Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic

I attended the 2011 Camera Clinic this weekend, which is an annual event sponsored by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.

I’d never been to a photography workshop before, so I wasn’t certain what to expect, but it turned out to be pretty interesting. Most of the people who were speaking at the event weren’t really talking about a specific type of photography, more along the lines of photography in general – so I can’t claim I learned a lot of new things, but it was kind of neat hearing how other people approach the field. Besides, you’re never wasting your time when you’re listening to people who are really good at something.

A lot of the discussions were about the art of photography, which isn’t a subject I’ve ever been really comfortable with anyway. If someone can ever give me a good description of what makes something ‘art’ then I guess I’ll start worrying about it. Until then, I’ll focus on the technique, the craft, and the technology. If art arises from those elements, then so be it.

Having said that, anyone who gives a presentation at one of these workshops definitely has my sympathy. I saw people in the crowd shooting with everything from entry-level point-and-shoots all the way up to $4K cameras with $6K lenses on them. If you were going to teach a group like that, who would you cater your presentation to? I guess I’d probably stick to theory, principles and art too. That stuff applies to everybody.

Of course, anytime you host an event on Grandfather Mountain, the mountain itself is going to be the star of the show.

See, the Stewardship Foundation hosts 2 camera events each year, and those two events are the only time all year long when people are allowed on the mountain during sunset and sunrise. They even let us camp up there. That’s a big deal to photographers, because the moment we see a beautiful landscape we start thinking about a great early morning or late evening shot.

Being up there during those two magic times of the day was really a great experience, and as much as I enjoyed the workshop I would have gladly attended just for the photo opportunities.

These 8 photos are a few of my favorites from my weekend on Grandfather Mountain. I’m moderately proud of a couple of them. Click on the thumbnails to see the full-size images.



2 comments to Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic

  • Looks to me like you’re catching onto the “art” part of it, but I’m in the same boat as you. What’s art? Stuff that looks good?

    I’ve seen massive chunks of metal welded together in a haphazard fashion that an entire city with drop a million bucks on and they’ll call that art. I think it’s art when someone repeats over and over enough times that it’s art. If they get it to the point where the hillbilly asks, “What the hell is that?”, that’s art.

    I’ve listened to photographers talk about how to make photos artistic with the rule of thirds and all of that, then they try to be cool and say, “It’s ok to break all of the rules.”. I think that’s just to cover their ass when you follow the rules and you still produce stuff that doesn’t look good.

    At any rate, these look great, so we’ll call it art. 🙂 I like the mile high swinging bridge the best.