Last week I hosted the Taste of Fall photography workshop here in the Midcoast. I stressed for weeks about whether or not there would be foliage and if the weather would cooperate. Looking back I realized that there is no use worrying about things that you simply can’t control. All you can do is 1) have faith that everything will work out and 2) be prepared to get creative if it doesn’t. Luckily for us, Mother Nature cooperated, both with the weather and with the foliage. But that didn’t mean that we could slack off and not get creative. After all, creative shooting was the entire point.

It’s too easy to take pretty pictures in Maine during this beautiful season so I encouraged everyone to go beyond the obvious and make photos that were uniquely their own. I’ve been on many a photography workshop where the attendees showed their favorite shots during the group critiques, only to find many people with nearly the exact shot. I try very hard to ensure that never happens at one of my workshops!

And how did we make sure of that? We experimented like crazy. We acted as if we were shooting digital shots rather than film . . . because WE WERE! We accepted the fact that there are no risks to creating what may, on the surface, appear to be ‘bad photos.’ We stepped outside of our comfort zone and tried things we never tried before.

We may have started off shooting the obvious pretty shot, but then we took it further to see what would happen if . . .

On the overcast days when there was no color in the sky, we used it to our advantage. The white sky was like shooting in a studio and the overcast skies allowed for slow shutters and great abstracts.

Even when we were pleased with our shot, we didn’t stop. We changed some camera settings and kept on shooting to later compare the results.

And my best story from the workshop is this . . .

One of the shooting locations was at a spectacular river walk. The recent rains created large amounts of gushing and cascading water that were easily captured along the river bank. I remember telling everyone, “the further you walk along the trail, the more spectacular the little waterfalls will get.” So everybody headed down the trail while I stayed very close to the trailhead. I little piece of me was convinced that I was missing “all the best shots” but I filled my time really working the very small area that I had to work with. The trail started on a bridge and that’s where I spent most of my time. I shot and shot and wasn’t really thrilled with the shots. I started to feel those thoughts of “this just doesn’t provide the best angle” and “there is too much debris near the waterfall to get a good shot.” I had all the excuses covered. Then, low and behold, one of the last shots I took turned out to be one of my favorites of all the shots taken during the entire three days! Proof that if you work it hard enough, you WILL get a nice shot.

There is no other time when I feel more grateful to be living in such an awe-inspiring beautiful place. I hope you are getting the chance to get out and capture the fall beauty wherever you may live. After all, beauty is all around us and if you don’t see it upon first glance, pick up your camera and look through you lens. It’s there if you look hard enough!

Please click the button below to view more photos from this recent workshop.

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