Spring finally has a firm grip on East Tennessee. The tree canopy is under construction. The flowers are blooming. The temperature is showing signs of consistent warmth. I actually saw the sun a couple of days ago. Good stuff. But, in addition to all these cool things, there is another nugget on the horizon: the spring photography workshop at the Tremont Institute in the Smokies. It is this weekend! This year marks the…well, I don’t remember how many times I’ve attended this this workshop. More than I can count! Most of my times have been as one of the instructors. That might normally imply some sort of expertise, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m a student of photography and I always will be. But, this workshop is a wonderful chance to teach and learn and teach and share and learn some more. I love it. Over the years, I’ve developed many life-long friends. It is interesting when you meet people once or twice a year over many years. I call it my Tremont family and it is a very important time to me. Obviously, I’m really jazzed for the upcoming weekend!
So…I need to share a meaningful image to celebrate spring and my Tremont family reunion. Finding a meaningful image is a process. It has to be spring. It has to be Tremont, or at least the Smokies. Most importantly, it has to be original. That is the hard part: originality. In general, originality is difficult in a world where a trillion pictures are taken every year. Ansel never had that problem. Then I thought about it, and I realized that, if I took the picture, then it is original. By definition, I’m the only one who can take my pictures. That may sound like semantics, but it is an important stage in the evolution of a photographer, at least this photographer! I finally feel like I’ve reached a point where I’m looking at the world with my own eyes. I’m not trying to take pictures that I see from others. It’s a great realization!
So, enjoy the image, embrace the nascent spring season, submit to your own originality, and wish me luck with the workshop this weekend!

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