Astromaster 2021 – LaPalma, Canary Islands

2021 Oct 3 – 10 (Sunday to Sunday)
Night Sky Photography Masterclass (since 2013)
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Workshop Price: 1850€ or $2200. Book your spot with $450 deposit (375€)
Free Cancellation to 2021 August 31 Also available: Astromaster May 2022
Visit the European stargazing paradise in the Canary Islands for a week-long intensive workshop, well known to night sky photographers world-wide. Learn secrets of nightscape and timelapse Imaging by the founder & director of The World at Night program, National Geographic photographer Babak Tafreshi, who spent over two decades practicing this type of photography and exploring the night sky from all continents. Improve your photo editing and processing skills and spend time at one of the world’s leading astronomical observatories located on top of a jaw-dropping caldera.
La Palma has one of the world’s darkest skies, preserved due to naturally protected areas of the island and the observatory light regulations on the island. La Palma is also a paradise for hikers, beach goers, and nature lovers. The program includes trips to various parts of the island and stunning overlooks to the giant caldera with sea of clouds underneath. The island’s airport (SPC) has direct connection to mainland Spain (by Iberia) and seasonal flights to major European cities (UK, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Scandinavia). See the list here. There are also options via a stopover to the neighboring islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria (Las Palmas). Flights from North America usually transit through Madrid or Barcelona.
Astromaster brings together both hobbyist and professional photographers with the passion for starry skies, but it is also recommended to enthusiasts with some experience on night imaging and photo processing. If you are an absolute beginner with interest to attend, do some practice in the next few months and make yourself ready for the program.
Astromaster started in 2013 in collaboration of La Palma Astronomy Tours and The World at Night. We have shared knowledge with many photographers from across the globe. See videos during previous Astromasters by the more experienced participants: 2016, 2016, 2015, 2015, 2014, 2014, 2013.
How to Join
Before booking please make sure you are able to participate and Astromaster is the right program for you. You can cancel until 2021 August 31 without penalty and your deposit will be fully refunded.
Step 1: Secure your spot with a deposit of $450 (equal to 375€) with credit card here.
Step 2: You will be contacted by us to complete the booking and fulfill the payment in August by bank transfer, check, or credit card (includes 2.5% card fee).
Step 3: We will be in touch with you over emails with recommendations to prepare you for the trip.
What Is Included
The workshop price is 1850€ (EUR) or $2200 USD. We offer 10% discount to past Astromaster participants. The fee covers:
– About 30 hours of sessions in classroom
– All photo shooting excursions including transportation to/from the site. There will be 4-6 excursions (weather dependent).
– Main Meals (except for the free day), hot beverages & snacks at photo sessions
– Tax and Group Insurance
– Visit to the Observatory at El Roque de Los Muchachos
– Accommodation at the Observatory (depending on COVID-19 restrictions). We have a special permission to stay inside the observatory for one night and use the facilities and the conference room during our two-day stay on the mountain. The observatory rooms are limited and usually only available to visiting astronomers. Our group will share large (and very clean) dormitory rooms, one for males and one for females. Private room (at an extra fee of 100€) may be available for couples upon request but it is not guaranteed.

*Please note you should book your own accommodation except for the observatory night. In the past we had this covered in the package but it was too complicated with those wishing to stay at different places. Therefore this option has been removed. Also note photo sessions departure/arrival transport leaves from the venue, Hotel Las Olas in Los Cancajos.

Venue, Accommodation, Itinerary
The venue is Hotel Las Olas in Los Cancajos area between the island capital, only 5-10 minutes drive from the airport towards the city, Santa Cruz de La Palma. There are plenty of affordable options to book in this area.

The itinerary below may slightly change in daily details according to the weather and local circumstances. You will be updated.

Day 1, Sun Oct 3: Arrivals. Evening meeting and first group dinner, continued by a brief imaging session on the coast with Babak within walking distance from the hotels. Sunset is a bit before 9pm and darkness at ~10pm
Day 2, Mon Oct 4: All day class 10:00-17:30 with lunch and other breaks. Possible imaging session. Milky Way rises at ~11:30pm.
Day 3, Tue Oct 5: All day class 10:00-17:30. Possible imaging session
Day 4, Wed Oct 6: Morning drive to the observatory. Sandwich lunch at the caldera. Visiting the telescopes. Short class in the afternoon. Group dinner at the observatory. A long night-imaging session may continue to early morning. Accommodation at the observatory.
Day 5, Thu Oct 7: Late breakfast in the observatory. Room check out is 12 noon. Sandwich lunch. Afternoon class in the observatory. Group dinner. Imaging session to 1am at the caldera. Drive down to hotels.
Day 6, Fri Oct 8: Free day to rest and enjoy the island
Day 7, Sat Oct 9: The last day of class from 10:00 to 17:00. Drive to southern tip of island for a fantastic farewell group dinner, sunset, and imaging session next to an iconic lighthouse. Drive back to the hotels after midnight.
Day 8, Sun Oct 10: Departures
Cancellation Policy
You can cancel until 2021 August 31 without penalty and your deposit will be fully refunded. There are no refunds if you withdraw after this date. However if you withdraw from the workshop very late due to COVID-19 restrictions we will credit you towards a future program.
If the workshop is cancelled due to a natural calamity, epidemic, or other rare unexpected occasions, you will be fully refunded. We are not responsible for reimbursement of airline tickets or non-refundable hotel bookings. Your trip cancellation plan/travel insurance should cover this and it’s recommended.