Archive for photography

Spring Wildflower Workshop – 2014

Posted in photography workshops, Uncategorized, Wildflowers with tags , , , on May 5, 2014 by tremontoutdoorresort

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!

Fall Foliage Workshop 2010

Posted in Fall Foliage, photography workshops with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by tremontoutdoorresort

What a perfect weekend spent looking through the lens!  This last weekend we wrapped up our Fall Foliage workshop lead by Wilson and April.  We had the added bonus of having a guest teacher from the University of TN, Steve Chastain, who lead a discussion on the benefits of Lightroom.

Due to the recent strange weather, the leaves weren’t as vibrant this year, mostly due to the rain coming too late and a large storm knocking the leaves off two days before our class.  However, that didn’t stop Wilson from putting together a fabulous workshop for everyone who attended.  The weather couldn’t have been more pleasant for our weekend; we had crisp mornings that lead into warm sunny afternoons.  Crystal blue skies accented the bright foliage and silky water of the rushing waterfalls as we explored the beautiful Smoky Mountains.   We had an exceptional group of photographers at all skill levels, and they all left our workshop with beautiful magazine worthy images!  Several traveled cross-country to attend and many returned from previous workshops.  The photography and outdoor community are blessed with a passion for life and a sense of comradery.  I believe there were many new friendships that have blossomed from this exceptional weekend.  We are already looking forward and planning the next workshop in the spring!  We can’t wait to see everyone again!

Make sure you check out Steve Chastain’s blog post recapping the weekend.  He took some great candid shots of the class!  Also, if you need a refresher course over what Steve discussed, don’t miss F/32 Photo’s blog discussing Lightroom tips, tricks, and presets and of course a few photos.

Have a great shot from the workshop or just a great shot of the fall foliage?  F/32 Photo is running a Fall Foliage Photo Contest and the winner receives 25 free 5×7 Template Cards perfect for the upcoming Christmas holiday.  Simply email us your photo with your name, phone number, email, and what camera it was taken with along with the settings (if possible).

“The Great Pumpkin” Photography Workshop details…

Posted in photography workshops, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 8, 2010 by tremontoutdoorresort

We have had a few beautiful, cooler days lately and I think it has given many people a desire for the onset of Fall.  We always look forward to Fall at Tremont because it is one of the most beautiful places to enjoy the season.  Of course, that means we head out with our cameras whenever possible.  Speaking of which, we have details for our Fall Foliage workshop!  Here they are:

October 29th-31st

Friday, October 29th  7pm-9pm – Registration and meet & greet in the Rec Hall at Tremont Outdoor Resort.  We will get to know everyone we will be spending the weekend with, discuss equipment, proficiency, and outline the events of the weekend.  Snacks will be provided of course!

Saturday, October 30th

8am – optional breakfast gathering at Riverstone Family Restaurant just down the street from Tremont.

9am-noon – focusing on the Autumn leaves, location to be determined by seasonal conditions.

noon-2pm – lunch on your own

2pm-dark – We have two plans for this time period and the weather conditions will determine the one we choose –

#1 – Going long to work our way to Morton’s Overlook for a sunset shot.  On our way we will shoot the water and foliage at the Chimney’s picnic area.

#2 – Shoot the waterfalls and foliage in the Tremont Institute area and Meigs Falls.  Possibly Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

6pm-?– BBQ dinner at the Tremont Rec Hall, review and critique of images taken that day.  Working mainly in Photoshop and Lightroom with demos of OnOne plug ins, Topaz, and Auto Effects.

Sunday, October 31st

7am-noon – meet at the entrance to Cades Cove.  Travel through the Cove concentrating on cabins and fall foliage (and hopefully some wildlife!)

noon-2pm – lunch at the Cades Cove picnic area – bring your own or buy it at the camp store.

2pm-5pm – more shooting in Cades Cove or Tremont Rd.

6pm – ?  – Session wrap up at Tremont Outdoor Resort Rec Hall.

