12 years and I still love it!


I believe this was my 12th trip to the Smoky Mountains. Some ask, “why go back so many times?”  My response is, I love the Smokies. It is one of my favorite east coast locations. The conditions are different each time I go. I bring photographic maturity each time I visit. I bring my evolving vision which allows me to see things I had not seen before. 

I believe the two images in this post provide a good example. Most of you have seen the tree in fog (below) from my last trip two years ago. What a magical gift that was. This year we did not see fog in the cove. A few lessons here. I could have had an expectation for fog and been disappointed. Students could have had the same expectation based on countless stunning fog images of Cades Cove on the internet. And they could have gone home disappointed, but no, we found another right answer of the same tree! We waited patiently for the sun to light up the tree while leaving the background hills in shade. If there was full sun on the whole scene it would not have been nearly as successful. The dark background helps to give dimension and separate the tree from it.  A big shout out to my tour partner Dan Sniffin who helped me to see this type of scene many years ago. 


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Smoke in the Smokies

One of my favorite places in The Great Smoky Mountains is the Foothills Parkway for sunrise. When our group arrived early at “the” spot we were greeted by 65 others who love this spot too! Unfortunately the fog was too thick this day. After a long wait, folks were itchy for breakfast, so most left without getting much. After breakfast, a few of us wandered back to see what might be there and were given a gift. I love the subtle crepuscular rays, the strong white fog near the hill tops and light on the land.




Barclay Photography – Encouraging you to make images that make your heart sing.

Posted in B&W, Smoky Mountains, Tour, Workshop Tagged , , , , |

Time for the Smoky Tour

One of my favorite places to photograph on the east coast is The Great Smoky Mountains!  I adore the lush greens of early spring, the blossoms on the dogwood, the redbud trees blooming and the foggy mist in the morning. Dan and I have another great group joining us next week and we can’t wait to get started!

The Smokies is a place that makes my heart sing!






Posted in Smoky Mountains, Tour, Workshop Tagged , , , , , |




We all have challenges in our life and need something to remind us that all will be okay. Today I share an image made in Cape May a few years ago that gave me a moment of serenity and peace in my current challenge. How grateful I am for the community of photographers I am part of who support me. Thank you!

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What is it? Does it matter? Do you care?


Once again, I’m having fun playing with older images that I’ve not spent enough time with. I don’t know about you, but, I find that I come back from a shoot, pick the “winners” or “keepers” and then move on to the next shoot leaving the last behind. And doesn’t that fit with the want it now, need it now, show me the next best picture now state of things? Here I am trying to be more mindful about my photography, yet oft times I am not mindful about the images I’ve captured. Rather, I feel compelled to run out and capture the next “keeper” when I likely already have one. I just haven’t taken the time, mindfully, to evaluate what I captured. 

Both images are from the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. The lead image was duplicated then flipped and mirrored into a new image and then converted to b&w.  I used the TKActionsv4 luminosity masking panel in Photoshop to fine tune the black & white conversation.  Pretty powerful tool, but, there is a learning curve. I suggest Sean Bashaw’s excellent videos if you are interested in learning about them. The image below was fine tuned with my go to plugin, Topaz Clarity. Yes, there is a clarity slider in Lightroom but this is a much more powerful tool with so much more control.

Having just presented another webinar for Topaz, I am allowed to share my 25% discount code for any Topaz product good through March 27th.  Just click this link and then use the code BARCLAYWEB18 at checkout to save 25%. This includes any upgrade path as well. So, if you own one or more Topaz products, just log into your Topaz account and look for the already discounted upgrade price and then ADD the 25% off.  Makes for a very nice price!




Posted in Abstract, Kimmel Center, Topaz Software Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

More from The Hideout Ranch – New Topaz Webinar

A couple more from our amazing experience at The Hideout Ranch in Wyoming.

I will be doing another webinar for Topaz on March 22nd.  I’ll cover B&W Effects, Clarity, Impression and Texture Effects this time.  You can sign up here.

A reminder that the award winning Topaz DeNoise is on sale through March 20th.  Click this link to save $30 using the code NOISEFREE.  

If you’re enjoying Topaz Texture Effects as much as I am, you might take a look at adding some textures from my friends at Flypaper. Click this link and use the code JBARCLAY to save 15% at checkout.




Posted in The Hidout, Wyoming Tagged , , , , |

Alien Skin 30% off sale on Exposure X and more.

_DSF0012-2-Edit-2Snap Art

Alien Skin is having a great winter sale offering 30% off their wonderful products. If you don’t have Exposure X yet, this would be a good time to consider it at a sweet price of $104.30. Exposure X is hands down the best at re-creating the film looks you’ve come to love. With Exposure X, you can get great looks with just one click, however, it does not stop there. You have a robust set of tools to customize each look and even create your own. In fact, Exposure X was created to be a stand alone tool to streamline your workflow. So all the post processing tools you need are available. A steal for a very powerful piece of software. And remember, there is a FREE trial so go download and check it out.

Loyal readers of my blog will know how much I love Snap Art 4 from Alien Skin.  This one is a no brainer at $69.30 if you’re looking for the painterly look.

Clicking this link will bring you to their site. No special code, just click BUY on any item to see the price. http://bit.ly/1TxCmqL

Each image below was created by first doing my Lightroom work and then applying a ONE CLICK preset.  They are in order: Fuji Provia 100, Agfa APX 100 and then I added the sepia tone with a slider, Fuji Neopan 100 Acros with sepia added, Agfa RSX II 100 with grain removed and the lead (top) with Snap Art Oil Paint Detailed. 






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The Silhouettes From the Hideout Ranch – Topaz Webinar

The Wranglers at the ranch were amazing. For the first shot, we were photographing in the other direction, however,  when I looked behind me to see what the sky was doing, Daniel and Ramon were sitting there waiting for us to recognize the wonderful photo op they set up. The others were done in situations where we specifically set up the possibility of silhouettes.  Such fun!

The recorded version of my most recent Topaz Webinar is available to watch here.




Posted in Fuji, The Hidout, Topaz Software Tagged , , , , , , , , |

More Horses From the Hideout Ranch


The lead image is a personal favorite. The morning was very cold, however, the location was tremendous. To see loose horses running is thrilling! The image below is a group shot of the wranglers that worked with us each day. Tom in the middle is the head wrangler and loves the opportunity to dress up for our shoots. Gotta love the red coat he had for this shot! And the poncho that Marijn is wearing on the right is made from a Pendleton Blanket by a local craftsperson who sews in a leather collar. They are for sale in the Hideout gift shop and are extraordinary!


Posted in Fuji, The Hidout Tagged , , , , , , , |

Topaz Webinar Tomorrow – More Horses


Tomorrow, I will be leading another Topaz Labs Webinar. I will cover the new Texture Effects. Clarity and B&W Effects. You can click this link to register. 

The lead image as well as the one below are from our wonderful trip to The Hideout Ranch in Wyoming.



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