Our journey to the Smoky Mountains National Park began on the first day in Gatlinburg, TN with an introduction to our Mentors for the weekend. Layne Kennedy and Wolfgang Kaehler presented some of their fabulous work and led a discussion about telling a story through your photographs. After lunch we departed for the park. Our first location was the Mountain Farm Museum. This area provided us with a collection of farm buildings and agricultural equipment depicting life over 100 years ago. Some of the group also ventured along the Oconaluftee River Trail to capture photos of the flowing water and some fishermen. We then visited Mingus Mill. This was a working gristmill, built in 1886, that uses a water-powered turbine to grind corn into cornmeal. The “silky smooth” flowing water effect was the shot everyone was after at this site. Inside the mill provided great opportunities for close-up photos of the inner workings of the mill. Our first day finished with a sunset shoot at Clingman’s Dome. At 6,643 feet, this is the highest point in the National Park. Intermittent cloud cover prevented us from hiking up to the Observation Tower, but Mother Nature did not disappoint. We were treated to a colorful sunset over the spruce-fir forest. Long lenses provided a compression effect, which really made the “layers” of forest pop.