Photographers enjoying a spectacular sunset at a Photography Night on September 30th, 2017. Photo by (c) Michael Coustier.

Update June 2021: Photography Nights are set to resume in August 2021. Tickets will go on sale at ucsctickets.com at noon on Wednesday, July 14th.

 

Photography Nights at Lick Observatory

At the summit of Mt. Hamilton, above the city of San Jose, we have spectacular views of the night sky. Due to Lick Observatory’s popularity with photographers, we are organizing photography events this year.

Photography Night dates in 2021

  • Saturday, August 7th (gates open at 7:00 pm) SOLD OUT
  • Saturday, September 4th (gates open at 6:30 pm) SOLD OUT
  • Friday, September 24th (gates open at 6:00 pm)

We will open up the main building after normal visiting hours for photographers and their equipment. We will have the 36-inch Great Refractor telescope in a photogenic position, with the dome open, weather permitting. (Note: viewings or taking pictures through the telescope will not be offered at this event.) Photographers will also be able to set up their camera equipment and/or telescopes in the parking lot in order to capture the exterior of the main building, the San Jose city lights, and stars in the night sky. Drones may not be flown on the Observatory property.

Tickets

Admission fee: $60.00 per vehicle (one ticket per vehicle, 4 people maximum per vehicle)
Tickets will go on sale on July 14th, 2021 at Noon PDT at ucsctickets.com.

We have space for a maximum of 30 vehicles, up to four people per vehicle / ticket (buses, RVs, and trailers are not permitted to the Photography Night). In the event of poor weather, registrants will be notified of event cancellation via e-mail on the day of the event, and your tickets will be refunded. Please subscribe to our photography events mailing list (see below) in order to receive information about future Photography Night events.

Our upcoming Photography Nights will have the following COVID-19 requirements:

  • Starting August 3rd, all visitors to Lick Observatory must wear a face mask while indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
  • All guests must fill out our UC Santa Cruz COVID Daily Symptom Check either online before arrival at the observatory or via a paper form upon arrival and before the start of the event. You will receive more information regarding this COVID-19 requirement in a separate communication prior to the event.
  • By purchasing a ticket, you agree to abide by these policies.

 

Need inspiration for what to shoot?
Check out the Lick Observatory Flickr collection and Instagram feed for ideas.

Driving to Lick Observatory
Allow a one hour drive from San Jose. Please drive carefully; the road is scenic, but winding. There are no gas or automotive services on Mount Hamilton Road, so please plan accordingly. Find more travel information here.

Event Schedule for August 7th, 2021

7:00pm Gates open for event: sunset photography, 36-inch Refractor dome open
7:00-9:00pm Gift Shop is open
8:16pm Sunset
8:30pm Gates close – all photographers must have arrived by this time
9:12pm 12 degree twilight (nautical twilight)
9:49pm 18 degree twilight (astronomical twilight)
11:30pm Main building and 36-inch Refractor dome will close
12:30am Photography event ends (post office lobby will remain open for access to restrooms and vending machines)

Event Schedule for September 4th, 2021

6:30pm Gates open for event: sunset photography, 36-inch Refractor dome open
6:30-8:30pm Gift Shop is open
7:39pm Sunset
8:00pm Gates close – all photographers must have arrived by this time
8:30pm 12 degree twilight (nautical twilight)
9:03pm 18 degree twilight (astronomical twilight)
11:00pm Main building and 36-inch Refractor dome will close
12:00am Photography event ends (post office lobby will remain open for access to restrooms and vending machines)

Event Schedule for September 24th, 2021

6:00pm Gates open for event: sunset photography, 36-inch Refractor dome open
6:00-8:00pm Gift Shop is open
7:09pm Sunset
7:30pm Gates close – all photographers must have arrived by this time
7:58pm 12 degree twilight (nautical twilight)
8:29pm 18 degree twilight (astronomical twilight)
9:01pm Moon rise (waning gibbous)
10:30pm Main building and 36-inch Refractor dome will close
11:30pm Photography event ends (post office lobby will remain open for access to restrooms and vending machines)

Join the Photography Events Mailing List

If you’d like to receive information about Photography Nights at Lick Observatory, please join our Photography Events mailing list. Subscribers of this list will receive the pre-sale link and pre-sale access code to purchase a ticket.