Raven Adventures offers full-day trips, from pre-dawn to after sunset…amazing days spent exploring and photographing what many have called the finest island-studded cruising grounds in the world.
We'll explore remote islands and behold sights that you would never otherwise get to see here. We’ll share dawn and sunset, nature and working waterfronts…like you have never seen them before.
These adventures have been extremely popular over the years and my guests have been extremely kind in their praise for their experiences. My overarching goal is that after a day with me you will be a better photographer…you will, I promise, never look at the world quite the same way again.
We will choreograph your adventure to your own desires, photographic commitment, and appetite for adventure. To the best of my knowledge there is not another photography adventure or workshop that can offer this sort of personally tailored approach.
Your adventure is set in the heart of Penobscot Bay, comprising some of America’s most iconic land and seascapes. Some of my personal favorite places include Criehaven, Matinicus, Vinalhaven, Monhegan, Hurricane I., Brimstone I., Isle au Haut and North Haven as well as scores of private islands and “secret” locations to which I have access. We will plan our waypoints together and take you to the places you would most like to see. We base out of my homeport, Rockport, called by Charles Kuralt, “the most perfect small harbor in America.”
The fundamental principle behind these adventures/workshops/cruises is to give you an experience as close as possible to the intimate experiences I have been privileged to enjoy over the last four decades along this coast.
It may seem odd to limit Raven Adventures trips to only two guests, but this is all about intimacy. I want to continue to do the intensely personal work that you may have seen from me over the years and to be able to fully share that experience. It simply would not work with more people; hence what I believe might be the smallest “workshop” in the country!
I should tell you a bit about Raven. I’ve skippered her for over 25 years; I know her backwards and forwards. She is the ultimate boat for the sort of photography I do here and I describe her as my 37’, 350 HP, live-aboard tripod. She was built on one of the legendary Repco commercial lobsterboat hulls and is an exceptionally well-designed boat for these waters. She has a fly bridge which I have always credited for the unique point-of-view in many of my photographs. She has a lot of power and a big rudder which means that she handles like a dream. She really and truly is my ideal tripod!
Raven Adventures have previously been multiple-day trips but I am henceforth offering the trips as a very full day, eliminating the overnight component of the cruises. We will depart Rockport just before dawn, most likely photographing some of our own lobstermen steaming out in front of Indian Island’s iconic lighthouse with the sun peeking out of the eastern bay behind this stunning seascape. We’ll visit a number of islands, including several working waterfronts from a perspective that is impossible to otherwise replicate.
The cost is $2000 per day for the first person, and an additional $1000 for accompanying guests. This will include all food, drinks, fuel and, well, everything for the day.
Further, you might want to consider treating yourself to a follow-up day with me in my studio at Ralston Gallery, a full day to be spent in intense review, editing, processing and printing of what we caught aboard Raven the day before. The heart of the day is me sharing/teaching my own workflow in great detail: download images, review and label in Bridge, open a selected image in Camera RAW for initial adjustments, then make the magic happen in Photoshop! $1250/day for either one or two people includes lunch, ink and paper.
Before closing, I would invite you to read an excerpt from a New Yorker piece sent me by a happy student of mine. It was deeply gratifying and humbling to have this sent my way. According to the kind sender, and to students with whom I have subsequently shared this piece, it captures what I apparently somehow “do.” I have come to hold this as a credo.
“It is said sometimes that the great teachers and mentors, the rabbis and gurus, achieve their ends by inducting the disciple into a kind of secret circle of knowledge and belief, make of their charisma a kind of gift. The more I think about it, though, the more I suspect that the best teachers -- and, for that matter, the truly long-term winning coaches -- do something else. They don't mystify the work and offer themselves as a model of rabbinical authority, a practice that nearly always lapses into a history of acolytes and excommunications. The real teachers and coaches may offer a charismatic model -- they probably have to -- but then they insist that all the magic they have to offer is a commitment to repetition and perseverance. The great oracles may enthrall, but the really great teachers demystify. They make particle physics into a series of diagrams that anyone can follow, football into a series of steps that anyone can master, and art into a series of slides that anyone can see. A guru gives us himself and then his system; a teacher gives us his subject, and then ourselves.”
Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, May 10, 2004