The Maine coast epitomizes coastal New England. Rocky points extending out into the sea, spruce forests and sandy beaches, small harbors full of fishing boats and lobster traps, villages with country stores, churches and lighthouses. We’re used to seeing iconic—or some would say cliché—images of this scenery. We’ll take those photos, and you, a couple of steps further by photographing this quintessential scenery at night, with a special emphasis on techniques for photographing different types of lighthouses.
July 12-17, 2020 — Sold Out, Join Waitlist Below
This is a 5-night, 5-day workshop. Your adventure begins on Sunday evening, July 12, with a classic New England lobster bake, and it ends after a final slideshow by 4 p.m. on Friday, July 17.
$1,895. Bring your non-participating significant other for $300. The price includes a lobster feast on the first night, another dinner and three lunches. Register below.
Open to all who have an understanding of the basic principles of photography and of their cameras.
14, with 2 instructors — 7:1 ratio
Register Now Waitlist Only
HOPING TO GET A SPOT? Sign up Below for our no-fee WAITLIST.
Deposit of $500 is required to reserve your spot at the workshop.
Balance of $1,395 due on April 13, 2020. Pay balance here.
You may choose the “Pay in Full” ticket if you desire to pay all at once.
Last day for a cancellation request is April 12, 2020 (see cancellation and refund policy).
The workshop fee does not include transportation to and from Maine, lodging, or food other than the two included dinners and three included lunches, as well as a freshly prepared breakfast each day included with your room.
The Mid-Coast Maine Experience
This workshop features four nights of shooting at locations within an hour of our hotel, and includes two or three lighthouses, rocky coastlines, a quarry, a beach, and at least one small harbor.
The workshop will place special emphasis on learning techniques to photograph the different types of lighthouses we will encounter––those with continuous, rotating and pulsing beams. The idea is that you leave this workshop with a portfolio of related images and learn new techniques that you’ll be able to apply in the future.
We begin our workshop during the last-quarter phase of the moon, so there will be decreasing amounts of moonlight each night. Early in the workshop we’ll have mostly moonlit landscapes, which are ideal for lighthouses, and the last couple of nights will be better for photographing the Milky Way. There will also be opportunities for light painting and panoramic photography.
Each day, after a late breakfast at the hotel, we’ll have classroom lectures and image reviews. Lunches prepared by the hotel chef are included on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. As usual, we’ll give you a break in the late afternoon, followed by dinner (we’ll eat at the hotel for four of the five nights, two of which are included in the ticket price). And of course we will have full nights of photography Monday through Thursday, with our traditional final slide show on Friday afternoon.
Follow-On Experience: Monhegan Island and Acadia
We have planned this Mid-Coast Maine experience to run consecutively with our Monhegan Island and Acadia workshop, which begins two days after this one. If you want the full Maine coastal night photography experience, we hope that you will consider signing up for both workshops.
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 and 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
We hope to push you to step outside your comfort zone—to test the limits of what you and your camera can do. You’ll go home after the workshop with a solid grasp of night photography in dark and moonlit environments, and experience with different techniques for photographing lighthouses.
TOPICS COVERED WILL INCLUDE:
techniques for photographing different types of lighthouses
astro-landscape and Milky Way photography
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 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.
Our locations have generous room to explore, so everyone will be able to spread out and not get in one another’s way. Each participant will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with Lance and Chris in the field.
We do not tell our attendees what to photograph, and won’t line you up in a row to all shoot the same thing (unless it’s helpful to get some people on track). Instead, we encourage you to use what you have learned to create your own unique images, and to let us guide you through the process should you desire. We do not teach you to do what we do, but rather how to develop your own night vision.
Night & Light Conditions
Our base for the workshop is about an hour and a half north of Portland, the most convenient airport for your arrival. One of the best locations is a quarter-mile from our hotel, but we will need to drive up to an hour each way to get to some spots. We always encourage carpooling as much as possible, but you will need a car. If you are interested in carpooling or sharing a rental car, let us know and we will try to connect you with another attendee looking for the same. You are responsible for arranging and paying for your own transportation.
Portland, Maine (PWM) — 1.5 hours from the workshop base
Manchester, New Hampshire (MHT) — 3 hours
Boston (BOS) — 3.5 hours
Food & Lodging
The hotel and its adjoining restaurant will play a larger role in this workshop than most. We’ve chosen a comfortable and stylish boutique hotel to amplify the New England summer experience. We’re going for style here. We are taking over, and our classroom will be the hotel’s tavern!
We have reserved the entire hotel for our workshop. Unless you are local, we request that you stay at the workshop venue. You are welcome to bring a spouse or significant other, as there will be plenty for them to do while you are taking the workshop. Your guest will join us for meals, and is welcome to attend the field shoots (without a camera) and the final slide show. You can carpool with someone else in the workshop so that your guest can use your car. Lodging info will be sent after registering. You are responsible for arranging and paying for your room. Instructions will be sent after you register.
Expect daytime highs in the 80s F, lows in the upper 50s.
Shorts and short-sleeve shirts for daytime, light pants and long-sleeve shirts for night. A sweatshirt and medium-weight jacket will likely be useful. Layers are good. Comfortable and waterproof shoes with good soles are recommended for getting around. There won’t be long hikes, but we will be scrambling over rocky shores and on trails, so quality trail shoes (perhaps waterproof) would be optimal.
No vigorous activity will be required during the workshop, but please consider your physical abilities prior to registering. There won’t be any long hikes, but 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.
Mongolia, maryland and Maine ...
Do they have loons in Mongolia?
My childhood summer vacations were spent on the Honky Tonk boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland. I did my best to keep down the large paper cup of Thrasher’s french fries while spinning around on the Zipper. I always tried to (but never did) win the free game of mini-golf by hitting the ball over the moving drawbridge and past the swinging dragon’s tail into the castle. I always seemed to have sand in my shorts, and the waves always seemed bigger back then. My dad took us fishing and crabbing on the pier behind the convention center, but I was usually too restless and busy exploring to catch much.
By contrast, my best friend and his family went to Maine every year. Quiet, solitude, loons. To me, it was as exotic as going to Mongolia for summer vacation. I didn’t know anything about Maine, except that it was north. What was the appeal without the roller coasters and go-karts? Little did I know what I was missing.
Fast-forward 35 years or so when I was invited to teach at the prestigious Maine Media Workshops, something I’ve now done every summer for the last 5 years. I always look forward to my week at Maine Media, in part because of the great community they have there, but also because the area is such a wonderful place to be. Now I know why Michael’s dad dragged the three wiggly kids, Yankee (their short-haired pointer) and his wife the 600 miles from Baltimore to Maine every year.
For 2020, I’ll be leading this National Parks at night workshop instead of the Maine Media class, and I’m excited to be able to share this wonderful corner of our great country with our audience. By the way, the Maine coast does have its own Honky Tonk strip, but we’ll be staying well clear of it.