Welcome to our Workshops! Mountaineer Photo Excursions is about teaching and learning in interesting and exciting locations. We have a full schedule of events already in place for 2017. Whether you like the beach, the mountains, wildlife, waterfalls, or just visiting somewhere different, we have a workshop that will fit your interest. We don't just take you to beautiful places...we teach you to have a better understanding of how to use your cameras, as well as new photo techniques, to preserve and share your adventures!
Please review our descriptions, and also visit our photo galleries. You will see more from these locations, along with past workshops, and some previews from our scouting trips! We currently have locations planned into 2021!
We are also doing photography classes! Check out our new "Classes" area on the website.
Our Next Workshop...
Cacapon Photo Workshop in September 2017
Cacapon (pronounced ka-KAY-pon) Resort State Park will serve as the centerpiece of an early autumn photo workshop on September 15-17, 2017. This 6,000 acre State Park features a lodge, cabins, a lake, all in the shadows of Cacapon Mountain, the highest peak in the eastern portion of West Virginia at 2,300 feet. The mountain divides the landscape, with the Park on the eastern slope and the Cacapon River winding along the base of the western slope. The Cacapon Mountain Overlook, within the Park, provides an impressive view of the valley.
Cacapon is a derivative of a Shawnee Indian word meaning “medicine waters,” a reference to the area’s mineral waters that have been renowned through history for their healing powers. These waters come to the surface about 10 miles from Cacapon at nearby Berkeley Springs State Park, where we will also visit during this workshop.
George Washington first visited the springs at age 16, as a member of a survey party in 1748. Washington visited the springs regularly, and as a result of his efforts, its fame as a health spa grew throughout the colonies. The General Assembly of Virginia formed the town of Bath on this location in 1776. James Rumsey, who later invented the first successful steamboat, was then contracted to construct five bathhouses and several other public buildings. This officially established the springs as a resort facility.
We’ll stroll along the historic streets of Berkeley Springs, noting the markers showing who the original town lot owners were in 1776. Sights include local shops and restaurants, antique malls, the town library which is part historic home and part new construction. The main square includes not only the Park and shops of Fairfax Street, but also the County Courthouse built at the turn of the 20th century.
We’ll spend the weekend observing these beautiful and unique settings, while Ron Gaskins and Amanda Haddox guide you through lessons on composition, exposure, camera handling and ways to improve your photo techniques. We have arranged for special discounted rates at the Cacapon Resort. In addition to historic Berkeley Springs and the two State Parks, we will also join the Morgan County Observatory Foundation for their September "Star Party!" We'll see their observatory and telescope, and have an opportunity to photograph both, along with some real Heaven above "Almost Heaven." We'll wrap up our weekend with a strange brew of Farnham's "Fantasy Farm," with attractions bigger than life!
WHEN: Friday – Sunday, September 15 – 17, 2017.
WHERE: Cacapon Resort State Park, eastern panhandle of West Virginia, in Berkeley Springs, WV.
From Charleston, WV: 4 hours, 21 minutes; 281 miles
From Washington, DC: 2 hours; 107 miles
From Pittsburgh, PA: 2 hours, 46 minutes; 164 miles
From Annapolis, MD: 2 hours, 30 minutes; 140 miles
From Roanoke, VA: 3 hours, 17 minutes; 206 miles
LODGING: Clients will have the option of two styles of rooms within the beautiful Cacapon Resort Lodge. Special rates apply (less than $100/night) for registered workshop clients. We suggest a stay of two nights, Friday and Saturday nights.
WHO: We will be welcoming 12 clients to this workshop.
FEE: Regular fee is $215.00, and includes instruction only. We are offering an “Early Bird” discount, only $193.00 if paid by 11:00 pm on August 4, 2017.
Registration fee does not include meals, lodging or travel, unless otherwise specifically noted. Registration must be paid no later than September 1, 2017, at 11:00 pm. Non-registered individuals may not participate in our field trips, due to insurance and liability issues. All registered clients will be required to complete a personal liability release. Cancellations requested within 30 days of the beginning of this event will be refunded 50%, unless the spot is subsequently filled.
