Photography Workshops & Photo Tours: Adirondack Park Weekend Photography Workshops

Adirondack Park Photography Workshops 2023
with professional native Adirondack photographer Johnathan A Esper

Immersive landscape photography weekends during the best seasonal highlights of spring, summer, fall and winter, with an emphasis on doing lots of photography, capturing the essence of the Adirondack region, and photographic learning through in-the-field personalized coaching and indoor edit sessions as time allows. These photography workshops are an excellent way to get acquainted with certain regions of the Adirondacks, be guided to amazing locations for photography, and improve on your landscape photography skills. You will come away a better photographer and with tons of images and experiences.

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.


More about our Adirondack Photography workshops:

Photography throughout the seasons: The timing of these photo workshops 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, Milky Way and night sky star photography, 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 favorite general areas in which we've led workshops to include the central Adirondack Mountains around Blue Mountain Lake, Indian Lake, and Long Lake, the High Peaks region around Keene Valley and Lake Placid, the Hudson River headwaters around Newcomb, the bogs of the Tupper Lake region, the Schroon Lake Pharaoh Wilderness region, Lake George vistas, and the Sacandaga River/Lake Pleasant 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 and hearing the loon's call across the stillness.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 these tours, 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 landscape and night photography, especially of the Adirondack region, and adventure photography, and photographic topics that may be covered while shooting include HDR imagery, panoramic photography, Milky Way photography, 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 (check each workshop for details). Meals are also at the participants' own cost, and we typically will eat breakfasts and dinner as a whole group at local restaurants. Typically the group will convene before sunrise and do a sunrise and then a second morning shoot, some downtime and/or an indoor session in the midday, 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 all around 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. Accommodations are usually not included in the workshop fees, but it is generally expected that all participants stay at the suggested accommodation, unless otherwise arranged. A deposit is due upon registration, and the remaining balance is due via check or cash at the start of the tour. Workshops are open to all digital SLR or mirrorless 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. Trips are generally confirmed to 'go' with a minimum of 3 photographers.