A Sampling of What Participants Have To Say
In October 2015, I spent five days in one of the most beautiful places in the United States – Acadia National Park in Maine. This workshop was led by Nikonian and internationally known photographer Les Picker. Fall in New England is great, but fall at the time of peak color in Acadia is the best! It covers streams to oceans, woodlands and wetlands, mountains, forests and coastlines. And Les knows this place like the back of his hand, having lived and worked in Maine for a good part of his life.
Equally important to me was Les’s organization of the trip and his dedication to teaching photography to his students. Les left no time unused. Most of the work, of course, was in the field, but he also gave us thoughtful video presentations of his work covering topics like Composition and Travel Photography. Moreover, Les was always available to help his students. He is not one of those photographers who spends all his time taking his own pictures during the workshop trying to make money while his students suffer. He knows that his number one job is to help and teach students. Only occasionally on our workshop did he shoot, and then, for the most part, it was Les showing the group how a professional does his work. This allowed us to look at his technique and even into his camera to see what he sees as he goes about his job. In summary, this workshop setting was beautiful and Les made the most of it. For me, It was an inspiring time. David Johnson
I recently spent four busy days in Acadia National Park on a photo seminar with Les Picker. Les is a highly accomplished professional photographer and a wonderful teacher. He is also a true expert when it comes to knowing where and when to take photos in Acadia and on Mount Desert Island. Les has been photographing Acadia for more than 30 years, and he knows all the back trails and hidden treasures there.
Les offered many practical tips and techniques for improving his students’ photography, and he dedicated himself to helping his students. I have other attended workshops with various pro photographers, and some of those pros seem to dedicate most of their time taking photos for themselves. In Acadia I did not see Les take a single photo; instead he was constantly working with his students to help them improve their skills and capture their own incredible images.
To sum it up, Les’ Acadia workshop was a wonderful experience. Acadia is incredibly beautiful, and I have some wonderful memories and images that I will treasure. John Sternbergh, North Carolina
Coming from Colorado and not knowing Les Picker, I had no idea what to expect. That notion was quickly dispelled as Les exhibited true concern for his students. Pre workshop and during the time together, he was what might be described as a “helicopter” instructor!!!! He was there at all times and answered questions in advance of the workshop as well as during. His knowledge of Acadia proved to be invaluable as the schedule was constantly changing due to weather. My expression is we had to be “rigidly flexible”. As a result our group quickly bonded together and shared experiences. I would not hesitate to take another workshop from Les and especially Acadia. Now to process all the photos I took and assess how many winners I have. Congrats to Les for a successful workshop!Basil Katsaros, Colorado
Due to a hurricane well offshore, we had three days of overcast skies and wind. Les was still able to find great locations for us to photograph. If one location didn’t work out, he knew another. It was a small group and we quickly all became friends.
As a result of this workshop I never look at things the same. I am ALWAYS looking for the composition and the best way to take the photograph. Jim Leary, Walpole, Massachusetts
I attended the workshop in Acadia National Park with Lester Picker in October 2014. I have attended many photography workshops, and this was one of the best. Les is quite knowledgeable, both of all matters concerning photography and of Acadia NP. He is friendly and approachable, and provided much assistance and many useful ideas in the field. The workshop was well organized and run. I highly recommend both Les and the Acadia workshop. Peter Curato
Eight other folks and I spent the better part of four photography-packed days exploring Mt. Desert Island under Les Picker’s guidance. His depth of knowledge of the landscape, history and biology of the island informed our photography and took us to places that most other workshops just don’t see. Les provided itineraries that were well-balanced between iconic locations (Cadillac Mountain, Bass Harbor Lighthouse) and out-of-the-way gems. When the weather turned against us Saturday morning, he led a stimulating, free-wheeling discussion in which all of the participants shared freely some of their favorite tools and photographic tricks. That afternoon we capitalized on the rain with a hike to Hemlock Falls (in full flow!) on Parkman Mountain. Each evening we capped the day’s work with a review of the day’s events and Les’ insightful critiques of a few of our images.
Les proved to be a great workshop instructor. He was attentive to the varied skill levels and needs that all of us brought to the event and was readily available in the field to provide technical assistance and one-on-one teaching. As someone who probably has better technique than vision, I really appreciated his gentle challenges to try new things.
To sum up, this was a great experience! Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park in the fall are unbelievably beautiful, and Les Picker allowed us to take maximum advantage of our time there. I know that he is planning to offer this workshop again next year, and I can recommend it without reservation. Dave Soderlund, New York
Thank you very much for a wonderful time in Acadia NP. Lynne and I enjoyed the opportunity to see the park from the perspective of someone who knows it well PLUS the photography input and experience. We also enjoyed the group as well - good conversations, good sharing of experiences, photo and otherwise. Ed and Lynn DiThomas
Les, it was a privilege and a pleasure to be with you and your wife for the Acadia Park photo shoot. I recognized that I was probably among the least experienced members of the group but honestly it did not bother me at all. I give you credit for making me feel being a part of the group and not someone who would be a “drag” on the group’s activity. You answered my questions, relatively simple that they may have been, with clarity and with no hint of condescendence. The group, as well, was most welcoming in every sense of word. I was particularly pleased when you looked at a photo that I took at Stanley Brook and complimented me on taking a good shot without the assistance of a tripod. You noted that I must have a “steady hand.” Harry Jaroslaw, New York City
I recently returned from a workshop led by Les Picker at Acadia National Park. In a word it was outstanding. Les is an excellent teacher, photographer and leader. He was extremely knowledgeable about the Park and scouted out several beautiful photo venues in advance. He offered solid and comprehensive shooting tips geared to our individual needs and provided insightful feed back after each shoot. Perhaps most important he provided additional opportunity to review and improve our images after we returned home from the workshop. He was genuinely interested in our progress and it didn’t end with the workshop.I recommend the workshop without reservation and look forward to attending another one with him. Lewis Rothman,M.D., New York City
This workshop was a special experience at multiple levels: image creation, learning, and in the case of this particular workshop enjoying the camaraderie of a diverse group of people that quickly bonded sharing their passion for photography and enjoying each others company. Les Picker was the key to creating this experience. Les’ in depth knowledge of Acadia enabled him to guide the group to a diverse set of sites on a off the beaten path, sunrise to sunset. His gracious style in sharing his artistic and technical expertise set the tone for the group dynamics. Post shoot discussions were nicely balanced between a focus on developing an eye for the creative image and technical/practical tips and techniques. Les’ knowledge of the history and flora of Acadia enriched the experience. Thomas E. Wilson, New Hampshire
The Acadia photo workshop with Les Picker was absolutely an amazing experience. The five days spent in the Acadia National Park were very well planned but flexible because of changing coastal weather. Les was always available for individual help to give technical or compositional suggestions. I would recommend this workshop without hesitation. Les and his wife, Leslie, are a wonderful couple and outstanding hosts! Richard Patrick, Ohio