CONTACT: MountaineerPhotoExcursions@gmail.com or 304-532-0070, with questions or to request your registration invoice.
Through The Lens Of Learning
A "Road Scholar" Workshop
Mountaineer Photo Excursions is pleased to be working with the Road Scholar program to teach this photography workshop. Our Instructor, Ron Gaskins, will be leading this workshop at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, WV.
The goal of this workshop is to acquaint photography enthusiasts with an improved understanding of their camera’s controls, how to select appropriate lenses, and to improve their photography through the use of better techniques of camera control, composition, exposure, photography accessories, basic post-processing and more.
This class is appropriate for beginners to intermediate, but experienced photographers may also enjoy a review of skills, as well as learning new ones. Photography themes will include nature, travel, history and wildlife, with an emphasis on capturing the best possible image in the camera, without dependence on post-processing.
Topics will include various types of digital cameras, lens selection, basic composition, exposure & metering modes, understanding the histogram, selective auto-focus & manual focus, depth of field, RAW vs. JPEG, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Infrared (IR), Close-up/Macro, Black & White Photography, Flash: Indoors & Outdoors, Flavors of Light, Use of Filters, basic post-processing, digital file organization and backup.
Hands-on/Practical photography exercises will be included, in addition to classroom discussion. The grounds of Cedar Lakes include two lakes, Cedar Lake and Mirror Lake, which is circled by the various buildings of the center. Other locations of interest include the Staats Mill Covered Bridge and the Starcher House log cabin. The Bridge was built in 1887, and was relocated to Cedar Lakes, due to construction of a flood control dam. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. The cabin is complete with home furnishings reflective of life on the frontier of western Virginia in the early 1800s. A replica of a one room schoolhouse is adjacent to the cabin.
WHERE: Cedar Lakes Conference Center; 82 FFA Drive, Ripley, WV
WHEN: Two Sessions: September 24 - 29, 2017; October 8 - 13, 2017
WHO: Open to public, limited seats.
FEE: Full fee is $699.00; includes photo workshop, lodging, and meals; six days, five nights, 15 meals.
CONTACT: Road Scholar is accepting registration for both sessions. You may contact them via their website at www.roadscholar.org; by phone at 800-454-5768; by email at Contact@RoadScholar.org. Please reference program #22904RJ.
Jenny Wiley Fall Photo Workshop
Yes, Ron and Amanda are pleased to be returning for our seventh workshop at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg, KY, on October 27 - 29, 2017. Of course, we will have our Elk Tour, to photograph the Rocky Mountain Elk in eastern Kentucky, and we’ll cruise Dewey Lake in search of eagles, hawks, herons and more. In addition, we are planning a trip to Loretta Lynn’s home, “…in a cabin, on a hill in Butcher Holler.” We will also be planning additional activities for the weekend!
If you’ve never joined us at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, you should try this year! The Park is a beautiful site within eastern Kentucky, and one of what Kentucky has called “the best” park service in the nation! With a 49-room lodge surrounded by towering pines and peaceful mountains, you’ll have a comfortable night’s rest to be prepared for our full days of photography learning. Amanda and Ron will share their knowledge and experience in photography, and demonstrate methods to improve your skills.
Park Naturalist Trinity Shepherd is proud of his 100% success rate in finding elk on all the “Elk Tour” trips he has made with Park visitors over several years. We’ll be heading out with Trinity during our workshop weekend, and will depend on his expertise once again.
Make plans to return to Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, or plan to join us for the first time. Whether we’re viewing Rocky Mountain Elk, Loretta’s cabin, or an eagle flying over Dewey Lake, you’ll be surrounded by beauty, and you’ll be learning how to better capture this beauty with your camera! Join us in October, and start a new tradition.
WHEN: Friday – Sunday; October 27 – 29, 2017. (Workshop begins at 6:00 pm Friday; a full day of activities on Saturday; event will conclude by 2:00 pm on Sunday). Registration will close on Friday, October 20, 2017. Please register as soon as possible, as we have filled the Lodge in the last two years.
