FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway holds first student photography contest

Michael Bragg

The picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains have been a source of inspiration for professional and aspiring photographers in the Boone area. 

The university’s chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway is taking advantage of the scenery with their first student photography contest. They are currently accepting photo submissions for the competition, which is open to any student, using any type of camera – even a camera phone. 

“Any form of digital camera, even phones, can be used as long as other guidelines are met,” said senior technical photography major Elke Talbott, who is one of the judges for the contest.

The winners of the competition will have their photos displayed in the Grandfather Mountain Visitors Center throughout the month of November. 

“We’re in the process of coming up with the other prizes,” said Megan Northcotes, the organization’s media manager and senior history major.

Photographs will be submitted in one of three categories; history/culture, recreation and nature/landscape. They will be judged by a panel of student photographers in F/STOP – Faculty/Students To Organize Photographers, the  photography club on campus.  

The collaboration with F/STOP is an effort by FRIENDS to get their name out on campus.

“We want to work with existing clubs and chapters on campus to spread the word about volunteer opportunities,” said Heather Preston, faculty advisor for FRIENDS and professor in the communication department. 

The photo contest is occurring at the same time as the 10th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition, which is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and open to anyone – Appalachian student or not – above the age of 13. 

The FRIENDS contest is primarily an awareness raising event for the organization.  Preston and the club members said they wish to inform students that there are multitudes of ways to help make the parkway beautiful. 

“It’s a great way to raise awareness about what we do,” Northcote said.

FRIENDS is accepting submissions through Oct. 19 via email. The winners will be awarded Nov. 9 in the Blue Ridge Ballroom in the Student Union.  The awards ceremony is open to anyone who wishes to attend. 

Story: EMMA SPECKMAN, A&E Reporter