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Connecticut photography workshops and classes/Learn advanced photography techniques/Greater New Milford area

 

 

Study Nature, Love Nature, Stay close to NatureIt Will Never Fail You.

 

West Cornwall Connecticut Covered bridge and reflections

The West Cornwall Covered bridge reflects beautifully in the calm waters of the Housatonic river

 

Guided Connecticut D-SLR & Mirrorless Landscape Photography Workshops

Litchfield Hills and Southern Berkshires Nature Photography Classes

 

Half Day Tours (Weekends) Spring and Summer workshops

Twice each day we experience amazing light that draws the intimate details and colors out of New England's forest and nature scenes. Tom Schoeller's guided workshops are designed to avoid harsh mid-day light and use more appropriate "early and late-day lighting". This allows the photographer to capture vibrant lush vegetation, ethereal waterfalls and streams and intimate details.

Tom has photographed the region for nearly 30 years and knows the places he has chosen for his workshop excursions intimately. Combining his knowledge of the locations and his Fine Art landscape photography experience, Tom is fully qualified to lead you individually or in small groups to these beautiful southern New England destinations! 

The guided workshops are seasonal, beginning by late April, extending through September and are usually scheduled during weekends. The exception to the weekend schedule is the April/May Laurel Ridge Daffodil display which is a sunset event and we do them several times per week! 

Each Saturday or Sunday excursion is a private customized experience, tailored to enhance your specific needs and is limited to small groups of 4 people. If we are lucky to experience overcast mid-day light, it's possible to extend our sessions even longer. Tom also offers flexibility to break for lunch and resume a late day excursion the same day.

Meet up's usually occur @1.5 hours before sunrise, or sunset allowing for travel time to the destinations and to take advantage of the muted lighting. We then photograph for approximately 3 hours or until the light becomes too harsh for quality photos for the morning workshops or until dusk for the evening workshops.

 

PRICING

- $150.00 per photographer.

- If you book a small group of 2-3 photographer friends, I'll discount the pricing to $125.00 per photographer. 

- Non-photography guest are allowed. Price is $50.00 per guest.

What is a non-photographer? Any participant that will be tagging along with a "photographer" who have signed up for our photo excursions, but will NOT be photographing with a D-SLR or Mirrorless Camera. Non-photography guest are more than welcome to take snapshots with their iPhones or point and shoot cameras during the guided tours. (Spouses, parents or guardians are the most common guest) 

RESERVATIONS

It's suggested to reserve and pre-pay for your excursions in advance. It is possible to make a reservation with only 24 hours notice by chance.

BOOK IT NOW

Note: Book It Now is a scheduling request and may not represent Tom's availability on any given date. We respond to ALL booking request as soon as possible. When filling out the contact form, Please provide the date(s) you wish to book, will you be alone or bringing a non-photographer guest, and we need your full name AND telephone number to be reached at.  

Refunds: Are not offered, especially since it's very likely we have turned other clients away to book their workshops. If Tom Schoeller "tour guide" must cancel (very rare event) we will refund. We generally do not cancel/reschedule unless the weather is not conducive for quality photography. In fact, as stated above, the worst weather to make photographs in this part of New England is during bright sunny days.  Unique weather, especially fog, mist or a light rain makes for great photo opportunities. A steady downpour of rain or gusty wind is something we will definitely reschedule your class for.

Winter and Autumn seasonal workshops are currently not available as a standard part of our half-day guided workshops. There are several reasons for this, let's begin with winter. Certainly winter is a magical season in New England, however, the best conditions in which to photograph are fickle and something you just can't plan for. My best winter snow scenes have all been made immediately after a sticky wet snow or during a snowfall. Being in the right place before the pretty snow clinging to trees and fences melts or gets blown off is pure luck and a difficult task just to accomplish for my own needs.

The autumn foliage season is when I plan personal travel excursions throughout North America so I'm able to add beautiful artworks to my online galleries. As written in the artist statement, creating beautiful artwork and connecting with the viewer is my primary goal.   

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Front view of the full pro-Nikon D810.

 

"No matter your level of experience, I'll help you capture Professional level images from Connecticut's Litchfield Hills and the southern Berkshires of Massachusetts"

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Let a local Pro Landscape Photographer Guide you to the Regions best Places

My landscape D-SLR & Mirrorless camera weekend photography workshops are the original and best-guided photography excursions in the region. Guiding eager photography enthusiast, ranging from amateurs to advanced into the scenic Litchfield Hills of Connecticut and Massachusett's forested southern Berkshire's. My photography workshops only require participants to have basic knowledge such as making manual exposure setting changes, change a lens  (if needed) and to bring a tripod for making long exposures.