WHERE: Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is located in Prestonsburg, KY.
From Lexington, KY – 2 hours, 9 minutes; 123 miles.
From Charleston, WV – 2 hours, 9 minutes; 126 miles.
From Cincinnati, OH – 3 hours, 17 minutes; 199 miles.
From Knoxville, TN – 3 hours, 35 minutes; 201 miles.
From Asheville, NC – 3 hours, 38 minutes; 203 miles.
LODGING: Clients will enjoy lodging at one of the premier Kentucky State Resort Parks at the May Lodge. Lodging registrations will be accepted by Mountaineer Photo Excursions. Our special group lodging rate is $84.95. per night, recommending two nights (plus tax & fees). This is for a lodge room with two beds.
WHO: Ron and Amanda are welcoming new and returning “Workshoppers” to this event.
FEE: $89.95, same as last two years! All registration and lodging reservations will be handled by Mountaineer Photo Excursions.
CONTACT: MountaineerPhotoExcursions@gmail.com For questions, or to request your registration invoice.
BEGINNER BOOTCAMP - Introduction to Digital Photography Workshop
Have you purchased one of the new digital cameras? One that offers the promise of the photos you see on magazine covers, websites, and more. Their advertisements promise beautiful portraits, stunning sunsets, happy children, exciting vacations and so much more!
If you have one of these wonderful cameras, but have been a little overwhelmed by shutter speeds, f-stops, ISO, HDR and more, we can help you! If you’re using the little green AUTO setting, but are frustrated because your photos look “okay,” but aren’t very exciting, we can help you! If that new camera is gathering more dust than memories, we can help you!
Cedar Lakes Conference Center, in cooperation with Mountaineer Photo Excursions, is offering a weekend workshop, “Beginner Bootcamp - Introduction to Digital Photography.” Instructors Ron Gaskins and Amanda Haddox, from Mountaineer Photo Excursions, will explain how to set your camera; composition guidance; lighting; methods to “polish” your photos after you take them; ways of organizing and protecting these treasures, and generally how to improve your photography and your understanding of your digital camera.
Bring your camera, your owner’s manual, and some of your photos. If you have a laptop computer, bring that too! In addition to classroom time, and we will also spend time with your camera in hand. Contact Cedar Lakes for workshop registration and lodging arrangements.
WHEN: Friday – Sunday, November 17-19, 2017. Workshop will begin at 6:00 pm on Friday; full day and evening on Saturday; will conclude at 3:00 pm on Sunday.
WHERE: Cedar Lakes Conference Center, located at 82 FFA Drive in Ripley, WV.
CONTACT: For questions, contact MountaineerPhotoExcursions@gmail.com; To register, contact Marsha Humphrey or the front desk at Cedar Lakes at 304-372-7860, ext. 410 or 425.
FEE: Commuter registration is just $143.10 (including tax). Students may bring their lunch, purchase a daily meal ticket, or leave the Conference grounds. Special Package Pricing will be available for this weekend, which will include workshop registration, lodging and meals.
LODGING: Lodging is available onsite at Cedar Lakes Conference Center, if desired, at an additional charge.
Your Atlantic Dream in St. Augustine, Florida - Photo Workshop
You may come for the beaches, but you’ll stay for the history! St. Augustine has over 40 miles of shining, sandy beaches, but is known as the “Ancient City,” settled almost 450 years ago by the Spanish. This provides a unique setting where today meets yesterday, and Mountaineer Photo Excursions has planned a photography workshop to match your “Atlantic Dream!”
Whether we’re up early for a coastal sunrise, or watching the city lights as they begin to glow at twilight, instructors Ron Gaskins and Amanda Haddox will share their experience and ideas with you, so you can bring those images home. There’s plenty to see in between sunrise and sunset, along the shore and in the oldest city.
