• Betty Girardeau


The 2012 Fall Smoky Mountain Workshop with Paul Hassell literally changed my life. As soon as I returned home that week-end I knew that I really wanted to pursue photography as something more than a hobby. I wanted to become serious about it and learn everything that I could. Since creating this website particularly I have spent a lot of time going back through eight years of images. It's been a wonderful opportunity to walk down memory lane and be thankful for all the places I have been and the the people I have met. I think about all the things I have learned that I never knew or expected I could learn. I think about the things I have done that I never would have thought possible. This image was taken the last day of that 2012 workshop. I entered it in a Fall photography contest in 2017 cosponsored by Topaz Labs, a major photography post processing software company where it earned an Expert Commendation as well as a peer award. I had named the picture "Golden," which seems very fitting, not just because of the color, but because of what it represents about that life-changing week-end. The dictionary says that if you are using this word to describe a golden opportunity "you mean something marked by luck, peace, and happiness." All of those terms beautifully describe what photography has brought and continues to bring to my life.

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