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1 week, 1 day ago 0
Posted in: blog



If you follow my blog you have read my previous post about the great event I taught at and enjoyed from Out of Chicago in the Great Smokies.  (If not it is right below this post!)  That kind of event was a a lot of fun and only one of the many ways to enjoy a photography workshop!  Let’s explore some of the workshop formats:



The One on One Workshop:  These are the most expensive because it’s just you and the photographer/teacher.  The advantage is you can get individual instruction from someone that can help you work on the specific parts of your photography game that needs the most help.  It is also a great way to get a intensive review of your work so the instructor can hep you focus in on just what will help you the most! My dear friend and teaching partner, Jack Graham, charges $600. per day + expenses an does all the driving when working in the Pacific Northwest where he currently lives.  I charge the same and live in southern Kentucky, though most of my one on ones are in the Great Smokies which is close by for me.  For anyone that wants individual help, this is the best way to go!



The Small Group Scouting Workshop:  This is much like the One on One but limited to 4 people.  We often need to spend a couple of days in a new location scouting for a future workshop and I will take 3 to 4 extra folks along on those trips. This is much like the One on One learning situation complete with evening review sessions and lot of fellowship as we explore together. I usually charge a flat $500. per day and i  cover my own expenses since a night two of motels stay are usually included.



The Small 12 Person Workshop with Two Leaders:  This is the most common event that Jack Graham and I do together.  with a 6 to 1 ratio, sometime less, the attendees get some personal attention and everyone gets image reviews and we usually have a classroom for more intensive teaching programs, these workshops are tuned to the skill levels of the group.  They range in cost from $699. to $1,295.  depending on the location.  This the most popular form of worshops!  Run by other photographers and orginazatiosn they can range from a low of $1,000. to over $3,500. per person.



The Big Event in a Scenic Location:  The Out of Chicago Events, the Great Smoky Mountains Nature Photography Summit, and the soon to be announced, (for fall of 2023), The Masters of Nature and Landscape Photography Symposium, can have from 40 to 90 attendees and feature from 4 to 12 instructors.  Prices vary widely from around $599. for four days to up to $2,400 for the same but with more instructors, thus more individual attention in small field groups.  This is a great way to get to study under some of the well known photographers whose work  you have always admired from afar!  You can learn more about each of the events at their websites.

The Masters of Nature & Landscape Photography Symposium website is coming soon




Lastly the Zoom Lecture or Course:  Thanks to the Covid experience lots of camera clubs and organizations book speakers via a zoom call presentation.  I do these quite often for clubs around the country.  The cost varies often determined by my schedule and the clubs offer.  you can contact me at:   if interested!


Hope that  helps you sort out your photography workshop plans, you can always contact me if you need any further help!





the pilgrim




2 weeks, 3 days ago 13
Posted in: blog


I have just gotten back home from a wonderful week in the Great Smokies with the fantastic team and attendees of the Out Of Chicago’s Great Smokies Event.  You may be wondering why I am about to go on a rant about how much I enjoyed someone elses’s event when I teach my own workshops with Jack Graham and help run events like the Fall Smokies Summit?  If you were under the mistaken impression that I teach only for money, then yes, you would be absolutley right, why one earth would I laude someone’s else’s  event!!??  The point is I love photography and more importantly the people of photography.  I love the fellowhship, the fun and banter of being in the field together, no matter who profits and in fact when things are this fantastic…..everyone profits!


Please let me explain:  the photography world that I’ve known, mostly the nature, landscape, close-up markets has been under assault.  Camera sales are fraction of what they were a decade and half or so ago.  The accessories market is struggling to stay afloat, camera bag makers, tripod makers, filter companies are all struggling to find their sustaninable share of the shrinking market.  I used to subscribe to Popular Photography, Modern Photography, Peterson’s Photographic, American Photography and Outdoor Photography, now all those except for Outdoor are gone and they are half the size, in pages per issue!  Today’s young photographers have mostly gone to their smart phones as their camera of choice!  So in the midst of all this down turn I just spent four days with 80 something excited photographers and a team of extremely talented leaders!  So why am I pumped?  I see some small light at the end of the tunnel!  The pressing question is why?


First, hunger and thirst to learn.  This group of students though mostly in their sixities and seventies and a few in their eighties were still learning the craft and they were excited to learn!  I meet a lot of photographers today that think they have arrived, and that’s a mistake, at 53 years of doing this seriously, I’m not even close to arriving!  When the wonder and joy of learning and growing is gone, so are you!


Second, a killer team of dedicated instructors.  I’ve been doing this a long, long time and let me remind you, in some ways,  I started the big outdoor event when we founded the Great American Photography Weekends over thirty years ago!  We featured the best of the best photographers/teachers then and this group did for now!  I don’t want to leave anyone out, because they were all outstanding, but I was exposed to some new Master’s of the Craft at this event.  Ian Plant, Mark Denny, Joseph Rossbach, Colleen Miniuk, Sarah Marino, Anne Belmont, Chrissy Donadi, Kurt Budliger and Steve Gettle stood out as wonderfully talented fresh new faces for me!  Old Guard shooters that I have known for a long time, Tony Sweet and David Akoubian were an added bonus and made this old goat feel right at home!  The youngsters Dusty Doddridge and David Johnston made me confident that our craft is in good hands for the future!


