TRAINING CENTER

To our Mountain Lens family,

First, and by far most important, our team at Mountain Lens wants to reach out to you and wish you good health and all the support you need during this very challenging time.

As you may have already inferred from tenor of the news, our workshop schedule is, for the most part, on hold. All of our instructors are, along with you, awaiting signs of recovery and the opportunity to reschedule.

So if you are currently on the schedule to attend any of the workshops listed below, please check directly with your instructor for the latest status regarding cancellation or rescheduling.

Here at the Mountain Lens venue, we are healthy! We are also busy exploring ways that, during this wave of “social distancing” and beyond, we can offer variants of our workshops that our instructors can deliver via distance learning, including webinars, online classes, and one-on-one mentoring.

And for photographers looking to use this unprecedented time to refine and strengthen their portfolios, Jeff, and perhaps some of our other instructors, will be offering digital portfolio reviews and one-on-one interactive critiques.

So whereas this may be a time of caution and relative isolation, it can also be a time of learning and creative fulfillment.

Please email or call Jeff or April, or any of your instructors, to explore the possibilities!

In the meantime, take good care, offer support to those around you, and we’ll be back in touch soon.

Jeff & April

2020 Workshops

Mountain Lens is an extraordinary setting to experience photography programs that are highly educational and inspirational. Our mission is to provide the finest technical and creative resources for photographers and other artists in a motivating, nurturing and beautiful natural environment. Beyond classes and workshops, we offer personalized services so you can fully render and share your vision and your art. We can help you configure and fine-tune your post-processing software and your display, streamline the way you organize and archive your photos, and customize your digital imaging strategy to reflect your unique vision. And yes — we can create large, beautiful, fine art prints — treasured keepsakes that reflect your expanding skills and boundless creativity.


Embedded in our twenty-acre mountain setting is a high-tech training room as well as elegant accommodations for out-of-town guests. In addition to a high-tech classroom, the training room now includes a full chef’s kitchen, a beautiful island, and a comfortable, intimate lounge area. The entire space is designed specifically as a “family-style” gathering place where small groups can learn, share, dine, and socialize. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, and whether your favorite learning style is one-on-one or in small groups, you will be immersed in a beautiful environment in which to learn and master your technical and creative skills. 

And just outside of our comfortable and well-equipped training center are twenty acres that feature ponds, waterfalls, and over a mile of cleared trails and footbridges along meandering creeks, through a forested hillside, and up to a boulder-strewn hilltop. Photo opportunities abound right on the property, with many more in the nearby DuPont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

iPhone Photography Workshops

March 28, 2020, 9 am to 3 pm
and
April 4, 2020, 9 am to 3 pm
Instructor: Wiley Loughran
Workshop Prerequisites: Current or past participants in iPhone Photography courses at Olli Asheville or complete knowledge of iPhone camera, settings, and features.
Minimum of 4 Attendees
Maximum of 8 Attendees

The workshop is an opportunity for participants to work with the instructor in the field and develop techniques and skills.  This is an opportunity to work in the field and discover ways to take photos out of doors with a variety of scenes. In addition, part of the day we will be discussing techniques in the training center. All participants will get one photo printed prior to their departure.

Register
Lodging

Appalachian Spring Composition Intensive

April 1 – 3, 2020
Instructor: Susanna Euston

Workshop Fee: $459
10% discount for former students of ONE workshop or class, high school or college students and CNPA-Asheville, NANPA-WNC and CCOH members. 15% Discount is offered for former students of TWO workshops or classes.
Minimum of 4 Attendees
Maximum of 8 Attendees

Learn to create beautifully composed images as we explore wildflowers, waterfalls, rivers, and landscapes in the Asheville, North Carolina region.

Composition is the number one factor in the success of a photograph. Knowing how to draw the viewer’s eye to the subject and to keep it engaged in the image’s dynamic makes all the difference in the world. Understanding how to create figure-ground relationships and use design elements and placement tools — along with the light, values and color — will take your images to the “next level.”

Classroom work will include Powerpoint programs and discussion about the concepts of composition being introduced. We’ll begin with composition basics, as a refresher, then move beyond the “Rule of Thirds” into advanced concepts that will expand your view and give you tools for “putting together” lines, masses, colors and values in innovative ways.

