Category Archives: General Notes

15th Annual AMPC Has Begun!

15th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography CompetitionIt’s that time again! The 15th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition is open for registrations and submissions. Amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to submit at www.appmtnphotocomp.org prior to the competition’s close at 5:00 pm on Friday, November 17, 2017. The Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition offers numerous categories that will be chosen as winners with over $4,000 in cash and prizes.  

A partnership between Appalachian State University Outdoor Programs, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, and Virtual Blue Ridge, the AMPC celebrates the unique people, places, and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians. Attracting entries from across the United States, the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition has grown into one the region’s most prestigious photography competitions with almost 1,000 submissions last year and viewed in person by thousands of people at the Turchin Center for Visual Arts in Boone, North Carolina. The AMPC is made possible through the generous sponsorship of the Mast General Store, with support from Appalachian Voices, Bistro Roca, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Footsloggers, Peabody’s, Nikon Professional Services, and Stick Boy Bread Company.

This year’s competition has one exciting change. In previous years, photographers were limited to 3 images per category, but due to the popular request, the limit has been increased to 15 images per category. See the rules & guidelines for more information.

Competition organizers are excited to announce this year’s Blue Ridge Parkway category theme, sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and Nikon Professional Services, which is “The Parkway in Color – Capturing the Changing Seasons.” Photographers are encouraged to document the multitude of colors that come and go every year along the Parkway, marking the passing of time through each of the four seasons in the Parkway’s natural habitats. The winning image in this category will receive a $250 cash award, provided by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and a camera from Nikon Professional Services.

Another exciting category for the AMPC this year, highlighting our commitment of raising awareness of the natural environment through this competition is the Our Ecological Footprint category, which is intended to document environmental concerns in the Southern Appalachians. Photographers are encouraged to capture an image that represents our ecological footprint in a creative and poignant way. Appalachian Voices and the Mast General Store are partnering to present this award which will go to the photographer who best captures the spirit of this category with a $500 cash prize package.

Additional competition categories this year include Best in Show, which wins a $1,000 cash prize, the People’s Choice Award presented by Footsloggers which will receive a $350 gift certificate, and the following categories of Culture, Adventure, Flora and Fauna, and Landscape, will each win $250 prize packages from the Mast General Store.

A panel of professional photographers will review all entries and narrow them down to approximately 50 images that will be displayed in exhibition at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, March 2 – June 2, 2018. From those images, the judges will select the final winners which will be showcased during the exhibition.

For the third year in a row, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (TCVA) is bringing back a popular program open to all photographers who submit their artwork to the annual competition. In-person portfolio reviews will be available on a lottery system, which will give photographers a chance to have a one on one portfolio review with one of our professional photographers who are leading the reviews this year.

The AMPC website, designed and maintained by Virtual Blue Ridge, features the competition’s archives of finalist images. The Galleries section of the site offers one-click access to every finalist image from the past 14 years, making the AMPC archives one of the most comprehensive juried galleries of the Southern Appalachians.

Thank you for your support this year and Happy Shooting!

About Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition:

The AMPC is a partnership between Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs and The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. AMPC is made possible through the sponsorship of Virtual Blue Ridge, the premier online resource for the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Mast General Store. AMPC receives generous support from Appalachian Voices;  Bistro Roca, Inventive American Cuisine; the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation; Footsloggers Outdoor and Travel Outfitters; Peabody’s Wine and Beer Merchants; Nikon Professional Services: and Stick Boy Bread Company. For more information about this photography competition, please visit www.appmtnphotocomp.org, or call Outdoor Programs at 828.262.2475.

14th Annual AMPC Finalists Announced

This year’s panel of esteemed jurors have selected 47 finalists for this year’s Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition, from nearly 1,000 submissions.

Final judging to select this year’s Best In Show and individual category winners will take place prior to the public exhibition opening on March 3, 2017 at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, NC.  The exhibition and voting for the People’s Choice Award opens on Friday, March 3 at 5:00 p.m. and closes on March 24, 2017 5:00 p.m.

Once voting for the People’s Choice Award ends on March 24, 2017, competition organizers will announce this year’s award winners on www.appmtnphotocomp.com and www.facebook.com/appmtphotocomp the following day.

Congratulations to this year’s finalists and thanks to everyone for submitting such great images! Your entry fees not only help raise funds for Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs SOLE Trips for students, but also show the world the unique people, places, and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians.

And the finalists are . . .

