.Picture this: Early spring in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a place of tranquility and timeless beauty, a paradise for landscape photographers. The park’s intimate landscapes and historic structures offer unlimited opportunities to photograph. With fewer visitors during this season, we’ll photograph the hidden gems in the quiet of this remarkable destination.
Our journey begins by the side of the Little River, where you can enjoy the cascade of water over rocks and gentle falls. Venturing further to Cades Cove, we’ll find historic churches and cabins that offer a glimpse into the past. We might take the hike and opportunity to visit the the legendary Walker Sisters’ cabin—the final refuge of the park’s last original residents. Once a mountainside laid bare by logging, this park has been witness to one of nature’s remarkable reclamation projects and is now revered as one of America’s most stunning sanctuaries.
In this location-specific workshop, our primary focus is on making captivating images. Each day, I’ll introduce you to new, awe-inspiring locations, including Little River Gorge, Tremont, the Middle Prong of Little River, Elkmont, and possibly the Little Greenbriar School House. After these brief introductions, you will be able to return to any location you wish to spend more time in.
Throughout the workshop, we’ll make time for informal opportunities to share your work with the group, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment. These will likely take place on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and provide inspiration on the locations we’ve explored and the impact they’ve had on your artistic exploration.
On our last afternoon, we’ll gather to showcase 10 to 15 images each. These need not be finalized works of art but rather a glimpse into your personal journey and experience in the Smokies, allowing the class to gain a deeper understanding of your visual narrative.
As it’s early spring I anticipate good weather with daytime temperatures ranging from 40°F to 60°F. This time of year, sunrise is around 7 a.m. and sunset at approximately 7:30 p.m. Mornings may gift us with cool mists, and while rain showers are possible, the arrival of weather fronts promises dramatic skies throughout the week. In Little River Gorge, sunrise is often delayed by about an hour, and as we progress along the river, shadows will accompany us during the mid-afternoon hours.
In terms of equipment, I wholeheartedly welcome all cameras and formats, including the remarkable capabilities of iPhones. Your gear should encompass the essentials: camera and lenses, tripod, laptop computer with file management software, memory cards, batteries, chargers, connecting cables, and thumb drives. I expect participants to be proficient in utilizing a color management system, editing their work, and exporting files to a thumb drive. Should you opt for film photography, please note that processing services won’t be available during the workshop.
We will be based at the Townsend Gateway Inn in Townsend, TN (located less than 2 miles from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park). Maine Media will reserve a block of rooms for the workshop group, but you must make, confirm, and pay for your room separately. We will use the classroom at the hotel for our group meetings. Call directly (865) 238-0123 and identify yourself as a student of the Tillman Crane workshop.
Your tuition covers the cost of the two group meals, Monday and Saturday evenings.
For lunch, you can pick up a sandwich to take with you or return to Townsend as most of the locations are not too far from town. The day we go to Cades Cove we will pick up sandwiches the night before to take with us due to the distance from Townsend.
We will try to make reservations for evening meals as a group at a local restaurant.
I have a schedule in mind about where we will photograph each day, but this will be determined by the weather and participant interest.
A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop. Final payment in full is due 45 days prior to the start date of your workshop unless stated differently in the course description. Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.
All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.
It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries, or illnesses. See our travel insurance recommendations here.
5. Itinerary Changes
The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.
6. Passports and Visas
A valid passport is required for all international travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered. Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.
7. Medical Issues
All participants must be in good health. You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration. This document may be found on the course description page.
8. Liability Waiver
Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop. Click here to download.
9. Responsibility & Photography
To ensure a safe experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations. The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive, or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment. No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop.
Instructor: Tillman Crane
Tillman Crane’s distinctive platinum photographs combine 19th century materials with a 21st century aesthetic. From photojournalist to teacher and artist he has honed his technique and mastered his craft over the past 35 years. He made his first platinum print in 1987 and since 2001 his work has been exclusively shown as platinum prints. He works with 5x7, 8x10 and 5x12 view cameras.Today’s images focus on the unique sense of place he finds in the ordinary, everyday locations where he lives and teaches. He has published four limited edition books: Tillman Crane/Structure (2001), Touchstones (2005), Odin Stone(2008), and A Walk Along the Jordan (2009). For the discriminating collector, Tillman collaborates using images of your choice to create one-of-a-kind handmade books of platinum prints.
For photographers and artists wishing to take their photographic images into new creative realms, this course will open doors into the inky world of printmaking and polymer photogravure etching plates.
Join us and learn to make this unique form of 19th century photography on glass - it's a weekend devoted to the procedure, chemistry and process of ambrotypes on glass. Ambro's are unusual photographic objects on glass that, when backed with a black surface come to life in a beautiful manner.