Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year of Shift and Amazing Light | My Best of 2012

Milestones are important. These are the moments in life when we pause, reflect and are made aware of the beauty and mystery that is both grace and life. At the beginning of each year there's always the question - "what will the next 12 months hold in store for me?" And then always on December 31st the answers that surprise.

In no way could I have predicted the experiences during 2012 that would lead me to where I am now, but without a doubt I can now look back with nothing but thankfulness.

As a photographer I have the added blessing of visually recording those times and experiences when I become completely lost within the light and the spirit of my subject. At the end of each year I try to make a "top 10" list of those images that truly reflect who I am as an artist while telling the story of my life experiences. It can be tough to narrow-down the selections. The temptation is always there to include those images that received the most "likes" and shares on Facebook or the ones that resulted in the most print sales on my storefront. But in these end-of-the-year lists I try to emphasize those few images that have more depth of personal story behind them, the ones that are infused with deeper meaning and reflect what I was feeling and thinking at the moment and in the place where the camera shutter was released.

Sure I could just simply include the technical data involved with each of the following photographs (and that's available if anyone would like to know - email me and I'll be happy to answer) but I'd rather share the story, the meaning, of what was happening and changing within my life and my style of photography at the moment of the image.

Indeed what an amazing year of discovery, emotion, reawakening and ultimately a turning in the right direction. All of it means even more to me now that I see my time on Hilton Head Island coming to an end and a new chapter opening westward, in Texas and beyond. The previous year and this place (Hilton Head) was a time and location of reflection and learning, more of a crossroads than anything else. Many new friends and the haunting beauty of the tidelands. I am thankful for the lessons both have taught me and the opportunity to capture and share the unique light and character of coastal South Carolina. But also during 2012 I was fortunate to have a few initial previews of what is in store for me during 2013.

In marking the conclusion of 2012 here are my top 12 photographs -

Blessed in Morning Light | Hilton Head Island
The crabbing dock behind the building where I rent my apartment. March 17, 2012. The sunrises over the marshland that borders Broad Creek have a calm beauty and peacefulness that endures despite the development of the Island and the hustle and flow of visitor traffic. To experience sunrise from this location is a living prayer set to light. This is a place to go and meet the incoming tide with peaceful reflection. The time I've been fortunate enough to be blessed with here on Hilton Head has for the most part been a period of contemplation, prayer and redirection. There is a reason why I was moved in this direction at this point in my life, perhaps to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of what truly matters, through perhaps one or two painful lessons but mostly quiet observation.

January Moonrise | Hilton Head Island
To appreciate the true beauty of the nature of the area you HAVE to get out on the water, whether by boat or paddle board. This where the spirit of the Lowcountry is met on an intimate level. The water, the water, the water. Sunlight dances but moonlight enthralls. I am very thankful for the opportunity to own a boat and explore the local creeks, sounds and offshore ocean. This is the source of all positive energy that flows over and through the islands. In preparing for my move to Texas - and to gather the funds for the move - I had to sell my boat. That was the first time in my life that I found it hard to part with something material but the fact is that boat - a 23' Century - was my access to the water, from swimming and tubing with my daughters and son to cruising out alone to the open waters of Port Royal Sound at sunrise and coming back in at nightfall under the light of a rising Moon. It was freedom and an investment in memories for a lifetime.

May Rain at Cedar Falls | Hocking Hills, Ohio
I'm thankful for the opportunity to return to Hocking Hills, Ohio at least twice each year, to teach weekend workshops on photography at The Inn at Cedar Falls. On the Sunday afternoon portion of the program last May I took my group out in the rain to demonstrate how wet weather often can be a benefit with spring landscape photography in this area. The lady with the umbrella was not part of our group nor was she asked to stand in that location. I was just sitting up on a ledge under a rock overhang, talking with one of my students, when she just appeared with this purple/pink umbrella. I thought to myself "this is too good to be true." She also stood still long enough for the longer exposure I needed to capture the flow of the water off of Cedar Falls. Every year my top 10 list includes at least one image from Hocking Hills. The place has become a part of who I am and for good reason. It is home.

