New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Work shops or autumn tours

Which are best for me? Work shops or full feature tours?

I have a few of you who have asked me about tours and whether they are a good option and I thought I would mention the two advertisers who happen to Photographers. April Bielefeldt and Jonathan Steele have two different types of photographic events for you to consider. This week I have an interview with Jonathan and we’ll talk about his workshop and what you’ll get out of it. In the next week or two I’ll have the same questions for April.

Photography Workshops

Jonathan SteeleWhat is a photography workshop versus a fall foliage tour? This is probably the best question to ask. Also are you looking for someone to take you to gift shops and tourist related activities. Does the cost cover meals, transportation and lodging. All are key things to think about. Workshops tend to stress photography and great locations versus tours which get you to a great location and then park the bus and say, “we’ll be leaving in 30 minutes for our next stop.

Here are the questions I thought up, that are what I would want to know. If you have more questions for Jonathan, leave a comment below and he or I will answer it. Just for the record, Jonathan Steele is a paid advertiser on this site but whether you take his workshop or not, I do not receive anything further than the cost of his advertising fee. He is a member of the New England Photography Guild, that I’m also a founding member of.


  1. Jonathan, who is your tour/workshop aimed at? Who will enjoy it most?

Workshops offered through Jonathan Steele Photography are ideal for small groups where individuals are looking to improve their photography skills. Participant experience levels should range from novice to experienced but you must have an understanding of how to use your camera outside of automatic mode.

Maine foggy reflectionStrenuous hiking will not be part of this workshop. Many of the locations we visit will be close to the road. Some locations, however may involve a short hike of 30-45 minutes with no steep elevation gains. We will be spending time shooting along the rocky coast of Acadia National Park, the terrain along the coast is very uneven and can be somewhat slippery. Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes along with a modest level of health and fitness will greatly enhance your workshop experience.

  1. What is the overall goal of your workshop/tour?

Workshops offered by Jonathan are geared to helping you, as a photographer, develop your eye for photography both through the lens and in the digital darkroom. To achieve this goal, before going on our first shoot, we will discuss compositional elements to look for while in the field. Compositional elements are visual elements in a scene that tie together the lighting, the mood. the moment in time and the subject in helping to create great photographs. In addition, the basics of focus stacking will be discussed so that once in the field you can put to practice the best known technique for obtaining front to back focus. At some point during the workshop we will spend time in the digital darkroom discussing the use of global adjustment controls, adjustment layers and luminosity masks, all of which are required to help you bring your digital RAW file to life.

  1. What sorts of places will you show us?

Though the workshop is about Autumn, it is Autumn in Acadia and more than anything Acadia is defined by water. Whether it is the waters of the Atlantic Ocean crashing over the rocks of Otter Cliff and Pebble Beach or the still waters of The Tarn reflecting autumn colors from Cadillac Mountain or a swirling eddy of a flowing brook that runs between the crimson leaves of autumn, water will be an important element of most of your compositions.

Bass Harbor lighthouse Maine

Bass Harbor lighthouse Maine

From the top of Cadillac the bright red shrubs and granite slabs will grace the foreground of your images while the autumn sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean in the background. From Jordan Pond, to Upper Hadlock Pond, to the Bass Harbor Lighthouse the list of locations we can visit will far exceed the time we have there. Plan on busy days while working to photograph the magnificent landscapes Acadia has to offer.

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

If a location is not inspiring that would just simply mean that we are not in Acadia National Park! As a workshop leader it is my responsibility to be aware of the weather and potential for changing conditions as well as what locations have the greatest potential for those given conditions. Though I do have a list of the “classic” locations that we will shoot from I also have many alternative locations to choose from should the need arise. As with any time I am out shooting I always remain flexible and prepared to change location should conditions warrant that.

  1. What is your favorite fall foliage location and subject?

To define a single location would be difficult because there is such a variety of scenes in and around Acadia National Park of which to shoot. For me, subject matter would actually define locations. There are numerous ponds on Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia. In the fall, the cool night air often interacts with the warmer waters of the ponds and creates a layer of fog over the surface of the water. When the fog layer is mixed with the early morning sun and the autumn colors of the trees it helps to create dynamic images.

We will go out early to shoot the sunrise along the coast or at the top of Cadillac Mountain. Then we will head to the ponds to shoot the fog as the sun rises over the mountain tops catching autumn reflections in the still waters. These numerous ponds are what I would have to say are my favorite fall foliage locations and subjects.

About Jonathan

Jonathan is an award winning photographer who has studied with The New York Institute of Photography and has shot with several well known internationally acclaimed photographers. In addition to being published in the London Based Landscape Photography Magazine and the online Outdoor Photographer Magazine he recently released his ebook “Fundamentals from Acadia (Photography Tips)”. He is a Member/Administrator of the North American Nature-Wildlife-Landscape Photographers Association as well as the New England Photography Guild where he is one of a small a group of photographers that has come together to present to you the best of New England through their photography.


Again if you have questions, or you are interested in talking to Jonathan about his workshop then follow this link to Jonathan Steele Photography or you can let Jonathan know by leaving a comment below.

Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
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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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