If you are an advanced photographer planning to visit the region but not familiar with southern New England, this is an excellent opportunity to allow me to take you directly to some stunning natural settings during your visit. A few of the locations are not well marked, pull-offs are not obvious and some roads require AWD. No worries, I'll get you there!

There are a few suggested regional scenics for you to browse below. I've been blessed, as several images within my portfolio have become iconic scenes over the last 10 years and have been widely published in calendars, magazines, and various news media articles. I know each of these locations intimately and can get you to the "iconic spot" at the best time for the best results. 

 

Laurel Ridge Foundation Litchfield CT Daffodil Festival

Litchfield's Laurel Ridge Foundation "Daffodil Blooms" festival. It's spread out over 18 acres, I'll  take you to the exact location where I made those images. This is most beautiful at sunset.

 

 

Connecticut's hidden Falls Brook cascades through verdant moss

The verdant Falls Brook straddles the CT/Massachusetts border in a heavily forested area. This well hidden and remote stream is off the beaten path for sure. I have a surprise waterfall awaiting you here as well!

 

Race Brook Falls in the southern Berkshires of Massachusetts by photographer Tom Schoeller

The compositions are bountiful at Race Brook waterfalls in western Massachusetts. This is a steep hike in places so be prepared!

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Learn to SEE, Visual Design, Effective compositions, Be Expressive, Define With Light 

 

 

 

Top view of a Nikon D750 body. A multi-purpose Control dial is top left, Control panel right, Metering control button and Exposure Compensation (+/-) are manual adjustments you should be familiar with for these tours

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Spring Kick-Off is in late April at Laurel Ridge

The Laurel Ridge daffodil festival is unique because the brilliant daffodil blooms only last for a few weeks. The grand show begins each year by late April and it may hang around through early or mid-May. Similar to New England's fall foliage, weather conditions play a significant role. I begin posting for these workshops on my FaceBook and Instagram pages in March. Since it's convenient for me to check the conditions here, I determine the workshop schedule when appropriate. I strongly encourage you to sign up for my Newsletters or check back here DAILY after March 20th if this photo excursion interest you! I know this place intimately, the late day lighting, the character, and topography. I'll take you to the best spots for the best photo opportunities.

These guided  Litchfield Hills "Laurel Ridge - Daffodil festival" workshops are strictly limited to 4 participants. Guest may not follow the group closely, however, are free to enjoy the 18 acres and explore as you participate in the workshop. I am respectful of the Ridge foundation's owners and grateful for allowing public access here so I keep this low key. The goal is to be respectful of other visitors, avoid the appearance of a "herd" of people while providing my workshop clients with the best possible photo opportunities.

For less experienced photographers, I'll be helping you to create strong compositions by finding interesting foreground elements to make beautiful "keeper" photographs. I'll bring a DOF chart to show you how to get tack sharp images front to back. I'll also explain the exposure triangle (ISO - Shutter speed - Aperture) and how this relates to you making the best possible images.

Meetups for Laurel Ridge are at 5 pm on location off Wigwam Road. This allows me the opportunity to get to know your current skill level. The workshops run just past sunset which is a full 3 hours. I highly recommend booking your workshop in advance. If this workshop interest you, please CONTACT me anytime. 

 

Ridge Pond at sunset from the Laurel Ridge Foundation - Litchfield CT

Sunsets and reflections like this are common around 8:05 pm during the Daffodil Festival at Laurel Ridge ~ Litchfield CT.

 

Late Spring and Summer Guided Landscape Nature Workshops

Once the Daffodil's are past peak, I begin the traditional morning and afternoon weekend guided trips to many of the wonderful waterfalls, forest, and streams in western Connecticut and the Berkshires. Enders Falls near Granby, Falls Brook natural area in Hartland, Campbell Falls in Norfolk and up into the southern Berkshires to Bash Bish Falls and Race Brook. These are all wonderful and highly scenic locations to photograph. I'll be instructing how to capture the ethereal movement of water, maintaining good focus front to back and finding beautiful foreground elements.

Sturdy hiking shoes are encouraged for all workshops and feel free to bring bottled water and a snack. I always carry bear spray into Race Brook and Falls Brook natural areas just in case we encounter a bruin that gets nosey. Black bears are common in Connecticut's northwest corner, however, most are shy and cautious of people.