Adventure :: Imagery depicting mountain sports such as climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, etc.
Candice Corbin “Gone Huntin'”
Candice Corbin “Taxidermy”
Cathy Anderson “Exploring the Great Channels”
Derek DiLuzio “Big Ivy Trail Running”
Mary Pression Roberts “Abstract Fall Reflections”
Shawn Mitchell “Rough Ridge Stargazing”
Steve Yocom “Round the Fire”
Blue Ridge Parkway – A Place to Play :: A rotating category each year with a different theme.
Alan R Clark “Hiking to the Pinnacle”
Angela Beck “Appalachian Angler”
Candice Corbin “Run Bobby Run”
Jameson Midgett “Balance Partners”
Lynn Willis “Boardwalk in the Fog”
Micah J. Henry “A Foggy Walk”
Ryan Davis “Summer Days”
 Ryan Gaglianese-Woody “Freedom”
Steve Yocom “Thin Blue Line”
Culture :: Imagery depicting the people, their customs, traditions, architecture, and ways of life unique to the Southern Appalachian region.
Beverly Slone “Working Hands”
Brad McCroskey “The Fruits of Labor”
Byron “Cherokee Indian”
Candice Corbin “Granny’s Got a Gun”
Dale Carlson “Almost Home”
J P Jackson “Wallace Place”
Kathy Roberts “Banjo Player”
Mark Roberts “Preaching to Times Past”
Ronald Kevin Combs “Brothers”
Environment :: Imagery documenting environmental concerns in Central and Southern Appalachia.
Cathy Anderson “South Mountain Wildfire”
Jim Magruder “Invasive Species – KUDZILLA!”
Lynn Willis “Top Burden Valley Fill”
Shawn Mitchell “Fire in the Gorge”
Skip Sickler “Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder”
Terri Campbell “Tire’d…”
Flora and Fauna :: Imagery of plants and animals common to the Southern Appalachians.
Braam Oberholster “Cataloochee Fall”
Christopher Burton “Grasshopper”
Debbie Biddle “Carolina Grass of Parnassus”
Devin Ulery “Burley Tobacco”
Jeffrey Stoner “The Bell-Ringer”
J Smilanic “Spring Pathway”
Linda Sipress Goodwin “Grasshopper Among the Mushrooms”
Mandy Quinzi “Blue Ridge Brook”
Mary Presson Roberts “Waterfall Plants”
Ronald Kevin Combs “Eternal Beauty”
Landscape :: Scenic imagery capturing the rich diversity and natural beauty of the Southern Appalachian region.
Alan R Clark “Morning Fog”
Charles Johnson “Whirlpool”
Kathryn Grevin “A Novel View of Grandfather Mountain”
Mandy Quinzi “Solitude in Pisgah Forest”
Mark Roberts “After the Storm (Dancing Snoopy)”
Robert Stephens “An Entrance to Winter”

For more information about this photography competition, please visit www.appmtnphotocomp.org, or call Outdoor Programs at 828.262.2475.

15 AMPC Finalist Photos of Breathtaking Winter Scenery

Winter in the Appalachian Mountains is alternately soft, brutal, and beautiful. Check out these fifteen AMPC finalists photos of breathtaking winter scenes to remind yourself just how magical mountain winters can be.

And be sure to check out the finalists for this year’s competition on our Gallery page, and also at the finalists exhibition at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, North Carolina starting on March 4, 2016.

13th Annual AMPC Finalists Announced

13th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography CompetitionThis year’s panel of esteemed jurors have selected the 50 finalists for this year’s Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition, from over 1,100 submissions.

Final judging to select this year’s Best In Show and individual category winners will take place prior to the public exhibition opening on March 4, 2016 at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, NC.  The exhibition and voting for the People’s Choice Award opens on Friday, March 4 at 5:00 p.m. and closes on March 18, 2016 5:00 p.m.

Once voting for the People’s Choice Award ends on March 18, 2016, competition organizers will announce this year’s award winners on www.appmtnphotocomp.com and www.facebook.com/appmtphotocomp the following day.

Congratulations to this year’s finalists and thanks to everyone for submitting such great images! Your entry fees not only help raise funds for Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs SOLE Trips for students, but also show the world the unique people, places, and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians.

And the finalists are . . .

