Nature and Photography Blog


Fall Reflection White Mountains NH


Fall Foliage Reflection Abstract

Dream Big

Dream Big Slonina Photography Tour

Dream Big

Shutter Speeds

Try using different shutter speeds to blur the water.  A slower shutter speed will give a blur that some photographers call the cotton candy effect. Try using multiple shutter speed setting for different effects because you never know which one you will like best.



Photographing Florida

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

 Every year I spend a lot of time photographing in Florida.  It is one of my favorite places to photograph. Every year Spoonbills are one of my goals. Last year on several occasions I had multiple spoonbills within 20 feet of me. They are one of my favorite birds. If you would like to see some of my recent Florida pictures please visit

Photographing Waterfalls

I love photographing waterfalls. You eyes can see a large range of lighting conditions including details in the shawdows on a bright day. Unfortunately your camera can’t see as much detail.

So if you exposure for the shawdows the other parts of the picture is washed out. If you exposure for the highlights it washes out details in the shawdows. So for photographing waterfalls overcast lighting is best.

It also allows you to use a slower shutter speed with gives the water that silky cotton candy effect. Since the shutter speed is so low its another reason to use a tripod.

Muddy Adventures

Green Frog

Green Frog

The other day I took my two sons hiking.  We stopped at a pond and I was teaching  them about life in a pond. We spotted several dragonflies, damselflies, and a bull frog.

 While we were watching the frog my 3 year old son fell in the mud.  I picked him up and he started crying as I wiped the mud off his arm. I said “Don’t worry it is just a little mud”.

About 5 minutes later I fell in the mud. It was down my back, pants, leg etc.  My 3 year old son said “Don’t worry Dad it is just a little mud”.

Bear Photo Workshop Results 2011

  2011 Black Bear Photo Trip Report

 I just got back from Minnesota where I was leading a Black Bear Photo Tour. We were able to photograph several different bears each day and several other species of wildlife.  

My favorite subjects were the little cubs. Their behavior stole the show. They were born early January so they would be approx 6 months old. Every time they showed up it was a special treat. We were able to photograph one bear hanging upside down from a tree.

We also photographed several yearlings and adults. We were getting so spoiled we had one day that we did not see a bear for about 1 hour and we thought something was wrong. Usually we had multiple bears in sight of us at any one time.

Most photos are taken from the ground.

We also have access to a viewing platform. This is especially great whenever a bear climbs a tree. This allows us to get some eye level shots instead photographing from ground level and having to point the camera upward. Some bears were less than 10 feet away that we photographed with a wide angle lenses and they were still full frame without cropping.

We also photographed several other species of wildlife including red squirrels, chipmunks, house finches, yellow bellied sapsuckers, rose breasted grosbeaks, goldfinches, ruby throated hummingbirds, downy and hairy woodpeckers, red winged blackbirds, ravens and my favorite pleated woodpeckers.

We also did a couple of quick sidetrip to a nearby bog where we saw several species of dragonflies, and wildflowers. Another quick trip was to Superior National Forest where we photographed painted turtles and landscapes. We tried to photograph a few snowshoe hares and a beaver but struck out.

The trip was a great success. Each member of the group photographed thousands of black bear images alone (before editing) .

I can’t wait for next year.

Join us next year

Osprey Nest Building

osprey in flight


 The Osprey is once of my favorite birds to photograph.  Flight photography takes some practice but one you learn how to utilize the features in your camera to your advantage it is much easier to get good flight shots.

The photo I took in Florida. Every year I  go in Febuary or March. It is a nice break from the New England Cold and the photography opportunites are incredible.  I will be leading a tour there in Febuary 2012.

Moose Country Photo Tour (Trip Report)



I just returned from leading my Moose Country Photo Workshop. It was a lot of pictures, laughs and most of all fun. The days were long with a 4:30am sunrise and a sun that set around 8:40pm.

Over the weekend we saw 12 moose, 4 white tailed deer, snowshoe hares, red fox, several species of birds, wildflowers. We also photographed Common Loons, a nesting Osprey and Common Mergansers.

Several of the local residents reported seeing less moose that usual this year. Some of the reasons include Tick Infestations, Late Spring, Heavy Snowfall, increased hunting pressure. We did manage to see 12 moose but we worked for it. I guess you can’t go wrong in the Northern Forest.

We also had two amazing sunrise shoots. The first one was at Lake Francis with the sun rising thru the morning fog and another at first Connecticut Lake. We also did a sidetrip to Rangeley where we photographed more Moose, Rangeley Lake, and Height of the Land. Other subjects included a waterfall which looked great with the recent rainfall.

