Summer Landscape Workshop 2019

· Reading Time: 30 minutes

Saturday, June 29, 2019

I started doing photography workshops late last year after a lot of coaxing by a friend.  I honestly was very hesitant to jump into this field and resisted for several months.  I just wasn’t convinced that I knew enough to really be hosting a workshop.  I mean after all, I was still learning myself.  The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I was never going to stop learning when it came to photography.  I also realized that I did have a good bit of knowledge that was worth being shared with others trying to make their photography better.  I gave in, and did my first workshop in December of 2018 at Hanging Rock State Park.  This was a very hard workshop for me to do because my mind was not in it at all.  I did see that there was potential for future workshops so I did continue on with that plan.  I waited until Spring to have my second workshop which was going to deal with one of specialties…decay photography.  This one, like my previous one were free workshops to attend as I was still learning what worked and what didn’t with the groups.  For these growing pains I didn’t feel right charging.  However, after two “practice” workshops, I was pretty sure I was ready to embark on the full scale thing and do it for real.

My first official foray into the world of workshops was going to be in the Summer, and I figured what better way to beat the heat than to do something in the mountains.  I wanted to go to the Blue Ridge Parkway since that is my mountain destination of choice.  The problem with that was what portion of the 469 miles of the scenic byway should I be looking to focus on?  The concept of driving a caravan up and down the road and looking for that right scene was a little ambitious for me.  That is how I work on the Parkway though.  There is a lot of just driving around and chasing the clouds.  I just wanted to spend more time teaching the art of photography than driving so I wanted to base out of a single location as much as possible.  I pushed myself to think of that one location that would potentially have enough depth to it to allow for a good portion of the day.  Add to that, the uncertainty of the weather since I was planning this workshop roughly six months ahead of time.  I needed something that would be workable in all types of weather, while being a good location for sunrise without concern for the clouds.  This was a daunting task…..wait a minute….daunting, dounting, doughting, doughton…Doughton Park!!!

I have always had good luck with subjects at Doughton Park, and it is one of the few places that I know of that will provide good opportunities at sunrise without a cloud in the sky.  Because of its altitude, and elevated vantage point, it is a fantastic location for catching the twilight wedge or the alpen glow on a cloudless morning.  I’ve shot here in the rain, under stormy skies, bright sun, and everything in between.  There are intimate and grand views available as well as the typical rolling blue ridge landscape.  There are a few trees that are interesting to shoot, and opportunities for panoramas as well.  If the weather was good, we could actually spend the entire day working scenes right here.

The other concern that I had was going to be the time of sunrise.  Sure, we could skip sunrise and get started at a reasonable time of the morning, but on the chance that there were no clouds, I knew that the favorable lighting was going to be short lived and I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to catch what good light there was.  This meant shooting sunrise, which meant getting there in time to be set up 30 minutes before sunrise.  Doing the math…carrying the 1…that makes it necessary to get there at 5am.  Holy cow, that is early to ask somebody to be onsite and ready to go.  But that is landscape photography, and I had to assume that those wanting to learn about it would be willing to make that concession.

I did some light marketing of the workshop over the following six months and was able to book six of the eight slots that I thought would be a comfortable amount of participants for me to keep up with.  This workshop had me nervous on several levels.  First of all, there were six people that were willing to pay for the chance to go on my workshop and learn from me.  This was new ground for me.  I was seeing examples of the participant’s work online and being impressed with their abilities as they were.  I had made myself available for an entire day, sunrise to sunset which would be around 16 hours.  I didn’t know if I had 16 hours of material to cover, or subject matter to be completely honest.  There was the wildcard of the weather that also had me really nervous.

