2019 Summit Leaders


RC Concepcion

RC is an award winning photographer and author of the best selling books “Get Your Photography On the Web” and “The HDR Book – 2nd Edition” by Peachpit Press.

An Adobe Certified Instructor in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, RC has over 16 years in the I.T. and ecommerce industries and spends his days developing content for all applications in the Adobe Creative Suite. RC also worked with Adobe in to write the Adobe Certified Expert exam for Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, and Lightroom 5.

A sought after public speaker, he has held training seminars around the world, and has served as guest instructor for the Digital Landscape Workshop Series with Moose Peterson, Advanced Flash Photography at Jade Mountain with Joe McNally, His Light workshops with famed landscape photographer Bill Fortney, The Voices That Matter web conference in San Francisco, and Gulf Photo Plus in the United Arab Emirates.

Bill FortneyBill Fortney

Bill Fortney is a photographer,writer, pilot, and highly sought after presenter with over 47 years of experience in-the-field.  Bill has done professional work as a newspaper and magazine photojournalist, sports photographer, (once an official photographer for the Washington Redskins), medical photographer, and nature/landscape photographer.

Bill’s best selling books include;  The Nature of America (with David Middleton), American Vision (with David Middleton, John Shaw and Wayne Lynch),  America From 500 Feet (with Wesley Fortney),  Bill Fortney’s Great Photography WorkshopAmerica From 500 Feet II (with Mark Kettenhofen).  Bill’s books have sold well over 150,000 copies, placing him on the list of best selling photographer/authors in America. Bill is also the author of 11 eBooks on photography.  Bill has been named a Fellow by the North American Nature Photographers Association.  When working as a Nikon NPS Rep for the Southern U.S. he was blessed to work at Shuttle launches, Air Races, Air Shows, The Masters, PGA Championships, NASCAR races, The Kentucky Derby and the Breeder’s Cup. He has worked with NFL teams, college sports programs, universities, colleges, major newspapers, and magazines, law enforcement.

Bill has classes on KelbyOne.  Bill teaches His Light Workshops, a Christian based workshop company and with Jack Graham Photography Workshops.   Bill has been named as a X-Photographer by Fujifilm and uses the Fuji X-Series System exclusively.  You can learn more about Bill, his workshops and view his work at: www.billfortney.com    Bill also has a Youtube Channel under  Bill Fortney Photography.  Bill, and his wife Sherelene, live in Corbin, Kentucky, and have three grown children and 6 grandchildren.

Jack Graham

Jack Graham is a professional photographer with over twenty-four years of experience. He resides near Seattle, Washington, in the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Jack leads both small groups and one-on-one photography workshops domestically and internationally. He has been published in leading photography publications, has several e-books and has been successful with stock photography. Jack also conducts workshops for the Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, Washington.

Jack exclusively uses Fuji “X” series cameras and Fujinon lenses and has been named an “X” Photographer by the Fuji Corporation. His images have been used extensively by Fuji for commercial and promotional purposes. Along with Bill Fortney, Jack conducts workshops dedicated to Fuji “X” camera users. These events can be found on the FUJI “X” PHOTOGRAPHER PHOTO WORKSHOPS website.  Jack is a member of the Board of Directors of NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association), and SUWA (Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance).


For me the experience of immersing myself in the location is just as important as the photograph. As a photographer, my mission is to make images that depict my emotions and relationship to my surroundings and the environment.

It’s the whole experience that fascinates me. When I make an image, I have to negotiate the creative boundaries of what goes into the image, often before the camera even comes out of my bag. The places I’ve seen and the friends I’ve made along the way through photography enrich the process. Images are the end product of the process. The process of making art keeps me going. Artist first, photographer second.


