Landscape Photography Workshop on Great Cranberry Island, Maine


Landscape and Place
A Photography Workshop on Great Cranberry Island, Maine

August 9-11, 2018

 Maine fog. ©2017 Lee Anne White.

Maine fog. ©2017 Lee Anne White.

What is this thing we call landscape? What do we mean by place? And what elements in the landscape give a place a sense of place? How can we move beyond the obvious shots to photograph the true character of a landscape or the "fingerprints" of place? We'll explore these questions through discussions, image reviews and extensive in-the-field photography during a three-day workshop on Great Cranberry Island, Maine.

The workshop is sponsored by the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation. Details and registration information can be found on their website.

www.heliker-lahotan.org/workshops

Student Images: May Studio Workshop

It's always a treat to share the work created by students in my workshops. This one took place in my studio in late May. We explored simple, creative ways to create a compact and affordable home studio for photographing nature with both natural light and continuous lighting. Though we all love photographing nature and gardens outdoors, shooting in the studio allows us to spend more time with our subjects, to work with them in more creative ways, and to do so in a controlled (okay, air-conditioned and bug-free) environment. It is also a great way to keep shooting in winter when it is difficult or impossible to work outside. Anyhow, I hope you will join me in celebrating the work of these avid and talented photographers!

Student Images: Advanced Explorations in Botanical Photography Workshop

In the Advanced Explorations in Botanical Photography Workshop this past fall at Maine Media Workshop, we spent a lot of time in the studio exploring natural light, studio lighting and still life photography. Of course, that didn't keep us from visiting a garden each day for fresh air, inspiration and just a few more images. Here are a few of the photographs taken by the students in that workshop. I hope you'll join me in applauding them for their work!

New Video from Amelia Island Workshop

One of the participants in my recent workshop, Amelia and the Southern Sea Islands, created this wonderful video of our time together on the islands. Many thanks to the multi-talented Sara Gray for her vision, video footage, production skills and generosity. Thanks, too, to the workshop participants for sharing a few of their images from the week for inclusion. They were a fun and talented bunch whose company I thoroughly enjoyed and whose desire to look at things in new ways through the lens of a camera was inspiring.

Video produced by Sara Gray Creative

Student Images From Amelia Island Workshop

I have just wrapped up a weeklong photography workshop based on Amelia Island along Florida's northeastern Atlantic Coast. In addition to Amelia, we explored Big Talbot Island, Little Talbot Island and Fort George Island. It was a wonderful week with a group of creative women and I wanted to share some of their work with you. Enjoy!

Join Me For a Botanical Photography Workshop in Maine

What memories of summer are strongest for you? For me, it’s the smells—freshly mown grass, hemlocks in the mountains of North Carolina, mint in my mom’s garden, burgers cooking on the grill, even that odd smell of lightning bugs. Do you have lightning bugs where you live? Perhaps you call them fireflies.
 
Anyhow, it’s summer and my thoughts are eagerly turning to the botanical photography workshop I’ll be teaching in Rockport, Maine, this August. Offered by the Maine Media Workshops, it is a week’s emersion into the subject with a small group of individuals who are passionate about plants and photography. It’s one of those few times you can leave everything else behind and focus intensely on learning, playing, experimenting and making new artistic discoveries.
 
Teaching at MMW is one of my favorite summer activities. (And before I began teaching, taking workshops there was tops on my list!) Rockport is a quaint harbor town sandwiched between Rockland and Camden. The gardens are enchanting—sometimes charming, other times sophisticated. The studio is spacious and well equipped. Meals, which are eaten outdoors under a large tent, are always worth writing home about. And the talented staff is truly a joy to work with.
 
This workshop is going to be a little different from those I’ve taught in the past, in that we’ll spend more time in the studio and concentrate more on photographing plants than gardens—though we’ll get out in some lovely gardens, too. Shooting in the studio is unique in that you have an opportunity to look at and work with plants in ways that are often difficult and sometimes impossible in the garden. You can slow down, have a bit more control over your subject, and explore it more fully. The days will include a mix of working in the studio, shooting in the garden or nature, class discussions, creativity exercises and reviewing work. We will work hard, play hard, get lots of hands-on experience, share ideas and have some fun in a great setting.

While you don't need any botanical photography experience to take the class, you do need to know how to operate your camera and use some kind of image-processing software so that you can work with and share your images. You'll need to bring a laptop with that software, your camera, a sturdy tripod and, ideally, a couple of lenses. I highly recommend a macro lens for getting the most out of the class. (You might consider renting one for the week or asking MMW if they have any loaner equipment that would suit your camera.) We'll also play around with our camera phones and apps. You don't need to be an equipment geek to take this class; our real focus is shooting.

Don’t you want to join us? [Click HERE for information and registration.] If you have questions, please shoot me an email or respond to this letter. Also, would you do me a favor and pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested? I sure would appreciate that! Hope to see you in August! 

The Workshop Experience

 

At first, we cursed our fogging lenses and worked primarily on strategies to keep our cameras dry. (Shower caps are great for this, by the way.) But once we settled in a bit, the magic started to happen. It wasn't the first time I'd photographed in cold or rain by any means, but it was the day that I truly discoverd the magic of shooting in inclement weather. Or should I say, the magic of sticking with it, despite all of the challenges, to get the shot. By the time we packed our bags and headed back to the classroom to drop off our film, we were all anxious to see the results. Indeed, they were some of the best images taken all week. They were the shots that others don't get, because others usually do sit by the fireplace on cold, drizzly days.

That stick-with-it-attitude we learned that week has come to the rescue for me on countless assignments over the years when--thanks to inclement weather, broken gear, bad timing, travel hassels, or other problems--I really wasn't sure if I'd be able to deliver the job. But rather than give up, I stuck with it--often to the point that I simply gave up approaching things the usual way and just began to play. I've always returned home with publishable work. Indeed, what turned out to be one of my most frustrating magazine assignments ever resulted in a front-cover image. Thanks, at least in part, to Brenda and the Maine Media Workshops.

I'm still a student, and still take workshops from time to time because there is always something new to learn, some new territory to explore, another instructor to inspire me to look at things a new way. As an instructor, this is what I most love to do--get students to look at things in new ways, to break out of their routine, to expand their visual vocabulary, to try something they've never tried before. We work hard and we play hard. We go where we haven't gone before. That's what a workshop should be all about.

I guess my thoughts today are two-fold: Remember that the magic often happens when you push beyond your frustration level. And if you want to experience a week of growth, consider taking a workshop from a photographer or other individual you've always admired. It's a great opportunity for creative growth.