|Acadia Nat'l Park - shooting beavers|
This past winter I saw a brochure at one of Scott Kelby's Photoshop for Photographers live seminars in Boston for a workshop in Acadia National Park in May. I had never been to Acadia despite 20 years of living in Massachusetts. I was dying to go! I was dying to photograph it all! And I have learned that it is generally hit or miss when you visit an area like that for the first time - it takes years to know where the good shots are!
The brochure advertised 4 days of expert guidance and instruction in Acadia with a small group. It looked good and wasn't too expensive - several hundred dollars- transportation, hotel and food not included. I can drive the distance in 4 hours and I talked my husband into coming along for the fishing.
I am not kidding - this was the best decision I ever made! After 2 days of shooting every sunset and sunrise I found my groove. I became used to my tripod, which I used all the time. I was becoming more adept at choosing which lens for which shot. My composition improved and I was having a great time with nice people! Our guide, John Slonina, was knowledgable and we felt like we were on the grand tour of Acadia. I told John I had definitely gotten over a hump!
I learned about light, composition and setting up your shot correctly instead of depending on PhotoShop to rescue you later.
John encouraged us to keep shooting as long as the light is good. He said that when you think you are done shooting, keep on looking for a new perspective. There is always more to shoot. He is right.
These shots are two perspectives of the same place shot minutes apart:
|Schoodic Point - Acadia Nat'l Park May 2013|
I learned to crop as you shoot by moving your body and your camera first and zooming second.
By following John around I learned a lot about composition. I am happy to say that most of my shots are completely my own. Many are compositions he pointed out to me as is this one of the birches:
|Wild Garden - Acadia Nat'l Park 2013|
I love this shot at sunrise on our 4th day near Oyster Bay. I turned around and there it was! I entered it into a show this summer at the Newburyport Art Association and it won an Honorable Mention.
|Acadia Sunrise - 2013 by Kathleen Milstein|
I have signed up for another workshop in October. This one is fall in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Who knows? Next year it might be Tuscany or Provence! Try it!