I sent out my normal welcoming email well ahead of time to get to know my participants a little better and find out what they were wanting to learn about with this workshop.  Hey, I needed to study as well so that I was sure to be prepared for questions that might come up.  I found that I had a range of beginner to advanced enthusiast coming along for the day.  It was going to be an interesting mix, but I have found that having that mix works great because the participants actually start working together and learning from each other as much as from me.  As we got closer I started to discuss specifics as far as expected weather patterns and some basics on how to shoot a sunrise so that we were all on the same page more or less to get started with the day in case we were having to work fast.  It was looking promising with partly cloudy skies through the morning and storms in the afternoon.  This should give us some variety in the sky throughout the day.

Clear Outside App

As of the day before, I checked my Clear Outside App which I rely on for cloud cover predictions and my heart sank.  There was a sea of “0’s” through the entire morning and only a few clouds coming in at noon.  Light would be harsh and very unforgiving after golden hour through the day until maybe around 2pm.  This was going to be very difficult to work with when dealing with landscape photography.  My only hope was that the forecast was wrong and the old adage of the NC Mountains would come true…”If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.”  This was a day that I would have avoided going out with the camera and would have just opted to stay home.  How in the world was I going to conduct a workshop that kept other photographers engaged shooting in conditions that I don’t find inspiring at all?  I couldn’t reschedule, and that wouldn’t be professional of me at all even if I could.  There were people coming in from other states to attend this workshop, and as landscape photographers, we just have to work in bad lighting occasionally.  It was on, and we were going to get started on Saturday morning regardless of the weather.

At least it wasn’t going to be raining, which would have been so much worse!

Saturday morning arrived and my alarm went off at 2:15 which was early even for me.  I didn’t oversleep at all though.  Once it rang, my mind went into workshop mode.  It was racing, I was thinking about all that I would be covering for the day, and how I was going to deal with the conditions that were expected.  I double checked the forecast and it was essentially the same, if not a little worse than I had seen the day before.  I got up and got dressed, grabbed a quick bite of breakfast and packed my lunch.  I was on the road right at 3am which had me set to get to Dougton by 4:30 so I could be there for the first arrivals. As I left the house the sky was crystal clear which sadly, I was expecting.  I knew that there would be no color at sunrise so I started to concentrate on the alpenglow potential that I knew could happen at Doughton.

When I arrived, I had a few minutes so I decided to go on down the road a bit and check out another couple of locations to get bearings to determine if they would work for a low sun.  I ended up with a couple of potential secondary locations that would work with a low sun, but would need some wispy clouds to really pan out.  I went back to the parking lot and waited for a short time until my first two participants arrived from Alabama.  Shortly after they got there, our Virginia representation arrived.  We all started to chat while waiting on the others.  It seemed that everyone was excited about the day, and I was really hoping to be able to deliver.  Our last group arrived that represented two from North Carolina, and one from South Carolina to round out our band of six for the day.  We all grabbed out gear and set off to the top of the meadow where we would work sunrise.

As we were making headway up the hill I kept track of the crew (easy with everyone having flashlights) which was getting separated.  Since I knew that the trail wasn’t that long I wasn’t overly concerned knowing that everyone would catch up at the top.  As we were getting in position I was seeing the last two flashlights coming up to the last bend so I went ahead and started doing some quick introductions to the area and what we were going to be expecting.  Much to my surprise, there was a small bank of clouds right over the area where the sun was expected to rise.  This was actually promising for some color and also gave me hope that the cloud forecast was wrong.

I kept expecting the last two to round the corner, but they never did.  Michael went to check on them real quick and returned to let us know that they had decided to leave the group due to some personal issues.  I was prepared for a lot today, but that wasn’t something that I had really even thought about.  All of a sudden my day went from hopeful to a premature failure.  The first camera hadn’t even been turned on and I had lost a third of my group.  It was a blow, and one that rattled me a little bit quite honestly.  However, I knew that I must go on and keep things going for those who were still there.

