be staying!)

  • 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: $2,200

Because we are within 90 days of this course, full payment and
agreement to our
Expedition Terms & Conditions are due in order to make a booking.

Quantity:
Add To Cart

Why This Course Over Others

  • This course is open to 8 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!

  • This course is a no-frills, cost-efficient version of our all-inclusive Deep Space course which occurs November 20-23, 2020 (1 spot left!). If you prefer to attend a course with the nuts and bolts of astrophotography, and feel comfortable making your own transportation, hotel meal arrangements, and other activities in Florida, this is the course for you. (If you want an all-inclusive experience, from hotels, food, airport pickups and all the classroom and in-the-field lessons in between—look into our all-inclusive Deep Space course.)

  • 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. If you don’t have this experience, let us know at time of booking and we’ll be prepared to help you from the beginning steps.

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-night 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 learning from astrophotography expert, Peter Zelinka!

ITINERARY

Day 1 — ARRIVAL, ORIENTATION, classroom lesson, deep space targets in the field

At 3:30 p.m., we will meet at The Inn on the Lake hotel's meeting room for introductions, photography concepts, techniques and tips for shooting over the next few days. Then we depart in our own vehicles 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. Those who want to bring their own to-go dinners and snacks are welcome to enjoy them under the stars. Tonight we will focus on the biggest and brightest objects. Once we’ve captured enough light, we will focus on the next object!

Day 2 — classroom lesson, DEEP SPACE targets in the field

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. Everyone is welcome to enjoy their personally-packed dinners and snacks under the stars as our cameras collect the light of the galaxies, nebulae and other DSOs we are targeting. Now that we’ve gotten more practice using our trackers at night, we’ll go for one of the more difficult objects like the Rosette Nebula.

Rosette Nebula © Peter Zelinka

Rosette Nebula © Peter Zelinka

Day 3 — classroom lesson, deep space targets in the field

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 own prepared dinners) under our tent and exchange ideas with your new astrophotography friends!

Day 4 — discussion and departure

To close out our time together, in the morning we will have 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’ll see you on our next adventure (hint: the total solar eclipse in Patagonia)!

Horsehead Nebula © Peter Zelinka

Horsehead Nebula © Peter Zelinka

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

COURSE PRICE: $2,200

Because we are within 90 days of this course, full payment and
agreement to our
Expedition Terms & Conditions are due in order to make a booking.

Quantity:
Add To Cart

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. 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.

UPDATE: Peter will have some exciting new astro toys to play with during our time together!


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.  


ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY COURSE PRICE: $2,200

because we are within 90 days of this course, full payment and
agreement to our Expedition Terms & Conditions are due in order to make a booking.

Quantity:
Add To Cart

Whirlpool Galaxy © Peter Zelinka

Whirlpool Galaxy © Peter Zelinka

BOOK NOW

Reserve your spot with course payment and
agreement to our Expedition Terms & Conditions.

Quantity:
Add To Cart

COURSE OVERVIEW

 

LOCATION

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve, Florida

Dates

Nov 24-27, 2019

PLACES

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve

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, but let us know if you don’t and we’ll be prepared to help you from the beginning steps)

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


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


COURSE PRICE

$2,200

Quantity:
Add To Cart

Because we are within 90 days of this course, full payment and
agreement to our
Expedition Terms & Conditions are due in order to make a booking.


Price includes

Astrophotography guidance and in-the-field lessons

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

All park and site entrance fees

Dedicated astronomy viewing pads

PRICE DOes NOT INCLUDE

Travel to Kissimmee Prairie

Transportation to our meeting location, Inn on the Lakes

Hotel accommodations

Meals

Travel insurance

Alcoholic beverages

Photography and astrophotography gear

Photographic-processing softwares

Gratuities

What is not mentioned as included


Your Course Pros

Further Photo Expeditions pro and expert astrophotographer Peter Zelinka will lead this course along with Further Photo Expeditions founder and pro, Marisa Marulli.

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


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.


Further Photo Expeditions is CPR First Aid AED trained and certified.

Further Photo Expeditions 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.

Further Photo Expeditions 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.

Further Photo Expeditions 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.


Tips On Getting To Kissimmee Prairie

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

  • Looking for a place to stay? We recommend the Inn on the Lakes, which is where we’ll be staying.

  • Our meeting place in Florida, the Inn on the Lakes, is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Orlando International Airport, a 2-hour drive from Palm Beach International Airport, and a 2.5-hour drive from Miami International or Fort Lauderdale International airports.



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.