New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Is a fall foliage guided tour for you?

Earlier this month I asked the question:

Which is better a workshop or a guided tour?

There are as many flavors of workshops and guided tours as there are photographers looking up at the night sky. They all (I hope) aim to give you a great experience. Earlier this month I did an interview with Jonathan Steele and his workshop in Acadia National park.This week another of my advertisers, April Bielefeldt provides a different kind of photographic experience. I sent her a list of questions that I think will help you get an idea, if a small guided tour is right for you.

Photo by Jeff Foliage

Photo by Jeff Foliage

Disclaimer before you read this: I have never taken her tour but since she has been advertising on my page for three years, no one has complained to me. She also has paid for advertising on this site. You can consider this a paid promo.

You can reach April’s fall foliage tours or any others that she offers by clicking through to her phototrips link here or at the top of the page.

1. Who is your tour/workshop aimed at?

My Fall Foliage Photo tour is geared largely to someone who enjoys photography but also wants a full experience, a little maple syrup tasting, some cozy lodgings and a good meal at the end of the day. It is perfect for couples where often one person really wants to get up at sunrise and the other is less inclined to.

#Vistaphotography #JeffFolger, #JeffFoliage,

beaver pond on Lost River Rd., New Hampshire on 30 September 2008

We have a sunrise photography destination planned every morning every morning, rain or shine, and a sit down breakfast follows where we collect anyone who did not get up early and then we continue on, there is no “classroom time” we fill our shortened days with foliage scenic locations, maple syrup tastings, some historic stops and all along the way I give photography guidance.

The trip is open to anyone regardless if they have a camera, or just want to collect images with their tablet or cell phone.

I don’t hand out “assignments” but in the course of emails or phone calls exchanged prior to the trip get a feel for each individuals goals and how the group will work together. We don’t spend time working on post-processing but instead focus on collecting wall worthy images in camera with maybe minor adjustments for someone later if they wish.

Some of our stops have some walking involved if you choose, and often there are choices on given days. I have dropped off a few people to shop for a few hours while the rest of us chase fall color.

The tour appeals to someone who prefers someone else to do the driving and take them to locations and destinations one might otherwise not find on their own.

2. Overall goal of your workshop/tour:

The overall goal of my tour/workshop is to provide an unforgettable full sensory experience of what I consider Classic New England Fall Foliage.

  • See; classically pleasing scenics that have inspired artists/photographers for years. Rolling hills,red barns, covered bridges and help you capture that in camera.
  • Touch: feel the crisp air, sense of the shortening days and waning light.
  • Taste: the flavors of New England- I have to admit I love to eat- cider donuts, Vermont Maple syrup, cheese, pumpkin everything and all the other seasonal flavors that often don’t get the focus if you don’t live in New England!
  • Hear:  the sound of the loons, the falling leaves, the crunch of the leaves underfoot, the water as it runs or pounds over the rocks.. there are just sounds that living in an urban area you don’t hear.
  • Smell: ah again that word Food comes in since you can smell fresh-baked pumpkin bread, or smell burning wood in fireplaces.. and even the woods themselves have a smell in the fall that is different!


Vermont Autumn at Gates covered bridge

Vermont Autumn at Gates covered bridge

New England exists still as you see in paintings – it is a real place and you can still walk in and experience it with all of your senses. This is what I hope to share and somehow we try to capture that in our images or at least enjoy it for the short time we are there!

For those new to photography I share composition tips and see what they are seeing and try to make improvements when needed so everyone can return with a “wall hanger” as one of my participants said

3. What sorts of places will you show us?

I try to work in a variety of scenics. In conversations prior to us meeting in New England I try to gather my participants interests or what I like to call a shot lists a list of images I hope to collect. I like to cover a variety of images, landscapes, macro, close up opportunities, people, food and action! The locations I choose strive to cover the classics, the white steeple church, the water images, reflections, red barns, patchwork hills and of course a covered bridge just to cover a quick list.

4. If a location is not inspiring what do you do for a backup?

As a tour leader, guide and driver who has been visiting New England for over 10 years I have more places to go than we can usually see in any given day so if we arrive at a spot and it is not inspiring we move on.

This can happen at sunrise due to light or weather but New England is small and just around the next bend may be something really worth stopping and getting out for. This again is why I prefer to not have a caravan of cars some of my locations that I come back to again and again are off small narrow roads and we have limited space to park and photograph. I am constantly researching and seeking new locations to keep it fresh for myself as well. Nature is an amazing thing and each day I can’t wait to get out and see what we can see and photograph!! I stay in local places so often when I arrive my innkeepers have places they have gone and checked out in the day or two prior which is a gift to me! Being flexible both as a guide and as a participant are important!

Weather during the fall can be unpredictable and we do go out rain or shine-but sometimes we have had to sit out a heavy rain for a bit.

5. What is your favorite fall foliage location and subject? As an artist that’s like asking which image is my favorite and my response is always the next one I capture. Chasing fall colors is like that you are always looking for the “perfect combination/composition”. Maybe to answer it more correctly would be to answer why do I keep returning to New England year after year, when you can see fall colors other places my response is that yes trees do change colors in other areas of the United States and even the world, but to me nothing is like Autumn in New England, the white steeples, the red trees, rolling hills, red barns, and that intense green grass against a blue sky the brilliant scenics with colors that seem brighter and more intense on a given year than I have witnessed anywhere.

Fall Foliage in New England has captured my heart and my camera lens and for this I continue to want to share that joy with others!

If you want a full Fall Foliage experience and only have a week I hope you will consider my tour!

About April:
I am an award-winning Fine Art Photographer with a Degree in Fine Art from Iowa State University.

I have been designing and leading my own tours of New England, Alaska, the midwest and California where I currently live for over 10 years. Besides landscape photography I have photographed musicians for over 15 years and have many credits in that area.

I started photographing as a child with a small Kodak camera, and moved on to slide film SLRs, DSLRs and now mirrorless as well. But I find the best camera is the one in your hand whether that is your cell phone, your tablet or your DSLR

Escape today

I believe we all have a creative spirit and hope to encourage that in each person who joins me on my tours, it is all about seeing!

Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
Subscribe to my Newsletter - If you would like to sign up for my Fine Art America Newsletter (click this link and a window will open allowing you to sign up). Why sign up for the newsletter? Contests, discount codes on my artwork, maybe an excerpt from my book "Exploring the back roads of New England with Jeff Foliage"... Yes you heard me right... (Damn now I have to start writing it!)
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Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.
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Is a fall foliage guided tour for you? — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Sunny !! Thanks for your feedback!! Yes I try to really put a lot into it- there are many Photography Workshops in New England to choose from but many of us with limited time want a bit of both.. speaking for myself.. 🙂 I have favorite spots that I like to share with my participants- Jenne Farm of course is a must but again there is more than Jenne Farm! The days are full but for me it is a lot of FUN !! Please contact me and consider joining me !! April

  2. April, your tour sounds thoughtfully planned out but flexible, too. It sounds fun!

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