Returning to Summer Programs for Adult Learners in 2016, will be two of College of the Atlantic’s most popular summer course instructors - Randy Fitzgerald and Nancy Harris - who will once again be teaching a two-week course Conservation Photography for All:  Focusing on a Fragile Planet. Both Randy and Nancy have extensive teaching credentials, and their passion for digital photography has been closely tied to their passion for conserving our fragile planet.  This course will appeal to adult learners and educators looking for new opportunities to hone their artistic techniques, creative exploration, and professional growth,  and who will benefit from studying and learning these skills in the unique outdoor laboratory of Mount Desert Island.  The course will combine labs, discussions, lectures, and field trips, while exploring the waters and outer islands of Frenchman Bay, as well as the forests, flora, and fauna of Acadia National Park. You are sure to leave this unique summer program with an artistically strong and creative portfolio of your work.

Conservation Photography for All: Focusing on a Fragile Planet

This class focuses on the fundamentals of creating fine art photography with special emphasis on the digital tools available today. Participants will learn how to compose, capture, process and exhibit fine art photographs. This learning experience is suitable for everyone interested in photography, regardless of prior experience.  The goal of this 2-week course/workshop is to give participants the tools they need to create images suitable for any venue through an intensive field and laboratory experience. Field experiences will concentrate on capturing images in and around Acadia National Park. Laboratory experiences will immerse the participants in the basics of effective digital workflow using Adobe Photoshop. 

Since we will be concentrating on the natural landscapes of the park, an emphasis will be placed on the concept of conservation photography.  This area of imagery has grown out of the need to make a distinction between capturing images for the sake of photography, and the creation of images to serve the purpose of conserving nature. Conservation photography reveals both the beauty and fragility of our planet’s natural systems.  A subset of nature photography, the goal of conservation photography is to produce images that inspire and move people to change their behavior and take action to help conserve our planet’s natural resources. 

The course/workshop will cover camera operation, composition, lighting, subject matter, digital optimization, printing, matting and framing. Although this course is geared toward the novice and intermediate photographer, experienced photographers who want to enhance their workflow will find the class extremely rewarding.  All participants will need (at a minimum) a digital SLR and a sturdy tripod. Participants must be open to learning some advanced Adobe PhotoShop techniques. Some light hiking will be required to reach areas where images will be captured. This course is appropriate for all adult learners including K-12 teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, and others who want to take their photography to the next level.  Each participant will leave with a portfolio of prints suitable for framing.  

Shooting Locations:
We will spend much of our time in Acadia National Park. The ‘loop road’ will give us access to Frenchman Bay, a variety of beaver ponds, Wild Gardens of Acadia, Schooner Head Overlook, Sand Beach and Grand Head, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, Jordan Pond, Bubble Rock, Bubble Pond, Eagle Lake, and Cadillac Mountain. 

Other possible shooting locations include Bass Harbor Light, Thuya Garden, and Asticou Azalea Gardens. We will also photograph Somes Sound from different locations along Sargeant Drive and make an all-day journey to Blue Hill.  One afternoon we will take a nature cruise to photograph eagles, seals, an island lighthouse, and sailing and fishing vessels. 

Whether you are a classroom teacher looking to incorporate your images into your curriculum, an experienced photographer looking to hone your skills, or a beginner looking to master the fundamentals of digital photography, this course has something for you.

Lab fee: $100

Course syllabus

Instructor Biographies