October 9-12, 2011 in the Big Bend region of West Texas
with Lance Keimig and Scott Martin
Scott Martin and  Lance Keimig team up again to present a four day/night photography workshop in the Terlingua ghost town in the Big Bend region of West Texas. The Big Bend region is 300 miles away from the nearest city and feels every bit of it. It’s one of the country’s best kept secrets, full of history and pristine landscapes.  Terlingua was a rough and remote mining town during the late 1800’s to the point it was abandoned in the 1940’s. Today a small number of people live there and many of our favorite locations for night photography lie in and around this ghost town. In addition to the famous Starlight Theater, Terlingua’s dining options, coffee shops, proximity to the parks, great shooting locations, classroom facilities and affordable lodging make it an ideal base of operations for this workshop. Terlingua’s charm makes for a uniquely soulful experience when staying there.

Just east of Terlingua is Big Bend National Park that has 800,000 acres of desert, mountain and river environments that hikers and photographers will love. The area is also great for mountain biking, motorcycling, camping and rafting down the Rio Grande. In addition to the area’s natural landscape and rock formations, the desert climate has preserved a number of relics from the 19th and early 20th century that we’ll examine. Big Bend Ranch State Park lies just west of Terlingua.

These medium altitude (2700 – 7000 feet) locations will be around 55 degrees (F) at night while we are shooting and 80 degrees (F) during classroom hours. Combined with about 18% humidity, we will be quite comfortable. If you’ve never been to this part of the world before, you are in for a surprise. The Big Bend region is stark, dry and dangerous but also inviting and majestic.

This workshop will be jam-packed with both field and classroom instruction. We will be in the classroom each day on the porch of the old Perry Mansion from noon until we leave for the field before sunset. Participants can stay out shooting as long as they, or their camera’s batteries, hold out. While in the field each day, photographic techniques and creative inspiration will be discussed, demonstrated and put into practice. During classroom sessions we will focus on developing our images with Adobe Lightroom while also studying historic and contemporary night photographers. We will all work closely together, sharing our knowledge and observations. Each day will have a critique of the previous nights work.

Lance brings his extensive experience with night photography to the workshop through composition techniques, night photography guidelines and inspiring slides shows of historical and contemporary night photography. Scott brings his digital imaging training experience and takes an in-depth look at the entire digital imaging workflow from capture to print with night photography in mind. We will examine the skills necessary for high quality digital image capture, RAW file processing, light painting, light drawing and image stacking.

This workshop is specifically for photographers who want to learn night photography techniques all the way from exposure to image processing and printmaking. Atmosphere, subject matter at night, light sources, equipment choices, painting with light, image stacking and time lapse photography are some of the specific things this class will cover. All participants will be able to work on their own images. We expect that beginners and seasoned digital imaging professionals alike will benefit from the course. Participants should expect to share some of their images for review, as the goal of this workshop is to enjoy the creative process, be inspired and make some great images.

Night Photography Book

We recommend reading and bringing a copy of Night Photography: Finding your way in the dark (by Lance Keimig with Scott Martin, 2010 Focal Press) to this workshop. The 240 page book combines a wealth of information from our 16 years of teaching night and digital photography workshops. The book also includes contributions from Dan Burkholder, Shawn Peterson, Christian Waeber, Steve Harper, Tom and Troy Paiva and others. In this book you’ll find history, theory, and lots of practical instruction on technique, all illustrated with clear, concise examples, diagrams and charts that reinforce the text, plus inspiring color and black and white images from the author and other luminaries in the field.


Workshop participants are encouraged to stay at one of the following options (in order of preference):

The Holiday Hotel – has several suites right around the Starlight theatre in the center of Terlingua ghost town. $115-165/night. Consider sharing the Candililla House with a friend. Call Jeff 432-386-7831 or Gretchen 360-713-3408 for reservations.

Terlingua House –  a short 2 minute drive outside of ghost town, Terlingua House is one of the neatest places in the area to stay. It is remote and private with 3 bedrooms, several living areas and can sleep 3-8 people. $220/night (but less when shared)

La Posada Milagro – Picturesque 4 room hotel with shared bathroom. $150+/night 432-371-3044

El Dorado – Nothing fancy at the base of ghost town $60-90/night 800-371-3588

Chisos Mining Co Motel – the Chisos mining company Motel is a 10 minute drive from ghost town but has lots of basic accommodations including the Easter Egg Village cottages and lots of houses scattered around in the area. Creek house is a funky 2br, 1 double, one twin bed, plus bunk.  Reservations are 90 days on advance. 432-371-2254 $60-$180/night

Getting there

Terlingua, Texas is located on highway 170 between the Big Bend National Park and the Big Bend Ranch State Park. There are several ways of driving to the Big Bend region. Here are route recommendations for those coming from AustinEl PasoHoustonMidland/Odessa and San Antonio. Those flying into Texas can consider flying into either Midland/Odessa (MAF), El Paso (ELP) or San Antonio (SAT).


The price for the workshop is $950 plus lodging. If you have taken a workshop from either Lance or myself in the last two years you will be eligible for the $100 off alumni rate. For a workshop with two great instructors and a small number of participants, we hope you’ll find this to be an excellent value. You can secure your spot by paying a $195 deposit with the button below.

After reserving your space in the workshop, call one of the above mentioned hotels to reserve a room.

Refunds, less a $50 cancellation fee to cover expenses are available until the payment due in full date. You can make a deposit at any time, but space is available on a first come basis. Payment is due in full by September 1, 2011. If you need to cancel after September 1, 2011, you will be refunded the amount you paid, less your deposit. If the program is cancelled for any reason, you will receive a full refund.

This is going to be a really fun workshop in a very unique and inspiring setting. The past workshops that Lance and I have done in Big Bend have been incredibly productive and satisfying.  Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts about this workshop or about traveling to this location.

Workshop Video

One Last Thought

Since our night photography video (that was filmed at this workshop in 2010) came out, we’re flattered that others are starting to imitate our workshop. :-] But intense familiarity with the area, it’s inhabitants and business are needed to make this an exceptional workshop. We don’t stay at the lousy Big Bend Motor Inn trailer park nor do we shoot in the National Park (which, as lovely as it is by day, really isn’t great at night). Our locations are fantastic, unusual, inspiring and off the beaten path. Knowing this area well is a life-long passion that we’re looking forward to sharing with you.

“Both Lance and Scott could, in fact, be some of the best photography instructors on the planet.”
Russell Brown
Adobe Systems