The sunrise turned out to be pretty good, and I spent the time working out some lighting issues and composition issues with several of the participants.  We talked about how to identify what parts of a scene that you like, and how best to include them in a frame.  I was getting back in my element going person to person and seeing what they were coming up with.  The light on the horizon was looking really good and I was excited for them since I hadn’t been expecting a sunrise quite as nice as this one.  You will notice that I have no images of the sunrise, and that is by the design of the workshop.  I don’t want to do much of my own photography unless it serves a purpose for the group.  I knew that I had at least one participant that was wanting to see my workflow, so I was already thinking about just exactly how I was going to incorporate that in the day.  I figured that I would wait until the action calmed down before I started to call attention to myself.

“Daybreak”, Canon 5D Mk3, 24-70mm f/2.8L Mk2, no filters

That moment came after the light show was done to the East.  I had been talking about the alpenglow that would likely be seen to the West, but I wasn’t sure that everyone was really as excited about this phenomenon as I was.  I decided that I would go ahead and get a composition set up to take advantage of the colors to the West and use that as a little demonstration.  For this one, I chose to set up my Canon 5D Mk3 with the 24-70mm lens and kept the filters off for the time being.  I positioned it in a way that captured the rock outcropping as a predominant feature of the image leading out to the cloud inversion in the valley below.  I captured just enough of the sky to include a couple little clouds and what I was pretty sure would be a division point between pink and blue which was the shadow of the Earth in the sun.  Everyone continued to work on their own compositions, still mostly to the East.  I was really loving the soft light in the sky to the West though, and was content doing this for a few exposures.  I was able to explain my compositional choices and got a little bit of excitement for this event.

The division line wasn’t quite as distinct as I had seen in the past.  The sun was getting blocked by the band of clouds that had just provided the colors for the sunrise. There was enough of it shining through that I was able to get scattered pinks in the sky which was good enough for me.  With the sun coming up, there was just a hint of pink on the landscape, but not much.  Not nearly what I was hoping for at any rate, but enough to make a difference to the scene.  I made about five exposures here before putting the camera away and getting back to work as a host which was my main goal for the day.  I wasn’t sure how the image was going to turn out, but I had a feeling that I was going to like it.  I just hoped that others were going to capture this secondary light show to the morning.

Photo courtesy of Michael Tucker

As the sun moved up in the sky, there were opportunities to shoot the tall grass that was backlit by the sun.  This was one of those opportunities that I took to illustrate how important it was to adjust the height of the tripod.  To get these images, you really needed to be down low to the ground to give a unique perspective that is different than you see walking past that same scene.  There was no denying that the sun was getting more and more harsh as the minutes ticked by.  Good light was all but over at this point I was afraid and it was still very early in the morning.  Everyone was starting to pack up their gear which meant that everyone had the images that they wanted from the top of the meadow.  It was time to review just a little bit and move on to the next location that I had planned.

There was another meadow on the other side of the parking lot that gets sun quite a bit later in the morning than where we were, so I was planning on getting down there as the sun reached the field.  It wasn’t a long hike, and we all seemed in good spirits despite the fact that the clouds were all leaving us at this point.  We all knew that this was going to be a difficult day when it comes to lighting.  When we got into the field, the grass and weeds were grown up a bit more than they usually were which made walking around, off trail a little difficult.  There is a lone tree in the middle of the meadow which I have photographed several times before and had planned on stopping for it.  The lighting was not great on the tree, and the shaggy field was doing it no favors, but with no better idea at this point, I went in to have a look.  There were a couple of potential compositions to be had, and there were some points of interest to use with the tree.

After everyone manged to make it through the brush, I could see a bit of confusion on how to capture the scene with the light that was there.  Hey, I get it….I was not really feeling this scene either, but there was potential.  It took everyone a little time to warm up to the idea, but they eventually settled in on some compositions that they liked.  John and Sherry worked one of the scenes that I had seen with the tree, using some of the flowers as a foreground.  Michael and Joe went another route and shot off to the side to get the side lit grasses.  I spent time looking for other compositions and thinking about what was going to be next on the list.  I had been planning on hiking over the ridge and hitting a bald on the opposite side looking over Alligator’s Back, but looking at the sky that was going to be futile.  The fence line that I liked near the parking lot was too grown over to be very visually pleasing, and the light was terrible on it anyway.  There was no direction the sky where I could find any potential, and it was looking like things were wrapping up.  I couldn’t let that happen though because there was no way I was going to call it quits after just a few hours on a workshop.

