Atacama Desert




August 13th to 20th, 2023


10 students

All skill levels


7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS  |  $3,495

Trip Overview

Have you dreamed about witnessing some of the darkest, clearest, night skies on Earth? Look no further than my photography expedition to the Atacama Desert in Chile! We will stay at a beautiful astronomy lodge and explore the wonders around San Pedro de Atacama for 7 days. Prepare yourself for endless opportunities for sunrise, sunset, and night sky photography!


What is included?

  • On-site lodging. Shared rooms and private rooms are available.

  • Myself as your professional photography guide.

  • Post-processing training in Photoshop and Lightroom for creating publication and print quality photographs.

  • Detailed lesson on navigating the night sky performed by myself, a former Astronomy Ranger at Mt. Rainier National Park.

  • Light refreshments during the field instruction and classroom sessions.

  • Small group size of 6 students.

What is not included?

  • Park entrance fee

  • Airfare

  • Meals

  • Travel insurance

Physical Fitness Requirement:

  • Ability to hike up to 1 mile will be helpful on this workshop. Most photography locations are near the lodge within driving distance and require only a few minutes hike.

What should I bring?

  • DSLR/mirrorless SLR digital camera.

  • Wide angle lens such as 14-24mm. Also worth bringing are a 24-70mm and 70-200mm.

  • Sturdy tripod and ball head.

  • Multiple charged batteries, battery charger, and empty memory cards.

  • Shutter release cable (intervalometer).

  • Headlamp with a red light setting.

  • Laptop computer with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom installed.

  • Warm clothing, thermals, and rain gear.

  • * I recommend ordering a L-bracket for your camera body if you do not already have this accessory. L-brackets allow quickly swapping between landscape and portrait orientation while keeping portrait shots to remain centered over the tripod


  • This 7 day and 6 night workshop cost $3,495 with a $1,500 deposit required to reserve a spot. The remaining balance is due 3 months prior the workshop. Student's may also pay the full balance up front. Payment can be made either over the phone, or online with the website checkout. If paying over the phone please call me at +1 (412)-680-6408

Permits and Certifications:

  • In the event of an emergency, I am certified in CPR and First Aid.

  • I am trained in the practice of Leave-no-Trace hiking and camping to protect the natural resources.

  • Lastly, I served as an Astronomy Ranger at Mount Rainier National Park where we received Interpretive Ranger Training on how to best facilitate visitor experience and learning.


Day 1: Checking into lodge and Milky Way shooting at the lodge.

Students should have their flights arrive into Calama airport (code CLC) today and make the drive to San Pedro de Atacama (60mi drive). The majority of rental cars at the Calama airport location are manual transmissions, but automatic rental cars are available. If you require, please ask your rental car company for an automatic transmission car at the time of reservation. Once arriving to the lodge we will settle in and have a cooked dinner at 6pm. After dinner we will photograph the night sky around the lodge.

Atacama-MW-Lodge Truck.jpg

Day 2: Photographing the "eye of the desert".

Today we will meet for a team breakfast at 1100 and talk about the next shooting location. During the day is the perfect time to make the 10 minute drive into San Pedro and go to the grocery store for food and beverages.  We will meet for dinner at 1800 and then enjoy the sunset below the volcanoes on the horizon. Tonight at 0000 we will carpool down to Ojos de Salar, or eye of the desert, where we will capture this beautiful and unique lagoon with the Milky Way.


​​​Day 3: Valley de la Luna during day.


Today we will have a team breakfast at 1100. In the afternoon we will work on post-processing our images from the previous nights. We will head over to Valley de la Luna to capture sunset before heading out into the desert for an astrophotography session. The desert surrounding San Pedro de Atacama is a Mars like environment with incredibly dark night skies. This location is one of the best places on Earth for capturing the Milky Way in it's raw most form.

Atacama Desert Gegenshein and Milky Way.

Day 4: Photo editing/Geysers.

Today we will have breakfast together at 1100. We will work on photo editing and if there are enough students interested during the afternoon can make the hour and a half drive north of San Pedro to visit the El Tatio geyser field. This geyser field is at very high altitude ~14,000ft.

Day 5: Lagoons and Flamingos Sunset.


Today we will have a team breakfast at 1100. In the afternoon we will work on post-processing our images from the previous nights. We will head over to one of the local lagoons, which is a beautiful nesting ground for flamingos. We will visit this location for sunset in order to maximize the opportunity for great light. After shooting sunset with the flamingos, we will head back to the lodge for dinner and another night of photographing the stars.


Day 6: Relaxing at the lodge and photo editing.

Today we will have a team breakfast at 1100. In the afternoon we will work on post-processing our images from the previous nights. We will relax during the evening and enjoy a last team dinner together.

Day 7: Departure day.

Students are free to head back to the Calama airport at anytime today.

Your Teacher

Hi! My name is Matt and I am a professional photographer with 15 years of experience and a passion for education. Along with a Master's degree in Geology and Planetary Science, I hold a teaching degree and was a National Park Service Astronomy Ranger. The goal of my workshops is to help teach my students so they reach their full photographic potential. Having students push their creative boundaries and enjoying themselves in the field behind the camera means everything to me. I know how exciting it is catching that inspiring moment with a camera and I love sharing that excitement with my students! When you sign up for my workshops you are not only enrolling in an educational trip, but you are joining a family of other workshop photographers who share your passion for travel and self-improvement.

Cancellations + Refunds

Full refunds (excluding the deposit) will be given if a student has to withdraw, but must be requested no later than 6 months prior to the start of the workshop. 50% of the workshop payment (not including the deposit) will be refunded if requested within 4 months to the start of the tour. In the event of a weather related emergency, or any other circumstance causing the workshop to be canceled, a voucher for an upcoming workshop will be issued. We recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover your trip.

Acknowledgement of Risk

By joining this workshop you are acknowledging there at inherent risks during hiking and being in the outdoors. You accept full responsibility for taking care of yourself during this workshop. By joining the workshop you agree to not hold Matt Dieterich Photography, LLC liable for any injures or damaged equipment. I recommend having insurance on your equipment to protect your investment.