UK20 733 Star Trails Over Devil's Den, Wiltshire C Robert Harvey Www.Naturalworldphotography.Net

Landscape astrophotography in Wiltshire

Event info

An on-location workshop for up to 6 participants led by Robert Harvey ARPS.  Tickets will go on sale on 1 June.


Digital photography enables us to capture the beauty of the night sky in unprecedented detail. This two-part landscape astrophotography workshop will introduce you to the wide range of astronomical phenomena that can be photographed using an ordinary digital single lens reflex camera (without a telescope).

Part 1 will comprise an indoor theory class.  A full explanation will be provided of techniques to make stunning images of stars, planets, the moon and the Milky Way, in conjunction with terrestrial landscapes. The course also covers photographing star trails as well as rare, elusive and fast-moving astronomical phenomena such as meteors, aurorae and eclipses. We will look in detail at how to select and light foregrounds, set exposure for the night sky and focus at night.

Sufficient scientific detail will be included to enable course participants to understand the astronomical phenomena they can photograph and the extraordinary variety of scales of the universe that can be recorded with an ordinary digital camera, ranging from ~100 km in the case of aurorae and meteors to 25 million million million km for the Andromeda galaxy.

The indoor course will provide six hours of tuition, followed by an evening meal at a local pub (at participants' own expense).

For part 2, after our meal, we will then drive a few miles to a neolithic dolmen  on the Marlborough Downs where (weather permitting) we will practise the techniques we have learned; photographing stars, planets and star trails.

Please note that astrophotography will only be possible if the sky is clear. In the event of overcast conditions we will still undertake the field visit and will practice focus and light-painting at the Neolithic dolmen which will give some interesting results.  In the event of persistent rain the location shoot will be cancelled.  As participants will have had the benefit of the indoor tuition, no refunds will be made.

The indoor venue is suitable for wheelchair users but, depending on logistics, the route to the shooting location will be either around 1000m along a track with a level gradient or 1500m along a track with some ascent and descent.  The tracks may be wet and muddy if there has been heavy rain though in September it is likely to be dry.  There are no public toilets at the shoot location.  


Please wear / bring:

- your usual camera equipment
- your fastest, widest lenses - see below 
- a sturdy tripod is essential
- a lockable remote shutter release (essential)
- head torch and/or hand torch (essential)
- good walking shoes
- warm clothes, hat and gloves
- means of paying for the evening meal
- snacks and refreshments if you wish but hot drinks will be available at the social centre.

Lenses: A full-frame camera plus 14mm or 16mm lens with a maximum aperture of f/2 or f/2.8 would be ideal. A 16mm (10mm on cropped sensor camera) f/4 lens would also be suitable for the practical session. 

This will be a category C event for up to 6 people.  Category C means events that focus on a particular skill or technique (such as long exposures, composition or night photography) and/or on getting the best from a particular location. The event leader will have good location knowledge to ensure that the best is made of the prevailing conditions and will be a skilled landscape photographer able to offer tuition at all levels. These events are usually led by professionals but sometimes by volunteer members of the landscape group.  


Ticket prices for this event include a £2 carbon offsetting charge.  For more information click here.


All images (c) Robert Harvey


Your data

Please note: your personal data (name, email address and telephone number) that you supply when booking an event will be passed to the event / workshop leader in order to enable them to:

  • contact you in advance of the event to remind you or notify you of joining instructions (or changes thereto) etc.
  • contact you at short notice before or during an event in case of any emergency or last-minute changes (eg because of weather).

By booking this event you are deemed to consent to this transfer of your data.


Event Organiser

Mark Reeves


Venue Information

Driving directions:

Follow the A4 from Marlborough west towards Calne. After six miles reach the Beckhampton Roundabout. Turn right here and proceed for one mile (past the main National Trust car park) into Avebury village. Turn left in front of the Red Lion pub to find the village car park 100m along on the right. We have parking permits to use this car park for the event. The Social Centre is opposite.

If arriving from the M4 exit at Junction 6 and follow the A4361 for 10 miles to Avebury village. As you pass the Red Lion pub on your right turn right to find the village car park on your right after 100m.

Toilets are available in the centre.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation by You

If you wish to cancel your booking PLEASE let the event leader / organiser know with as much notice as possible. If nothing else, this can avoid them delaying the start of the event while they wait for you.

If you have paid for an event, please note that this fee/ticket price is non-refundable unless we are able to sell your place to somebody else. You are welcome to sell your place yourself but, again, PLEASE notify the event leader / organiser in advance of any change.

Cancellation by us

Event leaders are asked to make plans for alternative activities or locations in the case of poor weather and, in most cases, events will proceed despite poor weather unless, in the view of the event leader, the weather will lead to unacceptable safety risks or very little chance of successful photography. It is inevitable, however, that occasionally an event will be postponed or cancelled for this or another reason beyond the RPS’s control. If an event is postponed we will transfer your booking to the rearranged event, with the option of a refund if the rescheduled date is not suitable for you.

Occasionally an event may also be cancelled owing to lack of bookings. So if you wish to attend an event, don’t leave it till the last minute to book as it may be too late.

If an event is cancelled we will give you as much notice as we are able and any payment by you to the RPS in respect of the event offered as a full refund. In the case of events cancelled because of lack of interest we will aim to give at least three weeks’ notice wherever possible.

Please note we are NOT able to refund any associated or consequential costs including but not limited to travel, accommodation, insurance premium or other costs incurred by you in order to attend the event.


Avebury Social Centre

High Street