Between the pages, under the stars: Maine photography workshops with Colleen Henderson

From the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, to wildlife refuges in Maryland and Delaware, Colleen Henderson has been running photography workshops for 12 years, helping newcomers and seasoned photographers alike better understand the ins and outs of digital printing, portfolio development, and software such as Photoshop and Lightroom.

This year, she’ll focus on a new destination: Acadia National Park in Maine, an ideal place for a photographer to practice, learn, and grow.

“Acadia—actually all of Maine—is one of my favorite places,” Henderson says. “I’ve been traveling there regularly since the early 1990s, when I got serious about my photography. The small towns, proximity to the coast, and the weather all appeal to me.”

Henderson’s workshop (click here for a PDF) will run from Sunday, September 29 through Thursday, October 3, 2013—more than four days of shooting and instruction in and around Acadia with a photographer who understands that whether you’re using a standard camera or an iPhone—one of her favorite on-the-go methods of photography—diversity of subject matter is crucial.

“One of the important things for a successful photo workshop is to have a little bit of everything,” Henderson explains. “You want to appeal to many interests, and you don’t want boredom to set in from shooting the same things each day. You also need good, easy access to varied locations.

“Acadia works on all those levels: It offers lots of rugged shoreline, wooded trails, deep water ponds, lighthouses, quaint towns, gardens, and small fishing villages—with boats, piers, buoys, and fishermen. It also offers an opportunity for night sky shooting, because it’s so far from the light-polluting effects of large cities.”

Interestingly, when Henderson isn’t shooting under the stars, she’s creating small, handmade books. She began studying this fine art around 15 years ago and is now a co-instructor in bookbinding at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she crafts truly gorgeous showcases for her images.

“I’d always had a desire to marry my photography with my interest in book arts,” she says, pointing to the small books included in her current Multiple Exposures Gallery exhibition. Created in limited editions of just five copies, Henderson’s books frame her photography with fine, sensuous materials, including Italian silk, smooth gray suede, and handmade Bhutanese paper, all of it bound together with a special Coptic stitch that allows the book to lay flat when open—and to convey a rare and special connection between image and viewer.

“Generally when looking at photographs, one is looking at images hung on a wall, behind glass, so there is some distance created just by the way the work is displayed,” Henderson says. “In the case of artist books, you are holding the photos in your hand, and you are deciding the pace at which to browse through the images.”

The result, Henderson finds, is “a much more personal, intimate, and tactile experience”—not unlike a photography workshop on the misty coast of Maine.

“We welcome all levels of experience, from beginners to more seasoned photographers,” she says, eager to share her knowledge and experience. “Acadia has something for everyone.”

To learn more about Colleen Henderson’s photography workshop at Acadia National Park in Maine from September 29 through October 3, 2013,  click on this PDF on her website. See more of Henderson’s work through October 13, 2013, in a special two-person exhibition at the Multiple Exposures Gallery in studio 312, and check out more workshop opportunities on her website at

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