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Updated: May 22, 2019

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” Ansel Adams, American Photographer

Capturing Dramatic Light Photography Workshop

Each year photographer/author Randall Sanger hosts 6-7 groups and dozens of private photography workshops across West Virginia, Virginia, and other locations. Randall is known for his amazing waterfall, landscape, and dramatic light photography. For the first time, Randall is sharing his talents at home in Williamson.

Williamson, WV. Photo by Randall Sanger

Sanger`s work has been featured in print and digital publications on both regional and national levels. He is a Juried Fine Arts Photographer with Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia. Sanger’s work is on display at the Buxton and Landstreet Gallery in Thomas, WV and other. Sanger is also an author with his latest publication being, “Waterfalls of Virginia and West Virginia 2nd edition.”

On the evening of May 31 and morning of June 1, Sanger is hosting, “Capturing Dramatic Light: Photography Workshop” in Williamson. This two-day workshop will feature both a classroom style session and a hands-on session. According to Sanger, you can expect to learn various techniques used to capture dramatic light. From the basics such as proper ISO, the best f-stop, lens choice, etc. to creative compositions, long exposure techniques, and how to take panoramic photos. He will also touch on RAW vs JPEG and post-processing.

Bear Rocks Preserve in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. Photo by Randall Sanger

You will have the unique opportunity to view and photograph the city of Williamson at sunset from a downtown rooftop location. Williamson Health and Wellness Center is allowing Sanger to use their conference space for the classroom setting as well as allowing rooftop access to downtown 2nd Avenue offices location. On day two participants will be invited back to downtown in the early morning to capture the sunrise over the famous Coal House from the 1st Avenue floodwall. After sunrise photos, the Historic Mountaineer Hotel is welcoming class participants to capture photos inside the beautiful lobby, grand staircase, and mezzanine area.

Williamson, WV. Photo by Randal Sanger

Sanger says, “It will be great to share several of the locations we have to capture beautiful images here in Williamson. It took me a while to catch on myself, but there are numerous local places and subjects to photograph when met with dramatic light. With the various industries, architecture, and scenic vistas, the Greater Williamson area is full of tremendous photography opportunities.”

Why a Local Workshop?

With the persuasion of several local friends, social media contacts, and his wife Melissa, Randall decided it was time to host a photography workshop in his own hometown. According to Sanger, the timing just feels right to try one, and he’s eager to see how folks respond to this photography opportunity. If interest is shown in this workshop, other local workshops will be added to Sanger’s busy schedule.

Williamson, WV. Photo by Randal Sanger

“In addition to sharing photography skills, I also hope to emphasize the importance of the local arts scene. I’d like to see other photographers get involved and help develop a thriving arts community in Williamson. Perhaps this workshop will be a push a few folks need to gain the confidence to do more with their photography,” says Sanger.

Sanger also discusses the impact of bringing more artists, art events, and workshops could have on the community. Noting that Williamson is already seeing the benefits of tourist activities like the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, Sanger believes Williamson can offer much more.

“Small towns across the state and nation are capitalizing on the arts, we should be trying to do so as well,” Sanger continues, “ We not only need to give trail riders a reason to stay longer, but we need to use the talents of our various artisans to show off our region and gain visitors with other interests.

It Takes A Village (Or a Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce)

Sanger is a member of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and by working with other Chamber members, this workshop was organized. Collaborating with Sanger on this project is Williamson Health and Wellness Center, The Mountaineer Hotel, and the GFWC-WV Williamson Woman’s Club. While these members may not seem to have much in common “business-wise”, each one offers a piece of the puzzle for this workshop.

Williamson, WV. Photo by Randal Sanger

“It is vitally important that we all work together to make new things like this happen. There is no way I could have pulled this off without the help and support of other chamber members organizing the dates, times, location availability, providing space, rooftops, photo location access, and other needs for this workshop. A team effort is the only way to move Williamson Forward,” concludes Sanger.

We couldn’t agree more. We’ll see you in Williamson!


This workshop has a limited amount of space available. All participants must pre-register and pay the $50.00 registration fee prior to attending. If you’re super-excited to learn more about this workshop or sign up now, you can find the event on Facebook on the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce page or click here for details and registration link on Eventbrite.

Beauty Mountain in West Virginia’s New River Gorge National River. Photo By Randall Sanger.

For more info on Randall Sanger Photography you can find him on Facebook, Instagram, or on the web at

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