Story & photos by Tom Haxby
Winter will soon be upon us and while many photographers revel in the unique opportunities for winter photography, I always look forward to spring in the southern Appalachian Mountains with my camera in hand. My annual visits there quite literally put a spring in my step. Birds sing for mates from the newly green trees, waterfalls flow from spring rains, flowers bloom in profusion and it seems that the whole world is new again.
This coming April 19-21 in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, NANPA will be holding our 2nd Nature Photography Celebration. If you have never had the chance to visit Asheville, it is a vibrant town in a setting where the photo opportunities are endless. Join with local photographer and emcee Kevin Adams along with other accomplished photographers in exploring the biodiversity of the southern Appalachians, nighttime photography, fine art photography, conservation storytelling, bird photography, flower photography, and more – I am ready to go already.
We will be learning how to process textures at the Mountain Lens Retreat, which is a unique facility for photography education located in nearby Hendersonville, NC. We will have opportunities to photograph birds and other wildlife with Kathy Adams Clark at the nearby Audubon Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary near the peak of the neotropical warbler migration. Flowers will be near peak bloom too and local photographer Donna Eaton will be leading us to top flower locations including the North Carolina Arboretum and following with editing sessions to get the most out of your images. Mary Louise Ravese will explore converting color images to black and white for maximum impact. Kevin Adams, Richard Day, Jon Holloway and Andrew Snyder will be leading additional tracks to explore waterfalls, wildlife, fine art photography, conservation photography and more. Throughout the event there will be opportunities to learn about cool, new gear.
Asheville is also a top location for dining and microbreweries and our comfortable accommodations at the beautiful Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Asheville/Biltmore are a great value and while being close to everything. As an added bonus, a regional event will be held in the Smoky Mountains just before the Celebration from April 16-19. Registration for the regional event with Hank Erdmann is already open. Information is available at https://nanpa.org/events/regionals/smokymtns-tn-2020/
We will be opening registration for the Celebration on December 1, 2019 so watch for the upcoming announcement or check the NANPA website later for information on the program and registration. This is going to be a great time to network with fellow photographers as we explore the beautiful and diverse southern Appalachian Mountains. I can hardly wait.