Preserving Coastal Maine with Leica

Led by award-winning environmental documentarian, Bridget Besaw, this workshop partners with Maine Coast Heritage Trust to capture quintessential coastal and island landscapes that need protection and stewardship surrounding Maine’s stunning Mount Desert Island.

  • When: 22-25 August 2013
  • Where: Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Price: $799 Friday night lobster bake included. All other meals and lodging not included.
Preserving Coastal Maine with Leica
Preserving Coastal Maine with Leica
Preserving Coastal Maine with Leica

Workshop Details

Coastal Conservation in Maine

With the growth of social media, conservation-minded travelers can make huge impacts when supporting causes with their own stories and images. Preserving Coastal Maine connects photographers with a passion for the environment to timely stories and beautiful locations that environmental organizations need help protecting.

We work with the Communications Director at Maine Coast Heritage Trust to gain access to coastal properties and island communities to capture their beauty with our M and S series Leicas. We’ll capture portfolio-worthy imagery of iconic Maine islandscapes, lobster fisherman, clammers and muscle harvesters, sea kayakers and hikers enjoying preserved areas, and the idyllic lifestyle of this legendary place. Group discussions will examine photography’s role in inciting a passion for nature and there-by shaping public opinion to adapt environmental practices.

Lectures, editing sessions and class discussions will be based out of our classroom and digital lab at the College of Atlantic campus nestled in an idyllic shorefront setting - walking distance from the quaint village of Bar Harbor.

Workshop Topics

The workshop includes both class and field time, allowing students to grasp the theory and put their new skills into practice. Topics include:

—Technical aspects of the M and S series Leica cameras
—Experimental nature photography techniques
—On assignment: Travel photography
—Conservation landscape imagery
—Photographing people in the landscape
—The genre of “conservation and environmental” photography
—Covering international travel and conservation stories

Preserving Coastal Maine with Leica

Collaboration With Leica

Workshop participants have the opportunity to utilize the latest additions to Leica’s storied M-System, the Leica M9 and M9-P. The entire portfolio of M lenses is also available throughout the workshop, including the latest Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH, an amazingly compact super wide angle lens.

“Thank you for the amazing dedication that you brought to this wonderful week and to each and every one of the students. It was so nice to be so well “taken care of” photographically by someone who really wanted us to do well and who did all of the gymnastics required to make sure that we got as much as possible from the course.”
~ Diane Arjoon

More Information & Sponsors


Day 1: Thursday—

Meet and greet in Bar Harbor.

Discussion of important aspects of conservation photography and of photographing people in nature. Presentation by MCHT Communications Director Rich Knox about the art of creating imagery for environmental organizations. Guidance & art direction from Rich about our upcoming shoots. Review camera fundamentals, and equipment choices with Bridget and Leica’s Tom Smith. Discuss our individual workshop goals and the photo essays we’ll create in the coming days.

Day 2: Friday—

8AM ferry (50 minute crossing) from Bass Harbor to Frenchboro Island off the coast of Mount Desert Island to photograph the protection of people and place. Join Bridget in a group scout and shoot of the island or head off on your own with an assignment in mind.

4PM Convene for a freshly prepared lobster feast before returning to the mainland on the 6PM ferry.

Evening: Optional sunset shoot, editing or group dinner in Bar Harbor.

Day 3: Saturday—

All day: Individuals can choose from an array of MCHT protected preserves to capture this coastal landscape and the people working and playing in it. Capture landscapes, fisherman, people recreating on preserves, and flora and fauna of the windswept, craggy Maine coast.

Home base: All day edit and critique sessions with Bridget and Leica staff from our editing suite in Bar Harbor.

Day 4: Sunday—

Morning: Lecture on editing and workflow, including how to set up your DAM (digital asset management) system, image archiving and backup options, image editing in Adobe Lightroom, and refined techniques for digital black & white.

After lunch: slideshow presentations of our photo essays from the workshop.

Pricing Details

The workshop fee of $599 includes all learning materials, access to a complete collection of Leica rangefinders and lenses. Included in the workshop fee are expenses involved in our group excursions as well as the lobster bake dinner. Lodging and other meals are not included.

Collaboration with Leica

leica Leica represents a union of craftsmanship, technology and experience. It is at once an extension of art, knowledge and philosophy, providing a state-of-the-art optical experience in a precision, hand-made photographic instrument. Leica Camera has a simple mission: to provide users with an incomparable experience, an instrument that defines an unsurpassed heritage and sets a standard of excellence for the industry to meet.

“We are very excited to partner with Bridget Besaw for this incomparable travel experience,” said Christian Erhardt, Vice President of Marketing at Leica Camera, Inc. “A Leica in hand, participants interpret and capture fleeting moments to document the planet’s natural resources and the people who work, play and steward Patagonia’s impressive landscape.”

Sponsored by Think Tank Photo

Like Seed Light Workshops, Think Tank Photo believes that storytelling through photography remains one of the most powerful tools for social change. A picture is worth not only a thousand words, it can be worth a thousand minds changed, a thousand votes, a thousand behaviors transformed. To protect the environment we must first educate the species that has the greatest impact on it.