great smoky mountains institute at tremont - val in real life
Photography

Bad Weather and Good Friends at Tremont

Let’s face it, life dishes out the unexpected and undesired. A lot. The only thing we’re in control of is how we respond, right? I just returned from a whirlwind […]

Value of an Image - Val in Real Life
Photography

The Value of an Image

What is the value of a photograph? In the digital age, unauthorized use of an image doesn’t seem like a big deal. It’s just pixels, right? No, it isn’t. What gives an […]

Val in Real Life
Photography

Turning Misfortune into Opportunity: A Photographic Journey

Each April I return to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont for the spring photography workshop led by the fabulous Bill Lea. While it’s largely a family reunion for me […]

Death Valley Super Bloom - Val in Real Life
Photography

Death Valley Super Bloom

A few weeks ago, I got to shuttle myself out to Death Valley National Park for the Super Bloom. The timing was such that I had to be there President’s […]

TomTom Bandit Review by Val in Real Life
Photography

Adventures with the TomTom Bandit

I have a new friend, the TomTom Bandit. This little guy is a feature-packed action camera and I’m quite tickled with it. I’m very new to the action camera market. […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Mentor

Today I’m back in the Great Smoky Mountains for my photographic family reunion. It’s time for the Autumn Brilliance workshop again and this is where I come to get rejuvenated […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Mojo

I just returned from another whirlwind adventure… a two-parter. I spent 6 days on the Hell Hike and Raft in Idaho followed by a trip to Virginia City in Nevada. […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Small Worlds

Greetings from Craters of the Moon in Idaho. I’m posting entirely from my smartphone for the first time ever due to a case of no-signal-itis so today’s postcard will be […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Building Bridges

Last weekend I scooted off to the Georgia Nature Photographers Association’s annual expo at Unicoi State Park. As you can imagine, an event like this is energizing in many ways. […]

Photography

George L. Smith State Park: A Photo Essay

Last weekend, the Camp Granola crew set off for a camping adventure in George L. Smith State Park in central Georgia. It was one of many trips we’ve taken around […]

Photography

Death Valley with David Middleton and Brenda Berry

As you know, back in November I ventured out to Death Valley for the rare delight of a kidless adventure. It was a two-part trip of camping with friends and […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Finding Joy

Earlier this week as I sifted through my images from 2013, something struck me. It was disappointment. It wasn’t a soul-crushing-why-do-I-even-bother-trying kind of disappointment, just an acknowledgment that I didn’t […]

Photography

Guest Post: Lost in the Dark at Crater Lake

Dear readers, help me welcome a special guest blogger to Val in Real Life. You might recognize Steve Zigler as a Friend of Camp Granola and today’s post is brought […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Delight

My time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been sparing of late but today, in spite of the current downpour, I’m glad to be back. This weekend I’m joining […]

Photography

Shameless Self-Promotion…

Two things are upon us my friends… and they’re both about the fabulous Great Smoky Institute at Tremont. This week marks the beginning of their annual photo contest as well […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Contrasts

Greetings from the watery world that is South Florida. Although I grew up in this sultry, soggy land, it’s always an eye-opener to return here after having been away for […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Artistry

It’s time! Time to head back to Tremont for the Autumn Brilliance workshop. As I set forth this morning, it’s more about getting a break from the house-selling insanity than […]

Photography

Time to Get Your Tremont On…

In just a few short weeks I will again set off to the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont for the Autumn Brilliance Workshop with Will Clay. My thoughts… Just […]

Photography

The Sunflower

For all of the magnificence of a place like the Great Sand Dunes, it’s easy to miss the details that pull the whole scene together. It’s one of the joys […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Play

I can’t decide if I’m trying new things or old things here with this image. When I began messing around with photography, I would play with weird angles and such […]

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