Enders Falls photographed during fall foliage season. Granby CT

Enders falls is amazing being that it has 4 unique series of waterfalls all within a mile's hike. There are (2) minor stream crossings to gain access to wonderful views of this portion of cascades.

 

Suggested Special Interest Workshop Destinations

  • Laurel Ridge Daffodil Festival  This is the annual spring kickoff for my workshops and it's located in Litchfield Ct. We explore 18 acres of Daffodils on gently rolling hillsides that surround a picture perfect lake in this most pristine Connecticut location. Typically this happens late April into early May each spring.
  • Enders Falls  A stunning series of unique waterfalls, 4 in all, located near Granby Connecticut.
  • Race Brook Falls  Located in the Berkshires, this is a great year-round destination. There are two attractive cascades to photograph here, accessible by separate trails.The lower falls is a 1.25 mile in & out hike. The upper falls trail is steeper and approximately 0.5 miles longer each way. If we get soft muted lighting, we'll have time to shoot both falls!
  • Falls Brook Natural area  This verdant oasis may be the most amazing Emerald green luminous moss and series of cascades in all of New England. About a 2-mile round trip hike with plenty of subjects.
  • Campbell Falls  This spectacular waterfall is made of 2 significant cascades that straddle the border of Connecticut and the Berkshires of southern Massachusetts. Composing pretty landscapes here can be tricky, I'll get you into the right position for the best results.
  • Bash Bish Falls  Photographic all year. The main attraction is a pair of cascades split by a giant hanging boulder. Steep granite cliffs surround a pool of turquoise water beneath the falls. This is a well-maintained hiking trail just a mile long. Numerous compositions exist here.
  • The Bull Run Covered Bridge  Located in South Kent Ct and bordering the state of NY. During the warmer months, I prefer an early start here to avoid harsh lighting if it's calling for sunny skies.  
  • West Cornwall Covered Bridge  Further north from the Bull Run bridge along scenic Route 7 is this brilliant red covered bridge. At the top of the page is a photograph I made from one of my personal favorite locations. 
  • Lake Waramaug Sunset from the Dock  If it looks like we will experience a colorful sunset with some clouds I have a wonderful location in mind!

KENT FALLS STATE PARK   No summer workshops.  This is a very overrated location.  During the summer months, this state park has become so popular with the general public and it draws immense crowds. Beginning Memorial day weekend the state opens the collection booth and you have to pay for the privilege of standing shoulder to shoulder with dozens of visitors who eventually will find their way between your lens and the waterfalls often. (long sigh)  Needless to say, I would feel awful promising you a great photography experience only to encounter crowds of photobombers. The state has found it necessary to protect people from themselves and erosion, installing fencing and concrete stairs the length of the "trail" which severely limits creative compositions and diminishes the wonderful natural experience of photographing the outdoors.   

I prefer to guide excursions, as promised, to well-hidden and unpopulated gems where we may be lucky to see a handful of hikers along the way or possibly a wandering Black Bear or Fox.  

Camera Clubs Welcome

This may be a good opportunity particularly if you are not LOCAL to my region and would love to travel up my way to explore the places I have described above. This would allow you to take advantage of my intimate knowledge of the region without having to research where the unmarked pull-offs are, or where on earth are those luminous moss-covered boulders and cascading brook he photographed?  I will discount a group of 2-3 photographers for any of my excursions for $125.00 per person.

 

Basic exposure chart showing the relationships between ISO - Shutter speed and Aperture

 

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A Quick Recap - Essentials to Be Prepared

  • a D-SLR camera body OR Mirrorless camera and lens
  • a Tripod
  • The ability to manually change your camera's exposure settings
  • comfortable hiking shoes
  • screw on circular polarizer filter that fits your lens
  • bottled water and a snack for some nature hikes
  • 2 or 3 stop circular Neutral density filter for waterfall photography
  • Don't forget charged batteries and storage media!! CF or SD cards
  • Cleaning kit/Soft lens cloth and appropriate cleaning solution (just in case)
  • Bear spray is optional for nature hikes. I always carry my own.

 

Are you ready to reserve your Photography Workshop and make some great photos?

Then let's BOOK IT NOW!

 

Want to stay informed? Follow me on Facebook. Feel free to LIKE and Follow, jump in and join a conversation or ask questions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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