Cape Cod and the Province Lands

Adventure Series Night Photography Workshop

Cape Cod’s Province Lands comprise a captivating collection of simple scenic wonders. Ponds. Beaches. Sandy dunes. Pine forests. Lighthouses. Old dune shacks. Cranberry bogs. Atlantic waves cascading onto the coast. These old shores hold countless treasures for the night photographer. We’ll explore them all, and more of what Cape Cod offers, during one of the region’s best seasons: a New England autumn.

Workshop Gallery

photos © Chris Nicholson & Lance Keimig

Workshop Details

October 2-6, 2019

This is a 4-night, 5-day workshop. Your adventure begins at 10 a.m. on October 2 and ends after a final slideshow on the afternoon of October 6.

$1,400 + applicable taxes. Register below.

Workshop Leaders

 Chris Nicholson

Chris Nicholson

 Lance Keimig

Lance Keimig

Skill level

Open to all who have an understanding of the basic principles of photography and of their cameras.

Class size

14, with 2 instructors — 7:1 ratio

NPS website

Cape Cod National Seashore

Register Now

  • Deposit of $500 is required to reserve your spot at the workshop.
  • Balance of $900 due on July 4, 2019.
  • You may choose the “Pay in Full ticket if you desire to pay all at once. 
  • Last day for a cancellation request is July 3 (see cancellation and refund policy).
  • The workshop fee does not include transportation to and from the park, lodging, food or the park admission fee.

The Workshop Experience

If you’ve been in New England in autumn, then you know why it’s the best time of year to be here. The air is crisp and wonderfully cool, the cranberries and apples are in harvest, pumpkins and decorative scarecrows line local farm stands, the leaves are turning from green to just about every other color. It’s an unparalleled region to explore and this workshop will take placep in one of its prime photography destinations.

Though all of Cape Cod offers artistic subject matter, this workshop will focus on the opportunities up north, in and around the Province Lands of the national seashore, from the ocean waters to the dunes, from the lighthouses to the shacks, from the fishing villages to the bustling cultural enclave of Provincetown.

A portion of the workshop will entail photographing the lighthouses at night, working around some of the inherent challenges and detailing some exposure and post-production techniques that go a long way toward making lighthouse photographs that shine. For example, capturing and/or enhancing light rays, keeping the light from blowing out, composition and correcting perspective, and so on.

We’ll also explore the quaint streets and charming waterfront of Provincetown at night, and some of its culture during the day.

The workshop will offer a mix of night-sky conditions, taking place during a crescent to quarter moon, providing a little illumination to the landscape to help and enhance light painting, and a little dark sky for hunting stars and star trails.

What You Should KNow

Participants must have at least basic photo skills, know their cameras well, and be comfortable shooting RAW in manual mode with a DSLR or high-end mirrorless camera.

Night photography experience is not necessary, but even folks with extensive experience shooting at night will find this class challenging, stimulating and inspiring. For more advanced night photographers, we can offer a portfolio review, specific challenges and goals, and will offer guidance in the field if you mainly want to concentrate on creating portfolio images or learning more advanced techniques.

If you would like to attend this workshop but are unsure whether you have adequate night photography skills, we can offer pre-workshop tutoring to get you ready for your adventure with us. Alternatively or additionally, a few of us have written books that may be productive pre-workshop reads.

What You WILL Learn

You’ll go home after the workshop with a solid grasp of shooting this classic New England landscape under both faint moonlight and dazzling starlight. We will also explore photographing lighthouses at night, as well as long exposures of the crashing waves of the Atlantic

OTHER TOPICS COVERED WILL INCLUDE:

  • composing and focusing in low light
  • using the moon as fill light on the landscape
  • optimizing exposure for RAW capture and development with Lightroom
  • light painting
  • post-processing
  • lighthouse capture and post-processing
  • using PhotoPills to scout a night photo
  • and more …

This workshop will have both field and classroom instruction. We will be in the classroom each day, and out in the field at different locations each night. Participants can stay out shooting as long as they, or their camera’s batteries, hold out.

