The annual Nature Photography Weekend at Grandfather Mountain allows participants to hear presentations from top nature photographers in the evenings and photograph spectacular scenery and native animals during the day. Images from Friday and Saturday’s photo excursions are entered in an informal contest with winners announced Sunday morning.
The Grandfather Mountain Nature Photography Weekend includes a friendly but competitive contest. Speakers give presentations during the evening sessions, leaving the days free for participants to practice their skills at one of the most spectacular destinations for photographing nature in the Southeast.
Participants will turn in their digital images at 3 p.m. Saturday on a flash drive supplied by Grandfather Mountain in the registration packet. Each person selects three images to enter in any combination of four categories (Animals in Habitats, Animals in the Wild, Wildflowers, and Scenic) and two classes (beginner or advanced).
Images may be touched up using computer software. Be warned that the judges do not look kindly on images that were not taken during the weekend (images of a flower that bloomed in April), contrived images (like placing a zebra on the top of MacRae Peak), or images that have been manipulated to the degree that they violate the spirit of the contest (like bringing the end of a rainbow down in the center of the Swinging Bridge).
You will need to bring (or borrow) a computer to burn your images to the flash drive. Grandfather Mountain cannot promise computer time to any participant.
Registration and check-in:
Online registration begins at www.grandfather.com at 8 a.m. April 1.
Check-in will take place during the event from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, with late check-in from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday. The location for Friday check-in is MacRae Meadows (Gate 3), about 10 yards on the Linville side of the driveway from the Grandfather Mountain Office and 30 yards on the Linville side of the attraction Entrance Gate. In the case of torrential rain, the registration will move to the Nature Museum.
Although Grandfather Mountain does not operate a commercial campground, campsites are available at no charge in the Grandfather Mountain Woods Walk Picnic Area for people participating in this event. The picnic area has bathrooms and water fountains, but no other amenities. No formal spots are reserved, but participants usually have no trouble locating a place to pitch their tents or park their vehicles (because it is a big Mountain).
For other accommodations:
High Country Host
Avery Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce
NPW Participant: $115 pre-registration fee covers 3-day park admission, Saturday evening meal, a seat in the auditorium for the programs, and a flash drive for turning in your contest entries. Family members and guests are welcome with an additional charge.
Guest NPW ticket: $95 covers 3-day park admission, Saturday evening meal, and a seat in the auditorium for the programs.
Guest 3-day park admission only: $40 adult, $20 child. [regularly $60/$27]