We’ll move from the classroom to the field — including Mountain Lens’s beautiful 20 acres near Asheville, NC and the national forests in the area — to frame images to which you will apply your newfound understanding of composition — to create photographs that inspire! Spring wildflowers, waterfalls, and mountains landscapes will be our subjects. We’ll process images and have image reviews at the end of each day’s work in the field.
Register
Lodging

Flower Photography Workshop: From Realistic to Imaginative

April 22 – 25, 2020
Instructor: Mary Louise Ravese

Workshop Fee: $649
Early Registration: $599 Save by Registering Prior to: March 19, 2020
Minimum of 5 Attendees
Maximum of 6 Attendees

In this intermediate level workshop, instructor Mary Louise Ravese shares some her favorite techniques for creating flower photographs in the studio and the field.

Celebrate the return of Spring and the emergence of colorful flowers in all nature’s variety with a flower photography workshop. We can approach flower photography from a variety of stylistic points of view from realistic to imaginative. In this workshop, we embrace a full spectrum of techniques so you can discover new approaches and refine your existing skills. Being based at Mountain Lens in Hendersonville, NC, in the same workshop we are able to combine controlled environment studio techniques, with in-the field photography at the impressive gardens and conservatory at the historic Biltmore Estate in nearby Asheville, NC. The centerpiece of the Biltmore’s famous gardens is the walled garden which features 74,000 tulips at peak bloom in April. Flowering trees and shrubs adorn the paths and we might also catch early blooming azaleas and a wisteria-draped pergola. Some realistic, left-brained photo techniques we’ll cover include clean, modern, high-key flower photography and focus-stacking to expand depth-of-field, which is especially useful for deep flowers. Imaginative, right-brained photo techniques will include using a Lensbaby specialty lens to combine sharpness with pleasing blur, intentional camera movement techniques, and artistic distortions created by photographing flowers through, or reflected in, textured art glass. Your experience will be enhanced and consolidated through group photo sharing with supportive image feedback, and you will practice editing your own images with input and guidance from Mary Louise. The workshop culminates with each participant printing one of their images to take home for display.

Register
Lodging

Dig Deeper Photo Workshop

May 13 – 17, 2020
Instructor: Jamie Konarski Davidson
Workshop Fee: $795
Deposit: $350
Minimum 4 Students | Maximum 6 Students
Balance Remainder, Registration & Cancellation Deadline: April 10, 2020 (No Refunds)

This retreat-style workshop is just what you need if you’re tired of rushing to capture moments or feel that something is missing in your work, your approach to subjects or expressing them in ways that reflect your response to them. If any of these resonate with you, then this workshop is just what you need. Dig Deeper focuses on a few places and allows you the time to understand more clearly the what, how and why you photograph so that you can release creative seeds, grow as a photographer and visual artist, and step into your own zone of expression.

Register
Lodging

Loving Lightroom

May 30 – 31, 2020
Instructor: Jeff Miller
Workshop Fee: $495

For me, sheer joy is the process of transforming a captivating scene into a compelling image. When the process works, the photographs you create can reproduce for your viewers the feeling that you experienced when you captured the original scene. Now, that’s magic!

Adobe Lightroom helps you master the magic. For over a dozen years, Lightroom has evolved continuously so that photographers like you can move intuitively from capturing their moments of inspiration to developing, displaying, printing, and sharing the visual essence of those moments — together with the feelings that are embedded inside.

Along the way, Lightroom empowers you to master the breadth of your artistic work. Create endless variations of your photos. Create an environment that lets you instantly locate any image from a pool of ten thousand or more. Create prints, books, and slideshows that delight and inspire. And do it all with a tool that is easy to learn and fun to use.

Lightroom has become a near-daily part of my life and in the lives of many other productive photographers. I have come to love Lightroom as my best way to organize, refine, share, and archive the totality of my creative work.

In a fun, beautiful, and wonderfully collaborative environment, you’ll immerse yourself in the Lightroom workflow. I certainly did over ten years ago, and I never looked back!

For over five years, I’ve been coaxed and prodded by many photographers to offer a Lightroom class — beyond my history of teaching it one-on-one. The first such class has finally arrived!

Come join us at Mountain Lens for this inaugural event, and discover the love!

Register
Lodging

Photographing the Unseeable

June 6 – 7, 2020
Instructor: Jeff Miller
Workshop Fee: $495

Are you photographing only what you see? What a strange question!

Consider photographing the unseeable! Why not use your camera to extend reality far beyond what you can see? After all, your camera operates differently from your eyes, so use its awesome power and become a photography wizard!

In this fun and creative workshop, we’ll be exploring ways to “think outside the box,” and we’ll create unique one-of-a-kind images.
So just imagine!