As everyone was wrapping up and packing their gear up, we started to discuss the options.  In the end, it was decided to leave the park and find something that was worth shooting on the Parkway.  I had kept this idea in reserve, and it was a little upsetting to have to pull this one off the shelf so early in the day.  There really was no choice in the matter though, so we headed back to the cars and started our way South on the Parkway.  I was watching the sky and different places that I knew to have compositions but sadly nothing was really working out at all.  I was thinking miles ahead of our location and figured that the next versatile place was going to be the overlook at Mt Jefferson as there are several directions worth of compositions to be had there.  It turned out to be lucky that I had decided that would work because nothing else was looking good at all.  I stopped the group at the overlook and we made the quick walk down the shoulder to one of my favorite gates on the Parkway.


The elements were all there and looked good with the light.  The only thing lacking was interest in the sky which kind of killed the mood once again.  We did spend some time here though and I was seeing some really good compositions coming out of the scene which made me feel good.  There was discussion on color balance here as well as perspective and how to use them both to your advantage.  How to focus in close was another topic that was discussed.  I would have loved for this location to have yielded better images, but at least it was yielding some good teaching points which was what the workshop was all about.

We didn’t stay here nearly as long as I would have liked to, but the lighting wasn’t good enough for a great deal of compositions.  I was already thinking about the next location to try as I was mentally riding South on the Parkway.  Most everything that I was thinking of needed a different sky or lighting.  The first hopeful place that I could come up with was Osborne Mountain where I had shot recently with the hay bales. It was a little further down the road than I really wanted to take everyone, but it was at least something with some interest at ground level and less dependent on the sky.  I cleared my idea with the others and they were on board with it.  Michael unfortunately decided to call it a day since he had things that he needed to prepare for at home.  It was an expected exit from the group, but this left me with just three.  My hopes for this workshop were slipping away minute by minute and it was only 9:30 by this point.  I was hoping beyond hope for some clouds to come in, but they just weren’t happening.  Figured that this is the first time that the weather forecast has been this accurate for a mountain trip.  Usually, I can count on the opposite happening pretty much as a rule.

Oh well, we were back on the road once again and headed towards Osborne Mountain as I looked for any good targets of opportunity along the way.  Spoiler alert, there were none.  When we arrived at the overlook, I was happy to see that the colors were looking really good on the landscape and the hay bales were still there.  The sky….well, I don’t want to talk about the sky anymore.  We spent some time shooting different compositions here and figuring out how to use the hay bales to camouflage elements that we didn’t like in the composition.  This was also a great opportunity to discuss the importance of lens selection and perspective to show scale in a scene.

It was here that I had a moment of excitement for once.  I found out that one of the participants was having a hard time with finding a composition that was pleasing.  I offered a suggestion, which was shot down.  Not for a second did I take this as a negative, instead I turned that into a question to find out just what they liked about the scene.  With that information, I set out on a task of finding a composition that included just what he liked about the scene while avoiding things that he didn’t.  It was an exercise for me as well since I liked other aspects which I was having to omit.  This was the moment that I started to feel a bit better about the workshop as I was feeling like I was really helping out.

With the light only getting worse, we decided to move on from here to another location.  I had been talking about Thunder Hill off and on during the morning and since we were close, I decided to take the musketeers down that way since it is another very versatile location with several vantage points to shoot from.  When we got there, the overlook parking was full with just enough space for our vehicles.  We got out and went across the road where some of my favorite compositions were.  Sadly the light wasn’t good at all here.  However, the clouds were starting to come in so that was good news.

