Photo Tours Workshops North America

Great Smoky Mountains Photo Workshop

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Join us on one of our instructional photo tours and photo workshops as we explore Smoky Mountain National Park and the surrounding areas.

We visit the Smokies in April and October.

Two magical times to be there.  Forest carpeted with wildflowers, lush forests. The wonderful streams and waterfalls. This beautiful mountain range contains spectacular  landscape photo opportunities. There is also many historic cabins etc.   Wildlife including black bear, white tailed deer, coyote, and wild turkey are commonly photographed.

The Biodiversity here is incredible. The reason for the large number of species is attributable to several factors, including vast differences in altitude and temperature and lots of rain (averaging 90 inches per year), the impact of the ice age, and the preservation efforts  by the National Park Service.

The Park is home to approximately 1,600 kinds of flowering plants. In fact, the park is sometimes referred to as the “Wildflower National Park.” During mid to late April many wildflowers are in brillant displays. What’s great about the park being so large and having more than a 4,000 foot elevation range between its highest an lowest point is that you can chase a blooming season starting at lower elevations and warmer southern exposures to the higher elevations and more northern exposures to prolong the duration of peak bloom. The Dogwoods and Red Buds should be in bloom.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the largest tracts of wilderness in the East and is a critical sanctuary for a wide variety of animals. Protected in the park are some 66 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 50 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians.

The symbol of the Smokies, the American Black Bear, is perhaps the most famous resident of the park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides the largest protected bear habitat in the East. Though populations are variable, biologists estimate approximately 1,500 bears live in the park, a density of approximately two bears per square mile. We will look for an hopefully photograph them.

October is peak foliage time. Get great autumn photos of mountain ranges, historic cabins, rivers, and waterfalls.

Of the 65 other mammal species documented in the park, the white-tailed deer, groundhog, chipmunk, and some squirrel and bat species are the most commonly seen. Over 200 species of birds are regularly sighted in the park.

This tour will greatly enhance your skill as a photographer. We will be doing a lot of landscape, wildlife, and macro photography. We also have a conference room reserved for additional critique sessions and lessons. We will cover several subject including exposure, depth of field, histograms, shutter speed, filters, macro, wildlife photography, digital darkroom, photoshop, and lightroom.

Our itinerary will be planned around recent wildlife activity and weather conditions. We need to take advantage of the lighting and the unique opportunities. This tour is pretty intense. Our goal is to capture the best images we can during our tour. Each day we will be starting before dawn and ending after sunset. However, we typically will take a mid day break to rest and recuperate. This is also a good time to go over some more techniques and do photo critiques. The tour is based in Townsend, TN this is centrally located to many of the park best photo locations.


April or October 2014


Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Vicinity

Tour begins and ends in Townsend, TN.


Payment can be made by check to Slonina Photography. We also accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. If you prefer to use credit card you can call our office at (508) 736-1167 or use the paypal shopping carts on our website.


Day 1: We will meet at the hotel. Check in time is at 3pm.

We will have an introductory meeting go over safety issues, recent wildlife sightings etc. We also will discuss plans, goals and objectives for the upcoming week. We will then leave for an evening shoot continuing to sunset.

Days 2-4:. We will meet and be on location before the sun comes up to take advantage of the morning light and the peak wildlife activity. There will also be an afternoon session continuing to sunset. Each day is paced to maximize photo opportunities and the schedule will be flexible to maximize getting the best light.

Day 5: Early morning photo shoot. We will conclude trip and return to hotel before check out time of 11am


Anyone with an interest in wildlife photography from a beginner to professional. Both Digital and Film shooters are welcome.

Group Size:

Our groups are small in size this one is limited to 6 people. We will work with each participant to provide complete, informative, helpful lessons. This also ensures that no question is left unanswered.

Before and after each workshop we will assess each participants needs, interests and skills so we can teach techniques that will help each participant.

About Me:

John Slonina is a professional nature photographer who has been photographing for over 25 years. He estimates he has taken over 900,000 photos. John has a love of natural history as well. You will receive information on photo technique and the natural world. Understanding the natural world not only increases your appreciation of nature but also helps you become a better nature photographer.

For more info please visit

Spring Photo Workshop

Fall Photo Workshop

Feel free to contact our office.

Slonina Nature Photography
Phone: (508) 736-1167

Join us on an instructional photo tour or workshop. Explore Wild America