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Night Sky Workshop by Randy Halverson

Dark skies workshop in Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Dark skies of Badlands National Park

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Due to other shooting work, I won’t be holding any workshops in 2019.


2018 Workshop Dates – June 8-10 – Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Join Randy Halverson of Dakotalapse for night sky milky way photography workshops in Badlands National Park, South Dakota 2018 on June 8-10. Randy Halverson has been holding private and group workshops for several years in Badlands National Park. His work has been published worldwide, featured on news and TV Documentaries worldwide, and his timelapse footage has appeared on feature films, numerous TV documentaries and non broadcast videos. Several of his feature films are also being broadcast in 4K on DirecTV. He is also First Aid/CPR/AED certified.

Class size limit – 7 Students

Badlands National Park features a rugged landscape and dark skies, the rugged formations make an excellent foreground to shoot the night sky and the dark skies allow the Milky Way and stars to really pop on exposures. The workshop group will take short hikes into the formations and capture the night sky. During the night we will shoot several different locations, with Randy giving instructions throughout the night. This workshop will focus on still photography and timelapse.


2015 private workshop Badlands Milky Way. Dark sky timelapse workshop
2015 private workshop Badlands Milky Way


Kathy Shockey (Texas) – “I have never been so blown away with a workshop as I was with Randy Halverson’s Badland Milky Way Workshop.  From Sunset till into the early morning hours we were taking timelapse as well as single shots of the Milky Way all the while getting instruction on how to improve.  He had equipment to loan so that we could get home with some fantastic shots.  The Badlands of South Dakota is the perfect dark spot to learn or hone your photography skill in night photography.  Having Randy at your side explaining all aspects of the shot really helped.  I would recommend taking this class to anyone that is interested in timelapse photography or just Milky Way photography.”

Paul Kober (Chicago, IL) “Last August my wife and I went to Rapid City, SD for our vacation. I am a serious photographer and wanted to get some Milky Way shots. I searched all over the internet and Randy’s name kept popping up, then I found out he lived in SD. When I contacted him he was very pleasant and professional. I could tell he really knew his stuff after we talked for a little bit. I set up a time for us to meet and take some night shots at the Badlands. He knew the best vantage points to shoot from. After we talked a little bit about the differences in shooting the night sky we were off and clicking. We had unbelievable luck that night, the Milky Way was stunning and strong to the south, but we also had Aurora to the north and very strong at the same time. If that wasn’t enough their was lightning to the south in Nebraska that we were able to get with the Milky Way. I took some absolutely stunning photo’s that I now have hung up in my house. When people see them they can’t believe how amazing they are. I had an amazing long night with fantastic results, MUCH better than I ever dreamed, and also a friend that I can chat with if I ever need any advice. I would recommend Randy’s night workshops to anyone that wants to take photos they always dreamed about making, thanks to Randy.”

June 2018 Badlands Workshop – $1050

You can pay via Paypal above, I can also take a personal check, etc via mail. If you prefer to pay that way contact me.

A few shots from the previous Badlands Workshops

2016 Badlands Workshop Aurora
2016 Badlands Workshop Aurora
2015 private workshop Aurora. Night sky photography and timelapse workshop
2015 private workshop Aurora
2015 Badlands lightning during workshop. Night sky timelapse photography workshop.
2015 Badlands lightning during workshop


August 2014 Badlands Workshop group shooting timelapse of the Milky Way in the Badlands.
August 2014 Badlands Workshop

What is covered in the workshop:
Night sky overview
Scouting locations
Moon Phases
Camera settings
Sunset Photography
Night Still Photography
Timelapse basics
Lighting the foreground
High ISO tips and noise reduction
Focusing at night
Weather and shooting tips
Post processing

Gear Required
DSLR or Mirrorless with wide angle lens, f2.8 or better. You can rent if necessary.
– It helps to understand how to change the settings on your camera, bring your manual if necessary.
Solid tripod
Memory cards and extra batteries
Small flashlight – I prefer a small flashlight to really bright headlamps or flashlights, which reduces night vision for you and others.
For Post Processing – Laptop with Adobe Lightroom for still processing. LR Timelapse for timelapse post processing of individual clips.

Cost – $1050 per person for 2 night workshops. South Dakota sales tax included in price. Previous students are welcome and also get a 20% discount, they should email me to arrange that.

Spouse/Significant other may tag along without a camera.

If you have any questions about the workshops, feel free to email Randy at


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Workshop Overview

First and Second Day 
Meet at first location 2 hours before sunset. Go over shooting sunset and night setup.
Shoot Sunset
Setup for night shoot
Night Shoot – several locations throughout the night, ends at 2AM

Sunday during workshop weekend
Meet at 12PM near Rapid City to cover post processing – 4 hours or so.
Night shoot if we were clouded or rained out on any of the first 2 nights.

Schedule changes are possible due to the weather. For example if it looks like it will be 100% cloud cover on the first night, we may shoot sunset but not the night. We would then shoot on the night of the 3rd day during June workshop.

Getting there
If you are flying, Rapid City Regional Airport is the closest to the Badlands. Car rental is also available there.

What is not provided or covered.
Park entrance fee.
Meals/Snacks – You may want to eat an early dinner before we shoot. Bring snacks or anything else you may need with you.

Cedar Pass Lodge has cabins and camping in the park. The next best lodging is in Wall, SD. Rapid City, SD has more hotel options and is a 45 minute drive from Wall. The post processing on the last day will be held in my home near Rapid City.

I would encourage you to camp out on the site as it allows you to take in the beautiful views around the area. Even if you don’t have camping gear, you can borrow some or buy the cheap gear at Bass Pro Shops. You can also find coupons on Raise that will reduce the price further. You would need to search hard to find a more breathtaking sight than camping under the stars in South Dakota.

Additional Information:
A commercial use permit is required to hold workshops in any national park, Dakotalapse, LLC has a permit for Badlands National Park. As required by the permit, Randy Halverson is also First Aid/CPR/AED certified. Dakotalapse, LLC can not guarantee clear skies, but have scheduled an additional night of shooting, should one of the nights be rainy. We will try to shoot no matter what the cloud cover is. In long exposures, often the stars are still visible through thin clouds, even though it appears cloudy. If it looks like it will only be clear the first night, we may want to shoot all night that night.

Refund Policy and Conditions:
Dakotalapse, LLC is unable to give refunds due to weather. Payments are non refundable, but for cancellations done before 60 days of the date, 50% of the payment will be refunded. If you cancel less than 60 days from the date of the workshop, a refund will not be given unless your spot can be filled. Dakotalapse, LLC is not responsible for any costs you incur during or travelling to or from the workshop. In the unlikely event the workshop is cancelled, Dakotalapse, LLC is not responsible for travel costs you incur.

If you have any questions about the workshop, email Randy Halverson

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