Activity note: This course is designed to help participants move from "beginner" to "intermediate" photography. To enable this transition participants should be fully familiar with the operation of their camera and its various controls. While simple "automatic-mode" photography has its place, this course will stress the use of your camera's semi-automatic modes, which offer greater artistic control. To receive full course benefit, your camera should be able to accommodate these semi-automatic mode settings.
Afternoon: Arrival at the Assembly Inn, check in between 4 - 5:30 PM. Pull up to the Assembly Inn porch to unload, then park your vehicle in any designated spot close by the Inn or by the lake. Enjoy a walk around the beautiful campus, or relax in the lobby and meet fellow classmates.
Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. A relaxing break after your travel day! All our meals are served buffet style, so grab your plate and utensils and settle in for some comfort food. A choice of two entrées (or have both), good for you vegetables, a complete salad bar, bread and, of course, some yummy desserts. Tea (sweet and unsweet), coffee, milk, and water available.
Evening: Our opening program/orientation will be at 7 p.m., usually in Convocation Hall in the Assembly Inn. We will spend some time learning a little about Montreat, meeting your instructors, going over the schedule, and answering questions. We know you're tired from your travels, so we'll wrap up around 8 p.m. with some "getting to know each other" activities. Refreshmentments and fellowship follow in the lobby, or retire to your room for rest.
Activity note: walking required around Montreat campus
Breakfast: Breakfast 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. is served in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
Morning: NOTE: The described photo excursions are representative. Lots of photo opportunities are in the area, and we will find those best suited to interests of the class participants and weather conditions. Today's learning activities with Gerry Pasternack provide an in-depth lecture and associated field work on the "craft" of photography and the steps you can take to produce better photographs. We begin with an identification of your photo-style and goals. Next we introduce the difference between "seeing" and "photographing". This leads to an examination of camera controls and settings such as color balance, exposure, focus, resolution, etc, and the choices needed to capture the image that you envisioned. There is discussion of specialty techniques for macro-photography and panoramas. We end with a discussion of photo equipment (cameras, tripods, filters, etc) and the mechanics that make for a successful photo-shoot. Lecture notes will be provided. Our mid-morning refreshments will be in the lobby.
Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., lunch is served in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
Afternoon: We put this morning's principles into practice with a "photo walk" around the Montreat campus. Through a series of photo-assignments we learn basic camera adjustments for a diverse set of subjects such as streams and waterfalls, architecture, landscapes, flowers. One-on-one instruction is readily available. The objective will be for you to "see" a photograph and control your camera accordingly. By the end of the afternoon class members should be fully cognizant of their camera's capabilities and how best to utilize them for better picture-taking.
Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be served in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
Evening: Evening program, (probably Fun in the Mountains with Anne Lough) from 7:00 to 8:00 games/cards and tv available in the lobby for fellowship. Perhaps a movie on a big screen, if the group is interested
Activity note: Lots of walking required on field trip to downtown Asheville
Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast is served in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
Morning: With Gerry Pasternack, our instructor, our goal this morning is to learn the "art" of photography, and how to use this to present the image we'd like to capture to its best advantage. We begin with broad theory of composition and then detail nearly two-dozen compositional techniques that will direct the viewer to see the captured image in the way you intended. In addition to the many general techniques, we add specialty approaches for color and for black-and-white photography. We close with a discussion of creativity -- how to remove barriers and expand horizons. Lecture notes will be provided. Our mid-morning refreshments will be in the lobby.
Lunch: Taco Tuesday! Build your own Mexican cuisine creations! Hard and soft taco shells, taco-seasoned ground beef, veggie and chicken fajitas, rice, beans, tortilla chips and cheese. Save room for some cobbler and ice cream!
Afternoon: This afternoon's field trip will explore some mountain culture, people-photography, and the urban landscape. Our first stop will be a visit to the NC Farmer's Market to check out some of our local produce (boiled peanuts, ramps, muscadine and scuppernong grapes) and the folks who grow and sell them. Our next stop will take us to downtown Asheville, the creative hub of Western North Carolina. Given the wealth of photo opportunities, we will concentrate on urban architecture, street scenes, and people. By walking Asheville's "Urban Trail" we will tour many of the city's cultural and historic landmarks, with occasion detours to visit some of the more eclectic areas that make this city so unique.
Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner
Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program: Evening programs are typically a fun event -- a dance, a concert, or a storyteller games/cards/tv available in lobby for fellowship and optional movie on big screen. You may also choose to use this time to sort/organize and edit your photographs.
Activity note: lots of walking on all field trips today, as well as getting on & off transportation at various stops
Breakfast: 7 - 8 a.m. (early) breakfast is served in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
Morning: Armed with an understanding of the "art and craft" of photography we spend a full day in the field putting these principles into practice. Our canvas will be the Blue Ridge Parkway, noted for its many photogenic vistas. Our first stop is "Looking Glass Falls". This much-photographed 60-foot waterfall is easily accessed via a staircase that leads from top of the falls to its bottom, with viewing platforms along the way. Our primary destination this morning is the "Cradle of Forestry" in Pisgah National Forrest. This is a site of historic significance in that it marked the birth of forestry in America. An easy scenic walk guides us through forest trails to a typical period farmhouse, mountain cabins, forestry village. Another picturesque walk takes us to a forest "working area" with steam-powered saw-mill and a restored 1915 logging locomotive.
Lunch: Picnic lunch (box lunches provided)
Afternoon: After a box-lunch picnic we travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway making several scenic photo-stops. We will practice some waterside photography along the Yellowstone Prong River, and perhaps hike to a nearby hidden waterfall. Next, we will visit "Looking Glass Rock," a gigantic monolith rising from the valley floor to nearly 4,000 feet. Our final afternoon destination is the North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre "public garden" that features a diversity of native trees as well as flower exhibits, sculpture, and one of the most renowned bonsai collections in the country. Please note these rules for pictures at the arboretum: Stay on pathways and trails – no stepping into landscape beds and garden areas. Do not pick or touch plants. Do not stand in or on water features. Be considerate to other garden visitors. Find out more about the arboretum by visiting ncarboretum.org.
Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner
Evening: Free evening to relax or work on your photos.
Activity note: Lots of walking at the Biltmore Estate
Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast
Morning: We spend the morning learning about an essential, often overlooked, part of digital photography --post-processing. This lecture will provide a survey overview of image cataloging, viewing, editing, and preparation for print and monitor display. Specialty techniques such as layering, increasing dynamic range (HDR), noise reduction, sharpening, and plug-in photo-filtering will also be discussed. We will download a (free) editing tool to illustrate many of these techniques. The morning's discussion will provide a platform for the selection (and editing) of photos for our end-of-week photo critique. Lecture notes will be provided.
Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch is served in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
Afternoon: For our final field-outing we have picked an extraordinary photo location for garden lovers-- Biltmore Estate. This turn of the century mansion is located on 250 acres includes several formal flower and shrub gardens, prize winning hundred-year-old trees, a flower conservatory, a lake and classic boathouse, and many woodland walking trails. While our field trip will be limited to the Estates grounds only*, there will be an abundance of photo-opportunities. After capturing the exterior architecture of the mansion we will proceed to several of the formal gardens, and then on to the Conservatory (both interior and exterior) of exotic plants and flowers. We will take a short walk through an area of flowering shrubs and around Bass Pond with its many photo attractions. Time permitting, we will end the afternoon with a short visit to Biltmore's "Antler Hill" farm restoration.. *Those wishing to visit the interior of the mansion on their own are directed to the "Free Time Opportunities" section of this booklet.
Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner is served in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
Evening: This evening will be a musical or storytelling concert.
Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast is served in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
Morning: This final session is where we share the results from our photo-outings and field trips with others in the class. The photographs will be "gently" critiqued and suggestions are offered to show your photos off to their best advantage. Our closing program is from 12:15 to 12:30, after which we'll have lunch and say our goodbyes. Our mid-morning break will offer refreshments and an opportunity to check out of your room (check required by 11 a.m.)
Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch is served in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. box lunches are provided for those who cannot stay through lunch (sign up required by Thursday evening).