FABULOUS FIREFLIES IN THE SMOKIES
WORKSHOP & PHOTO TOUR
June 9-11, 2023
LOCATION: Based in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
LEADERS: Kevin Adams
LIMITED TO: 8 participants
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate
Be a kid again and make great photos at the same time!
Who didn’t catch fireflies (lighting bugs for us southerners) as a kid and put them in a jar? Well, now you can be a kid again! We won’t be catching fireflies during this photo tour (see the Fantastical Fireflies workshop for that), but we will be capturing them on our camera sensors.
Have you ever wished you could do something truly unique with your photography? Here’s your chance. You won’t find an event like this anywhere else. I’ve spent a great deal of time refining the technique of photographing fireflies in their environment and I’ll share these techniques with you during this firefly photo workshop.
You will be doing things with your camera that you never imagined!
Photographing fireflies in various settings in the Smokies
Opportunities for other night subjects, including light streaks, cabins, barns, cascades
How to capture fireflies and photograph them in jars without harming them (We will not be capturing fireflies during this photo tour)
Learn general night photography and light painting techniques
Options for shooting various subjects during the day, including cascades, cabins, mills, and general scenics
Guiding and photo instruction
GelGrips™ and gel filters (for light painting) will be provided to all participants for use during the event
Drinks and snacks throughout the photo tour
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
Attendees should have a firm understanding of how to change the exposure settings on their camera and be able to switch between manual and autofocus. And they should be able to do all this in the dark, without using a light. I’ll take it from there.
After we meet, I will give a program and discussion on photographing fireflies and other subjects you may shoot during the photo tour. We will have dinner as a group and then spend the rest of the evening in the field photographing. We will stay out as late as the group or any individual desires.
Saturday morning is on your own, although we may go out as a group if the shooting conditions are good and we didn’t stay out too late the night before. We will meet as a group early Saturday afternoon for another classroom session. I will give a general night-photography program and then demonstrate post-processing techniques using some of the photos that participants shot the night before. We will have dinner as a group and then spend the rest of the evening in the field photographing fireflies and other night subjects. We will stay out as late as the group or any individual desires.
We will meet again as a group on Sunday morning for a final discussion of shooting and processing techniques.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS & PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS
Everything we’ll be doing is fairly close to the vehicle and an easy walk. However, this is a night-photography event, and as such, we will be staying out late at night. You should come willing to adjust your normal sleep patterns for the weekend. This is more important than you might realize. You are paying to learn how to photograph at night, not during the day. If you get sleepy and decide to go back to the hotel at 9:30pm, that’s certainly not a problem for me. But it sure will be a waste of your money. Please, take advantage of this opportunity!
We will not photograph lightning bugs at Elkmont in the park. This location has become extremely popular and access is restricted to lottery winners who much ride park buses. The locations where we will shoot are little known and we will have them mostly to ourselves. Yes, we will photograph “synchronous” fireflies, just like those at Elkmont. While our shooting locations are not as well known and therefore do not suffer from some of the associated problems, they are nonetheless susceptible to careless disregard of the environment. All participants on this photo tour will be expected to conduct themselves appropriately for the well-being of the fireflies and their habitat. Please note that I will not reveal these shooting locations to anyone other than registered participants and I will ask all participants to use discretion with their knowledge.
I have chosen this weekend for the best chance of photographing the fireflies during peak flashing activity with the least amount of moonlight possible. However, many factors contribute to the peak period and there is no guarantee that we will be there during the peak. The fireflies are active in most weather conditions, including light rain, but during a heavy rain they will not be flying. While it is unlikely that we will have two nights of continuous downpours, the possibility does exist.
LODGING & TRANSPORTATION
Lodging is not included and you are free to stay where you like. However, it is recommended that you stay at our host hotel, which is located near the entrance to the national park. We will provide information on the hotel after you register. You must arrange your own transportation to the hotel. Carpooling to the shooting locations will be encouraged.
REGISTRATION & PAYMENT INFO
Full payment is required at the time of registration. You can register online by clicking the “Register Now” buttons on this page.