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The Philosophy

At Carolina Captured, we approach our subjects as artist/photographers and explore the many facets of Blue Ridge mountain image-making. Students create images of the picturesque and natural landscape, as well as the cultural and historical subjects of Appalachia. Our small groups photograph at the best times, when the light is rich and colors intense. Shooting time is plentiful and our final critique has proven to be rewarding and a favorite part of the event among participants. We also include ample time for image processing and computer learning. The workshop is predicated on the notion that image review, feedback from multiple instructors, and peer interaction are essential to artistic growth.

The Location

Wildacres Retreat is a campus-like facility near Little Switzerland, NC created in the 1930’s to
accommodate visual, performing arts and educational groups that benefit from the isolation and
pastoral setting of the North Carolina mountains. There are two lodges, a dining hall, painting/
ceramic/printmaking/jewelry-making studios, an auditorium, library and numerous classrooms.
Located near milepost 336 at Gooch Gap, Wildacres is within a few hundred yards of the Blue
Ridge Parkway and has a unique and colorful historic connection to the road and the region.
The workshop capitalizes on this proximity to the BRP and the easy access it provides to many other locations in the Mitchell/Yancey county region. The road and the views it presents, provide endless opportunities for spectacular photography.

Photographic Subjects

Possibilities include Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks, waterfalls, a mountainside orchard, burley tobacco drying in weathered barns, architectural remnants and other reminders of mountain traditions. Workshop participants photograph the mountain landscape and the beauty of the natural environment while venturing off the beaten path to find the cultural and historic subject matter other workshops ignore. A few past examples of the historic and cultural include; the studios of former Penland craft artists, the last operating grist mill in North Carolina, and an abandoned textile mill village (Henry River).

Group Activities and Outcomes

Leave the mountain with a portfolio of stunning pictures and expand your photographic
knowledge base! Carolina Captured participants typically return year after year. Our students
tend to be fun-loving yet hard working, interested in getting outside, creating, gaining knowledge
and sharing information. In the classroom, we share concepts and techniques to improve digital
workflow and image processing. Workshop participants will be invited to join the Carolina
Captured Alumni community page on Google+. CC alumni frequently post images, articles,
videos and tutorials throughout the year. Instructors and other alumni offer feedback, answer technical questions and interact in various ways. The group also meets via Google Hangout (video chats) to dig deeper into particular topics.

Important Prerequisites

Participants should be familiar with their equipment and competent with general camera techniques. Recommended basics include:

Using your camera on a tripod

Shooting in low light situations

Transferring files from camera to computer

Making correct exposures

Making sharp properly focused photographs

Although knowledge of Photoshop is not a requirement, having a laptop with software such as Lightroom or Aperture, that can be used to open and process your RAW images, is necessary. If you have questions regarding these prerequisites, contact Kelly at kelly@culpepperphoto.com for advice and assistance.