Freeze time to capture millions of tiny drops of water! Extend time to transform motion into colorful patterns and trails. And who says that the cameras can’t move, too? Create signature swirls and special effects!

And since “photography” means — quite literally — painting with light, why not actually paint with light? We’ll show you how!

And what of the very small and the very large? Peer into the magic of the universe by using your lenses to reveal patterns and details you’ve never seen! And what of the very dim and very dark? Capture mere hints of light, from the faintest stars to moonlit fields.
And, now that your imagination is racing, how can we view in an instant what nature only reveals over time and space? Learn how to merge images and time-lapse sequences that transcend these physical dimensions.

In two fun days of collaboration and creativity, you’ll discover that your photography isn’t limited by what you can see — it’s limited only by your imagination.
This workshop has been in my mind for years, now it’s on the books! Join us as a mortal and return home as a wizard!

Register
Lodging

Beyond the Visible: Lessons in Infrared Photography

July 9 – 11, 2020
Instructor: Susanna Euston

Workshop Fee: $459
10% discount for former students of ONE workshop or class, high school or college students and CNPA-Asheville, NANPA-WNC and CCOH members. 15% Discount is offered for former students of TWO workshops or classes.
Minimum of 4 Attendees
Maximum of 8 Attendees

Capture beautiful images all day long with Infrared photography! Infrared loves the light and it is the perfect medium to expand your photography….

The “magic hours” of early morning or late evening are often preferred by landscape photographers. Between these times many pack their cameras away until the next round. But, once the sun is up, andInfrared radiation — or “light beyond the visible” — reflects from surfaces, one may switch to an Infrared-converted camera and shoot all day!

Infrared photography loves sun or bright overcast light. The effect is intriguing with deciduous leaves and grasses that appear white (while conifers remain dark), dramatic skies, and other surreal effects. The glow of backlighting is particularly effective and captivating.

Beyond the Visible will take you on an experiential tour of Infrared Photography, both Vision and Craft.

Register
Lodging

Digital Black and White Photography

September 17 – 20, 2020
Instructor(s): Mary Louise Ravese
& Jeff Miller
Workshop Fee: $695
Early Bird (by July 17, 2020): $645
General (after July 17, 2020): $695
Special discount available for NANPA members, CNPA members, and select camera clubs
(contact instructor for discount promo code)
Minimum of 5 Attendees
Maximum of 6 Attendees

Requirements: Experienced beginner, intermediate and advanced DSLR or mirror-less camera users.  Participants must be familiar with basic camera operation, including the setting of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Participants should also have some basic experience with editing images using Adobe Lightroom software (either Classic or CC versions). If desired, participants can bring their own laptop, but they will be able to use one of the 27 inch iMac machines available at the training facility.

In this unique long-weekend workshop, participants will experience the full life cycle of black and white photography from selecting a subject, to shooting, editing and printing.

In a world of color, black and white photography offers the photographer the opportunity to get back to the basic essence of photography – the importance of visual design, composition and exposure. That is why well executed black and white images have such enduring appeal. But shooting for, editing and printing black and white images require different considerations than working in color. Today’s digital cameras, digital darkroom software programs and digital printers provide phenomenal advantages for producing black and white prints that would make Ansel Adams envious.

In this hands-on workshop, Mary Louise will explain how to identify and previsualize scenes with strong black and white image potential. Participants will then have multiple photo shoots practicing these techniques photographing unique items like antiques and at nature photography locations in the region. Just on site at the 20-acre Mountain Lens training center there is a serene pond, a scenic waterfall, bamboo forest and a mile of trails along meandering creeks and a forested hillside.

Then it’s on to the digital darkroom where Mary Louise will share her step-by-step approach for optimally converting images from color to black and white using a combination of Adobe’s Lightroom software and Nik’s Silver Efex Pro software.

Joining Mary Louise in teaching will be master printer and Mountain Lens co-founder Jeff Miller, who will explain how to produce the best black and white photographic prints.

Over the weekend in addition to photographing in the field, participants will work on editing their own images with input, guidance and feedback from Mary Louise and Jeff. The workshop culminates with each participant printing one of their images to take home.

Register
Lodging

Discover Your Extraordinary Life: Memoir-Writing Retreat

October 1 – 5, 2020
Instructor: Sam Uhl

Workshop Fee: $1,399 All-inclusive
Included: Lodging, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Minimum of 4 Attendees
Maximum of 8 Attendees

Join my immersive, 5-day memoir writing retreat to feed your soul and fill your pages with stories from your own extraordinary life. I meet you right where you are in your writing journey. No writing experience necessary.

