Workshop Fee 

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$645 extra early registration by Jan 24, 2019

$695 early registration Jan 25 - April 24, 2019

$745 normal registration after April 24, 2019


Friday, May 24, 2019 at 4:00 PM EDT
Monday, May 27, 2019 at 3:00 PM EDT

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Mary Louise Ravese
Bella Vista Photography
571 594 2390


Asheville area, Western North Carolina.

Our "home base" is at the 20 acre Mountain Lens Training Center in Hendersonville, NC.

Mountain Lens Training Facility 

6356 Willow Rd
Hendersonville, NC 28739  

Driving Directions

Getting There

Mountain Lens is about a 45 min drive south of downtown Asheville, NC and 30 min drive from Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) which is serviced by these airlines: Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, Spirit, Elite Airways and United Airlines. Alternatively, a larger airport in Charlotte, NC is a 2 hr drive away.

Approximate driving times:

Atlanta, GA: 3 hrs 20 min

Raleigh, NC: 4.5 hrs

Spartanburg, SC: 1 hr 10 min

Washington DC: 8 hrs

Please do not book any non-refundable airfare until notified by the workshop leader.

Who Should Attend

Experienced beginner, intermediate and advanced DSLR or mirror-less camera users.  Participants must be familiar with basic camera operation, including the setting of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Participants should also have some basic experience with editing images using Adobe Lightroom software (either Classic or CC versions). Basic experience with Adobe Photoshop is a plus. If desired, participants can bring their own laptop, but they will be able to use one of the 27 inch iMac machines available at the training facility.

Class size is limited to 6 students.


What's Included

  • Classroom and field sessions 
  • Training handouts 
  • Entry/Parking fee for the NC Arboretum 
  • Preliminary and final print of the participant’s work printed on-site

What's Not Included

  • Accommodations  Shared on-site accommodations can be booked directly through Mountain Lens. Mountain Lens can also offer suggestions for off-site accommodations if desired.  
  • Meals
    Brown bag lunches and group dinner reservations at local restaurants can be arranged. 
  • Transportation
    Participants should plan to drive or rent a car, public transportation is not readily available to/from Mountain Lens.


Lodging is not included in the workshop fee. Mountain Lens offers lodging on-site in a  cottage and a carriage house, accommodating up to 13 people for workshops.

Fox Den Interior

Their rates run from $90 - $175 per person for shared suites that include a kitchenette. Luxury amenities include high-definition TVs and high-speed WiFi. For those who prefer private accomodations, Mountain Lens can provide recommendations for local area hotels and B&Bs.

Contact Mountain Lens directly to book your lodging at (828)-230-3685



Creative Abstract Photography Workshop 

Abstract Photography allows the photographer the freedom to discover and explore "ordinary" subjects from a fresh perspective for the sheer beauty of their characteristics of color, texture and shape. Learning abstract photography techniques is an excellent exercise in expanding and refining the "photographer's eye" and enables participants to create images that are uniquely their own, employing strong visual design elements. It is a valuable learning exercise that will improve not just the participant's ability to make abstract imagery, but take a more creative approach in all types of images from landscapes to portraiture and beyond. 
In this workshop, instructor Mary Louise Ravese shares some her favorite techniques for creating abstract photographs in the studio and the field. The combination of lecture, demonstration and hands-on photography shooting sessions is sure to spark the imagination and produce some unique and beautiful abstract images.
This intermediate level workshop is best suited for those who understand basic digital SLR or mirrorless camera use and are looking for a creative challenge, unique photo opportunities and to expand the vision of their "photographer's eye". 


Techniques covered include:

Light painting by past participant Richard Fain
Abstract Light Paintingparticipants will explore utilizing "photographic time warp" - moving a variety of interesting light sources to sculpt in the air creating amazing luminous shapes over the course of a long exposure. In this approach the light is the subject. Creative possibilities are further enhanced by photographing at night using reflections in a pond at Mountain Lens as well as a colorful graffiti backdrop in Asheville's River Arts District.
sample image by former participant Richard Fain


Reeds by Mary Louise Ravese
Intentional Camera Movement - participants will see the colorful gardens at the North Carolina Arboretum in a new way as they practice intentional camera movements like panning, zooming and rotating during long exposures.
sample image by Mary Louise Ravese


Abstract Reflections by Mary Louise Ravese
Unusual reflections - participants will use a variety of reflective surfaces with unusual shapes and textures that distort subject matter reflections in fascinating ways. (Macro or close-up equipment is required for this session. Note this equipment can be rented for Canon, Nikon and some other popular cameras.)
sample image by Mary Louise Ravese


One thing is for sure, this workshop could be the most fun you've had as an adult and it will transform your ideas about where and how to make unique images.


In addition to learning different creative abstract photography shooting techniques, Mary Louise will share her step-by-step approach for editing images using Adobe’s Lightroom program as well as layers and blending modes in Adobe Photoshop for creating composite images.

 Mountain Lens Training Room 

Joining Mary Louise in teaching will be master printer and Mountain Lens co-founder Jeff Miller, who will explain how to produce the best photographic prints.

Over the weekend in addition to photographing in the field, participants will work on editing their own images with input, guidance and feedback from Mary Louise and Jeff. The workshop culminates with each participant printing one of their images to take home. 

"I'm excited to be able to offer this workshop at Mountain Lens. It's unusual to be able to have access to a facility on location where students can take advantage of iMac computers and large format photo printers. Students will be able to make big strides in learning editing and printing because they can put new skills into practice right then and there, under the guidance of master printers." - Mary Louise Ravese

Light Painting Composite


About the InstructorS

Photo by Richard Fain Mary Louise Ravese specializes in fine art nature and travel photography from locations across the world. Her photographs are in private, university & corporate collections in over 40 states and are exhibited nationally. She has published images in calendars, magazines, books and websites. Mary Louise is a regular speaker and competition judge for photography clubs. She also enjoys teaching on a wide range of topics related to nature, travel and creative photography. Based in North Carolina, Mary Louise leads classes and workshops at a variety of locations across the US and abroad. 

Jeff Miller Mountain Lens co-founder Jeff Miller's mission is to help photographers  capture the natural beauty of the Southern Appalachians, share it, and ultimately preserve it. He pursues his mission through “immersion” in photography – field trips, consulting, critiquing, and offering digital imaging and printing services.

Jeff also loves to connect with other photographers in several regional and national photography groups. He has delivered both technical and artistic presentations in many venues, and he teaches photography classes and workshops in Asheville NC, at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, at Chimney Rock State Park, and in the Everglades National Park.