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11 months, 3 weeks ago 20

Tony Sweet and Jack Graham share a laugh in the field at the TGSMNPS  (The Great Smoky Mountains Nature Photography Summit  - Volume I


Our first Summit was a smashing success and for a lot of reasons!!!


1.  Over 200 great, enthusiastic attendees!  We had the great pleasure of spending five days with some of the greatest folks, they were really a great group!  Below, Len Rue Jr. signs an attendee’s event poster!



(2.)  We had the most incredible team of instructors, leaders, mentors and just plain great guys!  Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, Rob Sheppard, Tony Sweet, Jack Graham, Wilson Reynolds, Len Rue Jr., Jim Begley, John “Snake” Barrett,  Bill Lea, Ken Jenkins, Brett Wells, and even the pilgrim.


(3.)  We hit the fall color perfectly, we got peak color and then leaves on the ground!!!!








(4.)  April Love and the Tremont Lodge and Resort Team, along with Jim and Sue Haverstock worked tirelessly to meet everyone’s needs!!!   April spent months taking care of the countless items on mine and Wilson’s lists!  She did a great job!  Wilson stepped up to the plate and invested in the infrastructure needed to make this resort ready for such a great gathering.  New screens, nice, big ones, and Canon 4500 lumens projectors graced the three big meeting room venues!  The on screen images were simply the best reproduction I’ve ever seen, not great news for me, got to have a Canon WUX450 projector now!!!!!!


As the co-chairman, along with Wilson, I can’t tell you what a thrill it was to see such big undertaking go off with so few issues, of course lots of little things will be fixed or enhanced for next year, but since we will only be accepting 225 attendees next year, it looks like the TGSMNPS has many years of great events, yet to come!!!!


Don’t take my word for it, this is just a few of many comments emailed to us after the event!!!


“After attending the Great Smoky Mountains Photography Summit this past week, I wanted to commend you and all involved on a great event!  it was refreshing to hear from all the educators and professionals their honest opinions and appreciated how freely they shared their knowledge, experiences and technical expertise during the event.  To me, the event proved to be more about inspiration and community than any other gathering I’ve attended.”

Karin Smith



“Bill, this was absolutely one of the best events I’ve ever taught at. So yes, I’m in for next year, pre-conference session and all. Seriously, this was a special event for me and so many people there. I think we came pretty darn close to connecting with people the way we do on a small workshop. Anyone who wanted to really get personal interactions and learn a lot could have and had plenty of chances and I think we helped a lot of people last week. The feedback I heard was over the top great.”

Matt Kloskowski


“I really enjoyed meeting a lot of truly great folks, and our time together as a team was a very special experience!  One of the best large events I’ve ever attended or spoken at!”

Jack Graham


“A triple home run, out of the park!!!!!”

Paul Travers


Stay tuned to both the TGMNPS website and mine to see information about when registration will start for the next event!  It will be bigger and better than ever!




the pilgrim


12 months ago 7



Rain, clouds, wonderful color, full streams, and over 200 enthusiastic photographers made for an exciting first day at the Great Smoky Mountains Nature Photography Summit!  The full program schedule gets under way today after an early morning in the field with some of our great instructor team!  Here were a few off my favorites from the first day.




As always some of the most fun things to photograph were on the first floor!!!




So we will keep busy, and i will keep you updated!




the pilgrim

1 year ago 8


While scouting on the second day i attempted to think about the focus point, what I wanted to emphasize in my images. Where you focus your viewer will look, below are some attempts to use this principle.  More importantly I’ve been reexamining where I’m focused in life.  I know my focus needs to be on Him, my family, those I serve.  It’s easy to get your focus “off”!  It’s easier to stay focused if you can remember what is most important.  I spend a lot of time in prayer asking God to show me where I’m using bad spiritual technique in my life.  i want to stay focused!



By-the-way, this image was made with the 16mm f 1.4 but shot at f 16 to make the depth the emphasis!  Love that lens!


In the next two images i used the long end of the 18-135 to compress the image and place emphasis on the trees and leaves.




Work on nailing your focus today!!!!




the pilgrim



1 year ago 7



Jack and I arrived in Fairlawn, Ohio yesterday afternoon and did our first scouting trip this  morning.  We were pleased with the ample opportunities we’ve found so far, and will do some more tomorrow.  This is a great place to capture color and the wonderful culture of the Amish.  Below are some day one images!










More soon!!!!  Buggy at top to 7 Up sign all 18-135 on the Fuji X-T1, last several images with 90mm f 2 lens at f 2!!




the pilgrim