There’s now a “workshop only” option for the Night Sky Photography Workshop set for November 4-5 2016 at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills Ohio. $50 for Friday evening only and $89 for Friday evening and Saturday morning. The full package that includes meals and two nights accommodations at The Inn starts at $524 for two people. I’m looking forward to returning to the ‘Hills and sharing my love for nature photography and the beautiful, dark sky of Hocking Hills. To reserve your spot please call The Inn @ 1-800-65-FALLS. For more information please visit https://innatcedarfalls.com/group-events/workshops/
The harmony of heart, spirit and soul. There are moments and places where all is joined in the seamless, singular expression of being fully present, aware and receiving. Perhaps not in perfection but yet in the pureness of beauty joined with peace and longing. I marvel in wonder of what is arrayed before my eyes and suddenly all is meant to be.
It would be an understatement to say I am thankful for the arrival of spring in Ohio. This past winter was just brutal. Sure, there were days of beautiful snow and wonderful winter window light, but you never fully realize just how hard winter in Ohio can be until you experience it from the vantage point of a 115 year old farmhouse on eight acres of farmland, one which isn’t connected to all those great utilities we tend to take for granted. Don’t ever allow someone to convince you that propane is an inexpensive way to heat a house during winter!
But spring has sprung and perhaps the best month for nature photography in Ohio is upon us – beautiful May. April was pretty awesome too. I posted this note on my photography Facebook page providing a recap of my experiences during the 2014 Shoot the Hills weekend event in Hocking Hills, Ohio.
More than just an event, Shoot the Hills has become a celebration of spring of sorts, where photographers of all skill levels come together to shake-off the last of the winter blahs and relish in the beauty that is spring in our beloved Hocking Hills State Park.
This had me thinking too. Isn’t the act and art of capturing a photograph just that, a “celebration?” The image that moves both photographer and viewer becoming the visual proof of emotion expressed in appreciation of a moment that will never be repeated again, with that unique harmony and flow of light, subject and setting with the universal need to express beyond what words are capable of describing. The photographer. The subject. The viewer. Expressing, connecting and celebrating.
Spring is much more than a change in the weather. It is a rebirth of creative energy and the lifting of the hopeful spirit. It’s a time to get up, get going and start anew again. Our energy reflects the energy of change that takes place around us, and for me at least photography is representative of that connection between creative spirit and environment.
I’m grateful for spring. All is new again within the elegant mystery of the divine constant.
It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to lead and teach a group of 19 very talented and enthusiastic photography students during this past weekend’s workshop in Hocking Hills, Ohio. They were also a very understanding group because as it turned-out, I was functioning with a torn left quad tendon just above my knee. The injury occurred earlier in the week while in South Carolina but it wasn’t until I got in to see a doctor with the Orthopedic Institute of Dayton – on Monday following the workshop – when I found out the reason for so much pain and swelling. As a result I will be “mobile office” in Dayton, Ohio for a few weeks before returning to South Carolina.
One of the lessons learned – for both me and my workshop students – is the need for photographers to be able to adapt and adjust to unforeseen circumstances and changing weather when shooting for assignment, workshop or personal project. We were also working around some interesting weather coming in ahead of the super storm that was hitting the northeast and a cold front bearing down from the northwest. Lots of rain (more than I care to work with) on the Sunday of the workshop program.
The pain in my knee did become so bad that I had to end the program two hours early on Sunday afternoon but the group was very understanding. For that I am thankful.
Despite the challenges we had a great weekend for learning and photography in Hocking Hills. The locations I did manage to guide the group to included Cedar Falls and Conkle’s Hollow. In those locations we concentrated on form, texture and composition within close-up nature subjects and selected sections of the landscape. Something new to this fall’s weekend program was adding a section on portrait photography, both location/environment and inside at our meeting facility at The Inn at Cedar Falls.
Every workshop group and experience is unique in personality, group dynamic, theme and point of emphasis. But one thing is common – they are always positive, uplifting learning experiences. I know it is for me as the instructor and I hope these programs are reacted to in a similar way by the participants. I have yet to hear otherwise and once again, I’m grateful.
I think the highlight of this most recent session came on Sunday morning when took the group down an unexpected path by showing a clip from a favorite movie, “Dead Poet’s Society.” In this clip (apologies but the imbed option from YouTube was disabled) Robin William’s character – Mr. Keating – talks about the importance of passion in art, in this case poetry, but what he is saying applies to all forms of art. “What will your verse be?” This is the question I presented to my workshop students. For us our poetry are the images we capture and share. Our legacy, our record of moments captured and stories set to the images that serve as our connection to what is felt within and with those who view our work.
Come injury and bad weather, the learning process continues, for student and teacher. The beauty of photography is that neither one ever truly arrives at an end point. For us the journey is everything and along the way we leave our “verses.”