Grandfather Mountain is located in Linville, North Carolina; it is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge mountains. The peak is home to 12 miles of hiking trails, a mile-high swinging bridge, and, now, Nature Photography Weekend.

Nature Photography Weekend is an annual event that is open to photographers of all levels of expertise. This year, it is happening on the weekend of June 1st-3rd.

Attending the event, photographers like yourself are given the opportunity to work with renowned photographers from across the nation. This year, guests will include nature photographers David Akoubian, Mollie Isaacs, and Jennifer King.

During the weekend, you will get the chance to attend classes instructed by these individuals. They will cover both the creative and technical sides of photography. You will also get the chance to attend field sessions with them.

grandfather mountain, sunrise

During this weekend, you can try your hand at taking pictures of the phenomenal landscape. From the peak of Grandfather Mountain (5,946 feet above the ground), you’ll be able to capture some beautiful photos of the southern sunrise and sunset.  What’s more, you’ll also be able to photograph the mountains and park that surround you. If landscapes aren’t up your alley, or you just want to try something different, you can also practice with wildlife photography. The mountain is populated with bald eagles, cougars, and bears (oh my!). The instructors are practiced in both of these areas, so you’ll have a guiding hand to turn to if you need it.

If you have a competitive bone in you, you’ll be excited to learn that the event also holds a photography contest among the participants.  You can submit up to three photos by the Saturday afternoon of the trip. There are four categories that you can submit to: Animals in Habitats, Animals in the Wild, Wildflowers, and Scenic. While you are allowed to edit the images, the judges of the contest steer away from images that have been drastically manipulated, or were clearly not taken during the weekend getaway.

photograph, mountain

If you shy away from the idea of competition, and just want a relaxing weekend away, have no fear! The contest is completely optional, though it is friendly (so don’t let fear of judgement get in the way of you submitting something).

The weekend on Grandfather Mountain costs $115. This price includes all workshops and interactive sessions, a Saturday-night meal, inclusion in all of the sessions, and the opportunity to stay on the campgrounds. It also includes a flash drive so that you can submit your images to the contest. If you don’t want to submit to the contest, your total price will be only $95.

Overall, it’s a pretty sweet deal. Enrollment is open now, so if you’ve been searching for a weekend getaway, or a chance to work on your nature photography skills, take advantage of the opportunity and sign up!

You can read more about the contest here.

Featured image is from the Grandfather Mountain website.