Category Archives: Smokey Mountain Photo Workshop

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.”


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!


Congratulations to Bob Parry for his award winning images

Bob Parry a friend and photographer from the Cleveland area won a couple of nice awards with two images that he captured during the Charleston and Pisa Italy workshops.

Cleveland’s west side photo club had an intra club competition with the Chagrin Falls photo club. The subject was “reflections” so I had to search through files to find some photos I hadn’t used before. I could submit 4 to my club for a pre selection as the club was limited in the number of photos we could submit and all 4 of mine we included. Two of the four were selected as second place earning 24 out of 27 points. The two that won second places are the reflection of tower of Pisa which was done on your Tuscany workshop I think in 2011 and the other was the red bridge from your Charleston I think in 2009?

Oriental Bridge, Charleston

Oriental Bridge, Charleston

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Cyprus swamp, Charleston

Cyprus swamp, Charleston

Cottonwood reflection on the Virgin River in Zion

Cottonwood reflection on the Virgin River in Zion


Focus stacking close up images

When shooting in close for macro or close up images it is often difficult bringing everything into focus even at f/22 or f/32. The depth of field of an image will often come up short and leave parts of the image out of focus. This is when focus stacking becomes useful. This image was focused manually starting at the point closest to the lense and work my way into the image taking 4 exposures at different focus points. After taking the four exposure I blended them in Photoshop bringing the whole image into focus.

Focus Stacking in Photoshop CS6

Focus Stacking in Photoshop CS6

The image below focuses on the flower pistil closest to the lens. I took 4 exposures at different focus points leaving the corners at the top soft to help draw your eye into the image.

1st of four focus exposure

1st of four focus exposure

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Santa Maria della Salute on the Venice Lagoon

My friends at Topaz labs added one of my images of the Venice lagoon in their Clarity Gallery

Santa Maria della Salute on the Lagoon

Santa Maria della Salute on the Lagoon

http://gallery.topazlabs.com/Photography/Topaz-Clarity/i-3Xc24mB/A

It is always fun having your images spotlighted.

April 28 through May 2 I will be teaching in Venice and revisiting some of my favorite locations with clients. I still have 2 spots open for the adventurous photographer.

For a list of upcoming Workshops click here

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Topaz ReStyle is $20 off its original price of $59.99 (reducing the price to $39.99) coupon code ‘FEBRESTYLE’  click here

 


National Parks location workshop tours

The 4th of July is a great day to have fun with family and friends and plan trips to our great National Parks. My images below capture the beauty of Grand Canyon and remind me of the visual treasures the parks hold for us to photograph. I have scheduled two workshops this fall in our National Parks, hope you can join us.

The Great Smoky Mountains Workshop tour October 26-29 2014

Southwest Slot Canyon Workshop tour Nov. 8-14 2014.

Hope you can join me in one of our national parks!

Shadow Lands, South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Shadow Lands, South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Both Topaz and Nix software can work magic on your image. Today Ihave spent a little time today working on images of the Grand Canyon that are in my Panoramic Gallery. The Topaz software that I used to finish these images makes a huge improvement over the original processing in Photoshop CS3 used just a few years ago.

Tapestry of Light, South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Tapestry of Light, South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Raw image with a few adjustments

Raw image with a few adjustments

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Wildflowers in Cades Cove

While in Cades cove a couple of years ago I captured this wild pink Aster at F5.6 to keep the majority of the blooms in focus while fading out the background. The image was nice but I did not want to spend time cleaning it up so I let it sit until a couple of days ago when I decided to run it through Topaz Simplify 4. 1st I creating a layer and then in Effects I selected Painting in Presets then I selected Impressions Color. After Simplify made its changes to the layer I changed the opacity to 35% to soften the effect and this gave the image the a nice look and color boost without healing areas of the flower that I would normally.

Aster using Topaz Simplify

Aster processed using Topaz Simplify

This weekend I will be heading to the Smoky Mountains to arrive a day or two ahead of my workshop group which starts on the 21st of April. The wildflowers are in great bloom in the park and the shooting will be amazing. We will have partially cloudy skies with some chance of rain with temperatures will be from the low to high 70’s during the day and drop down to the 50’s at night.

Aster Raw image unprocessed

Aster Raw image unprocessed

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