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I recently returned from our Tuscany Experience photo workshop which was shared with a great group of photographers and for many of them, their first visit to Italy. Tuscany did not disappoint with the hospitality of the people, the fantastic food and the light and landscape providing beautiful views.

The weather also gave us dramatic skies and after a hard rain one afternoon, this incredible double rainbow which seemed to form directly over the famous Cappella di Vitaleta sitting on a distant hillside.

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The Tuscan sun also competed for the ‘best landscape’ category with this early morning view from the hilltop town of Montalcino.

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It wasn’t very hard to find wonderful subjects to photograph, from vineyards surrounded by colorful flowers, to local intimate town scenes, to the wheat fields around the famous group of cypress trees called the Torrenieri Trees….Tuscany gave everyone photographs to cherish for a lifetime.

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Each year, Jennifer King Photography Workshops takes a group of photographers to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to experience the spring season there. This year the group was treated to a lot of black bear activity as they start to fatten up on the new plant growth in the park after the winter season. In one day, the group saw seven black bears.

Bears were not the only wildlife spotted. There were deer, turkey, coyote, snakes, salamanders, millepedes, and this rather large skink that attached itself to the side of one of the old cabins in the Cades Cove area of the park.

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The spring season brings full streams in the park and the early green leaves on the trees, which transforms the park into such a different landscape from the rest of the year. The image below comes from the Tremont area of the park.

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Of course, the park wouldn’t be called the Smokies without the “smoke” and we had plenty of it on the final day of our workshop. Spring in the Smokies; great friends, great scenes, great wildlife. Couldn’t ask for more!

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Enjoyed a great workshop in the Charleston, South Carolina area in early April. We spent a good amount of time at the Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation where it seems you never have a bad sunrise.

But there is a lot more in this area to photograph and we took advantage of our mornings and evenings by positioning ourselves at other locations, such as the pier at Crosby’s Seafood near Folly Beach.

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The area is also home to several magnificent plantation gardens. These next two images were taken at Magnolia Plantation which has wonderful lakes and ponds that are home to a lot of wildlife, from alligators to frogs, to turtles, to egrets, to Great Blue Herons.

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I also had the opportunity to visit the ruins of Old Sheldon Church at night for some star photography.

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Finally, back to the boneyard for another great sunrise.

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Having the privilege of helping to show a group of photographers the wonders of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks makes me absolutely giddy. I have visited these parks many times but never tire of each park’s ability to captivate the imagination, and for those who have not step foot within the park boundaries before, watching these photographers develop their own vision of the lands is such a blast. Our Jennifer King Photography Workshops group visited a number of the well-known landmarks of these parks, such as Mesa Arch in Canyonlands for a spectacular sunrise, and Delicate Arch in Arches for an equally spectacular sunset.

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The group also spent a long morning at nearby Dead Horse Point state park, with its magnificent views of the canyons below. The wonderful light bathing the red rocks gave everyone multiple compositions and the chance to just stand on the canyon edge and take it all in with our eyes.

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These parks must be on your list of photographic locations. If you have been there, you know what I mean!

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Workshop Schedule

  • March 19, 2016 - 12:06 pm

    Faye Hewitt-Lighty - Love the photos…

  • March 19, 2016 - 12:28 pm

    Mike Walker - Thanks Faye!

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February is a great time of year to visit Death Valley National Park in CA. The temperatures are pleasant and this year, February rains created a temporary lake on the salt flat which provided a nice sunset reflection.

You can also have some windy days here which help to shape the sand dunes and coverup the footprints of previous visitors. These dunes are at Mesquite Flat.

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The trip this year included a ride out to The Racetrak, where the formerly ‘mysterious’ rocks sail across the playa (thanks to ice sheets) leaving trails on the dry lake bed floor.

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Once place where is it usually very windy is up on Dante’s View, some 5,000 feet above the floor of Death Valley. From this vantage point you can see just about the entire length of Death Valley and its amazing salt flats, photographed just before sunrise.

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  • March 13, 2016 - 9:31 am

    Paul - Nice shot

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