The Mentor Trek to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine can be described in three words: complexity, creatively and camaraderie.
Mother Nature threw in the complexity by constantly changing the weather and making the shooting schedule unpredictable: rain, fog, sun and more fog. The creativity of the Mentor Staff with Layne Kennedy and Daniel Cox kicked in and kept us shooting by working around the elements and showing us how to work within the conditions dealt.
Throw together a group of strangers with a common interest in photography, a desire to learn and you get new friends helping one another. Need a rain cover for your camera? I got a spare. Here try my neutral density filter. The result is learning at all levels, Mentors guiding you, fellow participants providing you with suggestions (even good shot angles). You come out of the experience a better photographer and a better person. I’ll be back!
I spent the last weekend in Maine at the Acadia National Park, Maine Photo Workshop that was put on by the Mentor Series.
The weekend started with an introductory session where we met our mentors Layne Kennedy and Daniel Cox, who presented a slide show on their techniques and ways of looking at subjects. After the session was over, we boarded our bus travel to Eagle Lake where we spent the morning photographing kayakers in various scenic panoramas along with having one of the kayakers perform an Indian Roll for us to photograph. The mentors gave us pointers on what to look for and how to position ourselves and which lenses to use. We spent the afternoon on a boat cruise learning about lobstering and viewing the seals and spent the evening photographing Bar Harbor in the evening light.
The next morning we headed to Northeast Harbor for a cruise around the islands off the harbor, stopping on Little Cranberry Island. Everyone had a great time photographing there. In the early afternoon we attended a digital review session with the mentor, showing 5 images each. They offered critiques, which was very helpful in improving our eye and our technique. After that we traveled back into Acadia National Park to photograph the scene around the Otter Cliffs area.
On a final morning, we woke up early and traveled to the summit of Cadillac Mountain to photograph the sunrise. As we were traveling up the road to the summit, which is at 1530 feet, the sky was clear and the hints of an excellent sunrise could be seen.. On reaching the summit a fog bank blue when and created a surreal setting for our photography. We spent the rest of the morning back in Acadia photographing around Jordan Pond, where our mentors showed us additional ways to improve our photography. We finished off the day with another digital review session and a slideshow of what each person considered their best photographs.
In all, it turned out to be an excellent weekend: The mentors were outstanding, the staff were the same and I would recommend a trip with the Mentor Series to anybody who wants to improve their photography and visit interesting locations.