I broke my camera out for a bit and tried to capture something to demonstrate a composition idea I was talking about.  The composition turned out to be rather weak and the lighting was flat and lifeless.  I instead changed the purpose of this to showing how to work with ND grad filters and polarizers.  I demonstrated how the exposure had to compensated for with each of the filters and how it affected the histogram.  It was quick and fast, but included all the highlights needed.  Not seeing a good shot for me, I packed everything away after several exposures that turned out to be trash.  We checked out the valley just to the side of this vantage point which had terrible lighting and just didn’t look good at all.  This overlook was a bust, and that surprised me since I have always come away from here with some excellent images despite poor conditions.  Having a feeling that the day was petering out even though the clouds were coming in finally, I thought it was best to head back to the North where we had started from this morning.  The decision was to try for the Lump overlook to wait for the clouds to arrive there and eat some lunch.

We loaded up and started on our way.  I don’t know how I was feeling at this point.  It had been a roller coaster of a day for me up to this point.  I kept thinking back to my first workshop where the weather conditions couldn’t have been better.  My second one had less than perfect conditions, but they seemed to be less problematic than this workshop.  That is the one really interesting part about landscape photography though.  It really is photography of weather and light more than subject matter.  I had neither on my side so far today which reduced normally wonderful subjects into run of the mill scenery.  I was hopeful though that the clouds would meet us at the Lump shortly after we got there.

Summer Clouds“, Canon 5D Mk3, 70-200mm f/2.8L Mk2, Singh-Ray Color Combo Polarizer

While we were driving down the road, we happened to pass by a location that I love to shoot near Blowing Rock.  The clouds were here and the light was actually workable for a couple of different subjects.  I made an executive decision to stop here and give it a try.  I was greeted by two different responses.  The first was, “is there something here to shoot,” and the other was “I’m glad you stopped, I saw this and was hoping you would see it too.”  This was the first location that I had been really excited about all day, and I was glad I wasn’t the only one.  I didn’t plan on shooting anything here as I had images from other times that I liked better than what I was seeing here.  The other three got their gear and started to look for compositions.  Sherry went over to Toni’s favorite tree and started to work that one while John, Joe and I stayed over on the other side of the road and considered compositions with the lone tree standing on the top of the ridge with the broken fence.

One of the hurdles of this location was a very tall fence that had to be shot over, or through in order to get the images.  Joe was having some difficulties getting his camera up high enough to clear the top of the fence.  I told him to hold on for a minute while I ran back to the truck and grabbed my gear.  I came back and removed my tripod from the bag and offered it to him.  He politely declined and I suggested to shoot between the slats of the fence to get the composition he was after.  I went ahead and extended my Manfrotto tripod as a last ditch effort to try and get him to experience this setup with my Acratech Ballhead.  He was making his rig work so I was left with an extended tripod set up in roughly the position that I would capture a photo from.  What the heck, I would give it a try.  I pulled out my camera with the Canon 70-200mm lens and mounted the Singh-Ray Color Combo Polarizer to the Lee Foundation Kit and framed up the image.

I was going for an intimate composition including just the tree and the fence that trailed off to the left.  The clouds would give the interest in the sky and balance the image.  The broken portions of the fence have always interested me,and I saw the exact place that I wanted the tree to be positioned in that fence.  There was a section where both horizontal planks were broken which would not interrupt the trunk and the ground. I positioned my camera just so, in order to place the trunk in that exact spot so as not to be interrupted by the fence.  Very little of the ground was included as that was not my reason for the composition.  I basically just needed to give the fence room to breathe in the image.  The polarizer gave that perfect amount of contrast to the clouds, and the image came together much better than I had thought it would.  I was now very happy that I brought my camera out on more or less of a whim.

