Heading to the Smokies

Tomorrow my lovely wife Ali and I are driving north to spend a few days in Savannah, GA and then over to the Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee for a few days of intense photography and then a week of mixed shooting, exploring, and relaxing.

I am meeting Nikon photographer Bill Fortney for the first time in Townsend, TN when we arrive in the Smokies. He and I are going to spend two solid days shooting nature and landscapes, both large and small. I have two suitcases packed full of camera gear, so I hope to be ready for just about anything that we might encounter there!

After I say goodbye to Bill, Ali and I will be driving up to Pigeon Forge, where we are staying in a cabin for a week, just outside Dollywood. We have plans to visit Dollywood, go inner tubing on the Pigeon River, hike in the Smokies, see the sights, and just relax in our own private hot tub.

I will be posting various images from the Smokies as I get them retouched. If not during our trip itself, then shortly after we return.

Photography Heroes

Though my photographic career is in its infancy, relatively speaking, I have encountered a number of modern-day photographers who I greatly admire, and who have influenced me, either directly or indirectly, in the types of photographs that I am most interested in making. I have learned of most of these photographers through the amazing resources NAPP and Kelby Training. A short alphabetical list follows:

Dave Black (www.DaveBlackPhotography.com): Though Dave’s portfolio contains some amazing sports and nature photographs, it is his light painting technique which most captures my imagination. I haven’t yet gotten around to attempting to technique on my own, but it is on my list.

Frank Doorhof (www.FrankDoorhof.com): Frank’s portrait lighting techniques continue to inspire me. He is an incredible teacher and I hope to attend one of his workshops someday.

Bill Fortney (www.BillFortney.com): Bill is a fantastic landscape photographer and is one of the key inspirations behind my desire to focus on nature and landscape photography going forward. I will have the pleasure of spending two days in the Smoky Mountains with Bill in a couple weeks (more on that in a future blog post).

Bill Frakes (www.BillFrakes.com): Bill’s sporting event photos have awakened an interest in me for sports photography. Though I’m not the world’s largest sports nut, I do have an interest in baseball, tennis, volleyball, and motorcycle racing and hope to gain some experience photographing those particular sports.

Scott Kelby (www.ScottKelby.com): Scott is likely the most prolific photography-related author today. He is also an accomplished photographer and top-notch trainer. I had the pleasure of meeting Scott in person in 2010, and I continue to learn both from his books and training website (www.KelbyTraining.com).

Joe McNally (www.JoeMcNally.com): In my opinion, the best working photographer today. Joe is as funny as he is knowledgeable, and I never tire of reading his books and watching his training videos. I was fortunate enough to attend one of his five-day workshops in St. Lucia in 2010.

Moose Peterson (www.MoosePeterson.com): Moose’s love for nature is apparent in his videos, books, and website. Because of Moose’s inspiration, I have tentatively planned a trip to Yellowstone next year in order to experience and photograph one of his favorite places for myself.

There are numerous other photographers whose images are a source of inspiration to me. The above seven stand out as individuals who have had a direct impact, in one way or another, over the photographs I have already taken or that I intend to concentrate on in the future.

Starting Over

I created this blog about a year ago, though in the past year I think I wrote a grand total of three blog posts. This morning I resolved to start over, so I deleted the three existing blog posts and slightly restructured the pages.

My resolution is to create a new blog post each week, with ramblings about my current photographic endeavors, equipment, goals, and dreams, including sample photos.

If you’re a new reader, then welcome, and I hope that I can post enough interesting content here to entice you to return from time to time.