2016 - The Year in "Re-Blue"

As 2016 draws to a close, your friendly neighborhood photo instructors at BlueHour would like to say a big ol' THANK YOU for making this year an amazing one! 

If you got a camera this year and came to one of our "Beginner Bootcamp" workshops, we welcome you to the wonderful world of photography, and are flattered that you chose us as the teachers to get you started. We also offer addiction counseling to those who are currently amassing absurd amounts of new equipment. And we hope you will join us again in 2017 to take your photography to the next level.

If you developed a specialty skill with us, such as macro photography or long exposures in the dark, we likewise hope to see you again next year to work on more techniques with us, as we have even more fun and unique skills workshops planned. 

And if you shared a grand adventure with us on a multi-day travel tour or workshop - wow, wow wow, we will have memories to last a lifetime, whether it be the dayglow moss-lined waterfalls of Oregon, the Windex-blue lakes and grizzly encounters of the Canadian Rockies, or the leftward leaning (but not necessarily liberal) birches of Acadia.

 Birches doing what they do, before, and likely after, the election.

Birches doing what they do, before, and likely after, the election.

 The Macro and Close-Up Workshop at Garden in the Woods was offered for the first time, and allowed our students to overcome the technical challenges of working at extremely close distances to natural subjects.

The Macro and Close-Up Workshop at Garden in the Woods was offered for the first time, and allowed our students to overcome the technical challenges of working at extremely close distances to natural subjects.

While the epic tours make our work and lives memorable, what made 2016 special for our business was that we offered more local options for our beloved New England clientele than ever before. 

Our 3 beginners-only workshops in Paxton, MA, Scituate, MA, and York, ME allowed people who were still feeling a bit unsure if a "real" photo workshop or tour was right for them to bring any kind of camera, even a point-and-shoot, feel comfortable taking it out of Auto mode, and learn the essential basic skills of digital photography with our help and guidance.

And our 12 specialty skills workshops offered throughout New England for improving photographers proved to be a valuable resource for shutterbugs who were looking to achieve a specific look in their photos, make more challenging images, plan and execute their shots like the pros, or edit their images for more artistic impact. 

 Beginner's Bootcamp at Nubble Lighthouse

Beginner's Bootcamp at Nubble Lighthouse

Our new partners at Tamron USA and Newtonville Camera helped us out on several workshops, offering students the chance to try out new equipment that they'd been unsure about, and then buy it at a huge discount. 

 The Whales and Lighthouse workshop in southern Maine proved that even though mother nature doesn't always cooperate - no whales and a moonsoon-like thunderstorm, in that order - if you wait long enough, magic can happen! 

The Whales and Lighthouse workshop in southern Maine proved that even though mother nature doesn't always cooperate - no whales and a moonsoon-like thunderstorm, in that order - if you wait long enough, magic can happen! 

 It was time for us to face the music, and admit that our phones can take good pictures too. The good news is that the same old rules of photography - interesting subject matter, lighting, composition, and exposure - miraculously still apply!  Hooray for old rules!

It was time for us to face the music, and admit that our phones can take good pictures too. The good news is that the same old rules of photography - interesting subject matter, lighting, composition, and exposure - miraculously still apply!  Hooray for old rules!

We even had a smartphone-only workshop for those looking to unlock the secrets of their Iphone and Android cameras!  While SLR cameras always have been and always will be important to professionals and photo hobbyists, cameraphones have become the go-to shot grabbers of the present day for man, woman, and child alike.

We explored the waterfalls and gorges of the White Mountains of New Hampshire twice, once in the Summer, and once in the Autumn, and taught students how to get that professional "wispy" look for photos of flowing water.

 "The Basin" near Lincoln, NH with its time-sculpted rock formations, are a water photographer's dream.

"The Basin" near Lincoln, NH with its time-sculpted rock formations, are a water photographer's dream.

 

 

We treated advancing photographers to some new low-light skills that involved merging photography with math (booo!) to take really long pictures at twilight and in near complete darkness.

 Paul's favorite light to shoot in is almost no light at all, and that was made clear on the night workshop at Halibut Point. 

Paul's favorite light to shoot in is almost no light at all, and that was made clear on the night workshop at Halibut Point. 

And while we do photography because we love to be outside experiencing the best of mother nature, we found some space in our hearts to embrace our local big city of Beantown.

 Layers of urban architecture presented a great opportunity to work on composition principles such as leading lines.

Layers of urban architecture presented a great opportunity to work on composition principles such as leading lines.

Every year, as we continue to improve and grow our business, we hope to offer the best local workshops from the previous year, and add a few new ones into the mix. Check out our complete workshop listing for 2017. As an added bonus, we now have multiple-person discounts for all New England workshops going forward, so you can bring a buddy, pocket some cash together, and treat yourselves to a nice dinner afterwards. 

But we always get excited to "get out of the house", as they say, and what better way to do that than on a photo tour.


For BlueHour, the most special tour location for us has to be the Canadian Rockies. Last year, we launched a Kickstarter campaign that had us growing a few gray hairs, but ultimately led to the funding of an ambitious project to scout and research three National Parks in the Canadian Rockies for the purpose of creating a photo tour for this year. The scouting of course was an amazing experience for us, but what we really couldn't wait for was our return to Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks as leaders of a tour so we could share with with other nature-loving photographers the incredible vistas and subjects we'd discovered.

August 2016 was the culmination of that journey, as Paul and Allie led a cozy group of shutterbugs to see the best of what the Canadian Rockies had to offer. Check out some of the shots we made:

 The conditions in the Canadian Rockies were even more dramatic this year than last year!  And we were happy to be able to share the experience with a group.  

The conditions in the Canadian Rockies were even more dramatic this year than last year!  And we were happy to be able to share the experience with a group.  

In the grand tradition of "make new tours but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold", we have added the Canadian Rockies to that shortlist of places that we have fallen in love with and continue to offer every year, along with Coastal Oregon, and Acadia National Park. If you haven't visited any of those places yet, 2017 should be your year. 

 Compared to the calm and docile waters of New England, the coast of Oregon is known for being dramatic and turbulent. But as we know, drama creates the best photos.

Compared to the calm and docile waters of New England, the coast of Oregon is known for being dramatic and turbulent. But as we know, drama creates the best photos.

 Maine is the Oregon of the East: Both have a Portland, plenty of microbrews, and the most rocky coastline for their respective sides of the country. Acadia is Maine at it's best, a part of New England that looks like no other.

Maine is the Oregon of the East: Both have a Portland, plenty of microbrews, and the most rocky coastline for their respective sides of the country. Acadia is Maine at it's best, a part of New England that looks like no other.

So whether your are just starting out with your digital camera, or looking for a grand adventure with your one-eyed companion (camera, duh), or somewhere in between, we will have something that's right for you in 2017, and we are already accepting registrations for all of our events. Be sure to follow along with us through our website and Facebook page, and we hope to see you soon! 

Paul NguyenComment