Archive 2011


“Autumn in the Southern Appalachians — 2011”

The 7th Annual Autumn Juried Group Exhibit of the Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association (CNPA), “Autumn in the Southern Appalachians,” will be hosted by Pack Place

gallery (2 South Pack Square Asheville, NC 28801) from October 3 to October 24, 2011. An opening reception will be held on Friday, October 7, 2011, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It will then travel to the Biltmore Estate’s Deerpark Inn for the months of November and December.

Thanks to Lens Lugger Dennis Oakley for his notice.

.Foto Fest #1  . the day the world stood still.

Brevard, NC  - Lens Luggers show up …

Standing, l to r: Kevin Adams, Beverly Slone, Linda Vannetta, Duke Miller, Bob Mc Intire; In front: Bob Grytten

Charles John photo   Jo D’Eramo take aim

Lens Luggers take to the waterways!

The East Fork of the Pigeon River is rich with reflections and moving water.

On Rt 276 south of Cruso, NC

Lightroom 3 Clinic Huge Success!

John Bradshaw wins Think Tank Camera Bag. Possible Video in works…

Graveyards Fields – A Hiking Trail In Western North Carolina by Bob Grytten

Reprinted from AAA Go Magazine  May-June, 2011

For a great getaway with cool foliage and refreshing waterfalls, try the Graveyard Fields between Waynesville and Asheville, NC. Despite its ominous-sounding name… Read More

Organizing Our "Photo Tools" by Bob Grytten     reprinted from Apogee Photo Magazine April - May 2011

Many years ago, I learned a technique from my past business endeavors that lends itself to photography in a very special way--to approach photography as a problem solving opportunity. As I learned the various photo techniques and procedures, I would place those into my “Tool Box.”   Much the same as a carpenter would take out a hammer, not a screwdriver, to pound a nail, I selected the right technique for my chosen subject.  But what I began to notice over the years is that some photographers would acquire a new… Read more 

The Breath of the Moment…

                                                                                through Bob Grytten

A soft kiss on the cheek, so subtle that one’s not sure it happened.

A touch on the shoulder, reassuring yet not intrusive. A haunting glance lasting only a moment, but revealing an inner life.

What does our photography say? Does it convey emotion, feeling or moment of truth. Does it need a caption to explain. Some documentary photos require captions but, if you’re bored with just taking pictures - a ho hum kind of work; perhaps we need to rethink the hidden power of the lens. Is there purpose where we go? We’re certainly not just a stump - without feeling.

Can you sense the breath? feel the warmth?  Does a chill arise, a tear begin or a feeling creep in that wasn’t there before. If it does, your work becomes one of a story teller - a moment in time.

Perc E Powell, once said, There are three things one must do to raise their work out of the ordinary.

  1. 1.Change the angle of view.

2. Isolate your subject.

3. Include emotion or some feeling.

Even the simple dandelion can emit a certain emotion. A few seed pods hanging on in the breeze. Like the editor says,“Show, don’t t

Introducing the Lens Luggers of Western NC, USA

The world
of nature photographers in Western North Carolina… rugged mountains, towering waterfalls, rushing streams, placid meadows and farmlands. Geologically, the oldest mountains in the world, reaching from Pennsylvania, USA to the far corner of Georgia, USA and home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is here - home to over
17,000 species including over 1,600 kinds of flowering plants, home to more than 200 species of birds, 66 types of mammals, 50 native fish species, 39 varieties of reptiles, and 43 species of amphibians. Mollusks, millipedes, and mushrooms reach record diversity here. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs through the area, The Biltmore House is in Asheville, and there are over 250 Waterfalls in Transylvania County alone.

Full Moon Watch at Max Patch - Sept 11, 2011

A Full Moon Watch at Max Patch is scheduled for September 11, 2011.

