Every year, during my Acadia Maine Fall Foliage Workshop my assistant Charles Adams and I explore making photographs  with our iPhones.

Charles talks about his experience.

“Making images with an iPhone can be a terrific creative exercise. If you regularly shoot with a DSLR, the iPhone can simplify things and offer a new experience. I find this to be the case during every fall foliage workshop. I leave my Canon in the car along with all of the photographic requirements and responsibilities that I usually attach to it. It’s a freeing experience. Suddenly the pressure to make the best photographs of my life is no longer there. I’m free to play.

Being able to process your images seconds after shooting them is also key to the iPhone experience. The many apps available make it possible to shoot, edit, share, and get feedback before even getting back in the car. In my case, apps have a direct effect on which pictures I chose to make. If I know I’m going to apply water color and oil painting filters to my images, I try to shoot accordingly. I set out to find good compositions with strong “bones” or solid structures that can benefit from the addition of dramatic effects.

The resulting images are fun to create. Changing the tools you use to make your images can offer new insights into your own photography. I strongly recommend allowing yourself to play.”

Visit Charles’ website here.

Find out about my Acadia Maine Fall Foliage workshop here.

Mentor Exhibition Invite

Artists learn and hone their craft in many ways, but perhaps no relationship is more instructive and lasting than one built with a mentor. Sharing a lifetime of knowledge with another artist—from favorite techniques and tools of the craft to inspiring self-criticism and deeper motivation—mentors can propel an artist forward, illuminate new creative territory and serve as a guide through periods of self-doubt.

For 40 years, Maine Media has fostered relationships between emerging and established artists through its intense and immersive courses, building bonds between teachers and students that have lasted decades and spanned the globe. Maintaining their relationships long after the lessons have ended, many of our students have gone on to become masters in their own right, and now pass on their knowledge to a new generation of emerging artists.

As part of the yearlong celebration marking our 40th anniversary, we are thrilled to announce the upcoming exhibition,Mentor: 40 Photographers, 40 Years, in partnership with the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. The exhibition will feature the work of some of Maine Media’s best-known master teachers alongside the work of their students, who continue the connection with Maine Media through teaching and mentoring.

Curated by Bruce Brown and Brenton Hamilton, Mentor will be on display from July 27 to September 22, 2013 at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art here in Rockport. We hope you will join us at the opening reception on July 27, or at the alumni reception on August 10 to celebrate the spirit of creative collaboration that is at the heart of everything we do here at Maine Media.

Find out more about the Mentor Exhibit here.

Learn about my Annual Exhibit here.

People keep asking Seth Resnick and I why we keep returning to Antarctica.

We’ve made four trips and every trip was different. We visit new locations; there are over 40 locations cruises land at and with each visit we get to visit an average of 12. The ice conditions are always different; one month can make a big difference. Surprisingly, the thing that we’ve found makes the biggest difference is the weather, which affects the light dramatically. We saw riotous colors during four hour long sunsets on our 2005 Peninsula trip and “nights” where the sun only skims the horizon but never truly sets south of the Antarctic circle in 2009. Every time we go, we keep wondering how much more could there be to see and how different could the conditions be and every time we’re surprised that we discover so much more and that locations we know look so different. Each voyage has had an entirely unique character.

The two most sublime landscape experiences I’ve ever had were at Sossusvlei, Namibia and in Antarctica’s The Gullet. The Gullet was the remotest, purest, whitest experience I’ve ever had. It felt like being in a frozen heaven. Quietly cruising on mirror calm waters through the dramatic mountains of Crystal Bay to find the narrow channel through The Gullet (like seeing clouds cascade off high peaks to touch the water and be frozen in place) and through to Margueritte Bay lit up by endless hours of midnight color was one of the most beautiful 24 hours of my life. Many of us didn’t sleep that ‘night’ because we didn’t want to miss anything. We knew while we were there that few people on earth had ever had an experience similar to the one we were having.”

See more images from Antarctica’s The Gullet here.

There are still a few spaces available in our Antarctica 2013 workshop.

Email me at jpc@digitalphotodestinations if you’d like to join us.


My new free screensaver features images and facts on Antarctica.

Download it here.

Antarctica is stunningly beautiful! Explorer Roald Amundsen said, “The land looks like a fairytale.” The coldest, windiest, driest, highest, most isolated continent contains 90% of earth’s ice and 70% of its fresh water, regulating global climate and sea levels.

Learn more about Antarctica here.

Preview my book Antarctica here.

View my Antarctica alumni’s work here.

Find out about my 2013 Antarctica workshop in the Wedell Sea.

What is it about Monhegan Island that gets your creative juices flowing? Maybe it’s the how beautiful it is; ocean, cliffs, forests, gardens, island life. Maybe it’s the sense of getting away from it all; the island is 12 miles out to sea. Maybe it’s the creative community on the island; it’s had a long history as an artist’s colony. Whenever I’m on the island I give myself license to play – writing, drawing, photographing and dreaming.

Here’s a selection of my iPhone images made on recent excursions to Monhegan Island.

Find out more about my Monhegan Island photographic workshop here.

Read more

Lobster boats, rocky shores, cathedral woods, cape houses, blooming wildflowers, hiking trails and fairy huts.  Ocean sunrises and sunsets. It’s quintessential small town Maine life all on one tiny island 12 miles out to sea.


Join me for a 4 night 3 day all inclusive, semi private (limited to 6), boutique photographic workshop on this extraordinary island.

Maine photography doesn’t get better than this.

Register here for this inspiring workshop


Just days ago I offered a new really intimate workshop format for only 4 people – semi-private. For 3 intense days, we’ll move as one – staying in the same location, sharing all meals, traveling, photographing, and making images together. I’m centering the location at Point Lobos, California (and the nearby coastline down to Big Sur), an area made famous by so many photographers (including Ansel Adams and Edward Weston), which I’ve know very well since I was a child. Great local accommodations, photography galleries, photographers, food and wine will make the experience even richer. (The price is all inclusive.)

The first session sold out in 2 hours, so I scheduled a second, in which there are only 2 spaces left.

Find out more about this special digital photography workshop here.

Images are updated for my posts on my recent 2011 Antarctica Voyage.

You can see all new images and read the stories behind them.

Visit my Antarctica blog today.

Find out about my 2013 Antarctica digital photography workshop here.

I often like to use props to make photographs. One of my favorite props to use is images. Photographing other images, in many cases, photographing other photographs, adds layers of complexity and offers many poetic opportunities. Images ask you to look and to look in certain ways. Two images ask you to look and look again and to look in multiple ways. I find this extremely stimulating. Making images with other images in them can be a fantastic creative wellspring.

Here’s a selection of images with postcards in them that I made during my 2011 Iceland workshop.

Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.

Read more

In my Death Valley digital photography workshop, Fani Cortes shot with a DSLR modified to make infrared images. She’d go to specific locations and make specific images that would highlight the strengths of this effect. On occasion, she made full-spectrum images that looked identical to her infrared images. The tool gave her a new way of seeing and her images a new look.

How would your photography benefit from exploring non-standard tools?
Which tools would benefit you most?

Read more in my creativity lessons.
Find out more about my Death Valley digital photography workshop.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.


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