Learn how to:

Write a story about your life that encourages you today, and inspires readers.
Find the important storylines and weave them together into a compelling narrative.
Connect deeply with your story.
Give voice to your story.

What to expect:

Four hours of immersive instruction and writing with Sam each morning.
Afternoons are yours to explore the forest, write, and pamper yourself.
One-on-one consults with Sam are available throughout the retreat.
Evening sessions offer a writing activity and a relaxing gathering with fellow writers.

Register
Lodging

Autumn in Abstract: Photographing Vivid Colors & Light in the Landscape

October 15 – 17, 2020
Instructor: Susanna Euston

Workshop Fee: $459
10% discount for former students of ONE workshop or class, high school or college students and CNPA-Asheville, NANPA-WNC and CCOH members. 15% Discount is offered for former students of TWO workshops or classes.
Minimum of 4 Attendees
Maximum of 8 Attendees

The beauty of Autumn in the mountains can be amazing, especially when captured as Abstract photographs. Join us to explore a range of techniques that will raise your creativity to the next level! Learn to create images that range from painterly to surreal, images that capture the imagination.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the natural areas surrounding the Asheville, NC area. As we do, we’ll play with Autumn’s brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds; the light at all times of the day, in all directions (front, back, side, etc.); and in whatever weather conditions are present to capture the many faces of the season. We’ll also experiment with abstract techniques in an urban setting, exploring the streets and shops.

As part of the process, we’ll grow in our appreciation of color and in our understanding of light as the primary tools supporting our visual stories. We’ll explore how color, light, and other features such as tree trunks, rocks, or clouds mix to create images that Wow! by using basic and advanced composition principles and tools.

We’ll explore specific abstract techniques such as seeing in abstract, Intentional Camera Movement, lens effects, multiple exposures, and Compositing. And we’ll discuss equipment, lenses, and filters (especially neutral density filters) that support abstract techniques.

This workshop is guaranteed to move your creativity to a new level. And you’ll find that it’s a joy to spend a day or days “playing in the light” using abstract techniques, as you wish.

Register
Lodging

North Carolina Mountains and Waterfalls in Autumn

October 29 – November 1, 2020
Instructor: Mary Louise Ravese

Workshop Fee: $695
Early Bird (by August 29, 2020): $645
General (after August 29, 2020): $695
Special discount available for NANPA members, CNPA members, and select camera clubs (contact instructor for discount promo code)

If registering before August 29, 2020, you have the option of paying just a $350 deposit at the time of registration. If you choose this option, we will send you an invoice for the remaining balance. To retain your spot in the workshop, the workshop balance is to be paid no later than September 29th.

Minimum of 5 Attendees
Maximum of 6 Attendees

Nestled in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Mountain Lens offers an ideal location from which to explore the natural beauty of the forests and multiple waterfalls in the region. Autumn is a famously beautiful time to visit and photograph the fall foliage display.

In this hands-on workshop, Mary Louise will share her tips for how to best capture the color of the season from photo equipment to techniques like high dynamic range (HDR) photography, long exposure photography for capturing moving water & glassy reflections, and intentional camera movement techniques for a creative approach to dealing with contrasty lighting.

Then in the digital darkroom Mary Louise will share her step-by-step approach for editing images including using Adobe’s Lightroom and Photomatix programs to process HDR images, making this technique feasible, even for those who don’t have in-camera HDR capture functionality.

You are sure to come away with some new approaches for creating dynamic images thanks to the workshop’s combination of lectures, demonstrations, and multiple hands-on photography shooting sessions in the field.

Participants will work on editing their own images with input, guidance and feedback from Mary Louise. The workshop culminates with each participant printing one of their images to take home for display.

Register
Lodging

Textures & More

November 5 – 8, 2020
Instructor: Donna Eaton

Workshop Fee: $750
Minimum of 4 Attendees
Maximum of 8 Attendees
Requirements: Participants must have Photoshop or software capable of layers and a basic understanding of using layers.

Are you looking to take your photography to a new artistic level? Join Donna Eaton for a educational and fun-filled photo event! You will explore photography in the beautiful area of Hendersonville, NC and in the classroom. Participants will develop and strengthen their technical photographic skills so they can create evocative artistic images. Extensive classroom instruction on using textures and other post processing techniques, software and critique sessions. There will be hands on instruction while photographing on and off-site. Classroom activities will be held on beautiful private property with on-site parking, state of the art training center and natural surroundings.

Register
Lodging