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Back From Grandfather Mountain
First there is a mountain then there is no mountain then there is…
Back from Grandfather Mountain. Michigan gives us a cold reception, with ‘see your breath’ temperatures and misty drizzly rain.
The Grandfather Mountain Nature Photography weekend was a great event. This was my first visit to the mountain, and I presented on macro photography techniques. I spent a lot of time tweaking, re-tweaking, and revising my presentation, and so spent a lot less time socializing and shooting. In the end the presentation seemed to go over fairly well, so I’m glad I spent that extra effort to get it just right.
The highlight of the weekend was meeting many of the folks from the Pentax Discussions Mailing List, the ultimate online forum for Pentax and K Mount related topics (and most everything else under the sun.) It’s great to put a face with the names of people you’ve ‘talked’ with, in some cases for years.
The Nature Photography weekend itself was an excellent event. Don Nelson and his Team kept things running like clockwork. Grandfather Mountain itself is a majestic location and incredibly rich environment for nature photography.
Tony Sweet made an excellent presentation showcasing his new work and giving a hint at the vision that drives his photography. Tony’s work is as new and fresh as it comes – a real inspiration to get out of the box and try new things. The most memorable quote from the weekend came from his presentation – something like “I went there with the intent of not take one ‘regular’ photo…” Great stuff.
Don McGowan presented on interpretive landscape shots, and treated the audience to many classic images. Gregory Georges brought everyone up to speed on the latest in Photoshop, Lightroom, and other tools, and Dick Ginkowski gave an excellent overview on how photographers can travel smart. Dick presented a slide show of outstanding images taken from just about every corner of the continent – demonstrating that his travel tips are based on his experience on the ground (and in the air.)
It all went way too fast and before I knew it Pam and I were on the road working our way north. We made it to Monroe, OH on Sunday, and then back to Kalamazoo late Monday.
I’m a perfectionist and probably spent too much time hunched over the laptop, working on the presentation. I had left with high hopes of shooting tons of photos on the mountain, but at the end of the day Pam and I only managed to get out on a couple of hikes. I took a lot of alternative gear – the Vivitar panoramic toy camera, the Holga, and the Kinoflex Pinhole – all of whice saw virtually no use. Well, maybe next year…