Monthly Archives: April 2009

Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I attended the Spring Photography Workshop at GSMIT. It was an intense and busy, but very rewarding experience for me. Not only did I get to go out to beautiful places and take great pics, I also learned a lot from the 5 instructors, who were very helpful. While I’ll go into more details about what I learned in future posts, I will say that I’ve gotten to know my tripod in a whole new way and that my newly purchased cable release proved to be an indispensable tool.

In the air and on the road…

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Tomorrow morning, I’m headed off to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee to spend some time shooting, hiking, and relaxing with my parents for about 10 days. From Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon, Dad and I will be participating in a photography workshop led by Bill Lea at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, where we’ll be sharpening our skills in nature photography, including landscape, macro, and wildlife. Other than the general photography classes I’ve taken at the local college, I really haven’t had any other formal training; this will be my first workshop. For the time before and after the workshop (until May 2), Mom, Dad, and I will be exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on our own.

Since both GSMIT and the campground that we’re staying at have internet access, I’ll be taking my laptop computer loaded with Lightroom so I’ll be able to edit my images day by day. As I have time, I definitely plan on sharing some of the new things I’ve learned from the instructors, as well as pictures here and on my Flickr page.

So what is a lightbox, anyhow?

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You may be wondering how in the world I came up with the “lightbox” in this blog’s title. In the photography world, a lightbox most commomly refers to an open shallow box containing several lightbulbs topped by translucent piece of plastic or glass. It is used with slides (and a slide loupe) to illuminate them for viewing by a photographer. While I use some film, that really wasn’t the inspiration for my lightbox. The inspiration actually came from a posting (maybe even more than one) on one of the photography forums that I’m a part of where the poster referred to the camera as a “lightbox”–a box with a sealed back and a hole in the front that allows light to hit exposed film (or a sensor in the case of a digital camera), the most simple example of this being a pinhole camera. Even though my cameras have a lot more bells and whistles on them than the lowly pinhole camera, the same concept stilll applies in that I use all those buttons and dials to help me control the light that comes into my “lightbox”.

The idea of light also carries a spiritual conatation to me, as well. If you’re familiar with the creation story as outlined in the Bible , God created light on the first day and saw that this light was good (Genesis 1:4a NIV). I John 1:5 says that “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” This created light allows me to create images which will hopefully inspire and bring light into the spirit of those who look at them.

This flower couldnt have been any bigger than a dime.

This flower couldn't have been any bigger than a dime.

Hello friends!

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Welcome to my new blog! Basically, this blog will be mostly about photography, but I’ll be thowing in some thoughts relating to spirituality and life as I see fit. I’ll be sharing my thoughts about the direction of my own photography, as well as the things I’m learning about photography from both the creative and technical ends.

For those of you who are reading this and don’t know me already, I am a hobbyist photographer who dabbled in photography on and off from the time I was a teen, but started getting more serious about it in the late summer of 2007 when I signed up for a photography class through the Community Education program at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida and really got to understand how cameras really work. I use both Pentax film and digital SLRs, along with the requisite lenses. For editing, I mostly use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. While I’m open to shooting most subjects, I seem to gravitate towards the natural world–landscapes, flowers and plants, and small animals.

At any rate, I hope that you’ll find my thoughts beneficial to your own growth as a photographer and as a person.