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A Dark Night in Featherstone Castle

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Featherstone Castle

NE49 0JG

United Kingdom

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Here's another new event for you, for the 2017/18 season. Featherstone Castle is a fascinating building, dating back in part to the 12th Century, with many Jacobean features in the interior. It's on the outskirts of Haltwhistle, and the skies are as dark as you would ever want for astrophotography.

In the last century, the Castle has been a school and a rehabilitation POW camp for German officers. It's currently a private home, but the owner lets out a large part of the building as holiday accommodation. The only part we won't have access to is the owner's private quarters.

This workshop will take place the night after the new moon, for maximum star visibility (subject to weather). Additionally, September is one of the best months for observing and photographing the Milky Way.

You'll need to provide your own camera, ideally a DSLR or CSC, although bridge cameras are also suitable. Tripods are optional, but if you have one it'll enable you to get better shots.

If the conditions outside are favourable, I imagine most people will want to spend a lot of time getting shots of the Castle and its grounds, against the night sky. But there are so many rooms to explore inside (both old and modern) that it would also be worthy of at least three hours of your time.

The whole building would appeal to any urbexer, as some of the rooms are more or less as they were left by the last people to stay in it. When I booked it, I told them not to worry about tidying it before we come. I thought it looked great as it was.

Suffice it to say, whatever the weather is doing, there'll be something interesting for you to photograph. You'd be welcome to bring torches and coloured light painting gear.

As many of you will not know the venue, I've gone with a collage of photographs this time (above) to give you an idea of some of the features.

The workshop is suitable for all experience levels. If you've never photographed the night sky (or in low light), full tuition will be given.

Numbers are restricted to 24 photographers, and movement will be controlled so that you get all the clear shots you need. Once the tickets have gone, that's it. I can't create any more places, because part of the benefit of such a small group is the ability to make sure people aren't wandering into your shots all the time :)

I'll be providing tuition and one-to-one support, and you'll have assistance from experienced photographers. If it's a big group there will be at least two trainers.

Your booking is non-refundable if you're unable to come (but it may possible to transfer it to someone else, upon request).

Joining instructions will be sent to everyone around two days before the event. This gives me time to take account of any special factors, such as weather for outdoor courses. Also, as you might appreciate, I don't want to make those details available to the general public.

This is going to be a major new event in my night photography programme. Hope you can make it!

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Featherstone Castle

NE49 0JG

United Kingdom

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