21 February 2024

Star power: Astrophotographer extraordinaire returning to Riverina for Milky Way masterclasses

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Canola Milky Way astrophotography

Field of Stars by award-winning astrophotographer David Magro, who is again bringing his masterclass to the Riverina. Photos: David Magro.

Award-winning astrophotographer David Magro is returning to the Riverina to run his popular masterclass on how to capture the Milky Way.

David has been sharing his expertise in capturing starry skies with fellow nightscape enthusiasts in his popular masterclasses.

“You guys [the Riverina] have amazing dark skies. Far, far away from all the light pollution,” he said.

“You don’t have to travel too far to go out and shoot the Milky Way.

“It’s 15-20 minutes outside most of your towns and cities in the area, and you can see the Milky Way.

“It’s a dark-sky destination when you want to go out chasing the Milky Way.”

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David said his classes in the Riverina all sold out last year and were a great success.

“I did the star-chasing tours and we got in just before the canola started to wither away,” he said.

“We got some beautiful shots of the Milky Way underneath canola.

“It was one of the highlights of the year. Those canolas underneath the Milky Way combined to make one beautiful image.”

David finds it fulfilling to see a beginner participate in his class and be able to produce great images by the end of it.

canola and Milky Way astrophotography

The Milky Way season starts at the end of April.

“It’s amazing to see them pick it up and start exploring it for themselves … someone who has never used a camera in their life but can capture a pretty stunning shot,” he said.

“It makes me happy to see the smiles on their faces, and the excitement they have is very contagious.”

The photographer has been running his classes for the past decade to share his love and passion for the Milky Way because he never thought it was possible to have so many people share his excitement.

“It’s what drives me to continue to travel across Australia to teach the masterclass,” he said.

young man

Since 2014, David Magro has taught more than 3000 beginners and enthusiasts the skills to create stunning images under the Milky Way.

Having specialised in astrophotography for 10 of his 15 years as a photographer, the Sunshine Coast-based artist travels across the country and visits towns where he can run his masterclasses.

While David has captured the night sky from many angles, he said that as far as cosmic subjects go, it is hard to top the Milky Way.

“I’ve always had an interest in astronomy, then began my travels worldwide and took my first Milky Way shot,” he said.

“I’m obsessed and love the experience of photographing the Astro Milky Way landscape. It is an amazing experience.”

Milky Way astrophotography

Meadows is another of David Magro’s stunning images.

The hands-on masterclass teaches beginners through to enthusiasts how to operate a camera in manual mode and grasp the nuances of photography.

The workshop will cover how to expose for the Milky Way sky and foreground landscape, produce noise-free (no-grain) shots, photograph star trails and capture dynamic range Milky Way landscapes.

David will also demonstrate how to compose photographs in the dark, achieve sharp focus at night, capture stunning panoramas and plan future Milky Way landscapes, with plenty of time for questions and one-on-one chats.

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The masterclass also offers online resources, downloadable PDFs, tutorials on how to edit photographs and the opportunity to join a private Facebook group where everyone can continue to learn from David.

This forum offers like-minded astrophotographers the chance to exchange ideas, share tips and improve skills on an ongoing basis.

The masterclass is held in a classroom setting before students enjoy the night photographing the stars. A camera will be provided on the night.

The Milky Way season will start at the end of April.

Riverina workshop locations and dates. Book here.

Deniliquin: 2 May, 5:30 pm

Wagga Wagga: 8 July, 5:30 pm

Cowra: 7 July, 5:30 pm.

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