Maine Stargazing & Photography Retreat Reviews

Night Sky Photography Workshops, Tours, Talks

Niloofar T, California: I am an amateur/hobbyist photographer and I wanted to learn about astrophotography and deep sky photography with a star-tracker. In addition to learning from Bruce and Babak, there are lots of experienced folks to learn from. I had never used a telescope before. During the retreat I learned close-up nebula photography with a star tracker, astronomy and astrophotography. I also learned many post-processing techniques. The workshop lectures were comprehensive! This was a learning experience as well as a great vacation!  

Mike D, Massachusetts:  I was familiar with camera manual settings but had no night photography experience. I wanted to learn how to be taught how to operate my telescope and use it better. I learned a ton of tips and strategies for night astro photography including details like focus, preventing dew on lens, using an Astro tracker and much more.  From the time I arrived at the retreat to the time I left I was provided with 1:1 attention and a warm sense of being connected to like minded people. 

Paul D, Massachusetts: Fantastic experience I highly recommend joining the adventure. I attended last year and I was a complete novice and a little nervous. Everyone was so supportive and willing to teach and share their extensive knowledge The experience gave me the push to travel and take more photos. I am attending this year to continue the journey and adventure with these great people. Everyone I have talked with and exchanged correspondence with has been very warm and welcoming. they have made me feel at home.

Anuja D, Maine: the entire team of MSPR were fantastic! I still don’t have the right words to describe how seeing the Milky Way for the first time made me feel but the entire experience was everything I had hoped for and so much more. Babak’s passion for the night sky and photography was truly inspiring and it was such an honor to learn from him. I will certainly be signing up for one of his future workshops! Also, kudos to the kitchen staff and chef for preparing such wonderful meals all days.

Howard Ritter, Ohio: I am an amateur astronomer and wanted to share knowledge and resources with others and I had not done much nightscape photography, mostly astrophotography through telescopes, but I learned some valuable fundamentals from Babak. The opportunity to observe and socialize with other experienced amateur astronomers and astro-imagers was wonderful and memorableThe lectures were well done. I had high expectations as a result of having seen Babak’s images for the past many years in one or the other of our two great astronomy magazines, and I was not disappointed. The lodging and food were rustic and comfortable. The lack of TV in the cabins was “a feature, not a bug”, as it encouraged reflection and attention to the natural world.
My son and I visited both the lake and nearby Acadia National Park while at MSPR, the locale is ideally situated for a few days spent on the coast of Maine before or after the retreat.

My experience spending hour after hour for five consecutive nights under pristine Maine night skies was an experience unlike anything I’d ever had. Taking it all in provided a visceral reminder of the deep and enduring fascination that the stars have for man. I feel that I received a good value for the investment made in this workshop.

Just sitting back in silence and gazing up at the Milky Way, the Summer Triangle, and Cygnus beating its course down the star fields towards the center of the Galaxy; turning to see Cassiopeia’s W and the Double Cluster below it rising in the northeast; appreciating the Andromeda Galaxy with eyes alone; watching the blue Pleiades emerge over the trees across the field chased by the red beacons of Mars and then Aldebaran; noting Saturn and Jupiter as they cruised across the southern sky; and seeing the Big Dipper dip to skim the northern horizon and then rise again as the night progresses, only reinforced my lifelong love affair with the night sky and deepened my sense of connectedness with the turning Earth and the wheels of the Universe. Doing this night after night, and going about my business on the observing field with this awesome (not a word I use figuratively) spectacle wheeling hour by hour overhead, gave me some feeling for how our ancestors up until very recently saw the heavens as the nights and seasons progressed. I can only hope that others in the future will be similarly refreshed, some newly inspired, and others brought to marveling for the first time at a wonder that had been not only unexperienced, but wholly unsuspected – to go beneath a truly dark and starry sky.

Telescopic image of M13 globular cluster in constellation Hercules.
Telescopic image of the iconic planetary nebula known as the Ring or M57 in constellation Lyra.
Telescopic image of Helix Nebula in constellation Aquarius.