Each fall the Digital Photography class takes a trip to photograph the wonders of God’s creation. This year, the class headed to the Great Smoky Mountains. However, on the way, we took a quick side trip to the Nashville Zoo. While at the zoo we were able to photograph all the amazing creatures that were there. One of the big attractions was a baby Gibbon that everyone was trying to get a picture of. Due to the many beautiful creatures, we all were able to get some great shots!
Later, we arrived in Gatlinburg. We had a steep climb to reach our hotel. Once we reached the top, the view was amazing! Laid out in front of us were the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The next couple of days were spent exploring the majesty of Smoky Mountain National Park and the contrasting street scenes of Gatlinburg.
One memorable experience we had was waking up before dawn to head out to Clingman’s Dome. Clingman’s Dome is 6,643 feet in the air and the tallest point in the Great Smoky Mountains. We hiked up the steep trail and finally made it to the top. Unfortunately it was so misty and foggy that morning and the sunrise was nowhere to be seen. We huddled together for warmth, hoping the fog would dissipate, but to no avail. However, on the way back down the path, the fog was thinner and you could see the sun peaking through in between the mountaintops.
On the way back toward campus we stopped at Burgess Falls State Park where we photographed some beautiful waterfalls. From there we headed back to Nashville to catch the sunset over the city skyline.
This spring the Digital Photography class had the opportunity to go a little farther north. Our first stop was in Chicago. The first night there we ventured out to capture the “Bean” at night with the city lights reflecting off its surface. The next morning we headed out bright and early, this time to catch the sunrise in Millennium Park. Later that day we decided to go above the clouds in the John Hancock building. Where we captured views of the city and shoreline.
On Tuesday we were able to sleep in, and then took the Shoreline Cruise on the Chicago River. We were able to see the amazing architecture in the heart of the city. Wednesday morning we packed up and headed for St. Louis. We decided to go up in the arch for a once in a lifetime experience. I, personally, never need to do that again. It is good for a one time trip to the top, but after we felt the arch swaying, suffice it to say, the students and I took all the pictures we ever need to from that view. However, that night we visited the observation deck across the river and took some amazing shots of the arch and city at night.
The last day of our trip we headed to the St. Louis Zoo. Did you know, it’s free to visit? The zoo was so large that we couldn’t even see the entire zoo in three hours. One of the coolest exhibits was the sea lions. What made it so interesting was the feeding show and how the zoo keepers interacted with the animals.
Overall, the class had a wonderful time capturing the different views and enjoyed all of our unique opportunities. We’ll see where next year takes us!