Suess Fine Art Photography

2017 Grand Teton Milky Way & Night Sky Photo Workshop

June 22 - June 25, 2017 - With Matt Suess

Gand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park is one of the most beautiful and majestic landscapes in the world, with the Teton Range rising more than 7,000 feet above the valley. Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park has some of the more dramatic scenery in the Rocky Mountains. It is sure to be an inspiration for any photographer looking to create beautiful images.

June Tetons Milky Way & Night Sky Photo Workshop

Dates: Thursday, June 22 – Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Skill Level: Beginner to advanced 

Class Size: Limited to 8 students

Type: Field Workshop Status: Open - Scroll Down to Register

I am an authorized CUA permit holder of the National Park Service and conduct my workshops based on the permit’s guidelines.

Moulders Barn Grand Teton National Park Sunrise

Dramatic Sunrises and Sunsets

When there are clouds there is the potential for incredible light during sunrises and sunsets. We will be ready for them too, arriving at our locations with plenty of time to get ready for the light.

Milky Way & Night Sky

June 23 is the night of the new moon, so we will have extremely dark skies each night of this photo workshop which will give us great views of the Milky Way and Night Sky. We will head to many different locations using both short and long exposures (for star trails) and incorporating many different foregrounds in our shots. We will even do some light painting! 

Elk Cows and Calf at Grand Teton National Park

Opportunities for Wildlife

While this is a landscape photography workshop and not a wildlife workshop we will still be on the lookout for animals and will photograph them whenever the opportunity exists. Past workshop students have had the chance to photograph deer, elk, buffalo, black bears, pronghorn, moose, and horses in addition to various birds.

Spend 4 days in the magnificent Grand Teton National Park with me. I will be there to help you with everything from camera settings to composition, shooting techniques such as HDR and panoramas, in addition to using filters to control your exposures.

This is a shooting-intensive landscape photo workshop with both one-on-one and group instruction in the field. It is scheduled for when there are not only normally a lot of wildflowers to photograph but it is also when the new moon occurs. This will provide us with dark skies all night giving us perfect conditions for the Milky Way.

What You Will Learn

You will learn and improve your skills in the following areas: 

  • Getting Perfect Exposures
  • Composition
  • Lens Selection
  • Use of Split Neutral Density Filters & Solid Density Filters to Control Exposure and for Effect
  • How to Photograph Stitched Panoramas
  • Exposure Bracketing (HDR)
  • Working a Scene to Create Numerous Photos & Compositions from one Location
  • Ideal Shutter Speeds, F-Stops, and ISO Settings for Landscape & Wildlife Photos as well as the Milky Way and Night Photos
  • Light Painting
  • Long Exposures up to one hour for Nighttime
  • Star Stacking Techniques Using Multiple Exposures
  • Proper Techniques for Shooting the Milky Way
  • Using Apps to Find the Milky Way
  • And More.

With a small class size of just 8 students there will be plenty of time to work with me on a one-on-one basis. I can assist you individually on pretty much anything you want to focus on regarding landscape and wildlife photography.

2016 Spring Tetons Photo Workshop Class Photo

Who Is This Workshop For?

This workshop is designed for any skill level, yet a DSLR or equivalent (like the Sony Mirrorless cameras) with interchangeable lenses and a sturdy tripod are required, as is a basic working knowledge of your camera. 

Most students who take my workshops are beginners to advanced amateurs. These workshops are filled with hands-on instruction, demonstrations, and even a session or 2 in the field with my laptop going over some processing tips.


June Tetons Milky Way & Night Sky Photo Workshop

Dates: Thursday, June 22 – Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Class Size: Limited to 8 students

Status: Open - Scroll down to Register.

This workshop surrounds a new moon and we will have completely dark skies for each of the nights during this workshop which will be ideal for photographing the Milky Way. This workshop is also not like other workshops that only stay out for a few hours in the evening. In this workshop we will be out from sunset all night through sunrise. You will have numerous opportunities to photograph the Milky Way from different locations and you will also have the ability to work on very long exposures and star stacking with times of about an hour long! 

This is a landscape photography workshop and that will be our primary focus. However with the amount of wildlife in the park we will certainly keep an eye out for and photograph any wildlife we come across.

Planned Itinerary

Wednesday: We will meet for dinner for a couple hours in the early evening to go over the final itinerary, discuss safety, and get to know one another in a casual atmosphere. No shooting is planned for this evening, however, we will swap this night with another and shoot tonight if the weather looks bad on one of the other evenings.