*If you need to leave earlier on Sunday, we completely understand.  A good breaking time would be right before or after lunch.

Workshop Investment – If you are staying at Tremont Outdoor Resort on Friday, October 29th, and Saturday, October 30th, the cost for the workshop will be $75 per person.  If you are staying somewhere other than Tremont Outdoor Resort, the cost for the workshop is $275 per person.  Snacks for evaluations and the meet and greet are provided as well as dinner on Saturday evening.  All other meals are on your own.  Transportation into the National Park for the workshop sessions is also on your own, but we do recommend carpooling which can be arranged at the meet and greet.  It not only saves gas, but it’s much more fun!

Accommodations at Tremont Outdoor Resort

If you choose to stay at Tremont Outdoor Resort while attending the workshop, we have several different types of accommodations.  You may choose from an RV site, a tent site, or one of our 4 different types of cabins.  For descriptions of cabins, please visit our website atwww.tremontcamp.com.  For this particular workshop, we are discounting our Standard and Premier cabins for participants.  Premier cabins will be $190 for two nights with an extra night at $95 if you would like to stay.  Standard cabins will be $160 for two nights with an extra night at $80.  Discounted rates for other types of accommodations will also be given to workshop participants, just ask for these when you call for reservations. For anyone participating in the workshop and staying Friday and Saturday nights checking out on Sunday, checkout time will be extended to 7pm (or until we finish!) on Sunday with our compliments due to the finishing time of the workshop.  To make your reservation, please call 865-448-6363 and be sure to tell them if you are participating in the workshop.

Equipment to Bring

Digital SLR cameras are recommended, but not required.  If you have any of the following equipment, please bring it with you – a tripod, a macro lens, a 24-70mm lens, a 70-200mm lens, a cable release,  and a monopod.  If you have waders and want to be a little adventurous, bring them with you as well 🙂  Again, this equipment is not required, but is recommended if you have it.  We will have some camera equipment and tripods available for loan as well, so you can try out some new things if you want.   Also bring your laptop along if you have one.  Be sure to wear comfortable, yet sturdy shoes (preferably hiking boots) as we have a tendency to wander off the beaten path from time to time :).  Since the weather is always unpredictable, please bring an umbrella as well!

How to Register

Simply call Tremont Outdoor Resort at 865-448-6363 with your Name, address, phone number, and email.  Let them know that you are calling to sign up for the Fall Foliage or “Great Pumpkin” Workshop with Wilson.  This would also be the time to make your reservation if you are staying at Tremont.  Payment for the workshop can be easily added to your reservation.   If you are not staying at Tremont, payment can be made at the meet and greet on Friday night.  If your spouse wants to ride along with us, but they are not photographing, they are more than welcome free of charge.

Don’t forget that the workshop is limited to 12 participants, so don’t wait to register!

Join us for the “Great Pumpkin” Photography Workshop!

Posted in photography workshops with tags , , , , on August 12, 2010 by tremontoutdoorresort

Ok, so we aren’t really photographing pumpkins, and Charlie Brown isn’t going to be there , but Wilson’s Fall Foliage Photography Workshop does fall on Halloween weekend this year, so we thought it was appropriate 🙂

The Fall Foliage Photography Workshop will be held the evening of Friday, October 29th,  all day Saturday, October 30th, and Sunday, October 31st.  The workshop will be based out of Tremont Outdoor Resort and if we have the same amount of participation as we did in the Spring Wildflower workshop, you will need to get your name on the class list soon!  We actually already have a few names on the list, so be sure to stay tuned to the blog here for more details coming soon!

Wildflower Contest Part 2…

Posted in Contests, Wildflowers with tags , , on April 19, 2010 by tremontoutdoorresort

Ok, so the last challenge was a bit too easy it seems.  However, congratulations are certainly due to Lisa and Lou who both responded with the correct answers on the first day!  So, we decided to post something that might be more of a challenge.  We’ve gone world wide.