Exhaustion“, Canon 5D Mk3, 70-200mm f/2.8L Mk2, Singh-Ray Color Combo Polarizer

By this point The three of us were talking about compositional options with the scene.  I was explaining that I had shot this tree along with the fallen tree as a panorama previously and it worked very well.  The lone tree obviously worked well, especially with the cloud interest in the sky.  We started to talk about the fallen tree which I had ironically just moved my attention to.  John was saying that he didn’t see much of a composition with that tree alone and I was able to show him on my camera what I thought was a good composition with the tree.  I think that he gave that a try after seeing what I was talking about.  It was a very simple composition with just enough grass to give the tree breathing room and capturing the sky with a large cloud that was positioned right above the tree.  The scraggly look of the branches had been haunting me since I had shot the pano of it before and I wanted to capture this tree solo.  I had finally gotten my opportunity to do that and was very happy that I had grabbed my gear when I did. I didn’t want to spend this time shooting my pictures though, so I put everything away and went over to see how Sherry was doing with Toni’s tree across the street.  She had found a really nice composition with the trees in the background allowing the direct light to to showcase the fallen tree with some great contrasts.  I helped her make just some very subtle changes to the composition which she agreed improved the shot.  We were finally on track for the day thanks to the clouds.  I was so glad that we had all stuck it out to this point.

It was time to continue on with our journey to the Lump where we were going to have lunch and hopefully get some more good images with the clouds that were slowly working their way North.  It wasn’t long before we got to the overlook and we were greeted by very few clouds.  That was fine because we needed to fuel our own tanks since we had been going at it hard for a little over seven hours now.  When lunch was over it was time to get back to the photography.  We started to look at different compositions that would work and for the most part they all centered around the fence next to the parking area.  The sky wasn’t doing us any favors even with the few clouds that were coming overhead.  Sherry found another great concept for a composition and it was a great opportunity to demonstrate how moving the camera just a few inches could really impact the relationship between the elements in the scene.  I’m looking forward to seeing how that one turned out and I’ve actually kept the concept in my mind for future treks to the Lump because I think it works just that well.

With the clouds still not playing nice, and the sun becoming its harshest of the day, John and Sherry decided to head back to the hotel and get some rest.  They were thinking about coming back out later in the day for sunset.  We had discussed several locations that they might enjoy at the tail end of the day.  With that, it was down to Joe and myself.  Since I had made mental plans on being out here all day and being available for the workshop, I let him know that I was all his until after sunset if he chose to want to stay.  He was hesitant to monopolize my afternoon, and for that I am appreciative, but he still had some questions that he wanted to discuss.  I was more than happy to work with him on these questions and we discussed some things standing there in the parking lot.  I could tell that he was almost there and he asked if we could go to another location with some difficult lighting to practice a certain technique.  Of course!  I was excited to do this and work through an issue that he had been having.  We set out on our journey North to find something difficult to photograph.

Ironically, we passed by a few decent scenes that I would have liked to have stopped and shot, but the lighting was too even and would not have allowed us to explore the specific questions that he was having.  I was thinking that a sweeping landscape shot of the Parkway with the sky above would be the best option, and I knew that the area of Doughton Park would provide that for me and that turned into our destination.  I slowed once we got into the park and found the scene that I was thinking about.  We pulled off the side of the road and got him all set up.  I really enjoy doing this type of one on one instruction because it really gives me the ability to work step by step with somebody to resolve any issues that they are having and to give ample opportunity for questions.  By far, this was my favorite part of the workshop, not because of the shooting conditions or the enjoyment, but I love seeing photographers push through a barrier and be able to add another tool to their toolbox.  That was what happened here on the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway this afternoon.  It was so exciting to see things click for Joe when it came to photographing this particular type of scene, and I just live for those moments.

We discussed a few other things before he said that he needed to get on his way so that he could get home at a decent hour.  I was glad that he had stayed as long as he did though.  It gave us the opportunity to really delve into an issue that has been vexing him for a while now.  I always want everyone to leave with a little more knowledge than they had when they got there, and I know that I achieved that goal a couple of times at least today.