Thirdly, great organization is key to something like this succeeding!  Chris Smith and his dedicted team of people simply took on the complex and daunting task of keeping the train on the rails with ablaum!  The event was well planned and executed and like all great leaders when anything started to swerve in the curves, Chris and his staff gently moved it back into place!  I’ve done this and I can tell you it is a monumental task, my hats off to Chris, Bob, Lesley, Sarah, Jennifer and Anne, you guys did a supurb job!  I’ve never been to any of the other field events of Out of Chicago, but they must be equally well done as I met many attendees that were on their 5th and 6th events with Chris and his team!  On my drive home, I was moved to tears thinking about what a wonderful time I had!


So in closing, like the Great American Photography Weekends and the Great Smokies Nature Photography Summit in Townsend, the Out of Chicago Event has to join the Hall of Fame of events that further, nurture and keep our outdoor photography dreams alive!  I can’t wait to add another ground breaking event to this list when Jack Graham and I bring the Masters of Nature and Landscape Photography Symposium to life in the fall of 2023 in the Great Smokies, stay tuned for more on that in the next few weeks!


For now, move over and make a place for Chris Smith and his great team and organization in the Outdoor Photography Hall of Fame!


Blessings, Say Grace and Give Thanks,


the pilgrim

1 month ago 4
Posted in: blog


A couple of weeks ago I was in Cartsville Georgia for our Old Car City workshop and one evening we went to our favorite burger place there, Five Guys, but one of my attendees said they had heard there was another new burger place we needed to check out…..and we did!


Cheeseburger Bobby’s is a young chain founded in 2007 by Bobby Stoll as a new Build Your Own Buger Shop, and he did it right, the bugers are seasoned wonderfully, cooked on flat steel grill and  the buns, frys, onion riungs and ahakes are all first class!!!!  For now all there lcoations are in Georgia and Alabama, but I believe there will be more!  At last I hope so!


You can find there locaitons here:



So if you see there sign and are ready for killer burger, may I suggest a double!!!





the pilgrim


1 month, 3 weeks ago 3
Posted in: blog



Here we go again, with apologies to Rick Warren, the author of the Purpose Driven Life, the best selling Christian book of all time, with the exception of the Bible.  With that out of the way, it’s the beginning of a new season and time to update my packing plans, but why?  I just had a birthday in February and I’m now 76 years old.  With every year that passes new challenges arise.  While I once needed a comfortable backpack for walking several miles with 30 pounds of gear on my back!  No longer, a hike today is a round trip of around 100 yards to and from the SUV!  Not pretty, but reality.  Before we go on, let me be clear, I’m not complaining, I knew these days would come and I am just trying to make the most of every opportunity I get to be out in God’s great outdoors!


So let’s get to it.  For the first few events of this year’s schedule I will carry two cases and a tripod.  My camera bag is the Tamrac Anvil 15.  I am a member of the bag of the month club and have owned over a hundred bags, still do own quite a few!  Other brands are more prestigious, but this is a well made little backpack that really is perfect for what I need and carry, illustrated below. By-the-way, the backpack resides in the back of my SUV until, on a rolling cart, it goes to my hotel room, as the young ones say, “just how I roll”,  get it, roll!!!




These photos probably raise a few questions.  First what are the colorful bags that hide the lenses and bodies, they are Tamrac’s Goblin bags, available in a multitude of colors and sizes and a excellent way to protect your expensive gear!  There added benefit is a great place to keep front and rear lens caps, body caps and any filter you may have removed.  The lenses I carry give me coverage to an equivalent full frame range of 15mm to 630mm



Hidden away in the bag, in various zippered compartments, are the following:

  1.  Blower bulb
  2.  Business cards
  3.  USB rechargeable flash light
  4.  Victorinox Explorer Swiss Army Knife (large)
  5.   Leatherman Style CS scissors tool
  6.   Victorinox Mini Champ Swiss Army Knife  (Small)
  7.   Anker Multi Connector dock for my iPad Pro
  8.   Powerful LED panel with adjustable brightness and color balance
  9.   Mindshift filter pouch with ND filters and polarizers
  10.   Think Tank card wallet
  11.    SOG Multi-tool
  12.    Swiss Army Knife (Medium)
  13.    Kobalt mini screw-driver
  14.    Small Rig allen wrench tool

Also filed away is a iPad Mini and shade to be used with it for flying  my drones.


Now since I am no longer piloting my own planes I had to find a way to shoot from up there!  The solution is a drone, currently a DJI Air 2s and a DJI Mini  2. Since I am driving to almost all my workshops this year, (I hate flying with someone else piloting the plane!), no actually with masks and all, I just would rather drive.



OK, sometimes you have no choice but to fly, and when I have to, I use the Think Tank Advantage Rolling bag which will carry everything that fits in my bag and drone hard case, and rolls very easy and it fits in the overhead bin of any 737, I mostly fly Southwest, if  they are going where I need to  be!



So as a photo generalist, this set of gear allows me to do all but the most specialized work and is not a burden to take along on my adventures.  My packing plan is designed to meet the intended purpose, thus “Purpose Driven Packing!”




the pilgrim