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.
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.
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.