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Great Smoky Mountains 

Landscape photography workshopS

October 11-14, 2023 or May 15-18, 2024

Join us as we photograph the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, the most popular of America's National Parks for a reason! We'll photograph intimate landscapes and great vistas, from streams, cascades, and overlooks to historic buildings.

I'm pleased to include award-winning photographer and career educator Ben Ayling as a second instructor for these workshops! His point of view and perspective add immensely to the workshop without adding to the cost!

This is intended to be a small group for optimum assistance for every photographer. Participation will be limited to six persons to give everyone the most possible attention. Thomas Yackley is a licensed educational workshop leader in the National Parks.

Morning sessions will begin before sunrise  and last until around 10:30. Then it's time for late breakfast and learning, relaxing, and processing photos.  After lunch on  day 2, there will be a session where we can share photos and work on processing images.  

Evening sessions will begin around 4PM and last until after sunset/blue hour. Then it will be time for a late dinner and bed. You may want to carry some snacks for when you get hungry! The sessions are built around the best light, not around meals.

A Spring workshop is being offered. May 15-18 will be a great time for Spring weather, Black Bears, and wildflowers. While this is primarily focussed on landscape photography, it can be hard to pass up the bears if the participants are interested! 

There is no "elk add-on" for the Spring session.


This four day-three night workshop  will combine photographing beautiful locations with learning the techniques that help you to capture that beauty.  Each participant will be given assistance at their current level of knowledge and skill. 

Comments from participants: "The best thing about the workshop was that it was all planned out so we wouldn’t waste time on lackluster locations, and that Tom guided us through the whole process from taking in the scene to editing our favorite shots." "He is very knowledgeable, experienced, helpful and accommodating." "Tom told us what to expect beforehand and guided us through the process by reminding students what settings might be appropriate without micromanaging or stifling our creativity. He allowed for us to take our time exploring each location and kept us on track so we’d be in the best locations for the lighting."

Some of the locations will be very easily accessed. Some are right there at the parking lot. Others will require a bit of a hike. Our longest planned hike is under 2 miles but has an elevation gain of 460 feet.  Hiking boots are recommended. Waders are optional but sometimes allow you to reach the best vantage point in a stream. 

Topics will include exposure triangle, highlight alerts, focus techniques, focus stacking, composition, color, the use of filters, moving water techniques, close-ups, using live view, and whatever anyone needs in the field!

What's included: Preliminary Zoom meeting to help you prepare for the workshop, all sessions on location with an instructor approved and permitted with the National Park Service,  a post-workshop zoom meeting with all participants to view and critique some of the outstanding photos of the trip.  The cost: $645 does not include transportation, meals, or lodging. Details will be provided after registration.

Optional Add-ON (Fall only)Oct15

An additional day may be added which includes photographing at beautiful lookouts on the Blue Ridge Parkway and a morning photo shoot of Elk near Cherokee, NC, where the session will conclude by noon. The cost for the add-on is just $125. You will need to secure  additional lodging in Cherokee.

The drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway is stunning in the fall with numerous vistas as well as opportunities for macro wildflowers. Elk were reintroduced in the park in 2001 after having been eradicated by the 1860s, primarily from hunting. These magnificent creatures make great photographic subjects and are enormously fun to watch when the bulls are bugling and keeping their harem safe from other bulls during the rut. 

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