Inspiration and Friendship

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it is to be in the Great Smoky mountains again after two anxious weeks of park closures. I’m back at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont for the Autumn Brilliance workshop, my oasis of friendship and inspiration… that almost didn’t happen. It came down to the wire but the workshop is proceeding and we Tremont Junkies couldn’t be happier.

I spend a lot of time trying to give Fred and George the world through experiential education but this weekend it’s my turn. As I head into a weekend of challenges that will expand the limits of my abilities, I know I’ll have these amazing people by my side and I’ll be by theirs. They have all impacted me in different ways and I’m all the better for it. I’ve tried to express the value of their impact on me before but Steve Zigler expressed it so much better recently:

It takes many people to make an photograph. Photographers don’t like to admit it, but great photographs are rarely the result of a solitary effort. Photographers learn from other photographers. Photographers scout locations and shoot images with other photographers. Photographers gain insights and inspiration from many people. In a way, a photograph is merely a reflection of the photographer’s life experiences. So, in a very real sense, my photography is directly shaped by those who have shaped me. My photography would not be possible without the influence of my family and friends.

So it’s off to the workshop but for more images of fun and friendship, head over to my Tremont photography workshop Flickr set.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

Many thanks in advance to my charming Tremont gardeners I’ll be sharing the weekend with: Steve Zigler, Sue Milinkovich, Will Clay, Tom Vadnais, Pat Kennedy, Todd Moore, and Ken Thompson.

My image from last year’s workshop won the Tremont photography contest. Many people made this image possible, directly and indirectly. Thank you friends.


  1. That is some wonderfully crunchy granola there, Val! Thanks for sharing it with us. Good luck this weekend!

    1. My granola-ness knows no bounds Stevie! Thanks for the cappuccinos this weekend… they were oh so groovy on those early mornings. 🙂

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