Ken Jenkins

I grew up in Newport, Tennessee, a small town at the foothills to the Great Smoky Mountains.  I spent my early years around folks that care about each other, work very hard, and encourage each other…people that love their country, trust in God, and want for very little.
My outdoor interests were keen as far back as I can remember. My mother and father and brother camped and hiked in the mountains all my young life.  As I look back to those years, I can clearly see that my early locations, associations, and vocations all led to this great pursuit of photographing wildlife and everything else that nature presents.   I had a camera as early as 12 years of age and began to get real serious about my photography in my early twenties. After all of these years, I still get just as excited when I am watching a bear or a beaver as I did when I was young.   My first book (if you could call 28 pages of text and photos a book) came out in 1983. It was titled “A Walk With the Smoky Mountain Bears”. Soon to follow was “Bathed In Glory” a photo essay book on the Cades Cove region of the Smokies. Later on, I wrote a series of wildlife books called “The Wilderness World of…Baby Bears”, “…of River Otters”, “…of White-tailed Deer”, “…of Baby Raccoons”. My first coffee table book was published by Graphic Arts Center Publishing in 1993 and was titled, “Great Smoky Mountains National Park”. Later titles were Reflections of the Grizzly, Reflections of the Wolf, and Reflections of the Black Bear.
We began Pathways to Nature Publishing in the early 90’s and released an assortment of note cards, posters, journals, and other photographic pieces. It has been a wonderful pursuit traveling around this wonderful world and recording the beauty of God’s hand.  I spend time in twelve different national parks each year along with many days along America’s rivers all for a special sixteen year relationship with a corporate client. I climb all over my beloved Smokies where I live on the edge of the park.
My great passion is in the world of birds. They fascinate me and teach me and I love to watch birds more than anything else I observe. I read extensively and especially the old writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to all of the above, I work a lot at the publishing warehouse, the galleries, and the stock photography business. I like to work because everything that I do reminds me of something positive and wonderful in my life.

Roman Kurywczak

Roman Kurywczak is a professional nature photographer for over 15 years who conducts lectures and workshops across the globe. His boutique tour company, Roamin’ with Roman Photo Tours, caters to small groups (only 4) to provide the ultimate learning experience for participants. Whether he is out in Tanzania or standing before a roaring waterfall in Iceland, Roman’s energy and passion for nature photography are clearly evident.  You can often find him out in Arches or Yellowstone national park late at night photographing the nighttime landscapes and calling it fun! Closer to home, Roman will spend countless hours doing macro photography.  While he enjoys photographing insects, his favorite subject is flowers, which he buys for his wife and he is sticking to that story. Roman is equally comfortable photographing landscapes, macro subjects, and wildlife whether he is at some exotic location or close to home.

His down to earth and easy to follow teaching style make him a highly sought after lecturer.  He has given countless lectures and workshops across the country.  The author of several instructional eBooks on nature photography, Roman strives to share his passion for photography as others have shared with him. He lives in NJ and has been married for 30 years and has two sons.

A proud member of the Sigma Pro team, you can find his galleries, blog, tour schedule, and more on his website: http://www.roaminwithroman.com


Mandy Lea

When I was 16 years old I walked into a camera store in Colorado and asked for a job. Despite getting my college degree in Chinese Languages and moving to China, I never left photography – or perhaps photography never left me. Little did I know that would be just the beginning of a 17 year career in photography stores. After spending the last 10 years at Precision Camera & Video in Austin, my wanderlust became unavoidable and I left to pursue freelance photography, live on the road out of my teardrop camper, and maybe learn a thing or two about life.

I have an insatiable desire to explore and document the beauty all around us through photography. Everyday we experience moments – whether secluded in nature or adventuring with friends – I strive to be present in these moments, to be grateful for each one. My camera allows me to create an artistic vision of these experiences. Through my photography and my journey I hope to inspire each person I meet.

BillLeaBill Lea

Bill may best be known for his artistic documentation of deer and bear behavior, the various moods of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Florida Everglades and southern ecosystems.  Photographing in the Smokies since 1975 has afforded this photographer limitless opportunities to observe and record the flora, fauna, and scenery of the region.  He has been teaching photo workshops at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont since 1992. More than 7,000 of Bill’s photos have been published. His work has appeared in Audubon Calendars, BBC Wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife, numerous Great Smoky Mountains Association publications, National Geographic books, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife, and many others. His three front covers in a row was a first in Field & Stream’s more than 100-year history. Bill authored a coffee-table book titled Great Smoky Mountains Wildlife Portfolio and co-authored Great Smoky Mountains Wonder & Light and Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography. His most recent book, Cades Cove – Window to a Secret World is in its fourth printing. He is currently working on a book about the Florida Everglades. When asked what he would most like to achieve through his photography, Bill replies, “I hope my images will promote a better understanding and appreciation for wildlife, the natural world, and most of all, our Creator.”  Bill says he would be amiss if he failed to mention how truly blessed he is to have such a wonderful and supportive wife – Klari. Her patience and understanding always endures.