The city was settled by the Spanish, and we’ll visit the Castillo De San Marcos, the fort that guarded the harbor. You’ll get to drink from the Fountain of Youth, and listen to the blast from a cannon. A short walk away from the marina will bring you to Flagler College, previously Flagler Hotel; the Alcazar Hotel, now the Lightner Museum; and Casa Monica, recently restored and returned to its glory as a beautiful hotel. St. Augustine’s historic district is surrounded by amazing architecture and narrow brick streets.
We’ll board one of the sightseeing trains, and travel around downtown. We’ll be able to hop off the train as we wish, and then board again to visit another site when we’re ready. Don’t worry, this trip won’t be all sailboats and old buildings, either. The “Alligator Farm” has plenty of action, and is home to many of the aquatic birds, in addition to the big reptiles. We’ll also visit the site of Fort Mose, another home for wildlife and beautiful forest settings along the shore.
We’ll see all this, and more, during our four-day photography workshop in north-eastern Florida. You’ll also have time on your own to enjoy the beach house, or explore other parts of St. Augustine on your own. We’ve rented a beach house just for our group. You may arrive on Saturday, and our workshop will begin on Sunday; we’ll finish on Wednesday, and you’ll still have Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for your own explorations from the beach house!
WHERE: St. Augustine, Florida; with our lodging at a beach house on St. Augustine Beach.
WHEN: Arrive on Saturday, February 3 – Depart on Saturday, February 10. Our “Atlantic Dream” Workshop will run four days, from Sunday – Wednesday (2/4 - 2/7). You will have free time from Thursday – Saturday.
LODGING: We have rented a beach house, exclusively for our group. You may arrive on Saturday evening, February 3, and must check out on Saturday morning, February 10, 2018.
FEE: The Fee, which includes all Workshop instructions and lodging at our beach house, is $1199.00. We are offering an “Early Bird” 17% discount, at $995.00! Pay in full by 11:00 pm on December 31, 2018 to qualify! This Workshop attendance is limited by the bedrooms in our beach house. We can offer a limited number of 2nd spots, in shared bedrooms. All registrations must be paid in full by 11:00 pm on February 19, 2018.
Regular Workshop Fee- $1199.00
Early Bird Discount- $995.00
Shared Room, 2nd participant- $695.00
Shared Room, non-participant- $195.00
WHO: Our beach house has only 7 available rooms, with an assortment of King, Queen and Twin beds. This will limit our attendance. We will attempt to honor your requests for specific room arrangements.
CONTACT: MountaineerPhotoExcursions@gmail.com for all your questions, and to register. Your spot is guaranteed when your fee is paid.
Pipestem Resort State Park - Photo Workshop - April 13-15, 2018
West Virginia is Almost Heaven, and some of the most beautiful sights are located within our State Parks! We’ll be exploring Pipestem Resort State Park, as well as Bluestone Lake State Park, and some other special locations along the way!
Pipestem will be our base for the weekend, with discounted rooms at the Lodge, which also has a fine restaurant and meeting space for us. The Lodge overlooks the Bluestone Gorge, and the Bolar Lookout Tower at 3,000 feet provides an inspiring view, as well. It’s not uncommon to see eagles at Pipestem, and we’ll also trek to Bluestone State Park, where Park Naturalist, Julie McQuade, has recently spotted eagles!
The town of Bramwell once had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in America, during the coal boom. Their elegant homes are still there for us to view, such as the Goodwill House, with its ballroom, tower, wraparound porch and butler’s pantry, and the Cooper House, built with imported bricks from England, a copper roof and an indoor swimming pool!
We’ll also take some time to visit some additional attractions, time permitting. We have assembled a lengthy list of venues, and are still working to confirm access to one in particular. Amanda Haddox and Ron Gaskins, our Instructors, will provide techniques and share their experience throughout our weekend! It will be an exciting and full one, with many locations to see and opportunities to learn.
So, make your plans and save the dates – April 13-15, 2018 – and we will update our details as they become available.
CONTACT: Please email MountaineerPhotoExcursions@gmail.com with questions or to register.
Do you want to improve your photography? Let us take you there!
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