Thursday Morning - We will meet at approx. 4am and drive to our first location for sunrise which is at approx. 5:40am and we will photograph till approx. 8am. We will then break for the entire day so we can get some sleep in preparation for the next 3 nights.

Thursday Evening - Saturday Morning: We will meet at approx. 6:30pm and drive to our first location for sunset which is at approx. 9:00pm. We will then stay at our current location until dark and travel to various locatons throughout the evening. We will get to our final location well before sunrise which is at approx. 5:40am. Shooting will end at approx. 6:30am giving us up to 12 hours to eat, sleep, and take a look at images before the next session.

Saturday Evening through Sunday Morning: We will meet at approx. 7:00pm and drive to our first location for sunset which is at approx. 9:00pm. We will then stay at our current location until dark and travel to various locatons throughout the evening. We will get to our final location well before sunrise which is at approx. 5:40am. We will leave our sunrise locaton and head to breakfast at approx. 7am. Following breakfast we will have a photo processing demo in addition to a group photo critique. Workshop ends at 10am.

"Thank you very much for a great workshop. I learned and practiced more things in this workshop than in all the others I have taken."

- Frank Croft

Tuition and Registration

June Tetons Milky Way & Night Sky Photo Workshop

Thursday, June 22 – Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Tuition: $1,075 per student, with a limit of 8 students.

STUDENT ALUMNI: Have you taken a workshop with me before? If so email me and I will send you a special code good for 10% off registration for this workshop.* 

*(Registration discount can not be combined with any special offers)

You can register here:

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. Payment is due in full at time of registration, or you may elect to register now with a partial payment of $575. The remaining balance is due no later than 90 days prior to the start of the workshop. I can bill you monthly for the remaining amount if you desire.

If you are unable to register online, you can register and pay by phone by calling Matt at 480-818-9566. All major credit cards are accepted, or you can pay by check as well. Contact me and I will call you back at the time you desire. 

Tuition does not include park admission which is paid at a ranger station upon entering the park and good for 7 days. Hotel / lodging, meals, car rental, any needed gear or equipment rentals, etc. are not included and is the student’s responsibility. A list of area accommodations can be emailed to you following your registration upon request. 

You can view my workshop policies and faq’s here. Registering for any of my workshops implies you have read, understand, and accept the terms listed there.


I will be staying at the Virginian Lodge in Jackson, Wyoming – just a short drive from downtown Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park. I have stayed here for a few years now and most students also stay here. The Lodge features regular rooms and also has an RV park for those traveling via RV. It is not required that you stay at the Virginian Lodge. I am not able to secure room discounts as June and July are their busy months. It is recommended to make reservations here or anywhere else in Jackson ASAP as most places fill up months in advance!!

The Virginian Lodge phone number is 1-800-262-4999 and the RV Park is 1-800-321-6982.

What to bring

This workshop takes place in the spring when the weather can range from overnight lows in the upper 30's to daytime temps in the upper 70's. Rain is always a possibility. 

With that in mind you will want to dress appropriately with waterproof clothing, dressing in layers, and make sure you have your gloves and hat (sunrises can be quite chilly). Hand warmers are a great idea too as well as sunscreen. Hiking boots – preferably waterproof – are also very highly recommended.

In regards to camera gear you will want to have lenses that cover wide angle to telephoto and lots of memory cards and batteries. A tripod is a must and a cable release is highly recommended. Polarizing filters, split neutral density filters, and solid neutral density filters are highly recommended but not required. You can contact me directly with questions regarding these filters. (Note that my workshops are sponsored by Singh-Ray filters and students receive a 10% discount on their purchase.) You will also want to bring a headlamp as we will be walking in the dark before sunrise and possibly after sunset.

You will also want to bring your laptop computer to download images. On our last day, Sunday, you may want to bring it with you for a scheduled critique session following our sunrise shoot.

In particular to nighttime shooting, you will want at least a 24mm lens that is f2.8 or faster. An ideal range would be between 14mm and 24mm. You will also want to consider getting an intervalometer (programmable timer). Winter clothing is recommended and you may want to consider bringing a blanket and chair. Feel free to bring any light-painting tools you already have also. And don't forget the bug spray!

Photo Gallery

Take a look at some of the photos taken during this time of the year in this photo gallery.