The Loretto Chapel Staircase | Santa Fe, New Mexico
Revisiting New Mexico last March I had an opportunity to spend a day of photography in Santa Fe. Both the Loretto Chapel and St. Francis Cathedral were wonderful to explore and photograph. Of course I had to agree that my images of Loretto Chapel would not be sold for commercial purposes. It's breathtaking to see this miracle of handcrafted architecture up close. The late winter light of the high desert coming through the stained glass windows was befitting to this subject. Each time I visit New Mexico I come away with amazing images.

Crescent Moon and Venus | Hilton Head Island
Late March, while at Broad Creek Marina. Spring 2012 was a time of turning and change. Something was about to come my way and I had no idea. Just a feeling. The clarity of the air that night resulted in the light from the Moon and stars to have a crystal clear crispness to it. When it happens it's actually more of a "feel" to the night air than anything else. Companions in the sky. Venus was so bright during that time that I could see it even before the sun went down. A night sky as brilliant and clear as this results in a sense of "oneness" with something far greater than the self. This image was captured in recognition of that connection.

Highland Lake Inn | Flat Rock, North Carolina
Late June 2012. This was a weekend trip that was unplanned and one which I didn't intend to do much in the way of landscape photography. On the drive up into the mountains of western North Carolina earlier that day a short but very intense thunderstorm came through, leaving the air cool and clear. The light that evening was beyond ethereal. Something happened that night that's hard to describe. Once again, it's more of a feeling. The memory of that night is shared and it is bittersweet. It happened too quick; gone too soon. But I'm thankful it did happen.

Tideland Journey | Skull Creek on Hilton Head Island
Late May on Hilton Head. Spring storm systems often break toward sunset. I've learned to read the weather and the clouds over the Lowcountry. When the light of the setting sun breaks underneath all of that cloud activity there is a play of light and color that's magical. Sunset and sunrise are the times of day when it feels as almost an opening occurs between this life and the next. To be present with camera and a watchful eye in these moments is to become lost in the gift of grace. All I can do is simply be thankful.

Under a Desert Sky | near Los Alamos, New Mexico
Early March 2012. That afternoon I was in nearby Bandelier National Monument, photographing the cliff dwellings on the Pueblo culture. Driving up out of that canyon I kept noticing how the clouds were forming. I didn't know where I was going or on what road, I just went, and followed the light. This was a pull-off on the road going up towards Los Alamos. Once you experience the light of New Mexico it's easy to see why so many visual artists are completely "enchanted" with the high desert. It is a sacred connection.

Fire and Rain | Hilton Head Island
October 7, 2012. There these "pocket thunderstorms" flowing over Hilton Head that afternoon and early evening. As these patches of torrential rainfall moved offshore an opening on the western horizon allowed for the light of the setting sun to illuminate the falling rain. James Taylor's classic "Fire and Rain" came to mind while I was capturing exposures for this image. Separating the marshland from the sky is the Cross Island Bridge that spans Broad Creek. About one mile from one end to the next, running or cycling over the Cross Island at sunset for me is a prayer in motion, more of which I wrote about on this entry on my tumblr. What the Lowcountry lacks in dynamic landscape (hills, mountains, valleys) it makes up for with big, dramatic skies that cover the tidelands in a constant parade of color and shape. Here is the meeting ground and even playing field of water, ground and sky.

Mingo Falls | Cherokee, North Carolina
Early April on Hilton Head can be very crowded and busy with the well-known, televised golf tournament. It's a good time for local residents - particularly non-golfers - to get away. I chose to take quick road trip north and explore a side of Great Smoky Mountain National Park that I had not previously visited and photographed, which was the North Carolina side. Spring in the Smokies provides a wealth of subject matter for nature and landscape photography. It's a time when the hollows and mountainsides return to life. Mingo Falls sits on the boundary between the national park and the Cherokee Indian Reservation. It's a short but steep hike up to the section where I captured this image. Even though the morning was bright and clear, the falls was still within the shade of the mountainside. As with the flowing tides of the coast, the water in the streams and falls of the high country is filled with energy. I've always felt that this is the reason people are so attracted to waterfalls. Yes, visually appealing but there is no denying the purifying force of positive energy found at these locations.

