Monday evening and Tuesday morning, October 4, 2021
I signed up for a one-week photography workshop with my friend, Mark Zablotsky. He has done a ton of research and scouting throughout West Virginia. This workshop appealed to me for several reasons. One is that Mark is a world-class photographer, excellent teacher and a good friend. He has taken photography workshops all over the country, and now leads very popular workshops in Alaska and Africa. Two; I have driven through West Virginia hundreds of times, but always going somewhere else. I wanted to explore the state, and this was a great way to do it. Three; I take pictures all the time on my travels, but mostly they are shots taken on the fly, on.a hike, a kayak trip, bike ride or in passing a pretty spot while driving. Often I am not satisfied with my shots, and I want to improve. Although there are hundreds of photography workshops, I always enjoy spending time with Mark, and I always learn a lot.
After driving 4½ hours, we met at the Cranberry Hotel at 3:00. There was only one other participant, Kevin, taking the course – not so lucky for Mark, but very fortunate for Kevin and me. I couldn’t believe he didn’t cancel the workshop. He gave us an overview of the week’s events in what would be a whirlwind tour. He gave us a few pointers and asked what we were interested in learning. Then we were off to our first site, Cooper’s Rock.
“Established in 1936, Coopers Rock State Forest boasts some of the most iconic views in Almost Heaven.” from: https://wvstateparks.com/park/coopers-rock-state-forest/. “Coopers Rock State Forest is a 12,747-acre state forest in Monongalia and Preston counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Its southern edge abuts Cheat Lake and the canyon section of Cheat River, a popular whitewater rafting river in the eastern US.” from Apple maps.
The next morning we returned to Cooper’s Rock to find fog filling the valley. Although it isn’t what we wanted, it was cool, as a river of fog flowed down the valley.