Clouds & Shadows – 2017 Workshops open for deposits.

Once again the amazing Palouse offering up the gift of clouds and shadows.  I have officially added three 2017 workshops and am now taking deposits for Charleston, The Smoky Mountains and The Palouse. Click this link and scroll down on the page.  I will be adding information for the workshops later in 2017 in the next couple of months as I lock in rooms etc.



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Palouse #3

I remember thinking how ugly power poles were in a pristine landscape. Then I realized they are part of the landscape and can add interest to the scene or in this case lead the eye into and through the frame. Once again, for me the clouds and cloud shadows are what makes this work. The tractor lines are a nice bonus as well.


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Palouse Shadows

For me, rolling cloud shadows are what makes the Palouse exciting.  I mean, the whole of the Palouse is tremendous, but, when there is a blue sky,white puffy clouds and a bit of wind to move those clouds along, well, that gets my heart racing!  


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The Palouse

This is a tree that is part of an iconic shot from Steptoe Butte.  The clouds were calling me and I obliged.  I love the Palouse and look forward to leading another group next spring.  If you’re interested, I’ll be taking deposits shortly.  Remember click on the image to make it bigger.


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The Great Smoky Mountains Through Their Eyes

Yes, time for yet another “through their eyes” post. This time from the Smoky Mountains Tour. 


Janice – I chose this photo because it feels like an unfinished quest of any Smokies tour; trying for the most moving shot of mossy rocks, gently  cascading waters and arching trees. I’m not there yet, but with the help of the magical eyes of Dan Sniffin, who pointed this out to me, I was able to move another step closer to my goal. Super fun tour Dan and John!  Great people! Thank you so much!

Smokie Mountain Stream Spring 2016-033600184

Susan – The week we were in the Smokies, there were dogwoods everywhere. This is my favorite.

last day in smokies-2016-04-22_944

Debbie – I would call this good timing with the sun. We had just gotten to a place on River Road and the sun came out and lit the trees up with reflections down stream. I’m also including another picture when I blew it up to see if the focus was good. To my surprised there were several water moccasins sunning on a rock. This is a reminder for me to be careful in the spring because the snakes are out.



Carla – “The Smokies were magnificent in the Spring; the breathtaking colors filled my soul with joy and peace. My favorite images were of the tree lined lanes. No matter in which direction I faced, there was a beautiful image.”

CF-April 19, 20169692-Edit-2

Susan –  I got to Spark’s Lane early in the morning before sunrise. I love morning light and I was not disappointed with it’s appearance on this day.

Early light on Spark's Lane-2

Joyce –  Being able to photograph beautiful flowers is the “icing on the cake” and makes for a superb photographic adventure.

Image by Scott

Image by Scott

Scott  – Trying to pick a favorite from the Smokys is pretty darn near impossible. So I migrated to what has become my favorite subject…water! This was taken on the Middle Prong of the Little River. It was shot at 1/5 @ f14, native ISO of 200 using the Fuji X-T1. Thanks to Dan and John for another wonderful week of excellent photography opportunities.


Image by Scott

Image by Scott


Elaine – I had so many favorite images from the Smokies. It was really hard to pick. Ken and I had just been shooting for several hours. I wanted to head back to the room. Ken said “Let’s go back to Cades Cove. I think the light is going to be good.” With me whining the whole way, we entered the park. The light was glorious for the next two hours. We could not tear ourselves away. I think some very wise person once said, “you have to show up!” I especially love the leading lines and the diagonal that gets repeated through out the image.


Barb – The horses showed themselves in so many good light opportunities.


Posted in Smoky Mountains, Through Their Eyes

Tool Caddy – Klotz Silk Mill

One of my favorite props at the mill is this old tool caddy. I can picture a worker sitting on it, and rolling between the rows and rows of machines making sure all was working properly. 


John Barclay Photography, Images that make your heart sing.