My daughters, Emma and Chloe, and my son, Philip. My work in photography is a blessing to be sure, but what will matter more in the long run will be what I can do to positively impact the lives of my children. The past is the past. I have to let it go. Reconnecting with my son this summer was a gift beyond measure, and now I have the opportunity to live just down the road from my daughters in Texas. Time is fleeting. Life on Hilton Head can be fun and full of beautiful days near the ocean, but it's not for me. What matters most now is building upon the doors of opportunity that have opened during 2012 and directing my attention to where it needs to flow. The trials and challenges will always remain but anything can be accomplished when you know you have the love of your children. All they ask is that I be there for them. I will miss my friends and the beauty of Hilton Head Island but now I'm westward bound with hope and an open heart for something so much more. I am thankful.

Onward to 2013. My sincere wishes for bountiful blessings in the New Year.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sweet November | Nature Photography at Hunting Island

Even before moving to Hilton Head Island I had already learned about - and visited - Hunting Island State Park, just east of Beaufort. It is one of those rare places along the coastal sea islands that has been kept almost completely in its original, natural state. In other words, a beach full of wonderful, weathered drift wood and a maritime forest environment free of development. Hunting Island is a nature photographer's dream location. Each and every visit yields images that rank in my top personal favorites representing the South Carolina "lowcountry."

Recently I was blessed with another opportunity to visit and photograph on Hunting. In the beautiful light and pleasing temperatures of a November morning I explored both the wider landscape of beach and sky as well as the smaller details and shapes provided by a treasure trove of subject matter found at my feet.

Even though my visit to Hunting was just for a few hours one morning last week the outing resulted in images that I was happy to add to my growing stock library of South Carolina nature photographs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Place Called Home | Where The Best Photographs Come From

While in Ohio recently I was hoping to have a day or two following the October 26 - 28 Hocking Hills workshop to hit the trail alone and capture some of that beautiful light of autumn in a landscape that I've come to know and love. But it was not to be so. A painful knee and immobile leg made it practically impossible to transverse the trails through those deep gorges. However, one thing I've learned in working for myself as a professional photographer is that there is a reason for everything, good, bad or just painful inconvenience.

Immediately following the workshop weekend in Hocking Hills I traveled back to the place I call home, Dayton, for an extended, unplanned visit while I had my knee looked at and healed. Even though my current residence and place of business is Hilton Head Island (and even that is going to change soon), Dayton is where I grew up and have lived the majority of my life.

Despite my injured knee I was able to get out and do some photography. My favorite haunt near Dayton is the Sugarcreek Preserve MetroPark, south of town near Bellbrook and Centerville. There is a rolling, open meadow that never disappoints at sunset. I love working from the perspective of being down low at eye-level with the tall grasses and shooting upwards to include a dramatically lit and vibrant sky. In late autumn the grasses offer an array of texture in rich hues of tans and browns.

It was inspiring to walk the old and familiar trails again, both in Hocking Hills and at Sugarcreek. Yes, the natural beauty of the tidelands of South Carolina is alluring but home is where the creative heart resides. It's the connection to my formative years, my "proving ground' of sorts where my passion for camera and film first took root.

I think we tend to be hardest on those places - and often people as well - we love the most. A full appreciation for childhood homeland takes a while to make its presence known. In later years as we grow older we become more fond of the memories - the neighborhoods, the schools, the friends.

With artists the memories are more acute and run just a tad bit deeper. Perhaps it's because the feelings conjured through that touchstone of emotion is always echoed in and through the work they create. Maybe that's part of the reason I am always visually drawn to the fading light of a moody sky. I struggle with finding the right words but I know it when I see it. More importantly, I know it when I feel it.

The old trails through woodland and meadow. Sugarcreek, Cox, Germantown, Ft. Ancient, Little Miami, Clifton Gorge, John Bryan and of course, Hocking. Each season so distinct in light, shadow, color and scent. Familiar ground underfoot and trail side companions of Maple, Oak, Beech and Hemlock. Home. It's always there wherever life takes me.

“A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some spot of native land, where it may get the love of tender kinship for the face of the earth, for the labours of men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar unmistakable difference among the future widening of knowledge: a spot where the definiteness of early memories may be inwrought with affection, and kindly acquaintance with all neighbors, even to the dogs and donkeys, may spread not by sentimental effort and reflection, but as a sweet habit of the blood.” - George Eliot

The song "My Father's Father" by The Civil Wars provides the near perfect sound and lyrics to the experiences and images that come to mind when I think of my favorite Ohio trails and haunts.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Making Our Verse Through Photography | Hocking Hills Autumn Workshop Recap

It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to lead and teach a group of 19 very talented and enthusiastic photography students during this past weekend's workshop in Hocking Hills, Ohio. They were also a very understanding group because as it turned-out, I was functioning with a torn left quad tendon just above my knee. The injury occurred earlier in the week while in South Carolina but it wasn't until I got in to see a doctor with the Orthopedic Institute of Dayton - on Monday following the workshop - when I found out the reason for so much pain and swelling. As a result I will be "mobile office" in Dayton, Ohio for a few weeks before returning to South Carolina.

