The recently completed Lupine and the White Mountain National Forest photography workshop was an excellent opportunity to be flexible in our expectations. For a week before the workshop began, the forecast in North Woodstock was for four straight days of rain. I'm sure that these conditions would challenge even the most experienced photographer.
Day one proved the worst...sideways rain and wind. Fortunately, I had a backup plan; we were able to gain access to a local seasonal chapel, and with cameras on tripods, captured interior photos of the wainscoted walls and sheet-covered pews. The photograph with the most impact was of the aisle leading to the altar, complete with Tiffany stained glass window. The group then found other less apparent subjects; the draping of sheet coverings, the supportive arches of the ceiling, a hanging robe and other contemplative details.
(photographs by Carole Kenney, Linda Dupuis, Carol Beatrice and Missy Engelhard)
We woke on the second day to leftover showers and clouds. The grounds of the complex we stayed in had beautiful but quiet photo possibilities. There was an opportunity to walk in a contemplative unhurried manner before breakfast. This proved to be very fruitful.
(photographs by Missy Engelhard and Carol Beatrice)
The heavy rain of the previous day gave the waterfalls at the Basin and Sabbaday Falls more energy and volume. It also provided us the opportunity to experiment with creative shutter speed to affect different emotions in our photographs. The time passed very quickly as we were all completely absorbed in our work. Later that evening in our sharing of work, we found it amazing to have eight people photographing the same subject matter, yet come away with such different images.
(photographs by Carole Kenney, Frank Leith, Linda Dupuis, Sandra Saunders and Gina Campbell)
We spent much of the third day photographing the Lupines in Sugar Hill. After a hearty breakfast at Polly's Pancake Parlor, we visited three different fields of the purple, pink, and an occasional white lupine, in fields of yellow mustard flowers. The technical theme of the day was creative use of aperture and depth of field. We used macro lenses for close up work, telephoto lenses to isolate individual flowers and wide angle lenses to capture the colorful fields set against the Presidential Range mountains. Once again, each student created their own unique way of seeing. As we reviewed work that evening, there was mutual respect and support of each other's way of seeing.
(photographs by Gina Campbell, Missy Engelhard, Sandra Saunders and Frank Leith)
It was a very immersive four days of learning new technical concepts, practice in the field and editing photographs. On he last morning, all were encouraged to explore the grounds of the Deer Park Resort and be open to the surrounding beauty without expectations. I would like to everyone who joined me in the workshop and compliment them for their huge leaps in learning. I really enjoyed my role as workshop leader and teacher, and and know I will see each of them again!