Ingredients for a perfect weekend:
• Two outstanding Professional Photographers – Mark Alberhasky and Corey Rich
• The Mentor Series team including Erica Johnson and Michelle Cast. (Do they ever get a chance to sit down during a trek?)
• 25 Intrepid Trekkers
• Annapolis, MD, the Sailing Capital of the world and its incredible history.
• Absolutely magnificent weather – not a drop of rain to damage our cameras and blur our pictures.
• Sail boats at sunset and the Lady Sarah at sunrise.
These were the ingredients of the latest Mentor Series Trek to Annapolis, Maryland. Trekkers from all over, with diverse backgrounds and a passion for photography came together to improve their technique by spending time with two great mentors. Twelve hours a day, learning, experimenting, and growing their photography skills.
The weekend started with tips from the pros, followed quickly by our foray into the “wilds” of Annapolis. First stop: London Town and Gardens and an opportunity to explore the 23 acre museum with its historic settlement, archaeology, and gardens on the banks of the South River. An abundance of sunshine and photo ops paired with the skilled advice of the mentors as needed started the weekend off enthusiastically. Next stop Sandy Point State park with its incredible views of the Chesapeake Bay and Bridge (gateway to the Eastern Shore of Maryland).This venue gave us the opportunity to photograph athletes and get tips from the mentors on how to use a garbage bag as a diffuser from Mark to Corey’s tool kit that includes a chain saw along with the kitchen sink! And finally, on to the City Dock and a sunset cruise on a sail boat to capture photos of osprey and the Bay at close of day.
Saturday brought new opportunities on our trip to the Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge. The birds, butterflies, and marsh land proved to be the most popular objects of everyone’s lens. Mentors spent the morning encouraging us and providing tips on using lines and perspectives to achieve that special shot! Who would have thought the hubcaps on the bus could provide such a dynamite picture? Back at the hotel after our trip to the Eastern Shore the Mentor’s review of 5 of our pictures created sweaty palms and fear for the newbies while previous trekkers stepped up to the table confident and serene! The day closed with sunset at the City Dock providing opportunities for photographing mainstays and mast of the many docked sailboats, producing striking pictures.
Sunday came with an early start (Erica described it best as “0-dark thirty”) so that the trekkers reach Thomas Point Lighthouse before the sun comes up. After 4 hours on the Lady Sarah chasing the rising sun and exploring the use of high ISO’s and how to make “boxy freighters” into interesting and photogenic angles, a short break for coffee was a welcome treat for all the trekkers! Rounding out the day was a trip through historic Annapolis with our guides, Town Crier Frederick and Eileen, in their colonial dress. They shared all the history and architecture of pre-Revolutionary Annapolis while the mentors provided guidance on photography in bright noonday sun. And finally, the last review session of the weekend and a slide show of everyone’s favorite pictures before we all depart for homes! AMAZING!!!!
Overall an incredible weekend of photographic opportunities, new friends, and exploring the historical culture of the thirteen fledgling colonies of America thanks to Bonnier and our mentors for the great weekend.