One of the lessons learned - for both me and my workshop students - is the need for photographers to be able to adapt and adjust to unforeseen circumstances and changing weather when shooting for assignment, workshop or personal project. We were also working around some interesting weather coming in ahead of the super storm that was hitting the northeast and a cold front bearing down from the northwest. Lots of rain (more than I care to work with) on the Sunday of the workshop program.

The pain in my knee did become so bad that I had to end the program two hours early on Sunday afternoon but the group was very understanding. For that I am thankful. 

Despite the challenges we had a great weekend for learning and photography in Hocking Hills. The locations I did manage to guide the group to included Cedar Falls and Conkle's Hollow. In those locations we concentrated on form, texture and composition within close-up nature subjects and selected sections of the landscape. Something new to this fall's weekend program was adding a section on portrait photography, both location/environment and inside at our meeting facility at The Inn at Cedar Falls.

Every workshop group and experience is unique in personality, group dynamic, theme and point of emphasis. But one thing is common - they are always positive, uplifting learning experiences. I know it is for me as the instructor and I hope these programs are reacted to in a similar way by the participants. I have yet to hear otherwise and once again, I'm grateful.

I think the highlight of this most recent session came on Sunday morning when took the group down an unexpected path by showing a clip from a favorite movie, "Dead Poet's Society." In this clip (apologies but the imbed option from YouTube was disabled) Robin William's character - Mr. Keating - talks about the importance of passion in art, in this case poetry, but what he is saying applies to all forms of art. "What will your verse be?" This is the question I presented to my workshop students. For us our poetry are the images we capture and share. Our legacy, our record of moments captured and stories set to the images that serve as our connection to what is felt within and with those who view our work.

Come injury and bad weather, the learning process continues, for student and teacher. The beauty of photography is that neither one ever truly arrives at an end point. For us the journey is everything and along the way we leave our "verses."

The following web gallery provides a look at the images captured during the Autumn Journey Workshop of October 26 - 28, 2012:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Light and Subject | Angle and Direction with Wildlife Photography on Hilton Head

It's not often I have the opportunity to work with such a willing subject when it comes to wildlife photography. Yesterday evening a Great Blue Heron was more than happy to help me demonstrate the difference light direction can make when deciding how to capture a subject and where to place the point of emphasis.

I was just getting ready to go on a run at sunset when I noticed this guy perched on the railing near the pond behind my apartment building. By the time I got down to my car and my camera equipment I thought he would be gone but instead he was happy to pose for quite a while. The camera used was a Canon 1D Mark III with a 300mm f4 IS L lens and 1.4x extender.

This is the time of year with the most pleasing light at sunset. Working around the Great Blue Heron with directional light coming from the southwestern horizon I was able to capture a variety of images. Each of the same subject but also quite different due to where I was placing myself (angle) in relation to how the light was interacting with the Heron. It's fascinating to see just how much of a difference angle and light direction can make in the resulting photographs.

The following examples show side lighting, diffused non-direct lighting and complete back lighting for striking silhouette. It was fun to play with different angles of approach and then adjust exposure based on how the sunlight was interacting with the subject. In these examples the subject being a Great Blue Heron, however, the same holds true for outdoor portrait photography as well.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Welcoming September | The Photographer's Season on Hilton Head

Those who've been following my photography and who've participated in my workshops know that I am all about autumn. And it's much more than just the trees turning nice shades of red and gold (of which there is not much of here in coastal South Carolina). It's about the shadows lengthening, the days and nights returning to a right balance and the graceful light of a southward sun. From the hills and woodlands of my home state of Ohio to the lowland maritime waterways of South Carolina, I find that life is renewed when the high humidity and blah light of summer depart the stage.

