Great Smoky Mountains National Park Photography Workshop
Spring in the Smokies
April 21st - 26th, 2024
Instructor: Andy Cook
Join our spring workshop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spring is a wonderful time to photograph in the Smokies. A vivid assortment of greens proliferate the surroundings, streams and rivers babble with fresh runoff and wildflowers abound. During this workshop, we focus on photographing spring scenes, wildflowers, streams, cascades, scenic overlooks and historic buildings.
Participants should check in with Andy on Sunday, (April 21st, 2024) in the hotel conference room at 7:00 P.M. for introductions and a discussion We start photographing on Monday morning.
First Lodging Location: Townsend Gateway Inn, 8270 State Hwy 73, Lamar Alexandar Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882. 865-238-0123
Check-in Sunday, April 21, 2024; Check-out Tuesday, April 23, 2024.
Hampton Inn, 967 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. Phone # 865-436-4878
Check-in Tuesday, April 23, 2024; Check-out Saturday, April 27, 2024.
Generally, participants can expect to be at a shooting location for the start of early light (about 6:00 - 6:45 A.M. depending upon location) and we'll stay in the field into the morning. We will provide breakfast bars and water for the early mornings. We will have a meal after the morning shoot (on Monday this may be lunch). Everyday there is scheduled midday time at the hotel to download, rest and on two days there is additional time for the instructor to answer post processing questions. In the late afternoon we'll eat a meal (picnicking twice) and return to the field for the evening shoot (sunset about 8:15 P.M.). Our itinerary is created to provide the best lighting conditions with mostly clear skies. If we have an overcast day (good for photography) that day's schedule will be modified. We will photograph in drizzle, but not hard rain and wind.
Formal workshop ends after shooting Friday evening.
During our workshop it is impossible to visit all of the wonderful locations in the Smokies. We feel participants may benefit by staying a few days after the workshop and continue photographing on their own.
Equipment Recommendations: Bring all camera equipment including the camera's manual. We recommend using a polarizing filter with most photographs on this workshop. Andy combines images of various exposures in post processing. Andy will be happy to teach participants his field (requires a cable release with some cameras) and post processing techniques (bring laptop with Photoshop) for doing so.
A lens range from 18mm to 400mm after the lens multiplication factor is recommended. However, we think participants should bring their entire range of lenses. A macro lens or extension tubes or diopters for shooting close-ups may also be useful. To blur water motion on a bright day, consider bringing a 6 stop or higher neutral density filter, this filter can be the screw on type. Note: Many variable ND filters have issues with banding and differential darkening, Andy does not recommend using variable ND filters.
One should shoot with a sturdy outdoor tripod that can adjust from standing height without cranking up a center post, to very close to the ground. This type of tripod does not have attachments connecting the legs to the center post; i.e. the legs can move independently. Please use a cable release or know how to work the camera's timer delay to avoid camera shake. Unless your camera has a built-in level, we recommend having a 2 axis flash shoe bubble level, it is the easiest way to make sure photos are level. Please buy these at a reputable dealer; they run about $35.00.
To be as prepared as possible for this workshop, please review the 2 videos, 7 lessons and 10 workshop handouts found at the link below:
Below please find the PDF handouts recommended for this workshop. One needs to print or download to a digital device these documents before the workshop from the link above.
For this workshop we recommend that participants:
*Print: Blank Workshop Locations Visited.
*Print or download to field digital device: CFDER Field Reminder (This is useful to those new to our workshops and/or trying to develop a useful field workflow.)
*Print or download to field digital device: Steps to Capture Panorama Photographs
*Print or download to field digital device: Hyperfocal chart for camera’s LMF. (Unless you already have a depth-of-field app on your smart phone.)
*Print or download to digital device: Andy’s Camera Settings (Only if unsure about what the camera’s settings should be.)
*Print or download to digital device: Tripod Tips and Techniques (Only if one is new to tripod use or is considering a tripod purchase.)
Spring Group Photo
Rocky Mountain Reflections Photography, Inc. is authorized by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, to conduct services in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Images on this website are property of the photographer.
Please do not use them without the photographer's permission.