The 2012 Grandfather Mountain Amateur and Professional Camera Clinic, held August 18-19, is set to include a photo competition focused on the Mile High Swinging Bridge and presentations by four nationally and internationally-known photographers.

The camera clinics, originally organized in 1952 by Hugh Morton, invite photojournalists to Grandfather Mountain each August to discuss the nuts and bolts of good photography and relevant topics and trends in the field of photojournalism.  Morton often organized a photo contest for the event whether it focused on beauty pageant winners, celebrities, or the natural attractions at Grandfather.  Today, the event is open to anyone and all levels of experience.

The weekend event consists of the four presentations and allows time for participants to get out and explore Grandfather Mountain.  Special timing for sunrise and sunset opportunities has been built into the schedule as well.

The Camera Clinic is celebrating its 60th year of existence this year and the 2012 speakers are Mark Johnson, David Simonton, Karen Sparacio and Walt Stricklin.

Mark Johnson is the Senior Lecturer of Photojournalism at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication where he oversees the Department of Journalism’s Visual Journalism program.  Johnson will present on “Photojournalism, Instagram and Artificial Authenticity.”

David Simonton, a film and darkroom photographer, has received two Visual Art Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council.  Simonton’s presentation is titled “From Ellis Island to the Tar Heel State:  One Photographer’s Journey” and will include details of his photographic process and show pictures from his travels to 366 cities, towns and small rural communities in North Carolina.

After a 10-year career in the newspaper industry, Karen Sparacio took a break from daily assignment work to start a non-profit in Uganda and focus on an in depth documentary project photographing in Uganda’s Acholi Quarter.  Sparacio’s presentation is titled “Using Photojournalism to Create Change in Developing Countries.”

Walt Strickin, has been on the photo staff at six newspapers in five states and he’s received many awards including being a finalist for the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.  Stricklin will present on “Building on Nature – Composition Landscapes.”

The Camera Clinic is set to also include a photo competition focused on the Mile High Swinging Bridge.  Participants will be able to submit their photos of the Bridge at any angle, taken from any time of day and from whatever perspective they choose as long as they are captured during the two-day event.

The winning images will be chosen by Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation employees after the event and will be displayed in the Top Shop’s second floor throughout the month of September, the 60th Anniversary of the Swinging Bridge.

Registration for the event is required and is still available with a cost of $50 for attendees and free admission for members of the working press or Professional Photographers of America.  Please visit the Camera Clinic page on www.grandfather.com for registration instructions and more event details.

The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park sustainably in the public interest, provide an exceptional experience for guests, and inspire them to be good stewards of the earth’s resources.  For more information, visit www.grandfather.com or call 800-468-7325.  Click here to register for the 2012 Camera Clinic