In some ways I feel bad for the crowds of summer visitors to Hilton Head Island. They miss out on what I consider to be (at least from an artistic viewpoint) the most beautiful time of year in this area. With cooler, tolerable temperatures the air is cleared making way for almost daily shows of spectacular light at sunrise and sunset. The skyscapes over saltwater marsh and beach are jaw-dropping gorgeous, a living prayer set to dancing light. Out I go with camera, a few lenses, tripod and a welcoming, grateful heart. I think it's because the landscape of the coastal area is all basically without the undulating dynamics of hills or mountains is why I'm so drawn to the sky as my primary subject for landscape photography here on Hilton Head.

I will take fall. This is the time of a feeling spirit and it has been well worth the wait. For me autumn brings not only a return to balance but also a more honest approach toward light and life. Something arrives on the cleansing north wind like an old, trusted friend who embraces the soul. In autumn light peace settles-in and fills the painful void left from the quick departure of summer's illusion. I am home and I am thankful.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Through Art Spirituality Takes Flight

"The art informs the world but turns back to you, continuing to inform you, bring you pleasure, and inspiring your ‘eyes to see and ears to hear.’”

The Rabbit Room — Paul Simon’s Search for God.

The Rabbit Room has become my favorite blog for both artistic and spiritual inspiration. Yes, it's Christian-based.

It blows me away how in just about every art form and with every artist spirituality eventually always breaks through in one form and way or the other. Funny how that happens. I gave up long ago trying to hide the fact that spirituality plays a major role in how and what I photograph. As evident in the comments made by Paul Simon in the video and Russ Ramsey in the blog article, the art mirrors so much of what is taking place within the artist. The earthly expression of the soul is indeed the spirit of faith. One rises upon the other.

The interpretation becomes the interconnection of light, feeling and experience and is most obvious in those works - whether visual, written or musical - that move both artist and audience outside of themselves. The initial pause of transcendence may only be a mere moment but the desire for that feeling and the memory of that moment is timeless. The spirit and soul of the artist lives and breathes in the eternal truth of his or her best work.

Love poured-out through an open lens or at the tip of a paintbrush or end of pen is part of a heart that takes flight and can never be retrieved. My photography is my art and my art is feeling set free. With creating art and capturing images my heart rises on the energy of a purposefulness far beyond just daily necessity and survival. What is sent out through artistic expression is almost always followed by the quiet realization of 'yes, this is what I was meant to do' and peace arrives. 

I am blessed.

I am thankful.

Thank you Paul Simon and Russ Ramsey.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Higher Ground

Higher ground. It's not just a place but rather a state of being; an approach toward life that embodies a continued willingness to get up and try again. There is always higher ground. Sometimes it's just a matter of being willing to look in order to find it, but it's there. Once on higher ground a new perspective is gained and clarity is achieved. What really matters comes into clearer focus.

Take it. Hold it. Reach again for it when you fall. Wherever life takes you there is always the option of higher ground.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All The Treasure of the Kingdom | Within the Heart

When all that remains is the simple beauty of your faith and the conviction of your hope, that's when the images that truly matter - the ones that last - begin to arrive.

I never cease to be thankful for the gift of the camera and photography arriving to serve as the connection - my way of communicating - what resides deep within the heart with all the gifts of beauty that I discover every day.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A Season To Try A Photographer's Soul | Photography In July

Take me back to June or jump me forward to late August, because July weighs heavy on me. It's a photography/nature lover thing. Light and energy. This is the month when the light goes overbearing across the landscape, usually under a brutal blanket of relentless humidity. The days go out of balance and wear-on. The hot-blooded twin of dreary January. July. What's a photographer to do ?

Endure and get through it by looking for the opportunities. It can be tough. Here on Hilton Head Island July is prime visitor season. It is the season of family portraits on the beach. The best light is much more limited to perhaps an hour before sunset, and during sunset, which can stretch the limited patience and dinner time appetites of the kids. But the best portrait photographers make use of what's available during those sessions by optimizing camera settings, additional light and most important of all, eliciting heartfelt emotion from their subjects (no matter how hungry, hot and/or tired!).

And there are pockets of opportunity for nature and landscape photography as well. I like to watch weather patterns because I've learned that even in during the dog days of summer a good storm front can still result in a dynamic sky with pleasing light, particularly here on the coast when a setting sun breaks through on the backside of a passing storm.

Here some of my tips for photography and where to look for good photo ops during July:

* Shoot early. Shoot late. As in pre-sunrise early and post-sunset late. Unfortunately this time of year there's not much sleep time in between.