Adventure :: Imagery depicting mountain sports such as climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, etc.
Drew Bennett Open Water Workout
Dylan McKinney Soul Surfing
Eric Heistand Grandfather Mountain Men
Kristian Jackson Black/White Diamond
Lynn Willis Edge of a Dream
William Mauney Stateline Falls – Watauga River Race 2014
Brandon Jett Celestial Hangover
Blue Ridge Parkway – Where the Parkway Meets the Sky :: A rotating category each year with a different theme.
Andrew Caldwell The Sentinel
Hanna Wilson Thunder Hill Overlook
Scott Ramsey Picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Sharon Canter Nightfall at the Manor
Todd Feldman Raven’s Roost in Black & White
Alison E. Foster Carriage Trail Clouds
Andi Gelsthorpe Wrong Feet The Lump MP264.4
Culture :: Imagery depicting the people, their customs, traditions, architecture, and ways of life unique to the Southern Appalachian region.
James K. Fay Killing Hog
Jason Tarr American Blessings
Maggie Flanigan Maggie’s Lights
Micah J. Henry Making Molasses, Alexander Co., NC
Mitzi Gellman Boone Fork Baptism
Elle Olivia Anderson Robert with Christmas Dinner
Elle Olivia Anderson Tom and Roxie
James K. Fay Brother Carol
James K. Fay Hanging the Top
Environment :: Imagery documenting environmental concerns in Central and Southern Appalachia.
James M. Davidson Nest, found near Boone, NC, with plastic netting
Heather Wolf Turner Cannon Memories
Amy Morrison Hayden Oil beauty after the storm
Adam Webster Polluted Paradise
Sam Brown Helping Hives
Lynda Ward Aftermath
Keely Kernan Coal
Keely Kernan Cabin Creek
Jason Tarr Down the Drain
Flora and Fauna :: Imagery of plants and animals common to the Southern Appalachians.
Jeffrey Stoner Al dente
Joseph Balcken Collection
Raven Moffett Dripping Triptych
Rob Moore Bo the Red-tailed Hawk
Steve Yocom Winter Fairy Tale
Chuck Almarez After the Rain
Deborah Scannell Morning Catch
Halle Keighton Black Crow
Landscape :: Scenic imagery capturing the rich diversity and natural beauty of the Southern Appalachian region.
Nathan Sales Appalachian Nocturne
Robert Vance Rock, Water, Leaves
Skip Sickler Grandfather Mountain – June 13, 2014
Skip Sickler Sunrise, Mile-High Bridge, Grandfather Mountain
Tim Williams Wuthering
Annkatrin Rose Forest Tunnel
Cathy Anderson Widow’s Creek Falls
Charles Johnson CJ Ice and Waterscape
Chris Almerini Frozen Linville Falls
Kathryn Greven The North Star

For more information about this photography competition, please visit www.appmtnphotocomp.org, or call Outdoor Programs at 828.262.2475.

Meet Rich Campbell, AMPC Competition Director

From Rich Campbell, Competition Director for the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition

The AMPC has grown into one of the most prestigious regional photography competitions and we aim to strengthen that position. We have developed a very strong partnership with local entities such as the Turchin Center, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Virtual Blue Ridge, Appalachian Voices, the Mast General Store, Bistro Roca, Footsloggers, Peabody’s, Stick Boy Bread Company, and others.

Rich Campbell
Rich Campbell

Connections in the community create so many opportunities for us as a competition. We really want this to continue to be a true community event. We want people who visit the exhibition in the Turchin Center between February and June to feel like they have just seen the best collection of images available that depict the unique character, people, places, and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians.

I have been Associate Director at ASU Outdoor Programs for 15 years, and am thrilled to be more closely linked to the competition. I have directed the Banff Film Festival every year since its inception and I am excited to work closely with both the photography competition and film festival this year. The two events complement one another so well that it is a natural progression.

2011 Banff Film Festival Audience
2011 Banff Film Festival Audience

We have intentionally created the AMPC to be a part of the Banff Film Festival weekend. That weekend has really turned into a celebration of mountain culture. The Banff Film Festival brings films from all over the globe highlighting mountain culture. The AMPC is a way for our community to interact, in a very personal level through photography, with our own mountain region and community. We have Banff bring us films from all corners of the globe, and we have our own community showcasing new aspects of our beloved Southern Appalachian region through the AMPC. It is a great ‘local to global festival’ on mountain culture every spring, right here in Boone.

Our Student Outdoor Learning Expeditions (SOLE) are programs and trips that are longer and they travel to more diverse locations in North America and abroad. SOLE programs emphasize discovery of self and expedition team members – as well as discovery of the landscapes and cultures of the wilderness areas and countries we explore. We travel in regions of countries that are seldom visited, remote and exceptionally beautiful. Traveling in these settings through adventure education, students learn valuable skills in leadership, perseverance, group dynamics, teamwork, responsibility, wilderness ethics and global perspectives.

Video for New Zealand SOLE Trip

Proceeds from the Banff Film Festival and the AMPC make these experiences, that many students share with us as life changing, more accessible to more students.

We encourage photographers to enter this competition regardless of their previous experience. We do have professional photographers who enter, but we have also had plenty of success with amateur photographers in the past, including amateurs who have captured Best in Show. Photographers who capture a unique perspective of a familiar landscape or an interesting take on a familiar subject tend to do really well in this competition.

One of the primary goals of the AMPC is to encourage photographers to grab their camera and create their own story that they want to share with our community. When hundreds of people do this, the end result is a powerful exhibition and an important archive of what is so special to our own mountain community that we call home.

AMPC Lunch and Learn at the Turchin Center

Community members and a Crossnore School photography class attended the annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, March 16 at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Brook Bower, Assistant Curator and Competition Director Andrew Miller spoke about the role AMPC plays as part of a greater celebration of mountain life.

