Grotto Falls Workshop

Grotto Falls Workshop

Where: Groto Falls, Along the Roaring Fork Nature Motor Trail, in the Smoky Mountain National Park, on the Gatlinburg side!

When: Aug 31

Time: 9:45 AM

Details:  This is geared toward the advanced beginner to the intermediate skill level. Please bring your gear including a DSLR and your tripod (TRIPOD is a must). If you have any filters such as  Neutral Density filter as well as Polarizing filters please bring those as well. You will need at the very least the basic skills of photographer under your belt, that is to say you normally shoot in AV, TV or S, or M mode regularly or have a strong desire to get out of P mode. We will introduce ourselves briefly and then start to discover and unlock the tricks to photographing a successful silky waterfall.  I will go over composition, useful settings, and what makes a well composed waterfall image.  I will spend private time with each of you. I will do my best to answer any questions you may have. I will have extra filters, but as you know, they are lens size specific.  If the weather works with us, you will leave with super shots of the Grotto Falls and will have had a great time learning  new skills that you will then need to put into practice! Included in this is a screencast tutorial of my workflow using one of the images of the day. Processing properly is as important as composing and capturing a good image

Requirements: Minimum of 3 people signed up with a maximum of 8. In the event that the weather does not permit us to hold the event, we will move to the inclement weather date. By signing up, you agree that you can be available for both dates. If you are unable to make both dates please let me know in advance and I will do my best to work with you on another upcoming workshop. Refunds are only given in the event I have an unforeseen circumstance or an act of Nature prevents a safe environment to hold the workshop. You will need at the very least a DSLR and a tripod. Other important things to consider, good footwear that grips the earth, bug spray, sunglasses and sunblock. I am hoping there will be little sun during our shoot, which is why I am doing this early in the day!

Trillium Gap Trail meanders through an old-growth hemlock forest and actually runs behind the 25 foot high waterfall. The cool, moist environment near the falls is ideal for salamanders and summer hikers. The hike is 3 miles roundtrip and considered moderate in difficulty.

Access trail: Trillium Gap Trail on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Trailhead: From the parkway in Gatlinburg, turn at traffic light #8 and follow Historic Nature Trail into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail to stop #5 where there is a large parking area. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a narrow, winding, one-way road that is closed in winter. Buses, RVs, and large trucks are prohibited on the road.

Trail Notes: The roundtrip distance to the waterfall is 3 miles and the hike is generally considered moderate in difficulty. It takes about 2-3 hours to hike to the waterfall and back.

Carry drinking water with you. Portions of this trail are rocky-sturdy hiking shoes are recommended. Do not attempt to hike the trail in sandals or flip flops. Pets and bicycles are prohibited on the trail.

Directions to Trailhead:

Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. At 0.7 miles, veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon which you’ll enter into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. After driving another 2.2 miles you’ll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop. Drive 0.9 miles on the loop before turning right onto the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The parking lot for the trail to Grotto Falls will be on the left side of the road after driving roughly 1.6 miles on this one-way loop. The trailhead is just beyond the parking lot on the opposite side of the road. Because of the extreme popularity of this trail, there are additional parking spaces beyond the trailhead. Your best bet is to get there early during the peak visitor season.


Cost: $65 per person paid here at the time of sign up!

Disclaimer: By purchasing this event you agree and understand that you are over the age of 18 and fully understand and accept responsibility for yourself and will not hold Deborah Scannell Photography responsible for any injuries, accidents, theft, loss or damage to you, your car, and or any photography equipment.  

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