Nature Photography Blog

John Slonina is a professional nature photographers. His company Slonina Nature Photography leads instructional photo tours and workshops throughout the United States. His photo tours visits several national parks which include Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Mt Rainier, Olympic, Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains, Mt Rainier, Olympic, Arches, Canyonlands, Everglades, Big Cypress, Katmai and Lake Clark.


Maine Photo Workshops and Photo Tours

Do want to explore and photograph Maine? Join Slonina Photography on a photo tour and workshop to this beautiful state. Maine has several incredible photographic opportunities. We will photograph its dramatic rocky coast, pounding surf, lighthouses, wildlife, and quaint fishing harbors and coves.

We have several different photo tours and workshops covering the Maine Coast from Kittery to Lubec. We have charted boats taking out to photograph puffins, seals, lighthouses, and whales.

Photographing the Maine Coast is a journey. With more coastline than California (3,478 miles), it takes some time to view the entire Maine Coast. The State of Maine is larger than the other 5 New England states combined. We will photograph the  spectacularly scenic Maine Coast in sections. Get off the beaten path and explore the nooks and crannies of this remarkable coast. This area is well know for it's panoramic water views, lighthouses and lobsters.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

The first rays of dawn illuminate the West Quoddy Lighthouse each morning before reaching any other point in the U.S. The West Quoddy Lighthouse of Lubec is the eastern most lighthouse in the country, and the Bold Coast in which it lies belongs to Maine’s DownEast and Acadia.  Since Maine is the first state to rise each morning, we consider it our duty to make every day extraordinary. Visit Maine’s Downeast and Acadia region to see just how well we deliver on this promise.

Rising up from the coastal city of Bar Harbor, the beauty of Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain is like no other. There’s the clear blue Atlantic Ocean and its bays, with tree-lined mountains that rise triumphantly from the water along the coast as far as the eye can see. On a clear day atop this mountain, you’ll be able to see nearly 100 miles.

Surrounded by this much natural beauty, your spirit is buoyed, your heart content. You’re encircled on all sides by the 20 mountaintops of Mount Desert Island, the 120 miles of hiking trails in Acadia National Park and 55 miles of Rockefeller-built carriage roads, hidden by the color-soaked trees below.

It is  a photography enthusiast’s paradise and offers its visitors unparalleled photo opportunities, as well as an ideal location for relaxing nature appreciation.

Maine’s Downeast & Acadia Region is full of surprises: unexplored scenic byways, a boat ride across the Bay to photograph puffins and whales and encounters with other Maine wildlife.

We also have a photo tour and workshop covering Mid Coast Maine. Wedged between the environs of Portland and the great outdoors of Acadia National Park, Maine’s midcoast region has long enthralled photographers with its quaint towns and pastoral, pine-lined roads. The tranquil harbors and craggy beaches along U.S. 1 offer settings as quintessentially Maine as can be. Lighthouses dot the headlands of Maine's Mid-Coast region, where thousands of miles of coastline wait to be explored. Defined by chiseled peninsulas stretching south from U.S. 1, this area has everything from the sandy beaches and sandbars

Here are some of our photo tours and workshops along the Maine Coast

Mid Coast Maine (Memorial Day Weekend) Photo Tours and Workshops

Acadia National Park Photo Tours and Workshops

Down East Maine Photo Tours and Workshops

Puffin and Seals Photo Tours and Workshops

A boat ride is included to photograph the puffins on the Acadia and Down East instructional photo tours. You can photograph hundreds of puffins within 20 feet of you.  

John Slonina is a award winning professional nature photographer, tour leader and writer devoted to the conservation of wild places and wild things. His photography has been published in several books, magazines, calendars, and post cards. He has been photographing in Maine for over 30 years and has led multiple photo tours and workshops throughout the state.
I promise we will work hard to get images that you will never forget.
Thank you for your time.
John Slonina
Slonina Nature Photography


Winter Photography Tips

Polar Bears

Polar Bears

The weather outside is frightful for photography it is quite delightful.

Let it Snow!!! Let it Snow!!! Let it Snow!!!

Winter photography can be challenging but it is worth the effort. Here are some tips to improve your winter photography.

Don’t Exposure Camera equipment to Extreme Temperature Changes. Condensation is a major problem for camera equipment. Electronics and moisture don’t mix well. The good news is that the moisture will eventually evaporate if the equipment is allowed to warm up to room temperature, but it can take a long time.

I keep my camera in its bag before going indoors or outside. The bag insulates the gear a little from extreme temperature changes. When I return home I just leave my gear in the camera bag and make sure I don’t open the bag for at least one hour.

I also keep my car cold. It minimizes condensation. It also seems like less of a shock from going out of the warm vehicle to the cold. If you take off you gloves and coat, crank the heat,  you will find it tempting not to even get out of the car and take a picture.

Keep batteries warm. Your camera will work fine in very cold temperatures as long as it has functioning batteries. Batteries drain quicker with cold weather. When I do a winter shoot I often bring several sets of batteries which are charged daily. Certain types of batteries perform better than others in the cold. I keep extra batteries in a pocket inside my jacket where I can keep them warm. Sometimes I put a chemical hand warmer in that pocket also. I often rotate the batteries between my camera and my warm pocket.

Tripods: Avoid touching a cold tripod with you bare hands. Some people use tripod leg warmers to help with this problem. Several manufactures make tripod leg warmers. You can also use plumber’s pipe insulation for the tripod legs. For less than five bucks you can make your own tripod leg covers from foam pipe insulation and hockey tape (the best tape to use ’cause it can handle the cold). Be careful not to force your tripod into the snow. You can damage you tripod.

A Lens hood can help to prevent problems with snow on the front element of a lens from falling or blowing snow.

Hand Warmers are easy to use, they start warming the instant you open the package. You can keep some in your boots, gloves, and coast pockets.  I keep one stuffed in each glove or mitten, and this way my gloves are always warm when I put them back on.

Exposure:  don’t blow out the whites. The camera will want to make the snow a neutral gray color which is a problem. Learn to read the histogram and you will find exposing the snow properly is very easy.

Get out early. Winter landscape photography looks best with fresh snow on the branches. It is best to be out there before it melts or gets blown off the branches.

Take extra precautions. Let other know of you travel plans in event of an emergency. Bring emergency supplies with you on your adventures.

You can add interest and color to snow shots simply by including a colorful object or two in your composition.

Fly to Florida. If you need a break from the cold you can’t beat Florida. It is warm and incredibly beautiful. The wildlife photography is incredible. Winter is the dry season in Florida. Since there is less water the wildlife concentrates into smaller areas which make it a wildlife photographer’s paradise.

Some of my favorite photo opportunities are during winter. Don’t let the cold keep you inside. Get out and enjoy.