Photography Workshops & Photo Tours: Adirondack Park Weekend Photography Workshops 2019-2020

Adirondack Park Photography Workshops
with professional native Adirondack photographer Johnathan A Esper

  • Adirondacks Autumn Color in the Southern High Peaks:

    Oct 5-6, 2019        $160 (tuition only)     Status: OPEN for bookings (6 of 8 spaces available). Difficulty: from roadside spots and up to 1 mile easy walk to Boreas Pond

    Adirondack Mountains offer some of the best foliage viewing anywhere in America especially for the vibrant red colors of the sugar maples. From lower mountain top peaks we can overlook red-filled valleys nestled below the High Peaks, and down below the forests are filled with bright yellow and reds which make for amazing forest compositions. Lakeshores offer reflections of color on calm mornings, with abstract patterns of white birch trunks and red maple trees offering telephoto and panoramic options. Autumn season in the Adirondacks is truly a special time of year, just after most tourists have left the Adirondacks and gone home leaving the woods and waters quiet, and yet still there is an explosion of autumn color both on the trees and covering the forest floor. This is also the best time of year for photographing panoramic vistas with crisp late autumn days with low humidity and long sight distances in the clear air.  Long Lake, the location of many of our workshops over the years, provides some excellent nearby forests and forest streams to photograph among. Finally we'll touch upon the eastern High Peaks area to photograph these classic areas as well. The price of the workshop is $160 per person, inclusive of tuition only. Photographic locations on this workshop will be between Long Lake, Newcomb, and possibly up to Keene Valley. and/or other locations. We will do at least one indoor intensive photography editing and critiquing session.

    This full 1.5 day Adirondack photo workshop will start at 1:00pm Saturday October 5th and conclude after sunset at 7:30pm on Sunday October 6th 2019. Overnight base location will be Long Lake, which has 3 hotels you may choose to stay from, the Long View Lodge, the Blueburry Hill Motel, or the Adirondack Hotel. Please arrange your own accomodations as this will be a small group and group reservations are not necessary. First day meetup location will be communicated to all participants a day before, on Friday.

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  • Adirondacks Winter White High Peaks:

    January 31 - February 02, 2020        $350-$425 (tuition and private log home lodging included)     Status: OPEN for bookings (6 of 7 spaces available). Difficulty: from roadside spots and up to 1 mile short hikes

    Adirondack Mountains are beautiful in their white coats of winter. The crispness and low humidity of the air allow for excellent long-distance vistas of the rolling mountainous terrain. Stream boulders are covered with pillowing mounds of snow and intricate icy details. The forest trees after a new snowfall and the sun coming out display wonderful mix of blue and white colors. And perhaps the best of all, the High Peaks in the winter season proudly stand out with their white topped summits and are most photogenic and impressive in winter. With low angle sun, the snowy tops can turn a shade of purple called alpenglow, as the yellow sun mixes with the blues of snow and creates wonderful purples. So winter is a beautiful time of year to photograph.

     Lake Placid centrally located in the High Peaks Range and the location of many of our workshops over the years, provides these excellent winter mountain vistas to photograph among. During this workshop you may stay in Johnathan's own luxury log lodge home in Lake Placid, and as a small group we will immerse ourselves into our photography with a mix of indoor instructional and critiquing sessions and lots of outdoor sessions the entire weekend. The price of the workshop starts at $350 and up to $525 per person, which includes tuition, and accomodation in Johnathan's log home for 2 nights. The price varies depending on bedroom selection, first come first serve. The home has 4 bedrooms - a king master suite, two queen bedrooms, and a larger lower level bedroom with 3 twin beds. $350 pricing is for shared lower level bedroom and up to $525 for private king master suite. We will co-live together this weekend as a small group, eating meals together at the home or in resturants (meals not included in pricing). Our Adirondack log home is set up as a full time vacation rental, with many gorgeous photos of the home on our rental site Wildernesscapes Properties .

    This 3 day Adirondack photo workshop will start at 1:00pm Friday January 31st 2020 at our Adirondack River Rd Lodge in Lake Placid (directions will be provided) and conclude midday on Sunday February 02, 2020. Overnight accomodations included in the leaders own luxury log lodge, and please state your room preference upon signup.

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    The Adirondacks:The Adirondack Park is a large protected region in New York State known for its lakes and wilderness canoeing routes, its rolling forested mountains and hiking trails, and its wild forests and fauna. It is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined. Nearly half of the Park’s 6 million acres are protected to remain as “forever wild” state forest preserve, with a harmonious blend of private and public lands giving the Adirondacks diversity found nowhere else. The Adirondack region boasts over 3,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, and a wide variety of habitats, including globally unique wetland types, old and new growth forests, and alpine vegetated mountains. The Adirondack Park was created in 1892 by the State of New York amid concerns for the water and timber resources of the region. The Adirondacks are an ancient chain of mountains, with great hiking. Numerous trails lead up small mountains with open tops giving great views over the forested valleys below, and bountiful lakes and rivers provide recreational opportunities. 

