Rules & Guidelines

Who Can Enter

The Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition (AMPC) is a program of ASU’s Outdoor Programs in partnership with the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and Virtual Blue Ridge. This competition is open to amateur and professional photographers at least 13 years of age and provides an opportunity to showcase their interpretation of the unique character, people, places, and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians.

What To Enter

  • Only high quality JPG submissions with a maximum file size of 3mb will be accepted for preliminary judging.
  • Entrants must complete the online registration, upload digital images, and payment must be confirmed for entries to be accepted.
  • Images should not contain any visible identifying marks (i.e. signatures or image title).
  • A $6 non-refundable fee is charged per image/photograph entered. Online submissions may be paid by Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard) at the time of image upload.
  • Entries will be judged by a panel of photography experts on the basis of composition, technique, content, originality, creative interpretation, and effectiveness in conveying the character of the Southern Appalachian region.
  • Approximately 46 entries will be chosen for exhibition at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, NC.
  • Participants may enter up to fifteen (15) images per category.

Available Categories

ADVENTURE – Imagery depicting mountain sports such as climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, etc. The winner will receive a $250 gift certificate from the Mast General Store.

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY—Rotating Theme – Each year, competition organizers select a theme for photographers to follow in their representations of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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 “It’s in the Details.” It’s easy to be awestruck by the expansiveness of the Blue Ridge Parkway and its accompanying long-range vistas. This year we ask that photographers share photos of the smaller details that often go unnoticed.

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.

Previous themes include “A Place to Play,” “Where the Parkway Meets the Sky,” “Beyond the Blacktop,” “People on the Parkway,” and “Weather on the Parkway.”

CULTURE – Imagery depicting the people, their customs, traditions, architecture and ways of life unique to the Southern Appalachian region. The winner will receive a $250 gift certificate from the Mast General Store.

OUR ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT – Imagery documenting environmental concerns in Central and Southern Appalachia. Photographers submitting images to this category should include a paragraph explaining where the image was taken and the environmental impact you are illustrating. The winner receives $250 from Appalachian Voices and a $250 gift certificate for the Mast General Store.

FLORA/FAUNA – Imagery of plants and animals common to the Southern Appalachians. The winner will receive a $250 gift certificate from the Mast General Store.

LANDSCAPE – Scenic imagery capturing the rich diversity and natural beauty of the Southern Appalachian region. The winner will receive a $250 gift certificate from the Mast General Store.

Considerations For Selecting Images To Enter

The organizers of AMPC encourage anyone to submit images for consideration by our panel of judges. We celebrate the accessibility to photographic arts that the digital revolution has fostered and are proud of the diverse people who have been recognized for their vision through the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. Submitted images must be sharp enough and of sufficient quality to enlarge into a print with minimum dimensions of no less than 10” on any one side. Individuals shooting in digital should use at least a 4 mega-pixel camera and shooting with low ISO will help reduce “digital noise” present in the image.

Each year AMPC organizers select a panel of professional photographers to review all submissions and select those images that will be accepted into exhibition. Our judge’s photographic backgrounds vary considerably from fine art to photojournalism. In general, they look for images that relate a unique perspective of the subject and that evoke interest and/or emotion. Images should have a balanced composition and be properly exposed. Colors should be accurate and the subject should reflect the category entered. Finally, submit the images that you are excited about and enjoy the process of creativity that photography inspires.

What You Agree To

  • AMPC Organizers reserve the right to cancel or amend the Competition and its policies, procedures, rules and/or format at any time without prior notice.
  • By entering the AMPC, the entrant hereby warrants that he or she has legal capacity to enter and that all information submitted by him or her is true, accurate and complete.
  • Competition entries will only be considered as valid entries if they have been submitted in the manner and by the closing date and time specified in the competition timeline, policies and procedures.
  • Model releases are the responsibility of the photographer.
  • An entrant must hold all rights to a photograph. Photos previously published or pending publication or that violate or infringe upon another person’s copyright, are not eligible.
  • Appalachian State University, Outdoor Programs, and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts are not responsible for loss of or damage to any entry.
  • Photographers, whose work has been chosen for exhibition, will be asked to submit a framed and matted print with minimum print dimensions of any one side not to be less than 10 inches and maximum print dimensions of any one side not to exceed 25 inches. Panoramic images may be reproduced with a 32 inch maximum print dimension on any one side with no minimum print dimensions.
  • You are granting non-exclusive usage rights to AMPC, Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, and the current sponsors and supporters of the competition to document, reproduce, publish and photograph entries for promotional purposes in relation to the AMPC contest and exhibition archives.
  • You are granting non-exclusive usage rights to AMPC and Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs to reproduce and publish winning photograph entries in an annual calendar for the competition. The calendar will be distributed by AMPC and ASU Outdoor Progams to generate revenue supporting the competition and additional SOLE trips in addition to promoting the competition for years to come. All photographs chosen for the calendar will include credit stating the photographer’s name and website address. Copyrights will remain with the photographer.
  • Completion of the entry process and submission of images to AMPC constitutes understanding of the conditions set forth in this document.
  • Entries must have been taken within a 5 year period from the start date of the current competition. For the 14th Annual AMPC, photographs taken on or after July 1, 2011 are eligible.