Thursday, June 9, 2011

Grandfather Mountain Nature Photography Weekend - Day 1

Grandfather Mountain Nature Photography Weekend
Grandfather Mountain State Park
Avery County, NC

Day 1 - Friday, June 3rd, 2011

My full set of photos from day 1 (edited down to a reasonable number) is located here:

The Grandfather Mountain Nature Photography Weekend offers a unique opportunity to visit and photograph this beautiful destination during times when the park is not open to the public.

Outside of a few backcountry campsites, there are no public campsites on the mountain and the park hours do not include opportunities for sunrises and sunsets. However, during this event, participants are allowed to camp out at one of the picnic areas near the base of the mountain and explore the park during all hours.

Check-in time for the event was not until 3:00pm on Friday, but I decided to take the whole day off from work and explore some sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way. I will post about those stops at a later time since I am anxious to get into and share my photos from the meat of the trip.

I arrived at the check-in location shortly after 3:00pm and proceeded to the camping area where I met my "Carolinas Adventures" buddy Joe Rone and proceed to set up my tent.

The Nature Photography Weekend also includes a photography contest. Participants have 24 hours (from 3:00pm on Friday to 3:00pm on Saturday) to roam the mountain and photography anything you like.

So after getting all set-up and grabbing a quick bite to eat at the park restaurant I proceeded to start exploring and looking for photo opportunities.  Here are a few shots from Friday afternoon.

Butterfly on some Bluets

Fleabane Daisy

Critter on a Fern

Macro Bug Shot inside a Rhododendron Bloom


At 7:15pm the group gathered in the Nature Center auditorium for introductory statements and photo contest questions and answers. Before that, I make a quick stop at the animal habitats to see what creatures were out and about.

Golden Eagle

Black Bear

Unicorn Deer

At 7:45pm, Photographer Tony Sweet was the first presentation of the weekend.

I really would have liked to stick around and learn from one of the masters, but my desire to be up on the mountain for sunset won out. So I missed out on what I heard was an excellent presentation, but was able to photograph a nice sunset from the top of Grandfather Mountain
Grandfather Mountain Sunset

Grandfather Mountain Sunset

Grandfather Mountain Sunset

Evening Twilight from Grandfather Mountain

After sunset, I headed down to the Cliffside overlook for some evening twilight shots. A nice crescent moon added something special to these photos.

Evening Twilight Panorama from the Cliffside Overlook

Silhouette and a Crescent Moon

A little later with a clear sky and loads of stars, I decided to try my hand at some night time extended exposure photography before retiring to my tent for the evening!

Night Sky over Grandfather Mountain

Night Sky over Grandfather Mountain

Night Sky over Grandfather Mountain

My full set of photos from day 1 (edited down to a reasonable number) is located here:

Slide Show Format:



Absolutely wonderful!


While you are there sometime,please try and take some pictures of the Brown Mountain Lights!

Matt Perry said...

Hi Jack,

I think that evening silhouette is me, after the Tony Sweet presentation. No one else has such a crappy tripod and that camera strap looks like mine as well.

Matt Perry