Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Smokies Workshop this weekend

...was tons of fun! Our all-star cast included Kim, Rosemary, Leighton, and Kate. The weekend was complete with almost every form of weather, bears, turkey, and a stunning rainbow.

Stay tuned. In three weeks, we'll have a video assembled for you to share in our fall workshop experience.


Rosemary Williams said,

"I always enjoy your workshops and really hate getting home to civilization. Your enthusiasm is contagious... I'm hooked on the Smokies and part of that 'addiction' comes from your workshops and the way in which you see nature that is rubbing off on me."

Kimberly Graves recalls,

"... standing in the forest completely surrounded by blazing yellow leaves [and] catching a rainbow in the middle of Cades Cove."


  1. Thanks again for a great weekend, Paul! Now I have another question--I've just been asked to help photograph a wedding this weekend--nothing fancy, just a very simple wedding for a couple who don't have any money so are going the cheap route with everything. I'm looking at it as an opportunity to practice and learn. So, do you have any basic tips? Obviously, I can't get too technical at this point, since I'm still beginning myself, so what are the top 5-6 pieces of advice you would give me? What things are the most important to focus on for this first time?

  2. Hi Kim - See my MAY 2009 wedding photos in the blog archives for some thoughts about composition.

    1) Get in CLOSE to your subject.
    2) Get down LOW and shoot UP.
    3) Get up HIGH and shoot DOWN.
    4) Stand back and zoom in with your TELEPHOTO.
    5) Then, move back in close and use your WIDE angle.

    - Talk to your subjects. Acting invisible and stand-offish will only make your subjects feel awkward (because you are not invisible). People like some degree of direction when having their photo made.
    - Be careful to check your shutter speeds when you are not using flash. If they're too slow to handhold, crank up the ISO. Check your "flashy-thing setting" to be sure you are not blowing out the highlights of the white wedding dress.
    - Use natural outdoor lighting whenever you possibly can. Church sanctuaries can be like dungeons as far as lighting goes. And unless you've upped the gear since last weekend, you don't have the lighting equipment to make people in dungeons look real good.
    - Use your exposure compensation button A LOT to balance your exposures as you go.
    - Wear comfortable shoes.