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Event Report
Big Bend, October 2013
Thomas J. Avery Photography


Event Details:
Leader: Thomas J. Avery
Attendees: 8
Dates: Sept. 27 - Oct. 2, 2013
Focus: Landscape and Night Photography

In late 2012, some of my former students approached me with an idea. They asked if they could hire me as a private guide. They wanted a workshop-like event but without all the classroom time. I thought it was a great idea, and we made it happen in Oct. 2013.

We planned the event a little bit earlier than usual. I think the time period from the end of Sept. and the first half of Oct. are optimum to get a nice sky at night. The rainy season in Big Bend has usually tapered off, and temperatures start to cool off with passing cold fronts. And the good, meaty part of the Milky Way can still be seen at night (it's best in the summer, and once you get into November, it's too far below the horizon).

This event was a lot of fun. We covered a lot of ground and had some amazing shooting opportunities (nice clouds, nice light, sunsets, stars). It did get a bit hot towards the end, however. But we survived and came away happy.

The only glitch was that our government shut down on Oct. 1, and subsequently the national park closed its gates to visitors. Fortuntely we had several full days in the park prior to the shut down, and afterward, we visited other great attractions in the Big Bend area outside of the national park.

Photos from the Event

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Friday, September 27
- 5:00pm Welcome and Introductions
- Crash course in night photography
- Dinner at the Starlight Theatre
- Attempted night shoot - too cloudy

Saturday, September 28
- Breakfast at the Chili Pepper Cafe
- Optional exploration of some areas in Terlingua Ranch
- Long drive through national park, many stops
- Afternoon field shoots in and around Rio Grande Village
- Picnic dinner in the field at Rio Grande Village
- No night shoot - too cloudy

Sunday, September 29
- Morning, sunrise shoot on west side of park
- Breakfast at the Chili Pepper Cafe
- Mid-day exploration of Terlingua Ghost Town
- Afternoon shoot at Ernst Tinaja in Big Bend N.P.
- Picnic dinner in the field at Dugout Wells
- Night shoot (Milky Way & stars) at Dugout Wells

Monday, September 30
- Breakfast at the Chili Pepper Cafe
- Mid-day exploration of the west side of Big Bend N.P.
- Afternoon field shoot near Cerro Castellan Peak
- Sunset shoot in the Basin
- Dinner at the Chisos Mountains Lodge
- Night shoot in Terlingua Ghost Town

Tuesday, October 1
** national park is closed due to government shut down **
- Breakfast at the Chili Pepper Cafe
- Group photo at barrier at park entrance
- Hike through Closed Canyon in Big Bend Ranch State Park
- Sunset shoot from the Big Hill on Hwy. 170
- Dinner at La Kiva

Wednesday, October 2
- Final breakfast together at the Chili Pepper
- 12:00pm -- End
- Optional post-workshop afternoon shoot in Big Bend Ranch State Park
- Optional post-workshop night shoot in Terlingua Ghost Town