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Photographer Matt Suess

About Matt Suess

Matt has been a full-time professional photographer for over 27 years and has quickly become one of the leading fine art photographers & educators in the United States. Matt is a digital photography pioneer and began teaching digital photography to photojournalists in the late 90's. His passion for sharing and teaching what he has learned in his impressive and long career is evident in his down-to-earth and encouraging approach with his students.

You can see his work at fine art exhibitions such as the prestigious Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale in addition to other select juried events. In addition Matt teaches field & classroom workshops in at least 5 different states each year, offers online classes, one-on-one instruction, provides FREE webinars & education for ON1 and Macphun Software, and still finds time to spend with his girlfriend & fine art painter Whitney M Hall as well as his companion & Best Friend Scrappy.

Matt, Whitney and Scrappy

Frequently Asked Questions for my Spring Tetons Workshop

Is there a lot of walking/hiking during this workshop?

No there isn't. My permit from Grand Teton National Park only allows us to travel 1/2 mile along any trail so that would be the longest walk. There is also little to no elevation gain on any walks we will do.

Will you be photographing too during the workshop?

I will occationally photograph from time to time and this is usually reserved for letting students know exact exposure settings and/or to provide composition ideas. My goal is to help you get the perfect shot and not to pad my portfolio, so you can be sure I will still be available to help even during the most dramatic light.

Can spouces attend? What is your cancellation policy?

I have a no-tag-along policy, unless the spouce is also a paying student. This policy is in place to limit distractions for the other students attending as well as to keep our group size below the legal limits of my permit. You can view my cancellation policy here

I am a pure beginner (or advanced) photographer. Is this workshop for me?

This workshop is open to all photography levels from beginner to advanced. I have had students who didn't know what an f-stop was and I have had those who are just about ready to or are already selling their own prints. Being a small class, I am able to work with each student individually no matter their experience level to help them improve and reach their individual goals.

Will we work on our computers and learn how to process our photos?

This workshop is a field photography workshop and there is no classroom computer time scheduled. On Sunday, however, the last few hours are devoted to me giving a few demonstrations on using ON1 and Aurora HDR software. In addition, there is also a group critique where each student shows their favorite photos from the shoot. This in particular has been extremely beneficial to students as they learn from their peers on how to see and shoot differently.

What is your experience photographing in Grand Teton National Park?

I have been photographing the Tetons for a number of years and finally began teaching photo workshops there in 2015. I also teach a fall workshop in addition to a few night sky Milky Way photo workshops in the Tetons. I live just 4.5 hours away from the Tetons in the summer and often travel down there throughout the year for my own personal photos.

Do I need any special camera gear to photograph the Milky Way?

Ideally you will want to use a camera that has as little noise in higher ISO's as possible. Most current cameras and especially full-frame cameras fall into this category. We will be shooting at ISO 6400 & 8000 on average. In addition you will want a fast lens of at least f2.8 anywhere between 14mm and 24mm (assuming full-frame sensor). An intervalometer is also highly recommended or at least a cable release, and a sturdy tripod is a must (stay away from less expensive and flimsy tripods). Extra batteries are also needed, as they tend to run out quicker at night in the colder temperatures and longer exposures.

Anything Else I Would Want to Consider Bringing?

You will want to bring a headlamp that also has a red light option to preserve our night vision. It can be very chilly at night with temps possible in the upper 30's so bring winter gear including gloves, hat, scarf, extra layers, large thermos of coffee/tea, hand warmers, etc. You may also consider bringing a blanket and a chair. Lastly, because we will be out all night, you will want to pack a sandwich or 2, snacks, non-alchoholic drinks, etc.

What happens if it is cloudy or rainy at night?

In the spring there is always a chance for clouds and rain. However it would be unusual if all 3 scheduled nights are completely cloudy each night. I have built into the schedule the possibility of photographing Wendesday evening in case of bad weather one of the other nights. As long as it is not raining all night we will still head out, as there are creative possibilities with partly cloudy skies and long exposures!

Photographer Matt Suess

About Matt Suess

I have been a full-time professional photographer for over 26 years. I was a photojournalist for the first 17 years and since 2006 I have been a full-time fine art photographer and workshop teacher. I have been using digital imaging since the mid-1990's. Read more about me here.

Why Choose My Photo Workshops

I have over 25 years of professional photography experience and love teaching and sharing my knowledge. Read more about what makes my workshops & classes stand out. 

Student Testimonials

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Workshop Policies & FAQ's

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