ASU Outdoor ProgramsThe Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition is part of a trio of programs coordinated by Outdoor Programs that celebrate our unique mountain culture each spring. April 1st and 2nd will mark the 15th annual screening of the Banff Mountain film festival in Boone to one of the largest audiences on the North American tour. Each year, the festival features the world’s best films on mountain adventure, culture, and the environment selected from hundreds of entries submitted from around the world. We choose screenings designed to educate, entertain, and inspire the high country audience.

Outdoor Programs is also excited to introduce the Appalachian Adventure Achievement Award (A4). Our goal is to inspire youth to adopt a healthy, and active outdoor lifestyle and to celebrate young people in our community and who inspire others through their active, healthy, and adventurous lives.

This years judges then lead the group through the exhibition answering questions and sharing their experience in selecting the 46 finalists from among all entries. “The goal of the AMPC is to give people an active way to connect with the themes of mountain culture, environment, and sport that are highlighted in our annual screenings of the Banff Mountain Film Festival”, says Andrew Miller, Competition Director and Outdoor Programs Coordinator. “To have this additional opportunity to share AMPC with the community is just icing on the cake.”

Outdoor Programs To Present 1st Annual A4 Award

Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs is seeking your help in identifying the High Country’s role models and young mountain sports stars. These young men and women will be recognized through the first ever A4 inititiative – Appalachian Adventure Achievement Award. Honors will include recognition on stage at the Banff Mountain Film Festivals, and a selection of prizes made possible by project sponsors.

There are two age categories for the A4: 17 and under, and 18-24 years old. Nominees must either reside or attend school in the High Country of NC (Watauga, Ashe, and Avery counties) to be eligible. Nominations can be submitted for individuals in successive years, but a nominee can only receive the A4 once for their age category. The April 1 screening of Banff will recognize the 17 and under A4 winner, while the April 2 screening will honor the 18-24 year-old A4 winner.

15th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival

ASU Outdoor ProgramsOutdoor Programs is bringing the 15th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival back to Boone for the “best of the festival” world tour Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, 2011. The films will be screened at Farthing Auditorium on the campus of Appalachian State University.

These films focus on themes of environment, culture, and adventure in the mountains and represent the best of the best. Hundreds of entries were submitted from around the world, and Outdoor Programs has selected films for this viewing that will not only educate, but will also inspire and entertain.

Online ticket sales for Banff can be purchased through Farthing Auditorium, or if you’re in downtown Boone, NC, you can pick up your tickets at Footsloggers Outdoor and Travel Outfitters. Tickets are $9 (students can grab tickets at $7).

Check out the Banff Mountain Film Festival trailer for 2010-2011:

For more information on the Banff Mountain film festival and to see clips of other films available for viewing, please visit their website.

7th Annual AMPC Has Begun!

The time is upon us once again to gear up for the Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. Each year we see a tremendous amount of growth in participation and interest, and the competition gets tougher and tougher with each click of the lens.

Our rotating Blue Ridge Parkway Journey category this year will be Picnicking on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Definitely a favorite pastime of Parkway travelers, the AMPC staff is anxious to see what kind of submissions this category will bring to the table.

Appalachian Voices

We’re also excited about a new sponsor for this year’s competition: Appalachian Voices, a group that organizes people to solve environmental problems affecting the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. With this new sponsorship comes a change to what was formerly known as the “Environment” category.

Forest Ghosts (Daniel Burleson), 7th Annual AMPC Finalist - Environment
Forest Ghosts (Daniel Burleson), 7th Annual AMPC Finalist – Environment. This image was taken along the Bynum Bluff trail in the Linville Gorge. I wanted to show just how destructive a non-native insect can be to an entire tree species. The Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, native to Asia where the hemlocks are immune to it, feeds on the sap of hemlock trees. The adelgid was accidentally introduced to the US in 1924, the first spotting of it in the southeast was in 1951. Since then it has infested nearly all Appalachian hemlock stands south of Virginia in just a decade.

As a category, Our Ecological Footprint will be about imagery documenting environmental concerns in Central and Southern Appalachia. The threats to this region are real, so if you’re feeling inspired by this category, check out the Appalachian Voices website for more information on ecological concerns in the area. We really look forward to seeing the statements made with these images.

A comprehensive FAQ has been created as a way to help registrants with the registration and upload process, as well as other generic questions. Questions related to technical and registration issues should be covered, but we are always open to your ideas and suggestions. Please leave a comment on the blog, or submit a support ticket with your suggestion.

I have a feeling that this year will once again top the previous, and I encourage all of you to break out of your shell, take risks, and leave fear at the door. This may be a “regional” competition, but the photographers entering are not all from this area. Last year we saw the first international submissions! The greatest thing about this competition is seeing how all of you push each other to reach the next level – amateurs and professionals alike. Make us proud!