Joe McNally

Joe McNally is internationally acclaimed, award-winning photographer whose prolific career includes assignments in nearly 70 countries.  McNally is known world-wide as not only one of the top, technically excellent photographers of his generation, but his charming demeanor, confidence and humor make him a sought-after choice from CEO’s to celebrities to commercial and magazine clients alike.  He is among the rare breed of photographer who has bridged the world between photojournalism and advertising, amassing an impressive commercial and advertising client list including FedEx, Sony, ESPN, Adidas, Land’s End, General Electric, Epson, MetLife, USAA, New York Stock Exchange, Lehman Brothers, PNC Bank, and the Beijing Cultural Commission.  McNally is equally comfortable climbing buildings or lighting a telescope to capturing quiet, sensitive subject matter with confidence in medical surroundings.  He has shot numerous cover stories and highly complex features for the National Geographic, LIFE, and Sports Illustrated, where his research skills and unmatched preparedness were highly valued.

McNally won the first Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Journalistic Impact for a LIFE coverage titled, “The Panorama of War.”  He has been honored numerous times by Communication Arts, PDN, Graphic, American Photo, POY, and The World Press Photo Foundation.  He has also adapted to the Internet driven media world, and recently named as one of the “Top 5 Most Socially Influential Photographers” by Eye-Fi and one of the “Top 20 Influential Photographers” by http://www.featuredphotog.com, in addition to winning “2015 Photographer of the Year” by PMDA.  McNally’s combined social media following is more than 1/2 million to date and his popularity continues to grow as he pursues directing a variety of film projects.

Home is a quiet town in Connecticut which he shares with his wife and Sammy the cat, where he remains enthusiastic about the next assignment.

Len Rue Jr.

Len Rue, Jr.

I have an international reputation in my chosen specialty of nature/wildlife photography. For over 40 years, my photos have been published in hundreds of different publications worldwide, including Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Natural History Magazine, National Wildlife, Ranger Rick, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, Peterson’s Hunting, Cosmopolitan, Maxim, Reader’s Digest, Outdoor Photographer, National Geographic, etc. My photo work has also been used in numerous national ads and brochures, books, calendars, cards and various educational products. I have extensively traveled worldwide photographing for my stock photo business.

My years of photographic field experience have given me a distinctive photographic style and knowledge of both my craft and wildlife and nature. I have a degree in Professional Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master of Education Degree in Instructional Technology from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. My experiences and training make me eminently well qualified to lead photo tours, conduct photo workshops and to teach at the higher education level.

For over twenty five years, I have led photo tours to various North American locations, as well as to Africa, Australia, and South America. I currently lead photographic tours throughout the year for Joseph VanOs Photo Safaris. I give lectures on photography and teach photographic workshops nationwide. For many years, in conjunction with my father, Leonard Lee Rue III, I co-taught an all-day nature photographic seminar that we presented around the country. I currently teach credited courses in photography for both the under- graduate and graduate programs as an adjunct professor at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

I am the co-author of the book, How to Photograph Animals in The Wild, and I also have written magazine articles. I am the business manager of Len Rue Enterprises, LLC, selling stock photos http://www.rueimages.com/and the director of the L. L. Rue Catalog an on-line store http://www.rue.com/, which offers specialized photographic equipment for wildlife and nature photographers. I reside with my wife, Joan, in the Pocono Mountain region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Tony Sweet

Tony Sweet

Tony is a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens.  After successful careers as a jazz musician/ educator, and professional magician, Tony settled on photography as his chosen means for personal expression. Beginning as a film photographer, Tony has become facile in image editing software and plugins and is an in-demand speaker throughout the United States and Canada on creativity in the digital age.  Tony and Susan Milestone conduct Visual Artistry photography location workshops in the United States, Canada, and Iceland. Tony maintains an active speaking schedule to photography organizations, industry trade shows and PPA schools across the continental United States and Canada. He also conducts an annual Visual Artistry Creativity Seminar series.