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FUD or Fears Uncertainties and Doubts


In one of my lectures, I speak about FUD which stands for fears, uncertainties and doubts. I first learned about the concept of FUD in a sales seminar 30 years ago. In that context, FUD applied to what a potential customer might be feeling about making buying decision. About four years ago, when I was developing a new lecture, it dawned on me that FUD applied to me as a photographer. I don’t know about you, but, I have FUD a lot! I remember a specific time when a friend invited me to photograph the Klotz Silk Mill in Lonaconing MD. That first trip years ago was in January. It was cold, dark inside and it smelled moldy and musty. I was paralyzed. Where do I start? What on earth do I take a picture of? I have no idea what makes a good picture in this type of environment. What lens do I choose? Do I shoot wide or details? Am I smart enough to find good pictures here? Rather than pull out a camera, I wandered around aimlessly and uninspired. I had no idea what to do. I finally put on a wide angle lens as it is what I am most comfortable with, and began to try and find something worthy to photograph. For the first hour or so, I made a lot of terrible pictures. It was not until I reached the 3rd floor where there was a bit more light, it was warmer, and it did not stink quite as much, that I began to find my rhythm. A key moment to finding that rhythm, was finding a calendar that was left behind from 1957 hanging above a desk. This created a connection, as I was born in 1957. I made a photograph of that scene and it made my heart sing. With a bit more confidence, I was able to find more worthy images and even developed a desire to return. I have now returned six times, including a recent visit with some friends.

I would be interested in hearing about your experience with FUD and how you overcome it.

The blog image was inspired by a friend who was shooting this scene. B&W oft times seems to be the right answer at the Silk Mill. Shallow DOF was also a purposeful choice for this image. Remember you may click on the image to make it bigger.

John Barclay Photography, Images that make your heart sing.

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The Hideout Ranch Through Their Eyes

Time for another installment of “Through their eyes.”  This time The Hideout Ranch through their eyes.  The following images are from those who attended this tour. I think you’ll agree, there is some amazing work here! Remember to click the link on their name to see more of their work on their website.

 I can’t wait to do this tour again in January of 2018! If you are interested, let me know via email, and I’ll add you to the growing list.

Robin Harrison –   Lots and Lots of favorites, but I picked this one because it was a little bit different (for me at least).  I liked this image because it represents the toughness and grit of the people of the west who work the cattle, sheep and other livestock.

The Last Cowboy


Paul Lebby – It feels good to break the rules and this picture demonstrates how it can pay off.  Over 40 years ago I was told, more than once, “Don’t take photographs looking directly into the sun, keep the sun to your back.”  Well, this picture was taken with the camera facing into the setting sun, with the cowboy placed in front of the bright sun for effect.  Exposure was difficult, the bright light bled and distorted the image around the cowboy, and there was little data in the brightest areas (not blown out but close).  But, what a great effect it created, and I love the mood of the moment that was captured in the picture.  The cold air with the moisture from the horse’s nostrils, the setting sun, and the meeting of two cowboys on horseback.  I wonder what they were thinking about or contemplating during their brief encounter, the respect they shared for the brotherhood of horsemen, the contentment that comes from a day well lived, and the satisfaction that they get to repeat it tomorrow.

_D4L4847_sunset_meeting_4 copy


Pamela Steege –  This is a shot that I composed with a Panorama and a cowgirl in mind.  This is so unusual because it is of a cowgirl in a beautiful serape driving the herd, it is very rare to find a herd shot where the cattle are lined  up in a row. They usually are bunched up. I love the softness of the Southwest colors, it has a very feminine feel to it.

I see this printed up on watercolor paper, it is in my Cowgirl Gallery/ Best of the West on my website.
Dan Sniffin –  One of my favorite images from the Hideout Ranch was of Irv.  After many areas of “setup shots” with Irv I finally found him standing on a hill looking very relaxed and natural.  He thought so, too, and asked me to send him a copy of it.
Irv_Hideout Photo Shoot copy

Lola Biuckians – This picture is one of several favorites because it seems to be alive with life and a sense of mutual confidence between horse and rider. Within that unity is a sense of joy and freedom.LolaDan

Janice Hughes – I have so many favorites but I’m going to stick with this one.  One of the reasons I love it so much because of the moment in time that it captured.  These beautiful horses were approaching us in such a non-threatening manner that I didn’t even think about putting my camera down.  It was a special moment in time for me.

Approaching Horses by Janice Hughes

Janice Chipman – I liked the contrasts in this photo, especially between the similar colors, but completely different textures, of the horse and the rock behind it.  It also speaks to me on an emotional level, symbolizing the great respect between the animals and their handlers at The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch – and how those deep bonds were demonstrated again and again.


Trish Crowell – (Trish could not make up her mind and asked me to pick one. I decided to include both!) The one with the scenery and two horses shows the fabulous scenery and just how peaceful it really was. The one with all the horses running reminds me of the sound I heard while the horses where running towards me.  It sounded like thunder.  So thrilling!!




An apology to the participants of this tour. I thought I had scheduled this post to be published and then forgot about it!  Obviously I did not schedule it.  My apologies!

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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.

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