As those going will want to be at Max Patch by about 8:30, plan to meet at

Ferguson's Mercantile store in Fines Creek on Rt 209 by 6:00PM. Lens

Lugger Joann D'Eramo will be guiding this event and has some special

things planned. Cost will be $20 and Lens Lugger $10 Coupon accepted.

Please RSVP at your earliest to 828/627-0245 or

After Sept 9, 2011, please call Joann directly at 828/627-9229.

Next Earlybird Shoot, Lake Junaluska Sept. 6 -

6:30am and later discuss at Panacea coffe shop, Waynesville, NC ____

Bring any shooting instrument you wish and walk aroudn the 2.2 mile lake as the

sun comes up (sometimes you just cant see it). This is an exercise in reacting to changing lighting  conditions. This is also an exercise in “previsualization.” … getting ready for events likely to occure, as in this image -- and sometimes being really lucky. This image was not taken iunless soemone was there - taken with a point ‘n shoot Canon Power Shot A720 IS camera, with manual controls  - Aperture Priority, f8 1/125 sec 7:41 AM August 29, 2011

Sept 6 - Oct 4, 2011 - Field

Photography Program:

Four Morning Shoots - one each week and three evening

critique discussions.

Bob Grytten Photography

PO Box 1153

Waynesville, NC 28786

Group leader:

Bob Grytten, 828/627-0245 or E-mail

Good Morning:

Here are the details of the upcoming Photo Program.

Meeting Time: The Tuesday evening (6-8PM) sessions will take place at the Waynesville Old Armory Recreation Center, 44 Boundary St., Waynesville, NC. I will plan to be there by 5:00 for the first session for those who may have individual questions about equipment or other issues. They are scheduled for every other Tuesday evening.

Wednesday mornings, 8AM at the Armory - will be devoted to hands-on work in a natural setting. Please bring your tripod. Even if interests are other than nature photography - i.e. travel, journalistic, general family photography, etc. - the majority of what we experience in the outdoors will be applicable to all photography. If you are a writer or an artist working in other mediums, this time can be very valuable. It if is raining, we will adjust our activities. Some of the best work can be done in misty weather. However; it is always a good idea to bring rain gear when going out on a shoot. Being comfortable is important.

Equipment: If you have not used your camera in a while, please check the batteries and general operation. We will be working with Film and Digital cameras. If you need some guidelines about equipment prior to the first session, feel free to call me at 828/627-0245. If shooting with a film camera, slide film with speed of ISO 100 is preferred - please note that film and processing will not be included in the tuition fee.

Prior to Sessions, Important: Know your equipment.  Locate your manual - a review before the class might remind you of questions. Write them down and bring them with you. Bring your equipment with you to the Tuesday sessions, if you wish. If you do not have any equipment yet, that’s okay. You may wish to have more information before making a purchase. Other equipment that might be helpful is a tripod, especially when we do our field work.

Discount: A special 20% discount has also been arranged if you are planning to do all the sessions. Use the enclosed Registration Form to indicate your choice. And please send in the form as soon as possible, as this will help us determine any additional staff requirements. The special discount fee will include all 7 meetings, field shoots, critiques, and handouts. Individual fees will provide the flexibility to attend only certain events and drop in as your schedule allows. We look forward to sharing with you some of the best techniques from many top photographers around the country, and have fun at the same time.

Prior work: If you would like to bring some of your photography, please do so. The format of the program is designed to be flexible to the needs of the individual participants, and a review of work ahead of time may be helpful. Everyone should feel comfortable to participate, and remember, this program is for you - there are no dumb questions.


Part of the class schedule will be conducted using slide or digital projector. If you have slides of your work, please limit them to 10 and depending upon the number present - be prepared to show only five if the group is large. The same guidelines will apply to those who have prints. For those using a digital camera, I use an Apple Macintosh and can accept a flash drive or CD although a flash drive is preferable. Please limit the number of images to five. Feel free to call with any questions. Looking forward to our time together.