Tony’s photography is published worldwide in every medium and is represented by Getty Images. His iPhone photography is represented by Aurora Photos. Tony’s images are also used by Nikon, MacPhun, Singh Ray, Alien Skin, Topaz, Lensbaby and others for national ad campaigns.

Tony has authored five books on the art of photography: Fine Art Nature Photography (’02), Fine Art Flower Photography(’05) Fine Art Nature Photography: Water, Ice, Fog (’07), Fine Art Digital Photography (’09) and HDR Photography (2011). He and Master Photo Workshops have co-produced four photography DVDs: Visual Artistry, HDR Made Easy, Visual Literacy and Flower Photography Artistry, as well as an iPhone instructional video series.

The first book in his Fine Art Nature Photography eBook series, “Creative Techniques and the Art of Self Expression,” was just released.

Eddie Tapp

Considered one of the most influential photographers and digital imagers, Eddie Tapp possess multi-dimensionality as a visual communicator.  His artistry reaches strongly around all aspects of the image from the creation in camera to the mastery of post and print.

He is known world-wide not only for his ability to create through the entire process, but also for his ability to understand and teach. His gentle voice can be heard visually throughout the process of an image or film clip or audibly guiding an audience. These photographic talents for creating and teaching the total visual image has earned him the recognition from Canon USA as an “Explorer of Light”.

First a photographer, which inhabits the roots of Eddie’s artistic soul, he is equally known for his knowledge of the post process including all areas of digital processing.

He was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame 2006 and continues to be sought after as an educator in digital workflow, color management, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for clients and events globally.

Rounding out who Eddie is creatively has led him to his passion for putting creativity on paper, finishing the capture into the print.  He is a very accomplished printmaker and is recognized by some of the world’s most prominent photographic manufactures and distributors.

The adventurer in his soul is leading to his current passion for exploring photography and video images with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), commonly referred to as Drones.  Aerial photography through UAV has enabled Eddie to create unusually powerful imaging in stills, panoramas, video and production. An FAA Part 107 Certified Commercial Drone Pilot along with the COA for 14 CFR 107.29 Daylight operations for night flights.

A professional photographer since 1973, Eddie has been recognized with the highest in industry honors from the Professional Photographers of America including the Gerhard Bakker Award, National Award, Directors Award and in 2019 received the Technology Impact Award.  Within Professional Photographers of America, Eddie has been recognized with distinction as Master Photographer, Photographic Craftsman, Master of Electronic Imaging, Approved Photographic Instructor and is a Certified Professional Photographer. Eddie spearheaded the charge of the organization into the realm of digital processes as the Chairman of the Committee on Digital and Advanced Imaging throughout the 1990’s.

Over the years, Eddie has authored books and numerous articles on photography and digital post processing for publications such as The Professional Photographer, Photoshop User, Rangefinder, Popular Photography and many others. Over the past 3 decades, he has provided on-site workflow consulting, digital-imaging training, and workshops for dozens of corporations, studios, agencies, and government agencies and organizations world-wide.  Eddie is originally from Chamblee, Georgia in the metro Atlanta area, where he currently resides with his wife.


Brett Wells

Brett has a B.A. in Graphic Design from Samford University, an M.F.A. from the University of WestMinster in Photographic Studies, and currently teaches all over the country as a part of being a sales and tech rep for Sigma Photo.  After finishing his Masters, Brett spent two years doing architectural photography for a London real estate firm.  When he moved back to the states, he became an instructor at the Atlanta Institute of Art where he taught a myriad of subjects for seven years.  While at the Art Institute, he had the opportunity to lead several workshops for student groups to locations such as China and Italy.  Even though his job now is defined as a “technical” representative, he is still an educator at heart and you can see that in all that he does.  When asked what is his favorite method of shooting, he will still answer, “4×5 film”.  That is fitting since I don’t think he owned a digital camera until maybe 2009?  He escapes to these mountains any chance he gets and loves leading workshops here because any day in the Smokies with a camera is a good day!

2 thoughts on “2019 Summit Leaders

  1. I’ve just read about each presenter and I’m impressed with the line up. I can’t wait to begin learning from such established, great photographers!


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