When it comes to fall photography, Acadia is the jewel of the National Park Service.

And when it comes to night photography, Acadia is one of the premier locations in the U.S. This course combines the two, as Matt Hill and Chris Nicholson of National Parks at Night lead you on a nocturnal adventure to New England’s only national park during its most shining season, when rich colors and deep skies serve as both subject and backdrop to scenic mountains and stunning coastline.

Autumn is a time of change in Acadia, and working at night requires a change in the fundamental approach to photographic creativity. Students will go beyond learning field techniques to challenge their artistic horizons and to use night photography skills to expand expectations of their own work.

The course will commence with one day of instruction and shooting at the main campus here in Rockport, followed by three days and nights in the national park, then a final day back in Rockport for post-processing, printing and the week-ending slideshow. Students will learn skills critical to a successful night shoot, including scouting, focusing in low light, working as a team to execute a complex shot, and how to nail an exposure in the dark. We will photograph star points, star trails, moonlit landscapes, light painting and more, at rocky shores, forest ponds, stone bridges and windswept mountaintops.

This course is ideal for students who are comfortable with the manual operation of their camera, and who are curious about capturing landscapes under the night sky. A tripod is essential, and a cable release or intervalometer is highly recommended. Temperatures can vary dramatically on the Maine coast this time of year, so dressing in layers to accommodate both moderate and chilly temperatures is prudent. Though we won’t be hiking more than short distances, quality trails shoes or hiking boots are recommended for maintaining solid footing on uneven ground in the dark.

Lodging:  Students are responsible for booking lodging externally.  

In the Rockport area, we suggest either Cedar Crest Inn or The Country Inn.  There are many inns, B&Bs and motels in the area as well which may be found on the local Chamber of Commerce website. Students will need to book the nights of October 8, October 9, and October 13.

In Bar Harbor (Acadia) we have secured a block at rooms at The Bar Harbor Villager at a rate of $139/night plus taxes for Tuesday, October 10, Wednesday October 11, and Thursday, October 12.  Reservations must be made no later than September 10, 2017. After September 10 all rooms are on a space available basis., Please reference MAINE MEDIA  WORKSHOPS on your reigstration to secure this rate.

Meals:  While in Rockport, all meals will be here on campus, at no extra charge, including our famous Friday night lobster!  While in Acadia, no meals are provided.


Chris Nicholson

Chris Nicholson, author of Photographing National Parks (Sidelight Books, 2015), is a photographer, instructor and writer based in the northeast, and is a workshop organizer and instructor with the National Parks at Night program.

A former magazine editor for 10 years, he has worked independently since 2004, with his cameras focused primarily on the travel and sports genres. His work has appeared in several books and over 30 magazines. He is a book editor for National Parks Traveler, an editorial consultant for Chimani, writes for websites such as Naturescapes and B&H Exlpora, and lectures at various photography conferences and events around the U.S.

Matt Hill

Matt Hill is an agent of change. His tools include photography, cut paper, storytelling, thinking and conversations. He creates art to satisfy himself. He teaches so that others can find this ability and purpose within themselves. Since everything is only temporary, Matt doesn't put too much emphasis on the past or future—it's all about the present, and how to extend it.

When Matt practices night photography, he is present and complete—until the shutter closes. All of his efforts are results from attempts to understand and master time and intent with media. Matt found himself in a state of wonder when visiting Yosemite—his first National Park. The simple and overwhelming beauty unlocked a passion to explore and document that helped drive him to co-found National Parks at Night.

© Chris Nicholson

Course Dates



Class Size


Sponsored By