While in the field, the instructors will demonstrate their own techniques and will work with participants one-on-one to make sure everyone gets the most out of the workshop.

During classroom sessions there will be presentations by the instructors, but we will focus on developing your images and sharing everyone’s work and ideas with each other. Each day will have a review of the previous night’s work.

Night Conditions & Opportunities

 TK

On this workshop you can expect the following night-sky conditions and nocturnal photography opportunities:

  • crescent to quarter moon
  • stars
  • street lights
  • light painting

Travel

Cape Cod is easy to get to, though it does require a bit of time in the car (unless you fly into a small airport on the Cape itself). If you are interested in carpooling or sharing a rental car, let us know and we will try to connect you with another student looking for the same. You are responsible for arranging and paying for your own transportation.

Nearby Airports:

  • Boston (BOS) —3 hours to Provincetown
  • Providence (PVD) —3 hours
  • Hyannis (HYA) —1 hour
  • Provincetown (PVC) — 0 hours
 

Food & Lodging

The workshop will be based at a hotel near Provincetown, giving us easy access to points north and south. You are not required to stay at the official workshop hotel, though doing so does make it easier to meet with the group each morning. Hotel info and a booking code will be sent after registering.

Varying food options are abundant, mostly at locally owned eateries, and as you might suspect, the seafood is excellent. We encourage eating two meals per day—a good breakfast and a great late lunch. When on the night shoots, you may wish to bring snack food or a sandwich and plenty of water.

You are responsible for arranging and paying for your own meals and accommodations.

Weather

There’s a saying in New England: “Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes.” The fluctuations in conditions can be hard to predict. A rainy day can turn sunny in half an hour, a clear sky can cloud over just the same. You may be wearing a T-shirt at midday, and donning a sweatshirt, coat and wool cap for the night. In other words, come prepared.

Historic average daily temperatures range from 48 to 62 F, and night temperatures can be from 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the day and slightly damp.

Recommended attire: Jeans or medium-weight pants, long-sleeve T-shirts, sweatshirts or sweaters for night use, and a medium-weight jacket. (Shorts are not likely to be needed.) Waterproof hiking shoes are a good idea, as we’ll be working on sand and around water. Also bring rain gear; again, it’s New England.

Considerations

No truly vigorous activity will be required, but please consider your physical abilities prior to registering. There will not be any difficult or technical hikes, but there will be one or two evenings when we walk a mile or so over sand to get to our shoot location. Also, you should be comfortable carrying your own equipment over uneven ground in the dark.

Please read our FAQs section for more information about skill and gear requirements, and other information that pertains to all our workshops.

If you have questions, please contact us—we're happy to talk it over with you.

 

A Perpetual Photo Project ...

I spent a winter road-tripping from Connecticut to the Cape whenever snow fell. We logged a lot of miles and buckets of coffee.
— Chris

I have so many memories of Cape Cod, and so many involve photography.

I remember visiting the Cape in my early 20s with my family, when we rented a cottage in Sandwich. Three days of storms meant whales couldn’t feed, so when the weather broke and we went on a whale watch, hungry giants surfaced all around us. I used a lot of film.

Later in my 20s, a photographer friend and I spent a winter road-tripping from Connecticut to the Cape whenever snow fell. We logged a lot of miles and buckets of coffee. We also snapped quite a few frames.

In my 30s, I often visited my cousins in Providence, and would venture off in mornings and late afternoons to explore the Cape in all seasons, but particularly in fall. I burned quite few memory cards on those day trips as well.

In my 40s, I spent time with Lance on the Cape twice. Once we shot night photos in as many locations as we could, consciously trying to capture different images while working nearly back to back. The other time we led a National Parks at Night workshop together, focusing on mostly on the middle and central regions. Again, photography was the crux of my Cape Cod experience.

Have I ever visiting this fantastic area without a camera? I honestly don’t know. But I know for sure that this next time I’ll be shooting once again. And enjoying every frame.

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