Deep Space Workshop

October 9 - 13 | Kanab Utah

Workshop Filled


The Basics

Join Peter Zelinka for a Deep Space Workshop this October.  We'll spend 4 nights in some of the darkest skies in North America, near Kanab Utah.  Each day we'll meet at a rental house outside of town, where we will capture and process our data.  The daytime sessions are designed to answer any questions you may have before it gets dark.  Around sunset we'll meet again for dinner.  Kanab has a nice selection of restaurants, and we'll choose one each night.  My assistant will grab our meals and bring them back while we setup our gear.  After dinner, we can begin shooting.  While the photos are being captured we can relax indoors and stay warm.  However, we'll continue to monitor the progress of our cameras.  We will also be providing snacks and drinks at night, including coffee!

Since this workshop will be held in October, we'll have a great view of the winter-time objects, including the Orion Nebula, Horsehead Nebula, Pleiades, Andromeda Galaxy, Triangulum Galaxy, North America Nebula, Heart Nebula, Sadr Region, Rosette Nebula, California Nebula, Veil Nebula, and much more!  If you're not sure what to photograph, we will discuss the best choices (depending on your gear).

Capturing the data is only half the battle - you'll also need to process your images.  I will have 1-on-1 lessons with each student every day.  During these personalized 1 hour lessons, we can cover whatever you'd like.  Maybe you are having trouble with stacking, or struggling to learn Photoshop.  Perhaps you want to start incorporating PixInsight into your routine.  Whatever it is, we can give it a try. 


Kanab Utah is one of the best starting points for an epic Western adventure.  There are quite a few incredible places located within an ~hour drive, including Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, and more.  If you want to take it easy though, there are plenty of beautiful locations to explore within Kanab.  With this in mind, you'll have most of your day free to wander around (or catch up on sleep!) 

Zion National Park is just a short drive from Kanab, and much less busy during the winter.  If possible, you may want to spend a few extra days in Kanab enjoying the landscapes!



Day 1 - Monday, October 9th:

- Meet and Greet at 3PM

- General Lesson at 4PM

- Complimentary Dinner at 5:30PM

- Begin Setup at 6:30PM

- Teardown at ~12AM

Day 2 - Tuesday, October 10th: 

- 1-on-1 Processing Lessons (time chosen by student)

- Complimentary Dinner at 5:30PM

- Begin Setup at 6:30PM

- Group Processing Lesson at 7:30PM

- Teardown whenever (you can always leave your gear up, go home and sleep, and we'll tear down for you at Astronomical Twilight) 


Day 3 - Wednesday, October 11th:

- Processing Lessons throughout the day

- Complimentary Dinner at 5:30PM

- Begin Setup at 6:30PM

- Group Processing Lesson at 7:30PM


Day 4 - Thursday, October 12th:

- Processing Lessons throughout the day

- Farewell dinner at the rental house

- Setup at 6:30PM

- Group Processing Lesson at 7:30PM


Day 5 - Friday, October 13th:

- Morning Goodbyes

- Any final questions


Recommended Gear & Clothing

As long as you have a DSLR, telephoto lens, and a star tracker, you can successfully attend this workshop!  That's all I had back in the day, and I was still able to get some amazing photos!  However, this workshop will also be a great opportunity for those with dedicated astro cameras, filter wheels, Go-To Mounts, and larger telescopes.  (Assuming you can travel to Kanab with all that gear!)

I highly recommend purchasing a headlamp with a red light, if you don't have one already.  This will make it easy to navigate around our gear at night.

I will have a few spare mounts available to try out during this workshop, including the new ZWO AM5 Harmonic Mount.  So if you are looking to upgrade any of your gear, this will be the perfect opportunity to try something new. 

For a full list of my recommended products, please view my howtube store page.  I've got all of the products I use listed here.

October can be fairly chilly in Kanab, so you'll want to bring plenty of warm clothes.  We won't be standing in the freezing cold all night long though, since we've got the rental house we can sit inside while the cameras are busy. 


Who is this workshop for?

The Deep Space Workshops are a great way for like-minded people to come together and enjoy a few nights under dark skies, far away from big city light pollution.  Whether you are a complete beginner having trouble with your polar alignment, or an experienced astrophotographer looking to capture some great data from a dark sky, this workshop is for you!  

One thing I've noticed is that all of my students tend to get along great, and some even become life-long friends afterwards.

The workshop atmosphere will be pretty low-key, since we're all out here to have a good time and learn.  I don't want anyone to feel that they are under pressure.

I will have my astro equipment available, if anyone wants to try it out and capture some data!



The workshop will cost $3,500 and the full amount will be due upon signing up, due to the last minute opening.

This price includes 4 nights of shooting, 4 days of processing lessons, on-demand access to Peter during the day, dinner each night, snacks and coffee, access to high-end mounts and equipment, dark skies and a warm house to shoot from.  

This price does NOT include: airfare, hotel, rental car, breakfast / lunch.  


Getting There & Accommodations

The nearest major airport is Las Vegas, which is about a 3 hour drive from Kanab.  If you plan on exploring around Kanab during the day, you may want to rent an SUV for the backcountry roads.

Since astrophotography equipment can be very large and heavy, you may choose to drive to Kanab instead.  I personally will be driving all the way from Port Angeles Washington down to Kanab, just to make sure I've got room for all my equipment.  I will have 3 extra batteries, which can power your go-to mounts and ASIAir.  (If you need to leave your battery behind to fly)


Annular Eclipse 

Our main focus during the workshop will be deep space astrophotography, but I realize everyone is excited to photograph the upcoming annular eclipse (myself included).  The annular eclipse will occur on October 14th at 9am, after this workshop ends.  If you've got an extra day available, I'd recommend staying for it!  While totality will not occur in Kanab, you will still have a nice view.  If you're feeling adventurous, you could drive towards Monument Valley or Escalante to get the full show!  I will be available during the days of the workshop to teach how to photograph this eclipse.  I will walk you through the setup process, polar aligning during the day, focusing on the sun, and determining your camera settings.  With some practice, you should feel comfortable heading out to photograph the annular eclipse on the 14th.

You should be able to use all of your deep space equipment to photograph the annular eclipse.  The only additional component you would need is a solar filter. 
Check out my new YouTube video to learn more about these filters, and the solar eclipse workflow.

If you're willing to stay an extra day, and drive into the Utah backcountry, you'll be able to enjoy the annular eclipse as the grand finale of the trip!