Category Archives: Smokey Mountain National Park

The Magic Lake at Clingmans Dome

According to the Cherokee tradition, hidden deep within the Smoky Mountains, there is an enchanted lake that humans cannot see. Known as Atagahi, this magical lake is an oasis for animals of every kind, with thousands of water birds, fish, reptiles, and bears enjoying its water.

Atagahi-The Enchanted Lake

Atagahi-The Enchanted Lake

In one story, the enchanted lake reveals itself to a young Cherokee man after days of fasting and continuous prayer. Having proven that he has no intention to hunt at Atagahi, the pure hearted man is permitted to see the lake’s stunning violet water and teeming wildlife. When his vision ends, the man marks the location of the secret lake with a pile of rocks.

A short time after this discovery, a terrible winter brings the Cherokee to the brink of starvation. Faced with no other choice, the young hunter returns to Atagahi to bring food back to his family. When he shoots a bear with his bow, however, the animal falls into the purple water and emerges unscathed. The bear tells the trespasser that he has betrayed them and the young man is attacked by a furry horde.

After the snowstorm passes, the Cherokee find the body of the young man, but there are no tracks from the bears who mauled him. Although Atagahi was forever sealed off from human intervention after the young hunter’s treachery, legend has it that you can still see morning mist rise from the magic lake when you stand at the top of Clingmans Dome.

Clingman’s Dome is a sacred mountain to the Cherokees, where the “magic lake” was once seen. The Great Spirit told the Cherokees that “If they love me, if they love all their brothers and sisters, and if they love all the animals of the earth, when they grow old and sick, they can come back to the ‘magic lake’ and be made well again.”


2017 is going to be a  great year of teaching and art fairs! Hope everyone gets out and enjoys the arts!!

Charleston, S Carolina – Photographic Workshop Tour                 

April 2 – 6 2017 $695.00, Limited to 8 Students

Charleston's Gas Lights

Charleston’s Gas Lights

Botany Bay – Boneyard Photographic Workshop Tour

April 6-7, 2017 $175/ Limited to 8 Students

Botany Bay's Skeleton trees processed with Topaz Labs Star Effects

Botany Bay’s Skeleton trees processed with Topaz Labs Star Effects

Smoky Mountains –  Photographic Workshop Tour                           

April 23-26 2017 $495.00, Limited to 8 Students

Spring Dogwoods at rustic cabin Smoky Mountains

Spring Dogwoods at rustic cabin Smoky Mountains

Amalfi Coast – Photographic Workshop Tour

June 25 – June 30 2017 $1150.00/ Limited to 8 Students

Provence Photographic – Workshop Tour

July 2 – 6 2017 $1,150.00/ Limited to 8 Students

Sunflowers in Provence

Sunflowers in Provence

Lake Michigan Lighthouse – Photographic Workshop Tour

Aug 13-16 2017 $345.00/ Limited to 8 Students

Big Sable Lighthouse - Ludington

Big Sable Lighthouse – Ludington

Zion National Park and Painted Desert – Photographic Workshop

Nov. 5-9 2017 $695 Limited to 8 Students

Cottonwoods along the Virgin River

Cottonwoods along the Virgin River

Southwest Slot Canyon – Photographic Workshop Tour

Nov. 9-11 2017 $350 Limited to 5 Students

Tumble Weed - Antelope Canyon - Camera raw

Tumble Weed – Antelope Canyon – Camera raw

I Hope you rang in the New Year with peace and joy in your heart!!

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Sunrise along the rivers in the Smoky Moutains

I will be going in a day or two early for the Smoky Mountain workshop to capture  morning images on the Gatlinburg side of the Smoky Mountains and I am anxious to spend a sunrise at this location.

Sunrise along the rivers in the Smoky Mountains

Sunrise along the rivers in the Smoky Mountains

On  August 25th topaz will be releasing an updated version of our masking software Topaz ReMask 5, , complete with new features. As always, the updates are free to anyone who already owns ReMask. And for those who don’t own it, ReMask 5 will be on sale ($20 off) from August 25th – September 18th take advantage of the discounted price of $49.99 (regularly $69.99)

Click here to get to my Links page for the discount code for ReMask 5.

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products.

 


Fall is in the air

Yesterday was a great day to get out and enjoy nature with a bike ride along the Dexter to Hudson Mills bike trail. If you live in the Ann Arbor area it is a great place to ride and see amazing fields of wild flowers. For me it was a reminder that falls in only a few weeks away and I am looking forward to capturing the colors in the Smoky Mountains. Hope that you can join me!

Smoky Mountains Fall Photographic Workshop Tour
October 25 – 28 2015

Fall Colors in the Smoky Mountains

Fall Colors along the rivers in the Smoky Mountains are amazing!


Elegant River Compositions in the Smoky Mountains

Along the rivers and streams in the Smoky Mountains there are elegant compositions everywhere. This simple scene with the water flowing around the two rocks had a nice flow leading you into the picture from the top left across the image to the center right and then back down to the bottom left. It is not you traditional rule of thirds image but it works for me.

Two Rocks along a Smoky Mountain Stream

Two Rocks along a Smoky Mountain Stream

I captured this image on my Canon 5D Mark II at F/16 3.2sec and with an ISO of 200

Two Rocks Raw image

Two Rocks Raw image

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Spring Wildflowers in the Smoky Mountain Workshop

The spring wildflowers in the Smoky Mountains bring splashes of color along the rivers, streams and meadows. The main focus for capturing images during the Smoky Mountain workshop be larger landscapes of the wonderful meadows, mountains, rivers and waterfalls but we will also spend time on the small niches that bring color and character to the landscapes.

Wildflower close up captured during the Spring Smoky Mountain Workshop

Wildflower close up captured during the Spring Smoky Mountain Workshop

This little cluster of wildflowers made a wonderful composition for a close up along a river that we were photographing last spring. I used Topaz Clarity to make this image pop and then used a vignette to bring the attention to the center of the Composition.

Hope that you will be able to join me for the Spring Smoky Mountain Workshop!!

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Clingman’s Dome, Wait for the magic!!

Often when I am out shooting I talk to other photographers as I wait for the light and on a rainy overcast day I am often the last person to leave the location. On a shooting trip 25 years ago to the Dolomites in Northern Italy the mountains were socked in and I decides to call it a night and went back to the lodge where I was staying. As I was eating my meal and looking out the window at the mountains the clouds parted and the most wonderful light hit the top of the mountains. That is when I made myself a promise never to leave until 15 min after the sun has set. I always wait for the magic to happen and I am seldom disappointed.

Clingman's Dome - Gods rays

Clingman’s Dome – Gods rays

Some of my favorite shots are on overcast days when a break in the clouds can give you dramatic effects.

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