We visited several locations throughout Northern New Hampshire and Maine. Many miles of both dirt and paved roads near the Canadian Border.

The participants in the group were wonderful people that I would definitely now call friends. You got to be a little crazy to get on location before the sun even rises and spend the weekend taking pictures deep in the heart of moose country. It is nice to know I am not the only crazy one.

Thank you for attending.

Next year’s trip will be June 15-18, 2012 and will include a platoon boat wildlife ride on Lake Umbagog.

Stay in touch.

Hunt’s Photo and Video

We are often asked where we get our photo gear. We buy our gear at Hunt’s Photo and Video. 

Please contact: Gary Farber (781) 462-2332   Email: 

Please mention John Slonina Photography.

New Hampshire Fall Tour

Join us as we travel to the beautiful White Mountains and Northern NH to photograph fall foliage. This is timed to see some of New England’s most beautiful places during the peak times. We will photograph mountains, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, reflections, birch trees etc. The subject matter is endless at this wonderful time of year.

There is also a discount if you mention this website.

Please visit our website or contact us for more information

Acadia National Park, Puffins Photo Tour and Workshops

Acadia Photo Tours and Workshops

Acadia Photo Tours and Workshops

Acadia National Park and the Puffins Photo Tour and Workshop

June 11-15, 2014 (3 Spaces)

Join us on a photo tour to Acadia National Park and the Maine Coastline with professional photographer John Slonina. We will be visiting one of our favorite places to photograph. It is one of the most dramatic areas on the east coast. Experience the magic of the rock bound coast and soaring granite cliffs where the mountains meet the sea. We also will be taking a boat ride to an island to photograph Puffins, Razorbills, and Seals.

June is a great time to photograph this awesome area. Beautiful forests, mountain peaks, wildflowers, birds, lakes, streams, waterfalls, lighthouses, tide pools, carriage roads etc. We also will be on the lookout for park wildlife including seals, deer, beavers, eiders, and foxes. June has a lot less traffic then peak tourist season (July-September).

Be one of first people to see and photograph the rising sun in the country. Cadillac Mountain sweeping vistas has a view you will never forget. The days are paced to maximize photo opportunities and the schedule will be flexible to maximize getting the best light.

Day 1 Afternoon: We will meet at the hotel at 4pm for a quick meeting followed by a sunset shoot then dinner.

Day 2-4: We will travel to several different locations (depending on the lighting conditions) starting on location at sunrise. We will conclude with sunset. Each day will be a photographic adventure.

Since sunrise is 4:45am and Sunset around 8:20pm. There will be a long break in between morning and afternoon shoots. This would be a great time for a break, nap, etc. We will also have some classroom time to review and critique work, digital techniques, digital processing tips ect. John will be bringing a digital projector for presentations.

One day will be taking a boat trip to a remote island off the Maine coast to photograph puffins, lighthouses and seals. This is an incredible photo opportunity since you can actually land on the island and not have a distant boat view. This is all weather permitting.

From the blind on the island we will target puffins, razorbills, and terns. Some of the birds are just a few feet away. On the boat ride back we will look for seals. The Boat ride is included in the tour fee. On the ride back to Bar Harbor we will explore some hidden gems and quaint fishing harbors, lighthouses and seaside cliffs.

Day 5: Morning Photo Session Trip concludes late morning early afternoon.


June 11-15, 2014


$895 (this does not include hotel or food)

Deposit: $300

Please note: This trip always sells out.

So please register early.


Payment can be made by check to Slonina Photography.

We also accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

If you prefer to use credit card you can call our office at (508) 736-1167 or use the online shopping cart.


A block of room is reserved under Slonina Photography with a discount rate for our participants.

Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Conference Center (800)- 336-2463.

Estimated price $93 night with a incredible ocean view. The hotel is strategically located to prime sunrise/sunset locations. It is also close to downtown bar harbor.

Participants are not required to stay there. There a numerous lodging and camping options with different price ranges. We have hotel starting around $60

Please contact us for details.

For more info please visit


If you cancel before 90 days of departure you will receive a full refund.

If you cancel within 90 days you will lose deposit amount.

Unless we are able to fill the spot. Then there will be a full refund.

Who should attend:

Anyone with a interest in photography from a beginner to professional photographer who has a love of being outdoors and nature.

Group size:

Our groups are small in size and are limited to 6 people. This group size allows for flexibility in our plans if interesting and unexpected photo opportunities present themselves. Also it will allow us to work with each participate to provide complete, informative, helpful lessons.