See if you can answer the following questions about the wildflowers pictured below:

1. Name

2. When they bloom

3.  Where they are typically found

4.  Your best guess as to where these particular photos were taken (this one just for fun).

Since they are not in our back yard, so to speak,  we can’t promise to take you to photograph these flowers if you answer the quiz correctly, we will hopefully be able to offer you the opportunity soon to join a class to scout them out.  So, this prize is going to be a framed print of the flowers themselves.

Good luck!  Can’t wait to read your responses!

Wildflower Workshop with Wilson!

Posted in photography workshops, Uncategorized, Wildflowers with tags , , , on March 7, 2010 by tremontoutdoorresort

Due to several requests, we have changed the date of this year’s Wildflower Workshop to April 23rd-April 25th.  This coincides with the end of the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage hosted by the National Park, as well as being the week before the Spring Townsend Festival, so it’s a great time to come to the Smokies for a variety of celebrations.  For more information on the Wildflower Pilgrimage week, visit www.springwildflowerpilgrimage.org.

Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also known as the “wildflower national park”?  That’s right, over 1600 types of flowering plants can be found in the Park, more than any other National Park.  Wilson Reynolds, the owner of Tremont Outdoor Resort, happens to be a professional nature photographer, instructor, all-round outdoor enthusiast and some might say wildflower expert.  So, you can imagine that nothing would make him happier than to wrap all those things together and get to share them with you at the same time!  Last year, Wilson taught this as a one day workshop, but we had so much fun that he has expanded it this year to start on Friday night and conclude on Sunday afternoon.  This workshop is limited to 20 participants, so be sure to register before all the spots fill up!  If you would like to look back on the summary of our excursion last year, you can read all about it here.

We promised you details and here they are….

Friday, April 23rd – 7pm-9:30pm

We will meet in the Rec Hall at Tremont Outdoor Resort for a meet and greet to get to know everyone will we be spending the next 2 days with.  This is the time we’ll get to know your skill level, what type of equipment you will be using, and what wildflowers most interest you (if you have some favorites).  Of course refreshments will be provided!

Saturday, April 24th

8:00am-9:30am – For anyone interested, we will be meeting for breakfast at a local restaurant before heading off to our first wildflower excursion.

10am-2pm – Wildflowers down low

2pm-3:30pm – lunch on your own (we will be close enough to go back into town for lunch or you are welcome to pack your own for a picnic.)

4pm-6pm – Silk & Water with Wildflowers

6pm-9:30pm – Image evaluation with BBQ dinner.  We’ll meet back in the Rec Hall at Tremont to review your images, eat a yummy dinner, and discuss the plan for the next day.

Sunday, April 25th

8:00am-9:30am – Breakfast at the Back Porch Restaurant for those who are interested.

10am-2pm – Secret Spots for Ladyslippers and/or the Chimneys Nature Trail

2pm-3:30pm – Lunch on your own

4pm- Close and evaluation.  We’ll meet in the Rec Hall one last time to evaluate images.

Workshop Cost

If you are staying at Tremont Outdoor Resort on Friday, April 23rd and Saturday, April 24th, the cost for the workshop will be $25 per person.  If you are staying somewhere other than Tremont Outdoor Resort, the cost for the workshop is $125 per person.  Snacks for evaluations and the meet and greet are provided as well as dinner on Saturday evening.  All other meals are on your own.  Transportation into the National Park for the workshop sessions is also on your own, but we do recommend carpooling which can be arranged at the meet and greet.  It not only saves gas, but it’s much more fun!

