Western Maine Fall Foliage Photography Workshop: October 11–14, 2022
10 participant maximum
INSTRUCTORS: BENJAMIN WILLIAMSON and DARYLANN LEONARD
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 Bath with his wife, 3-year old daughter, newborn twins, two dogs and a cat.
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.”
Darylann Leonard’s love for photography began as a child, watching and learning from her father who was a teacher and self-taught photographer. Through the years her love for hiking and exploring the outdoors has provided a natural classroom for learning the art of photography. Darylann has worked for over 25 years in Maine as a Clinical Social Worker. Her experience in helping people through dark times in their lives, through encouraging them to see their inner strength and beauty has carried over into her vision as a photographer. Darylann believes that not only does photography challenge people as individuals, but it also provides an opportunity to show others the world through one’s own eyes. Her goal of bringing her own vision of the beauty of nature to others keeps her love for this art alive.
Darylann has been a contributing photographer for Down East Magazine since 2014. Her photography has been featured on Maine Lake and Mountains Visitor Guide, Mid coast Maine Visitor Guide, and Western Maine Guidebook. Her work has also placed in international competitions, including the Greater Lynn and Glennie Memorial Nature Salon. She earned a second place finish in the 2013 Maine Photography Show. Darylann exhibiting artist at Gallery 302 in Bridgton, Maine since 2012.
This workshop will focus on fall foliage in the beautiful western mountains of Maine. Co-leader Darylann Leonard is lucky enough to call this area her backyard, and her intimate knowledge of photo locations, local weather, and great food stops will guide us. We’ll be based in Bethel. Possible photo stops include Grafton Notch, Sunday River Covered Bridge, Evans Notch, Rangeley’s Height of Land, Magalloway and the Bennett Covered Bridge, Carrabassett Valley, and the Wire Bridge. This is not a photo tour. There will be individual instruction based on your goals and your questions. We photograph from sunrise to sunset with an interlude of classroom time where we review images and discuss techniques that can improve our images.
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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 this workshops 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, 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 camera and a tripod, but you don’t need a lot of fancy gear. I’ve put together a list of recommended accessories.
What does the workshop schedule look like?
What about transportation?
Participants are responsible for their own transportation. We encourage carpooling to reduce our environmental footprint.
What about lodging?
Maine is a popular place and many hotels and BnB’s fill up fast. We ask that you stay close to our predetermined morning meet-up location.
What should I wear?
The most recommended piece of gear is a pair of sturdy shoes. We walk across the hard and angular rocks in many of these locations, so hiking shoes are very helpful. We also like to layer, which usually 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
– Waterproof Outerwear
– Wool Socks
– Two hats, one for warmth, the other for sun protection
– Rubber Boots (not absolutely necessary, but there may be mud or wading in some locations)
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 happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate?
Bad weather is good weather to landscape photographers. If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes. There are many idioms that apply to the weather, and if you don’t already know, following the weather is one of our favorite things to do! Ben’s been running workshops for years now, and he can honestly say that there hasn’t been a single day where we haven’t enjoyed being out photographing, even in the rain. Please keep an open mind when it comes to your expectations about what ‘good’ conditions are. We want to teach you how to shoot in all conditions!
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.
Should I bring a laptop?
Yes. We recommend you bring your laptop to follow along during classroom time and to take notes. We also recommend you bring a card reader so that we can share and critique your photos if you’d like.
What camera equipment do you recommend I bring?
– DSLR or mirrorless camera
– Lenses to cover 16-200mm are recommended
– A sturdy tripod and head
– Circular polarizing filter
– Waterproof camera bag
COVID-19: Please refer to the CDC website for the latest guidance on COVID-19 and travel.