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Tony Sweet
photographer, lecturer, workshop leader, jazz musician, close up magician
photographer, lecturer, workshop leader, jazz musician, close up magician

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The Palouse is one of the most photogenic regions of the country, hence, getting increased numbers of photography workshops, serious photographers, and camera owners in general.

Please consider the attached letter when photographing in the Palouse:

This is a reprint of a letter to the editor of the Colfax paper last year, at least as relevant now as it was a year ago.

“The incidents of “photographer” ignorance, inconsideration, and sense of entitlement have exploded, and many farmers are unhappy with photographer and workshop leader conduct.

At least one classic scene has been restricted because of rude behavior by photographers and camera owners, and there is disgruntlement among the locals. People speed through the idyllic dirt roads in search of “the shot.” Families live on these roads, kids and pets are going through their lives in a carefree (as it should be) way, and then some chucklehead comes flying down the road. For what? Most of these “great” shots never get beyond social media.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but here’s what it’s not worth:
It’s not worth trespassing.
It’s not worth making kids playing on their dirt road a life threatening experience
It’s not worth disturbing families
It’s not worth forcing farmers to close off photo ops due to aggressive, offensive and rude behavior.
It’s not worth walking all over crops, costing the farmers money.

I was asked to take down a post of a lesser known structure by a local photographer, even though I didn’t say where it was, because it would cause leaders and others to drive around like maniacs trying to find it, and then would most likely trespass to get their composition. I agreed and took it down immediately.

So, it appears that responsible photographers, who have made pictures here for many years, and lead workshops and tours are in a position to help smooth things out a bit, by leading by example.

Here’s what we do:
Whenever we pass a farm on a dirt/gravel road, we slow to 10 mph.
We always stay off of private property, even plowed fields, even stubble fields.
We never shoot close to where there is work going on.
We ALWAYS ask permission to photograph on private property.
We ALWAYS ask permission to photograph on private property.
We are always polite and deferential to the residents.
We drive slowly on dirt roads.
We park as far off of the road as possible to allow for passing farm equipment.
Whenever possible, we get addresses and send a picture to the farmer.

Just because there is not a “No Trespassing” sign does not entitle you to walk on to their property. Every piece of land in the Palouse is owned by someone.

We are here at the pleasure of the farmers who keep many of these structures viable for us to photograph. We are not entitled to photograph on their property.

Considerate photographers and tour leaders are on the cusp of losing the support of the farmers, who make this such a wonderful place to photograph.

Please Share!

Tony Sweet"

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Just in case anyone missed the announcement a few weeks ago, we have a new eBook for your consideration.

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June 2--23, Smokies Digital Edge Infrared/ Long exposure/ B&W processing workshop:

Email for Flash Sale pricing!

ONE space available

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Check out this great photo sharing site;

Tons of cool features and more coming soon!

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Hey, come see me in Charleston!
email (whatever that means) for more info and to register for their Charleston, 2018 photo workshops:
Visual Artistry: March 25 - 30
Digital Edge: April 2 - 7

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Latest image from Tony Sweet Photography on 500px

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I took the morning (Sue got some needed sleep) following the workshop for a little personal shooting in Cades Cove. At first, I started up to Foothills Pkwy, but something told me to go to the Cove. I got in line right behind our good friend and iconic Smokies photographer and bear advocate, Bill Lea.
Interesting day: I mentioned to Bill that I was thinking about going back to Foothills, as I didn't see much fog in the cove at the time. He said NO, as the fog completely covered the overlook and he's never seen it clear by sunrise.
Fortunately, I trusted my instincts. As the cove heated up, the classic Cades Cove mist appeared and stayed.
Bill said he was looking for specific bears in the Cove (he named some of them), and that resulted in the quote of the day,
"I prefer bears to people.....they aren't as wild and unpredictable."
Image info: Another reason to love infrared. When the sidelight got really strong and bright, all of the traffic cleared out, leaving this composition with perfect infrared side light and no cars/ people. D800, 720nm infrared, 24-120mm lens.
We're back here for our first annual Digital Edge infrared/ long exposure/ B&W processing workshop, June 20-23. If interested in the remaining spot (we only take 6), please email
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