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The Acadia Autumn Adventure workshop is almost done, and so far it’s been lots of fun with a great group of students as usual. It’s great to see a group of people from all walks of life come together with a common theme and passion. It helps create a great learning environment, and I really enjoy seeing students making progress in their photography, often by leaps and bounds, during the course of the week.

And it certainly makes me feel like I’m doing exactly what I was meant to do – share my passion for nature, and help give them the confidence, inspiration, and ability to use their cameras in a meaningful way. That’s no easy task, but I work hard at it—and enjoy the challenge.

We’ve had all types of weather this week, from rain to fog, dramatic light and clouds, and amazing moments when we were patient enough to wait for them. And that’s certainly something I’ve  reinforced over and over again during the week. Several times we’ve been at a location before sunrise with many other photographers waiting for first light. But no sooner does that light not appear, we’re left alone as if there’s nothing left to photograph.

But with patience we’ve waited,  and we’ve been rewarded. There’s so many reasons why mentally it’s difficult to be creative when you’re expectations are so fixed. Open to the moment, curious, and opportunistic are traits I try to teach and practice, and I think we’ve had some great examples of their benefits during the workshop.

Light is light, and nature is nature. Learning the language of photography does not require a specific location, but it does require the right frame of mind. Use lines, shapes, color, and light effectively, and you can make successful images in your backyard. Here in Acadia we’ve practiced the technique of photography, as well approaching each shoot without any preconceived ideas.  We try to react to the conditions as well as to our feelings. At least that’s my hope, so that when we come home, everything looks a little more interesting and we become a little more inspired to express our creative voice.

When a student tells me, “I’m just not feeling anything right now, so I’m waiting before I start shooting,” I smile. They’re looking in the right direction for sure, and the images they do make will have their unique voice because they waited until they made an emotional connection. No easy feat on a workshop, but successful in my opinion.

We’ve done quite a bit of hiking as well, and that’s always a great way to explore, get off the beaten path, and generate some images that are a little more original for such a popular park. All in all, I’m really pleased with the week so far, I’ll have more photos and stories to share when I get back home.

Thanks for reading!

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