Accommodations at Tremont Outdoor Resort

If you choose to stay at Tremont Outdoor Resort while attending the Wildflower Workshop, we have several different types of accommodations.  You may choose from an RV site, a tent site, or one of our 4 different types of cabins.  For descriptions of cabins, please visit our website at www.tremontcamp.com.  For this particular workshop, we are discounting our Standard and Premier cabins for participants.  Premier cabins will be $180 for two nights with an extra night at $90 if you would like to stay.  Standard cabins will be $140 for two nights with an extra night at $70.  Discounted rates for other types of accommodations will also be given to workshop participants, just ask for these when you call for reservations. For anyone participating in the workshop and staying Friday and Saturday nights checking out on Sunday, checkout time will be extended to 7pm on Sunday with our compliments due to the finishing time of the workshop.  To make your reservation, please call 865-448-6363 and be sure to tell them if you are participating in the workshop.

Equipment to Bring

Digital SLR cameras are recommended, but not required.  If you have any of the following equipment, please bring it with you – a tripod, a macro lens, a 24-70mm lens, a 70-200mm lens, and a monopod.  Again, this equipment is not required, but is recommended if you have it.  Also bring your laptop along if you have one.  Be sure to wear comfortable, yet sturdy shoes (preferably hiking boots) as we have a tendency to wander off the beaten path from time to time :).

How to Register

Simply call Tremont Outdoor Resort at 865-448-6363 with your Name, address, phone number, and email.  Let them know that you are calling to sign up for the Wildflower Workshop with Wilson.  This would also be the time to make your reservation if you are staying at Tremont.  Payment for the workshop can be easily added to your reservation.   If you are not staying at Tremont, payment can be made at the meet and greet on Friday night.

Don’t forget that the workshop is limited to 20 participants, so don’t wait to register!

A not so glorious Autumn….

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 4, 2009 by tremontoutdoorresort

Well, the fall foliage was not exactly what we had hoped for this year.  Evidently, too much rain can be just as detrimental for the glory of the fall foliage as a drought.  However, despite the short peak leaf season, the weather did bring some positive aspects.

Saturday, October 17th brought snow to the top of the Smokies.  So much snow in fact that they closed the road going over the mountain on Sunday the 18th.  The leaves looked as if they were at their peak on top of the mountain about this time and so we  headed up on Sunday to see if we could get a few good pictures of the contrasting colored leaves and freshly fallen snow.  Alas we arrived about five minutes after they closed the road, so no snow pictures for us that day. 

tree2

The snow took all of the fall leaves when it melted.

Monday, October 19th, we drove over the mountain to the North Carolina side hoping to still see the leaves and the snow.  However, the sun decided to come out that day and melted all the snow, which in turn had knocked all of the leaves off the trees, so the top of the mountain now had its winter coat while the lower elevations were still in transition.

In keeping with the rest of the summer, October came with lots of rain and wind.  The leaves peaked in color in the lower elevations only for a few days between Sunday, October 25th and Wednesday, October 28th.  The wind and rain over Halloween weekend blew away most of the leaves that were remaining.

While this may sound like all of the Fall season was dreary and drab, that was not the case.  One spot that is almost always guaranteed to be glorious is a stretch of road on the way to Cades Cove.  You can’t miss it because it is filled with Hickorys, Maples, and I’m sure varieties of other trees whose combination make it a golden corridor and canopy.    If you are a photographer, a fisherman, or a kayaker, the fact that we have had a lot of rain actually brought a blessing.  The river is extraordinarily high and the waterfalls are running at full force where normally at this time of year that is not the case.  So, if you love to photograph water (as we do!) then this pleasure slightly offset the disappointment of the short season.

elk1Still one more bright spot in the season is that a herd of Elk have moved down to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center from Cataloochee.  You can’t miss them if you are driving to Cherokee through the mountain as they are in the field right next to the road past the visitor center!  Just look for the crowd of people stopped on the side of the road with their cameras :).

Even if the colors didn’t meet our expectations this year and it’s been a little wetter than we would have liked, Fall is always a wonderful time of year in the Great Smoky Mountains.  We are grateful and blessed not to be in the drought we were for the last two years.  Looking forward to seeing what next year brings.  Now, on to Thanksgiving….