I just finished up another truly awesome experience at the Spring Photography workshop at the Tremont Institute. What a treat! There were 35 attendees, 21 of which were previous attendees. Both of those numbers are remarkable. What an amazing family we have developed with this workshop series! I was privileged to be one of six instructors for the workshop.
I first attended this workshop as a participant many years ago. I can’t remember when I first started helping out as an instructor, but without a doubt it has become a regular highlight of my calendar year. It is difficult to articulate, but Tremont is far beyond a workshop. If you have been there, you probably know what I mean. It is part retreat, part family reunion, part photography. Regardless of how you look at it, it is 100% rewarding for me. As always, I learned more from the participants than I taught. That is the beauty of teaching: you definitely learn more than you teach!
During our image review near the end of the workshop, each participant shared three images for the group to critique. I was blown away by the quality! There were many images that I would love to have in my portfolio. Based on the results, I’m sure the participants brought home images they were happy with. Most importantly, I think they brought home experiences, memories, and friendships. Mission accomplished!
We also had a wonderful wrap up session at the end of the workshop where we all shared ideas about how to make future versions of the workshop better. I’m already looking forward to trying some of those ideas in future workshops.
In the spring version of the workshop, the group has the privilege of going into Cades Cove before sunrise without the crowds that collect at the entrance waiting for the ranger to open the gate each morning. This allows us to be in the Cove when the first rays of sunlight crest the mountains at the east end of the Cove. It is very cool. That experience alone is worth attending the workshop. This year, we didn’t have fog, but instead saw some wonderful side and back lighting on spring foliage. Personally, my favorite scene was some small backlit trees that were just beginning to get their leaves. The sun made the trees explode with light against a dark, shadowy background. It was wonderful. The attached image is my interpretation of the scene. I intentionally accentuated the dark background and chose a high-contrast black and white rendition to isolate the backlit trees. I really like the result. I hope you do, too! Note: there are subtle details in the background shadows, so if you don’t see them, your display or device might be too dark. Enjoy!