With Joe on his way home, I was now all alone on the Parkway and quite tired.  I had been contemplating staying for sunset for myself, but when it came right down to it, I just wanted to get home and get a shower.  I got back on the road headed for US 21 which would take me home.  However, it was hard to ignore the dark clouds moving over Dougton Park.  They were quite dramatic, and made me want to take advantage of them before I called it a day.  I pulled back into the picnic area where the day had started eleven hours prior.  I wanted to see the fence by the entrance with a cluster of trees that I have always enjoyed photographing.  When I saw the scene, I didn’t have to think twice about it….I just pulled off the road and grabbed my gear.  Funny thing was, this was the type of scene that I had been searching for with Joe a hour before.  I actually was setting up very similar to what I had been helping him with.

Summer Storms“, Canon 5D Mk3, 16-35mm f/2.8L Mk2, Singh-Ray, Galen Rowell 2-Stop Hard ND Grad

Wanting to get as much of the sky as I could, I mounted my 16-35mm lens which pretty much stayed right at 16mm the entire time I shot with it.  To that, I added the Lee Foundation Kit and slid in a Singh-Ray, Galen Rowell 2-Stop Hard Edge ND Grad to control the sky, and add some bite to the clouds.  While normally this lens is a great tool for emphasizing the foreground, I was using it a bit different this time.  I just wanted to capture a sweeping scene that included a great deal of the sky overhead.  This worked perfectly and the exposure was just right with the ND Grad.  I made a couple of variations on the theme as I was trying to capture the red gate to the left  and position it in a way that didn’t negatively affect the composition.

Knife’s Edge“, Canon 5D Mk3, 16-35mm f/2.8L Mk2, Singh-Ray, Galen Rowell 2-Stop Hard ND Grad

I knew that the group of trees to the right would be another great option for a composition as well.  This is a scene that I have shot a number of times over the years, but this was going to be the best sky that I have seen with it.  I got down low and close, still at 16mm and framed up a dramatic image that accentuated the uniquely shaped rocks that seemed to boarder the trees.  The ND Grad once again kept the sky at bay and added a great deal of drama to the clouds that were overhead.  The wide angle lens added drama to the rock through the perspective distortion while including a lot of the sky above.  I love wide angle photography when conditions allow for it.

As I was wrapping up the compositions, I could feel rain drops falling.  That was my clue that the day needed to be over.  I packed my gear up and loaded it in the truck.  I grabbed a snack for the road and a little bit of water before climbing into the driver’s seat.  I was on my way home after 12 hours on the Parkway.  I had only captured 44 images of my own for the day which was 30 more than I was realistically counting on.  I never come out on workshops with the intentions of shooting my own images, and usually I will only get one or two images for the day.  It just so turned out that I was able to do some demonstrations which yielded images and I had the two bonus images at the end of the day.

While driving home, I called Toni to let her know how it went.  The best way I could describe it was being a roller coaster that ended on a positive note.  Looking back on the day I feel good about how things went overall.  Considering the weather, I think that we found some good opportunities to shoot some decent images.  There were a lot of learning opportunities to be had, and I think that everyone that made it benefited somewhat from their time with the group.  I am still fine tuning how my workshops will go, but I am pretty confident that they will be around for a while.  I’m already gearing up for my next one at the beginning of September where I will make a return to the Decay Photography.  Right on the heels of that one around mid October will be a Fall Foliage Workshop at Stone Mountain in NC.  If you are interested in either one of these workshops let me know.  They will both be full of information and opportunities.

Also, don’t forget that I offer 1-on-1 Instruction which can be at a variety of locations.  I am starting to see that I excel in this type of environment, so if the workshop idea isn’t your cup of tea, consider this option to address any specific issues that you might be having with your own photography, or post processing for that matter.  I will travel within reason so we can work in the locations that you are needing help with.  I am flexible with my schedule for these, so it can be easiest for you.  Please contact me for further information either at 336-681-0220 or at [email protected].
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