Spring Wildflower Workshop – 2014

What a wonderful group we had for the 2014 Spring Wildflower Workshop!  A combination of new and familiar faces, we took to the trails of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the weekend of April 11-13 to hunt for early spring blooms for our annual photography workshop.  While the harsh, cold winter caused so many things to be late in their blooming schedule, we still found  a plethura of beautiful blooms.

We started off the weekend with a special macro presentation and lesson led by Brett Wells, who in addition to being our instructor for the weekend is also a tech rep and a sales rep for Sigma Photo.  Sigma also graciously sent us an entire case of loaner macro lenses for our workshop participants to use for the weekend.  Combine good glass, talented photographers, and the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and what do you get?  Well, take a look here and see…

Spring Beauties

 Spring Beauties were an appropriate beginning!

Sweet White Trillium

Sweet White Trillium

Sue’s shot of the Smokies’ signature flower.

Dutchman's Breeches

Dutchman’s Breeches

Beautifully captured by Ellen

Elle - Bishop's Cap

Bishop’s Cap

These are so tiny you could easily pass them by without appreciating their delicate beauty.

Rue Anemone

Rue Anemone

Brett caught the spirit of this beauty perfectly!

A couple of Gail’s favorites:

Dwarf Ginseng

Henbit

Squirrel Corn

Squirrel Corn

Nancy’s dramatic vision of the Squirrel Corn.

Sharon - Squirrel Corn

Squirrel Corn

Nancy caught a more light-hearted version.

Large Flowered White Trillium

Large Flowered White Trillium

Beth’s Beauty

Karen's Bleeding Hearts

Karen’s Bleeding Hearts

Need name

Beth’s Beaked Violet

Need name

Fiddlehead Fern unfolded

Wilson instructing

Wilson instructing

Wilson points out likely suspect places to workshop members, like the following:

Fringed Phacelia by Malia

Fringed Phacelia

Common Violet

Common Violet

Malia thinks this flower is anything but common, despite its name!

Jack in the Pulpit

Jack in the Pulpit

Yellow Trillium

Yellow Trillium

Ellen's Crested Dwarf Iris

Ellen’s Crested Dwarf Iris

April - need name

Gaywings

April 2 - need name

Hepatica

Diffuser Team

Diffuser Team

When necessary, diffusers were used to soften the light.

Bill & Ellen with diffuser

Carl & Ellen with diffuser

Wilson helping Malia on bridge

Brett contemplating Fire Pink composition

Looking high and low

Looking high and low

Beth, Ellen & Nancy covering all the vantage points.

Trout Lilly

Trout Lilly

Sue caught the happy yellow of the Trout Lilly.

As glorious as they are, wildflowers were not the only attractions captured by our team:

Bee on Fringed Phacelia

Bee on Fringed Phacelia

Sharon caught this bee on a lovely Fringed Phacelia.

Watchful Chipmunk

 Bill captured this little guy keeping watch over us.

Walker Sisters' Cabin

Walker Sisters’ Cabin

From the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area, some of us hiked up the Little Brier Gap Trail to the Walker Sisters’ Cabin.

Cabin Interior

Cabin Interior

A study in light (and needed roof patches) by Ellen.

Silky water

Silky water

We also had the chance to work on water shots.  Malia had never been able to capture the silky effect, and after some instruction, was happy to get this shot of some of the class shooting upstream.

On the first night, there was an optional trip up to Clingman’s Dome for the sunset and shooting starlight.

Malia's Sunset

Malia’s Sunset

April's Stars at Clingman's Dome

April’s Stars at Clingman’s Dome

Wilson Review

Wilson Review

On the last day, we reviewed the class images and discussed editing.  Our workshop is suitable for beginner to advanced photographers and we have lens and equipment to loan for you to try out.  We provide shooting tips as we show you the incomparable beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains so you can bring home your own digital captures and great memories.

What a fantastic weekend – we hope to see you all next year!

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