    Photography throughout the seasons:  The timing of these photo tours coincides with seasonal highlights of the Adirondack Park. For spring workshops, the fresh, saturated lime green color of new foliage growth lasts for about 2 weeks, and along with rushing springtime rivers and streams, fiddlehead ferns, and forest wildflowers, all contribute to excellent stream and forest photography.   In summertime, highlights of nature include fog lifting off the lakes on early August mornings, enjoying the warmth of the Adirondack summer season, and tranquil summer sunsets.  Autumn workshops coincide with peak fall foliage season, where bright reds and yellows fill the valleys, and the air is usually crisper and clearer allowing for distant views of the rolling mountains. The autumn season in the Adirondacks is simply sublime, and quite possibly the best time of year to photograph this diverse and wild area. In winter, we search for the subtle and icy details of river shorelines, ice channels, snowy woods, and white-clad mountains. The High Peaks are the most photogenic in their winter coat, out of all the seasons. Sunrise and sunset light up the snow in a surreal pink color called Alpenglow.

    Depending on the selected workshop and to some extent weather, we have many photographic areas around the Adirondack Mountains from which to choose. Some of our favourite general areas include the central Adirondack Mountains around Blue Mountain Lake and Long Lake,  the High Peaks region around Keene Valley and Lake Placid, the Schroon Lake Pharoah Wilderness region, and the Sacandaga River region.  Of course, we focus on one area of the Adirondacks on each weekend workshop (being based out of a centrally located small town), and we will tailor our specific shooting locations to match and compliment the day’s weather, whether that's more intimate forest and stream scenes on a wet rainy day or grand vistas for a spectacular sunrise or sunset on a clearer day.  During our time photographing together, we may hike up a small mountain for sunset views over the rolling Adirondack hills or for views of colorful lime green springtime or autumn season red and yellow forests below, photograph intimate forest streams and cascades, photograph the morning mist coming off a wilderness lake, or take a sunrise paddle on yet another lake to glimpse the loon and hear its call. 

    Photography & Learning: These weekend photo workshops focus on in-the-field photography and situational instruction working alongside your leader, and as weather, light, and time allow, we'll balance this with indoor presentations or editing sessions to supplement what we're practicing in the field critiquing and editing sessions.  Some photographic locations will necessitate moderate hiking on trails to get to, as hiking is an integral part of capturing the Adirondack landscape. A small enough group size of photographers ensures you will receive ample personal photographic coaching in the field and maximize the group’s flexibility and ability to shoot more places, more spontaneously based on light and weather. 

    Pro photographer Johnathan Esper will be leading the tour, who has an intimate knowledge of the Adirondacks from growing up in them. He is a recognized and established local Adirondack landscape photographer, frequently published by the region's premiere magazine Adirondack Life. Johnathan specializes in panoramic landscapes, especially of the Adirondack region, and adventure photography, and photographic topics that will be covered while shooting include HDR (High Dynamic Range) imagery, panoramic photography, people in the landscape, and of course classic landscape photography techniques.

    Workshop Details: These workshops are an affordable and superior way to get to know the Adirondack wilderness while also honing your photo skills. The workshop price includes all professional photographic instruction and guiding.  Participants must have their own transport to our shooting locations, and book their own accommodations in a pre- determined local town for any nights.  Meals are also at the participants' own cost, and we typically will eat dinner as a whole group at pre-booked restaurant.  Typically the group will convene before sunrise and do a sunrise and morning shoot, and afternoon photo outing and/or an indoor session, and then again photograph in the late afternoon and straight through sunset.  Meals are always worked around our photography schedule, not the other way around, but of course we always set aside some break time for meals or rest.  

    Depending on the selected workshop, picturesque small towns of Long Lake, Lake Placid, Speculator, or Schroon Lake - all in the heart of the Adirondacks - will be our weekend base.  The specific daily schedule and meeting points in the morning and those types of additional details will be sent closer to the trip date. Accommodation is not included in the workshop fee, but it is generally expected that all participants stay at the suggested accommodation, unless otherwise arranged. A $50 deposit is due upon registration, and the remaining balance is due via check or cash at the start of the tour. This workshop is open to all digital SLR photographers of any experience level.  A list of gear suggestions will be sent to registrants, and while not mandatory, the camera gear on the list will better help you achieve your photographic vision and become intentional, creative photographers.  The trip is a confirmed go with a minimum of 3 photographers, although in recent years most workshops fully book up 


    Sign up:   When you are ready to sign up, please make a deposit payment of $50, including your details, on this website's generic payment page.   Or if you have any additional questions, Johnathan would be happy to speak with you; please use the contact page