Big South Fork Spring With Byron Jorjorian

Every bit as magnificent as the Smoky Mountains with far less congestion, Big South Fork National Recreation area in Tennessee is one of the most beautiful and unique areas of the United States both geologically and biologically. It is a land of striking contrasts, with the steep bluffs, waterfalls and stunning gorges so characteristic of the the Cumberland Plateau. There are also natural arches, wildflowers, deep hardwood forests, boulder filled rivers and breathtaking overlooks.

We will spend our time in the field where I will guide you to some of my favorite spots and assist you personally in bringing back the best images that you possibly can. I will help you with all technical aspects of your photography including: Exposure, depth of field, histograms, choosing the correct aperture, maximizing image quality in every situation.

Lost in the Longleaf by Todd Amacker

Longleaf pine forest in Blackwater River State Forest, Florida by Todd Amacker

Longleaf pine forest in Blackwater River State Forest, Florida by Todd Amacker


Images and text by Todd Amacker 

One of North America’s most biodiverse forests, the longleaf pine forest of the Southeast, is missing from 97% of its historic range. As a proud Southerner, I’ve spent a great deal of time ambling through pine forests in the Florida panhandle. Recently, I’ve made an effort to use my photography and my words to portray exactly what has disappeared along with the forests themselves.

There are a lot of treasures in longleaf pine forests that make them special, both aesthetically and scientifically. It all starts with the longleaf pine tree itself, Pinus palustris. It’s resistant to fire, and that’s important when frequent fires sweep through the understory and flames lap at the trees’ exteriors. Layers of specially evolved, crusty bark protect its delicate innards. It is actually unhindered fire that gives life to the longleaf ecosystem and contributes to its aesthetic beauty. Because of the fire, the undergrowth is burned away and you can see between trees. (This is quite refreshing for forest enthusiasts, as most forests hamper your ability to enjoy the view.)  Continue reading