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Acadia Photography Workshops

Down East Adventures

Regular price $575.00

Unit price per 


Acadia Photography Workshop – $575

In our full-day Acadia Photography Workshops, experienced instructor John K. Putnam blends photography sessions that explore the national park, classroom instruction, and personalized feedback.

Instructor Bio

John K. Putnam is a professional nature and landscape photographer based on Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park, where he leads tours and teaches photography workshops while also operating a gallery of his own work. John has been a working photographer for over 13 years, and in that time has amassed an image collection that spans five continents, six countries, 20 states, and more than 30 national parks, and his work has been published, awarded, and exhibited internationally. However, in recent years John has dedicated himself to documenting Acadia National Park by photographing its flora, fauna, landscapes, and hidden details. When it comes to photography, John’s knowledge of Acadia is unparalleled, and he uses that knowledge to put himself and his students in the right place at the right time based on the tide, weather, light, and time of year. He loves teaching, showing off Acadia, and, most importantly, getting outside to photograph every day.

“I’m enormously impressed with the Down East Photographic Workshops. They bring in top photographers with an intimate knowledge of Maine and the best locations. Each workshop I’ve done has been extremely strong with the instructors working to get you to the best locations, extend your boundaries, and provide an enjoyable experience.”  – Mark T.

Acadia Photography Workshop Description

Our full-day Acadia Photography Workshops are designed to maximize learning opportunities and provide guidance on creating the kind of images you want to create. From sunrise to sunset, you will alternate between traveling around Acadia taking photos and classroom time where we discuss a range of topics that lead to successful image making. There will also be individual instruction based on your goals and your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered by John K. Putnam

Do I need a lot of experience or expensive gear to take this workshop?

No! You can make great images right away with simple equipment, and that’s what I aim to teach you. If you have photographed before and aim to update yourself on the latest techniques in digital photography, this is definitely for you. If you are just starting out and have a new camera you want to learn, this is for you too. If you are a seasoned veteran who doesn’t need much help and just wants to go to great locations and have fun with like-minded individuals, well, this is for you as well! You will need a basic DSLR or mirrorless camera and a tripod, but you don’t need a lot of fancy gear. I’ve put together a list of recommended accessories.

What camera equipment do you recommend I bring?

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera
  • My two favorite lenses are my 16-35 and 100-400, but we will make anything work.
  • Sturdy tripod and head
  • Circular polarizing and neutral density filters
  • Waterproof camera bag

Should I bring a laptop?

Yes. I recommend you bring your laptop to follow along during classroom time and to take notes. I also recommend you bring a card reader so that we can share and critique your photos if you’d like.

What does the workshop schedule look like?

We will start the evening before with a group dinner and then plan on leaving for our photo workshop very early the next day. We generally leave an hour before sunrise to allow time to travel to our location and set up in time for the best light. If it looks like the morning will be very cloudy or rainy, we can forgo the extremely early start and head out at sunrise. After stopping at a couple of places to photograph, we’ll enjoy breakfast together and then convene for classroom lessons. I will give a short presentation, go over basic Lightroom editing, and then open up the floor to look at student work and give critiques. After classroom time, we will enjoy lunch and rest a bit, and then head out again for our afternoon shooting, and go right through sunset. Depending on the time of year you sign up, some days can go from 3 a.m. until 9 p.m.. These are long, grueling days, designed to give you the best possible experience and set your passion for photography on fire!

Please note that only the November trips travel to Bass Harbor.

What about transportation?

Participants are responsible for their own transportation. We encourage carpooling to reduce our environmental footprint, and also to park at locations with limited spaces. If you prefer to drive yourself, you can do so.

What about lodging?

Accommodation is not included.

What happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate?

We go out rain or shine and take full advantage of whatever conditions we are given.

What should I wear?

Expect uneven and rocky terrain, so please wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes. Remember, we’ll be out all day with only one break, so please layer, which means a base layer of synthetic, fast-wicking material, a warm fleece or soft shell, and a down jacket for cool mornings. Other suggested items are found below:

  • Insect and tick repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof outerwear
  • Wool socks
  • Gloves
  • Two hats: one for warmth, the other for sun protection
  • Headlamp

Should I be concerned about ticks?

Yes. All outdoor activities in New England carry the risk of picking up these nasty hitchhikers. Please use bug repellent that you can apply to your skin, or even better, permethrin, which you apply to clothes you plan on wearing in the field. Also, give yourself an extensive review when you get home at night to check for ticks.

What does my tuition cover?

The price of the workshop includes all fieldwork, group instruction, and individual tutoring. It does not include travel insurance, meals other than what has been specified, transportation, and lodging.


The payment is 50% refundable in the event you have to cancel, as long as the cancellation is made 21 days before the trip. After that time, your payment is non-refundable. Alternately, 100% of your payment will be refunded if a replacement can be found prior to the trip.

This workshop needs a minimum of three participants. In the event the minimum is not met, we may cancel or offer to move you to a different workshop.

COVID-19 Info

Please refer to the CDC website for the latest guidance on COVID-19 and travel.

“This trip was a highlight in my life. I will never forget the photography guidance, friendships made, and breathtaking views.” – Ruth M.

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Loved this workshop

Absolutely loved this workshop. From the small group size, to the vibe of the group - it made for a great learning experience, led by an expert in his field. John Putnam (JK Putnam) was a terrific instructor and he created a great environment for learning and enjoyment. Highly recommend you bring a friend and make it a weekend adventure.

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