Vistas Workshop

This past Saturday saw the last of my workshops, Photographing Vistas.  We met in the Whiteside parking lot – early, to ensure a parking space.  Slides were viewed at the picnic table next to my car, and a discussion of some various ways to approach photographing vistas was held.

A gentle hike of about thirty minutes took us to the first  cliff where we began to photograph.  We walked across the ridgeline, shooting as we went, and descended on the other side of the loop trail.

After lunch we returned to the Bascom (, where we downloaded the images, and edited and discussed them.  It was a full day!

I have enjoyed teaching workshops while here at The Bascom, and am thankful for this opportunity.


Clint Dawkins



The creative process does not exist in a vacuum, but rather has a place in the continuum of the history of creative process.  One’s work is influenced by others’, even if only subconsciously.  Somewhere, somehow, someone has thought something similar to your thoughts.  They may have executed their work differently, but relationships exist. And these are worth knowing.

Though I have been photographing landscapes for several years now, my current project, A Walk in the Woods, involves the human figure, albeit in a blurred form, with the intent of communicating the spiritual connection of humans to the landscape.  Hence, I have been reading, Landscape as Photograph, by Elizabeth Lindquist-Cock and Estelle Jussim, in particular the chapter titled, Landscape as God.

A lengthy relationship exists depicting the landscape as a metaphor for God.  It continues to this day.  One of the factors differentiating the varying appearances of   its rendering is which God is being referred to.  God as Creator, vengeful chastiser, distant master of natural law, machine, and more.

The landscape in my work consists primarily of lush, green forests.  My exhibition, A Walk in the Woods, opens at The Bascom ( in mid-September.  Come see it.  I leave it to you to determine which God is being referred to.


Always New

Though my functions here at The Bascom ( remain fairly constant – primarily teaching, documenting and creating my own work, the activities are never redundant, and continue to be fresh and new.  This week saw two important and fun events – The reception for Frank Vickery’s exhibition, Homage, and the annual Barn Dance.

 To celebrate Frank’s exhibition, refreshments were served up in the Ceramics Barn, which was transformed with tablecloths, flowers, and smock-free guests. The group later moved to the Loft Gallery, where Frank spoke about the intricate process in creating his pieces.

For the Barn Dance, the terrace was cleared to create a dance floor, where a square dance lesson was enjoyed by the crowd.  I found this particularly challenging to photograph, since standing outside the circle gave me a clear view of everyone’s backs.  So I moved to the inside of the circle, to be caged in by the dancers moving forward.  I don’t think I was too much in the way…

The Bascom serves the community with novel and diverse exhibitions, activities and events.  I enjoy the anticipation of seeing what’s next.

Wrapping Up

It went by so quickly.  In less than two months my term as photo resident at The Bascom ( will be up.  But there is so much left to do!

This weekend I made another scouting trip of the Whiteside trail in preparation for my next and final workshop, Photographing Vistas.  I was fortunate enough to catch the fog lifting, and am hopeful for similar conditions for the class.



I am also finishing up the shooting for my next exhibition, A Walk in the Woods, which opens in mid-September in the Education Gallery at The Bascom.



Keeping an eye to future opportunities, I have been submitting work to various exhibitions and competitions, and received an early response from LensCulture, an online photography network based in Amsterdam.

Lensculture Gallery

The Bascom life remains busy for me – and will be right up to the end!

A Day in the Life…

In addition to the documenting and teaching I do here at The Bascom (, much of my time is devoted to photographing my personal work.  The current work in progress involving the blurred figure in the landscape, A Walk in the Woods, is well under way.

I spend a lot of time on frequented forest trails – most just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The objective is to photograph people in a natural setting, and to create a sense of spiritual connection with nature.

The weather is inconsequential – I shoot rain or shine.  Since not many people hike in the rain, I have a model on standby – my husband.

The exhibition of this work will be in the Education Gallery of The Bascom in mid September.



Conclusion of Personal Vision

This past Saturday saw the last in my three part series workshop, Developing a Personal Vision in Photography.  Following a review of the first two sessions, a photo shoot in downtown Highlands ensued.  The resulting images were critiqued and a photographic path forward was discussed.

New directions were taken, and I was excited to see the progress that had taken place.  I thoroughly enjoyed the workshops, and hope the participants will stay in touch – I’d love to see where they go from here!


John Vogel


Summer Camp Review: Art in Motion!

My definition of art in motion is anything that moves . . . And so many things in the art world fall into this category! Dance and theatre and performance art and things powered by wind and music videos and inflatable suits! This week in art camp, the students built their own puppets out of air dry clay. They made mobiles themed around hot air balloons. The students learned about movement in photography from The Bascom’s photo resident, Vicki Provost. And, they built their very own circus inspired by Calder’s Circus. It was an amazing week–maybe my most favorite, yet!! Find out more about our camps here! And remember: you can purchase a collection of all of these lesson plans here. Have a great week ahead!!