content top

Color Harmony

Falls colors are nothing if not color harmony – artistically and psychologically. Cool mornings, crunching leaves under one’s step, light more yellow now and lower in the sky mark advancing life cycles. It’s the color, whether the stronger palette of New England’s hills or the more muted one in the Smokies, that we take as reassurance that these cycles are the essence of harmonic rhythms in life.

We hope you folks have enjoyed our walk through the woods. May these harmonies visit you. Get a Zen word. Chase that Zen word.

Click on image for larger view.

 

Read More

Entropy

One weekend task was to produce and submit an image that embodied our Zen word. We drew our Zen assignments. Dee’s was Color harmony. Mine was Life Force. OK. Whatever. Let’s go to work. And then I ran into some almost totally decayed vacation homes from the pre-park era. Decay, color, gnarly stuff, great structure. Great shooting. Love it. Three of our mentors happened to be in the area and we struck up a conversation about the essences exuded by such scenes. Entropy says I. That stuck their fancy and why not. Two were trained as biochemists, one as a chemist.

So I got my Zen word upgraded and I got my Zen word shot.

Click on image for larger view.

 

Read More

Afternoon Delight

And now back to regular programming: enjoying the scenery that’s just about everywhere. Want a special place? Go up to the end of Tremont Road in the park near Townsend. Walk up a nice flat trail (former logging railroad bed) past this waterfall. Keep going because the fun begins up stream. Here the stream is way down there. Beyond water access is just a few ankle threatening steps away. And there’s rocks and moss and cascades and canopied views up stream glowing in the afternoon light. My waterfall is the place to be late afternoon when indirect light fronts the falls and illuminates the autumn leaves. Another one of those magical moments.

Click on image for larger view.

Read More

Stretching

Workshop phase two: think about style. Think about what our style is. We all have one. An awareness of one’s style can assist the evolution of creative vision. So we looked at famous photographers with distinctive styles and were sent forth.

The really great aspect of this workshop was the group of pros that assisted us. Both Dee and I enjoyed being able to consult with periodic problem solving sessions, some technical some artistic.

The second morning I am out there on my own merrily and productively shooting reflections. Back at home base I open this image and start hyperventilating. It is way out of my comfort zone – visually complex, reflections are almost abstract and it lacks dark color bones. It’s color tones are unfamiliar. I need some hand holding like now. One of our mentors suggests two minor things to do to reinforce the appeal he sees in the image. Done, thanks. And then another pro comes along and gets really excited. He insists it needs to be shared in the critique which elicits more compliments.  Confidence restored? Maybe.

Click on image for larger view.

 

Read More

Composing in the Woods

Photography workshops are everywhere. So many, perhaps too many, photographers do them. One benefit is that these mentors take folks to the good spots. In the Smokies that is a lesser concern. Almost everywhere is a good spot. So we needed strong educational value to get an appropriate bang for our buck.

The basic approach to our education was to go back to basics, to get us to think about composition. The intent was to present guidelines that would create discipline that serves creative vision in the field rather than rules to follow. Slow down. Be more deliberate. We both need to do that. Doing so made Dee quite nervous and a bit insecure.

Our last group activity was a public critique of four images taken this weekend by each participant. Dee’s image elicited favorable evaluation, gold star attribution and a comment from our professional photographer leader, “That’s an image I wish I had in my portfolio.”

Click on image for larger view.

 

Read More

Home From the Hills

We are back on the boat after a weekend at a workshop in the Smokies. The weather was marvelous. The workshop was most beneficial. The scenery was a variable feast for the eyes.

Autumn comes most gently to the Smoky Mountains this year. Seen from a distance the hills and mountains are a gentle kaleidoscope of fall color anchored by a healthy amount of lingering green. Move in closer to see accumulating leaves on roads and paths and the visual quality assumes the pleasant feel of one’s favorite old shaggy sweater pulled out for a walk in the woods. Up close, visual strength and delicacy of form, texture and color complete our feast.

This week we will send along a series of images that we hope expresses the beauty of this fall and the value of a challenging workshop. Tomorrow we begin as we did with fundamentals – the discipline of composition.

Click on image for larger view.

 

Read More

Birdie

Some of the best wild life images done are from zoos. And why not? Just need to find a good pose and control the background. Admission beats the cost of a trip to Africa or that of multiple dive charters when seeking to go nose to nose with a sea turtle.

Birdie here is a patient at the South Carolina Aquarium’s turtle hospital. He came in late September all wrapped up in and cut by fishing line. They gave him a name, cleaned the wounds and have put him on antibiotics. All we had to do is pay a bit for a hospital tour, sit on the floor and be patient. So much of any photography is just waiting. Every now and then Birdie and the others would cruise by the Plexiglas wall section of their tanks and we could fire away – of course pretending we were somewhere like off a dive boat in the San Blas islands of Panama.

Click on image to view larger size.

 

Read More
content top