Western North Carolina Foto Fest
with Bill Lea & Kevin Adams

 September 9-11, 2011

Registration: $145 ($95 for students)

Wow, are you in for a treat!! Bill Lea and Kevin Adams have organized what has quickly become the MUST-ATTEND photography event for North Carolina and the Southeast. With experience gained from a combined 57 years of photographing and teaching, Bill and Kevin started from the ground up in creating this extraordinary festival. They’ve combined the best features from other photography events with their own ideas for an exciting and rewarding learning experience.

By all accounts, the first annual Foto Fest was quite a hit with the nearly 200 photographers who descended upon western North Carolina in September 2010. The response from those in attendance was overwhelmingly positive, with the only question being how will Bill and Kevin top it in 2011.

If you have ever witnessed the passion, dedication, and strive for excellence that Bill and Kevin have for everything they do, then you know they will succeed in making the second annual Western North Carolina Foto Fest an even bigger success than the first one. For 2011, they have retained everything that made the 2010 event such a hit and have also incorporated numerous new ideas to build upon this success.

 Highlights of the 2nd Annual Western North Carolina Foto Fest

Great door prizes
Photo contest winners published in Views Magazine
Photo contest winners receive canvas print of their winning image
Terrific photography locations within easy driving distance from venue
Vendors provide hands-on experience, showcasing the latest photo gear and services
Programs by Bill Lea & Kevin Adams, two of the country's more talented photographers


   ©Sandy Martin Photo


Friday, April 17, 2015

by Sandy Martin

The day promised to be one of those crisp, clear Autumn days in Western North Carolina. More specifically, in the Cataloochi Valley, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The group of student photographers waited patiently as their instructor unlocked the gate at the entrance, through which the caravan of cars finally passed. The tension was high; would they get to the meadows as the morning sun was just coming through the mist? Would the native grasses be highlighted? Would the Elk herd even be there?

The answer was a resounding YES! to all of their questions.  Out came the cameras, tripods, camera bags, long lenses, cable releases. Hurry! Hurry!

The sun, nor the elk, are respectful of planning and decision making. Get the shot! Get the shot!

The cameras clicked, the adrenalin was high.  The bull Elk herded his cows, bugling to the delight of the onlookers. The calves cried for their mothers, running back to nurse after playing and cavorting.

One of the women in that group of photographers had been to the valley several times with the instructor, but this was the first time that her husband had also come along. You see, it was his 70th, and last, birthday.

Thank you, Creator of all Things Beautiful, and for that very special

Birthday Dance!


The Rut…  Video

The velvet on the antlers is gone, replaced by … smooth implements of battle. Battle for dominance of  harems - the female Elk -- a time of breeding. A time of growing the herd, and survival… Facing off with the older dominant Bulls, young Bulls challenge the right to breed -- but, in skirmishes the dominant Bulls do not go quietly. And, throughout the valley their bugle echos the sound of battle, and warning off -- this is my territory and my girls - approach only with caution. Don’t test me. This is the rut!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Elk In Cataloochee Valley - The Rut

        Fifty Years ago Elk roamed unabated in these areas of the Great Smoky Mountain  National Park. Indian hunted them, Settlers came and hunted them - to extinction. About ten years ago, they were reintroduced. The Cataloochee Valley, once home to settlers from the middle 1800’s until the 1920’s, displaced by the formation of this massive park, now has new residents. Many of the population of people resettled in Waynesville, NC and reunions are held every year. But, today a thriving herd of Elk lives amongst the restored homes, church, school and outbuildings. And they are a photographers delight, especially in the fall - the time of the Rut.

Caldwell House, Cataloochee Valley

Great smoky Mountain National Park,


Teck Information:

The Elk were videoed with the video feature on the Nikon D90 (US)Camera and Nikkor 18-200 lens. It is a nice feature; however, there is no auto focus when the video feature is activated. So, we are still attempting to work around that issue. So far we get enough image to rework it a bit; however, thst is one feature I would look for on another body. Post production is done twith imovie on a Macbook Pro