Capital Photography Center | Photography Classes in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia

Springtime In The Smokies Photo Workshop

Fee includes 4 nights lodging.

The Photo Ops
Join us on this popular spring workshop as we explore the Great Smoky Mountain National Park! Clingman’s Dome, Cades Cove, The Morton Overlook, these are just some of the iconic locations we will visit on this spring workshop. The park offers something for everyone, great landscapes, historic homes and settlements, bear, deer, turkey, songbirds and more.

Our experts tell us that this should be a banner year for spring cubs with as many as 25 sets of cubs being born in the park. We are excited for this opportunity and will be on the lookout for these guys.

Another highlight will be the wildflowers as the trip is being timed to coincide with the peak of the spring wildflower season in the Smokies. The park is known to many as the “wildflower park” for a reason. At this time of year, the forest floor is carpeted with a riot of wildflowers. In addition to the forest floor the dogwood and redbud should also be at peak.  Additionally, all the streams and waterfalls running at a very high volume will make for even more photographic opportunities.

All skill levels are welcome so whether you're an experienced shooter or are new to photography, all will come away with stronger skills in exposure, composition and camera settings and get plenty of one-on-one instruction.

This workshop is being specifically designed to maximize our time in the field photographing, learning in a hands on, real world fashion. We will be identifying and solving photographic problems in the field as they come up. The group size is purposely being kept small with only 8 students and we'll have 2 to 3 instructors so that everyone will be able to get questions answered and have time for one on one instruction. 

Any down time that we are not in the field actively shooting might be spent reviewing images, critiquing the days shoot and learning from each other. Depending on time and possibly the weather, we may have time working in Lightroom or Photoshop learning how to optimize our images to make them look their best.

Although any camera will do, we recommend one with exposure controls such as a DSLR or mirrorless camera for more creative exposure techniques and compositions. 

The Accommodations
Included in the price is 4 nights lodging. Our cabin is located just 10 minutes from the park in a beautiful wooded setting in a privately owned gated community. The cabin boasts a vast, open great-room with vaulted cathedral ceilings and a completely equipped gourmet kitchen as well as a large dining table and breakfast bar. Outside we’ll find a large covered deck to sit out and relax while listening to the water fall in the creek down below or enjoy the fire pit with Adirondack chairs.

All participants will enjoy a private bedroom but a bath may be shared. Couples will be given king beds if we have the quantity available, otherwise queen beds. 

 - The total cost of the workshop is $1450. A deposit of $350 will reserve your spot, the balance will be due proir to the workshop.
 - All lodging is included in the cost. Meals are not included. There is a full kitchen so feel free to bring food and beverages.

 - The workshop runs from 6pm on 4/25/19 and concludes at 10:30am on 4/29.
 - Workshop Limit: 8 to 9, this is a smaller size group than last year. 
 - If anyone would like to carpool from the DC area, we can help coordinate that.
 - Knoxville is the closest airport. If anyone would like to share a rental car from the airport we can help coordinate that.
 - Questions can be directed to Marie Joabar at

Steve Gettle
Over the course of his 30-year career, Steve Gettle has spent countless hours creating hundreds of thousands of photographs capturing nature’s beauty around us. Steve’s images communicate his love for the wildlife and the wild places of our world.

He especially enjoys sharing his knowledge through both private and group location-based experiences focused on individual nature photography development in once-in-a-lifetime locations. In addition to his own photo tours and workshops Steve has given presentations and led workshops for organizations around the country including:
North American Nature Photographers Association
Rocky Mountain School of Photography
The Adirondack Photography Institute
The Photographic Society of America

Steve’s images have been exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world, including; The Museum of Natural History London, The American Museum of Natural History in New York as well as two solo shows at The National Center for Nature Photography. His work has been featured in many books, magazines, calendars, and other publications including: The National Geographic Society, Canadian Geographic, Audubon, Sierra Club, The BBC, The World Wildlife Fund, The National Wildlife Federation, Birder’s World, Nature’s Best, Wild Bird, and Natural History.

Steve has been honored to receive many awards for his photography. Some of the highlights include being chosen as Great Lakes Wildlife Photographer of the Year, a multiple award winner honored in the BBC’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, as well as often recognized in the prestigious Nature’s Best photography contest.

Nicole Hamilton
Nicole is an avid nature photographer who specializes in photographing wildflowers, insects, amphibians and birds. She enjoys sharing the wonders of nature and inspiring others in exploring that passion. Nicole is the author of the Field Guide to the Butterflies of Loudoun County that includes photographs of over 85 species of butterflies that occur in Loudoun county.  She is a Virginia Master Naturalist and a National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward.  Through her images she connects the story of wildlife and habitat, showing interactions and interdependencies that are sometimes missed. In addition, Nicole is Executive Director of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, a nonprofit organization in northern Virginia. Her photos and articles appear throughout the organization’s Habitat Herald magazine and website which reach an audience that spans the mid-atlantic area.

Marie Joabar
As the founder of Capital Photography Center, Marie is very excited to offer this workshop and will be there assisting. Whether you need help with your camera technology or with exposure issues, Marie will help you find the solution so you'll be able to capture stunning images. Depending on the amount of downtime, Marie may be holding discussions and/or demos with Lightroom, especially the editing tools.

- A refund or a credit towards another workshop or class (less a $20 processing fee) can be given if cancellation notice is given more than 45 days from the scheduled workshop.   
- If cancellation notice is given less than 45 days, no refund or credit will be given unless another person fills your spot. If so, we will give a refund or credit for 70% of your initial deposit. 
- If there is no cancellation notice, or it is given 45 days or less and no one fills the spot, no refund or credit will be given.   
- Please consider purchasing travel insurance in case something unavoidable comes up and ruins your plans. This article from Forbes provides helpful information.
- If Capital Photography Center cancels or postpones a workshop due to weather or low enrollment, you can choose a full refund or a credit towards a future workshop or class.

What People Are Saying About This Workshop (from 2018)
"The entire workshop was well planned out and well run. I've done a number of multi-day workshops and I was thrilled with the professionalism of Marie, Steve and Natalie. It was great, Thank you!" G & R

"Having three instructors was great. I felt like I got personal attention. Someone was always available to answer questions, but usually one of the instructors came to me to check to see how I was doing. Having an instructor help set up a shot (e.g., what settings to use to start, where to point the camera) was very helpful." V.P.

"There were a couple of us that were real beginners and I was concerned my skills would be lacking, However, I got plenty of help and I learned so much! I loved it and would highly recommend this to photographers of any level." J.M.

Date: April 25 2019

Time: This is a multi-day event: April 25-29, 2019




Location: Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Townsend, TN

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