This Lake Superior photography workshop combines classroom time with field-work and a final review. There’s plenty of time for one-on-one instruction with the small group size.
Day 1: Sunrise to sunset (optional: sunrise)
The photography workshop officially begins at noon with a slideshow and lecture about camera control, composition and the recommended filters. For participants arriving Thursday night, an optional sunrise session on Lake Superior is available and highly recommended. After the slideshow, we’ll head out to photograph sunset while practicing using polarizers and neutral density filters.
Day 2: Sunrise to sunset
We will spend the day in the field visiting locations that have the best fall color. If the maples are at peak, we will spend time in the Lutsen and Tofte area. If the aspen are peak we will spend time up the Gunflint Trail or near Lake Superior. Expect to be in the field from sunrise to sunset with a break for breakfast. We will eat lunch in the field either at a cafe or you can pack your own lunch.
Day 3: Sunrise to 1pm with an afternoon feedback session
We start on Lake Superior for the sunrise and after breakfast, we meet up for an image review in the classroom. You’ll share your five images with the classroom and receive honest and support feedback and tips on how to process the images.
Level of Physical Difficulty
This workshop may involve hikes up to 2 or 3 miles depending on the fall color. Trails will generally be easy to moderate but may have short difficult sections. You should be moderately fit to participate in this workshop. Sunrise or sunset may involve walking to or out of the location in the dark. If you have any questions about your ability to keep up with the group, please, call me at 218-370-8351 to discuss.
When is Peak Fall Color on the North Shore?
Fall color on the north shore happens in two stages. The maples peak red, orange and yellow first. Then about a week later, the birch and aspen along Lake Superior peak to yellow. The aspen and birch on the Gunflint Trail usually peak sometime between the two. The maple peak is generally what attracts the most people to the area, because when at peak it’s literally breathtaking. But, the aspen peak lasts longer and is more dependable.
Since 2003, the earliest that I’ve seen Oberg Mountain peak is September 18th (in 2004), and the latest I’ve seen peak on Oberg Mountain is October 1st (in 2015). Generally, Oberg peaks around the 26th to 28th. Oberg is the indicator for the area. If it’s going, the maples will be peak throughout the area and the birch and aspen will be closing in on peak on the Gunflint and peak the following weekend. The birch and aspen along the lake will just be starting. I’ve run this workshop for nine years and we’ve found color on every year. The hardest year was 2015, because fall colors were running one to two weeks late across the entire state. On the majority, we’ve had peak color. Typically, the last weekend in September is peak maple and the first weekend in October is peak aspen and birch.
Required Photography Equipment
Camera: A camera that has interchangeable lenses or a bridge camera that allows you to manually set your shutter speed and aperture is highly recommended. A variety of lenses ranging from 18mm to 200mm.
Filters: I highly recommend filters. After you sign up you will receive a full equipment list detailing the recommended filters. When you sign up for a workshop, you also qualify for a discount on filters from Singh-Ray.
Other Suggested Equipment: Bring a tripod, your camera’s manual, a USB thumb drive, waterproof camera bag and a laptop computer (for sharing images).