Various Dates (1-day and 3-day trips available)
Explore Maine with acclaimed photographer Benjamin Williamson. Ben knows the coast of Maine like no other, and his excitement for photography is contagious. These workshops are designed to maximize learning opportunities and provide whatever guidance individuals need to create the images they want. This is not a photo tour. There will be individual instruction based on your goals and your questions. We photograph from sunrise to sunset on our one-day workshops, and hope to get opportunities for night shoots during our 3-day courses. During classroom sessions, we’ll discuss a range of topics that lead to successful image making and have time for critiques for participants who want it. This year’s lineup of trips offers opportunities to explore the many majestic locations along the coastline, from southern Maine to Acadia.
Do I need a lot of experience to take this workshop?
No. This is a great learning opportunity for beginners as well as seasoned photographers. If you’re a new shooter, you’ll learn all the basics you’ll need to get going. And if you’re a veteran, you’ll get to fine-tune your technique, problem solve, and take your photography up a notch, in some of the most beautiful shooting locations that Maine has to offer. Plus, you’ll get to connect with people who love photography as much as you do!
What’s an average day like at a workshop?
Workshop days are jam-packed with shoots and classroom time, so you get as much as possible out of the experience. We’ll kick off the workshop with a group dinner. The first day starts 90 minutes before sunrise to allow plenty of travel and setup time in time to catch the best light. After visiting 2-3 shooting locations, we’ll have breakfast together, then start classroom lessons, which involve a short presentation, a review of basic lightroom editing, and an opportunity to look at participants’ work and offer critiques. After classroom time, we’ll have lunch and rest, then head out again for an afternoon shoot that will continue through sunset.
What does tuition cover?
Tuition includes all fieldwork, group instruction, individual tutoring, water and snacks. It does not include meals, lodging, transportation, and travel insurance.
What about transportation?
Each participant is responsible for his or her own transportation. We encourage carpooling — it reduces our environmental impact, and helps at locations with limited parking spaces. If you prefer to drive on your own, you may do so.
What about lodging?
We will provide a list of suggested accommodations that are close to the location of our morning meetup spot. Because many hotels fill up fast, we recommend that you book your lodging as soon as you register for the workshop.
What if the weather doesn’t cooperate?
For a good landscape photographer, there is no such thing as bad weather. At this workshop, we’ll learn how to shoot in all conditions! The climate in Maine is constantly in flux, and this presents a wide variety of learning opportunities. In years of leading workshops, and there hasn’t been a single day where we haven’t enjoyed being out shooting — even in the rain.
What camera equipment should I bring?
You can make great images with simple equipment. All you’ll need for this workshop is a basic digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera and a tripod. Other equipment you may want to bring:
- Lenses to cover 16-200mm
- Sturdy tripod
- Circular polarizing filter
- Waterproof camera bag
- Laptop computer (to take notes in class)
- A card reader so that you can share your photos for critique
What should I wear?
Your most important piece of gear is a pair of sturdy hiking shoes. We will be trekking across hard and angular rocks in many of these locations. It’s a good idea to wear layers, including a base layer of synthetic, fast wicking material, a warm fleece or soft shell, and a down jacket for cool mornings. Your packing list should also include:
- Insect and Tick Repellant
- Waterproof Outerwear
- Wool Socks
- Two hats, one for warmth, the other for sun protection
- Rubber Boots (not absolutely a must, but there may be mud or water in some locations)
Should I be concerned about ticks?
All outdoor activities in New England carry the risk of exposure to ticks. Wear light-colored protective clothing, tuck pant legs into socks, and use bug repellent with DEET or picaradin on skin and clothing. You’ll also want to do daily tick checks each evening.
Have more questions? Write to us at [email protected].
ABOUT BEN WILLIAMSON
Breathtaking images taken by acclaimed photographer Benjamin Williamson have filled the pages of Down East and many of its covers for the past four years, and earned a raft of accolades, including first place in the 2016 Maine Photography Show. In 2018, the U.S. Postal Service chose Ben’s photo of sunrise on the east-facing shore of Bailey Island for its “O Beautiful” series.
Ben is largely self-taught — he began taking pictures in 2012 while working nights tending bar. Likes of his iconic New England scenes on Facebook and Instagram quickly became requests for prints, and within two years of picking up a camera, Ben’s photography hobby had evolved into a full-time profession. “When I find something I enjoy, my first instinct is to share it,” says Ben, a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, who lives in Brunswick with his wife, Kimberly, daughter, Charlotte, and two dogs.
Ben’s love of photography — and the beauty that he sees — is infectious. And his desire to share the work he loves is what drives the popular Down East photography workshops.
These one-day and multi-day trips, which fill up fast, draw photographers of all abilities from all over the world. At Ben’s favorite shooting locations around Maine, and in concentrated classroom sessions, Ben shares his best shooting and editing tips, helping new photographers master the basics, and seasoned photographers take their skills to the next level. The bonds participants forge last long after the workshop has ended. “I love the camaraderie that develops,” Williamson says. “That’s very gratifying.”
See more of Ben’s photos on the Down East website.
“Thanks for a wonderful day yesterday!It was informative, creative, with a “just right” mix of technical and artistic information. We found the workshop very worthwhile.” – Mary D’Ambrosio, Clifton Park, NY
“You provided us all an amazing day yesterday!” – Laura Joyce-Hubbard, Highland Park, IL
“Thanks so much for a great learning experience. I am energized to learn and become a decent photographer.” – Valerie Slater, Chevy Chase, MD
“I enjoyed our day together and feel I got a lot out of it.” – Frank Fowles, Raymond, ME
“Thanks for a wonderful day yesterday! It was informative, creative, with a “just right” mix of technical and artistic information. We found the workshop very worthwhile.” — Mary D’Ambrosio