Spring Creative Visions Workshop - 1000 Islands

The Thousand Islands region of northern New York is an area of incomparable and diverse natural beauty. Known to the indigenous people as the Garden of the Great Spirit, the granite shorelines and islands of the mighty St. Lawrence River, along with the abundant wetlands, forests, and lakes of the surrounding area provide a wealth of photographic opportunities. The area is never more vibrant than in spring. Emerald islands nestled in the cobalt blue waters of the St. Lawrence River by day are transformed into silhouettes set against a fiery orange and pink sky at sunrise and sunset.  Mist and fog arising from the river is common this time of year and can be used to great creative effect.


Join professional photographer Chris Murray as he shares with you his favorite locations and subjects of this place that endlessly inspires him. After an initial orientation session on Sunday we will spend three days in the field exploring and photographing the natural wonders of the Thousand Islands region. Particular attention will be paid to enhancing your creativity through your own vision.  Focus will be on making personally expressive images, those that convey your thoughts, feelings, and personality and don't rely solely on the inherent objective qualities of the subject.  Chris will share his inspiration with you and provide individual field instruction as well as indoor instructional sessions and critiques.  A highlight of the workshop will be a boat ride to a private island for dinner and an evening photo shoot. 



Field lessons will include tips and techniques on:


  • reading and shooting the light

  • fine tuning compositions

  • determining proper exposure for a variety of conditions, from the simple to more complex.

  • learning to see in black and white

  • using visual elements for effective visual communication

  • working with your range of lenses, from wide angle to telephoto

  • using Live View to compose and focus

  • using the LCD screen and histogram to refine compositions, check exposures and confirm focus

Chris will also give indoor instructional sessions on:

  • optimizing images in Lightroom and Photoshop

  • converting images to black-and-white

  • making personally expressive images

  • blending multiple exposures of the same scene for panoramas, HDR’s, layer masks and focus stacks

We will also have critiquing sessions of participants’ images shot during the workshop. 

Chris will help take your images to a new level. Our low instructor to participant ratio guarantees everyone significant one-on-one instruction in the field, and the beautiful settings will give each plenty of inspiration to explore their photographic vision.

Camera Skills Needed

All skill levels are welcome.

Users of all types of cameras are encouraged to attend, however digital SLR cameras are preferred for their ability to maximize the learning possibilities of this workshop.

Description of skill levels - click here

Computer Skills Needed

A basic understanding of digital workflow and some working knowledge of Lightroom or Photoshop will be helpful. Chris will be glad to answer your image processing questions.

Other Considerations

Though locations visited during this workshop are readily accessible, though a short hike may not be out of the question.  Participants MUST be in good physical shape and should wear sturdy boots and use caution due to the frequent rocky terrain. 

As with all outdoor pursuits, some risk is inherent; all participants will be required to sign a waiver prior to the workshop.

Group Size

10 participants max.

Registration Fees

$795 tuition only.  *Additional cost of $30 for private boat excursion.  This will be paid at time of event.

Deposit of $250 required at time of registration. Deadline for early registration discount is March 17th. Click here for information on any other discounts that may be available.

Click Here to Register Online



Dates and Times

Workshop begins Sunday, May 17th at 5:00 pm and ends Wednesday, May 20th at noon.

Where to Meet

Participants will gather at the Edgewood Resort in Alexandria Bay.


Directions to the Edgewood Resort can be found on their website. Call them at (315) 482-9923 if you need further assistance


Meals are the responsibility of the participant and their cost is not included in the registration fee. Your leader(s) will work with the group to organize meal times and locations.


Lodging is the responsibility of the participant and is not included in the registration fee. 

The Edgewood Resort is holding a number of rooms under "Adirondack Photo".  Contact them for details: (315) 482-9923 and be sure to let them know you are attending the Institute's workshop using the group code of "Adirondack Photo".

Getting to the Event

The two nearest airports are Syracuse Hancock International (SYR) and Watertown (ART). Rental cars are available at both locations.


Transportation During the Event

Participants’ vehicles will be used for transportation during field trips. We are adamant about carpooling as much as possible to minimize the number of vehicles needed for any given field trip, as well as to lessen our impact on easily damaged roads and trails. Note that the instructor is not allowed to provide transportation for participants during the event.

The Program Schedule

Rather than adhering to a set itinerary, we will stay flexible so that we optimize our time in the field, giving you the best chances to capture great images based on weather and lighting conditions. We plan to photograph throughout the day.


Day 1

Participants arrive in Alexandria Bay. Welcome and introductory session on photography in the region by Chris followed by dinner and an evening shoot.

Day 2, 3

Morning field trip followed by breakfast. Viewing and critique of participants’ images as well as instructional presentations on artistic spring photography. Afternoon break followed by an early dinner before evening/sunset photo shoot. The final evening will include a boat ride to a private island for dinner and a sunset photo shoot.

Day 4

Morning field trip followed by breakfast. Workshop wrap-up.


Note - The actual itinerary may vary considerably from this due to weather and other conditions that cannot be anticipated.

What To Bring

Important: The program leader(s) have provided additional information regarding your needs for this program. Click here to view or download that information. Please contact the leader(s) directly with questions: chris@chrismurrayphotography.com.