* Lenses in air conditioning suddenly exposed to high humidity will immediately have condensation. It's best to acclimate cameras and lenses gradually so you don't have to miss the shot while waiting for the "fog filter" to dissipate.

* Less is more when it comes to gear. Struggling with too much camera equipment while trying to take advantage of moving light is frustrating enough, but added weight in high heat and humidity only makes things worse. Stay cool, travel light. One of my favorite walk-around lenses is a 50mm that weights just a few ounces.

* If your subject is hot and uncomfortable it will show in the image. Get them under a tree and in the shade. Spot meter for skin tones when shooting against bright backgrounds outside of the shade. Go ahead and let the background get blown-out but get in close. Squinting eyes are only photogenic with big game predators, not people. Bright sunlight in July can be so harsh that even with it bouncing off off beaches, parking lots and buildings it is still way too much.

* Summer scenes in woodlands photograph horribly on bright, summer days. Green in direct, summer sun goes almost yellow and the range between shadows and bright spots is too far to effectively manage via camera meter and in exposure. Wait for subdued, more even light.

* Early morning visits to the garden with a good macro lens and little to no wind are always worth the effort. Get in close and fill the frame with color, texture and pattern. Always go with what it is that first catches your eye and then edit, edit, edit.

* Visit the mountains.

* Move to the mountains.

There is a reason for July. It's times like these that help us appreciate spring and fall. For everything there is a season and good light always returns. Patience, a lot of fluids and air conditioning and we will soon be back in those times of the good light.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gain creative control over your photography by learning how to use camera settings, basics of exposure and how to see light to serve your creative vision. Thursday evening June 28th, 5:30pm to 7:30pm. The location will be the studio and gallery of Photography by Jim Crotty located at 32 Palmetto Bay Road on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This will be a class on basic settings for DSLR cameras for nature photography. We’ll use the garden just outside my studio for demonstration and then we’ll go into the studio for digital editing. The cost will be $45 per person. Accept VISA, MC, check or cash. Limited to first eight people who register. Simply call 843-842-9200 or email

Monday, June 11, 2012

ISO 1200 Magazine | Photography Video blog for photographers: How to do strobist with a monopod by Bry Cox

THIS is the way to do outdoor portraits. PocketWizards are the key. I use them and love them. Always fire the flash. I've tried heavy, somewhat portable batteries and studio strobes along with cumbersome light boxes. On the beach there is almost always wind. Not practical. Photographer Bry Cox presents the perfect set-up.

ISO 1200 Magazine | Photography Video blog for photographers: How to do strobist with a monopod by Bry Cox: Go on set with Bry Cox and see in detail how he uses the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 for Nikon to overpower the sun and create some ...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Metal Prints | Another Great Option for Display of Photographic Art

Another great "frameless" option for showing and displaying nature and landscape photography is the metal print. In this video I show my most recent addition, "Supermoon Over Harbor Town," as a 24"x36" metal print that is float mounted to stand-off from the wall about one inch. This particular print will be on display for a short while at Jump and Phil's, a popular restaurant here on Hilton Head Island.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spring Nature Photography is Best in the Rain

Bad weather is the nature photographer's best friend, especially during spring. Well maybe not real bad weather, but just enough rain and mist to make landscapes, close-ups and macro subjects saturated with soft light that falls on and off the subject versus the harsh directness and hard shadows resulting from direct sunlight. This was one of the more important lessons I was teaching and demonstrating during the field workshop I presented the weekend of May 11 - 13 2012 in Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio.

I traveled back up to my Ohio home - from Hilton Head Island, S.C. - for the opportunity to share my passion for both nature photography and the beauty of Hocking Hills with an enthusiastic group of 19 workshop participants. About half the group had also attended a similar workshop I presented last October, also at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills. I am very thankful for their support and once again reaffirming my love of teaching photography.

On Sunday my group was welcomed by a slow, steady rain. With a supply of shower caps (effective and inexpensive way of protecting cameras) we ventured down to Cedar Falls.

On the Monday morning following the workshop I had just a couple of hours to get out on the trail by myself before the long drive back to South Carolina. I was glad I did because Hocking Hills always delivers with a variety of beautiful subjects. It truly is the place where there is an almost seamless connection between subject and photographer.