Fitness Level: This trip will involve some short flat walks. None of the hikes are long most of them within site of my tour van. So you do not have to be in great shape for this tour.


The entire workshop is devoted to capturing the best nature images possible. John draws upon his decades of experience as a professional photographer to offer several methods to improve your nature photography. John will share numerous proven beginner thru advanced techniques.

On location, John will demonstrate how you can best use your equipment. We will do our best to help you get beautiful professional high dynamic quality images which will make gorgeous prints on your wall.

Before and after each workshop we will access each participants needs, interests and skills so we can teach techniques that will help each participant. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned pro we will help you grow as a photographer. At the end of the workshop you will be able to comfortably apply these tools and start your own unique style.

Some topics we cover

Time of Day:

Participating in a workshop is a great way to improve your photography. We believe in capturing the best light our workshops include sunrise and sunset shoots (weather permitting). Early morning and late afternoon has the best lighting for photography. Mid day sunny days is not as photogenic and more windy. Also early morning has some other advantages less traffic and people, wildlife is more active, and less wind.

What you will learn:

Our job is not only to help you create beautiful images and have fun but also teach skills and techniques you can use to take your photography to the next, higher level! Attendees will have a solid understanding of many basic and advanced principles related to nature photography.

Getting There:


Bangor International Airport (BGR):  1 Hour Away

Bar Harbor Airport (BHB): 15 minutes

About Me:

John Slonina is a professional nature photographer who has been photographing the nature for over 25 years. He has been published in multiple books, magazines, and calendars.  He has a love of natural history as well. You will receive education not just in photo technique, but also in the natural world. Understanding the natural world not only increases your appreciation of nature but also helps you become a better nature photographer.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

John Slonina

Slonina Nature Photography

Black Bear Yawn

The Watcher

black bear

the watcher

While I was crossing an open field I noticed this black bear watching me.



Black Bear Photo Workshop June 2011

Join us as we travel to Northern Minnesota . We will be visiting one of the best places to photograph wild black bears in North America.  This a great time to photograph young cubs. We hope to photograph many different behaviors with the bears. We also will keep an eye out of other widlife and landscape oppurtunities.

The Dates are June 9-12, 2011 price includes lodging.

For more info

Black Bear Mother and Cubs

Bear Lecture

Tonight I will be doing a presentation on Bears for the Gateway Camera Club in Framingham MA.

New Hampshire Foliage Report

Ct Lakes (Pittsburg): Past peak still some good colors

Errol-Gorham: Peak

White Mountains: Presidential Range : Peak

Crawford Notch State Park Area: I did not get there yet but i heard its at Peak

Kancamagus Highway: North Conway Side is Just turning

Lincoln side: moderate

There are always good photo opportunities regardless of peak.  Some trees/leaves  turn late or early.

Also don’t forget to look down on the ground. Good Luck

Join us next year on a photo tour!!!!!

Black Bear Cub Naptime

Black Bear Cub

Hang in There

Black Bear Cubs

I love these two beautiful cubs.
black bear cubs

Bear Cubs

Yawning Black Bear Cub

Black bear cubs climb trees when they feel threatened. This cub climbed the tree to avoid another larger bear. Sometimes they stay in the trees for hours waiting for their mother. This photo is a cub yawning but I would love to think he is smiling at me.

black bear cub yawn

yawning black bear

Black Bear Mother and Cub

This year one of my main goals was to get photographs and observe Black Bears. I had several great opportunities to see these beautiful animals. Bears are some of my favorite subjects. I will be adding several more images and stories to go with them.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.

black bear photo

black bear

Deer Mother and Baby

White Tailed Deer Doe and Fawn

White Tailed Deer Doe and Fawn

This photo shows the bond between the doe and fawn.  I was photographing them from a distance. The mother and baby walked closer and closer and ended up being within 30 ft of me

White Tailed Deer Fawn

White Tailed Deer Fawn

White Tailed Deer Fawn

This spring one of my photographic goals was to try and photograph Does and Fawns. A female deer is called a Doe. She gives birth to a fawn in late May or June.  This young fawn was probably just around 7 days old. They have no body odor and their reddish brown coat and spots help them hide from predators by blending in with the forest. The spots will fade in the fall when they start getting their winter coat (molting). Nature always makes me smile. 

When i was talking this photo i took care to make sure I did not disturb them. The mother was next to the fawn but not in this picture. Be careful when watching or photographing wildlife to make sure you do not separate the mother from their young.