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Calling All Shutterbugs!

Steve Morton - Sleeping Sheep

Get your cameras ready! Our Farm Tour is JUST around the corner, September 22-23, and we’re once again holding our Farm Tour Photo Contest. Three winners (Steve Morton’s winning entry from last year is pictured here!) will receive a free pass to the Asheville Art Museum and $15 in Asheville City Market Bucks. What’s more, all contest entries will be displayed at the Museum during a photography exhibition featuring the work of Aaron Siskind in March 2013! How do you enter? Submit up to three of your best tour photos through this form by midnight on Wednesday, September 26. Winners will be notified by October 3.

Pssst: Asheville photographer Brie Castell, who will serve as juror for the contest, shares what she’s looking for and some photography tips in this guest post, so keep reading!

Guest post by Brie Castell, Castell Photography Gallery

Our Western North Carolina landscape and community offers an incredible and unlimited backdrop for photographic opportunities. What a delight to be invited behind the fences and gates of our local farms for ASAP’s yearly Farm Tour, and what a wonderful opportunity for local photographers and photography hobbyists to document this environment and valuable culture. There are endless options for photography during this educational tour… Refined portraiture of farm animals showing us the beauty and personality of these creatures; the farm setting within the natural landscape; and documentary and environmental portraits of the people who keep these farms functioning and thriving. As a juror, I hope to feel and experience the beauty and significance of our Western North Carolina farms through the images submitted. These images might allow others to understand how valuable farming is, and that it is not only a part of our history and foundation as a culture, it is critical for our present and future.

A few tips:

Brie Castell Untitled from the series Ritual and Relic, 2010  Wet Plate Collodion Ambrotype

Brie Castell
Untitled from the series Ritual and Relic, 2010
Wet Plate Collodion Ambrotype

  • Think about the time of day: early morning and late afternoon have a better angle of light, which will add more texture and interest to your images.
  • If shooting portraits of the farmers, consider how their environment informs who they are. Back up a little and think carefully about how items and settings included in the frame put that person’s job and personality in context.
  • When shooting farm animals, use a long lens to allow yourself distance from the subject so as not to surprise or irritate the animal and achieve a candid shot.
  • Fill your frame! If the image isn’t working, you may not be close enough. Consider every part of your frame.
  • No matter what you’re shooting, be sensitive and respectful. Remember, you are a guest, and the best images come from a subject who trusts you.

Brie Castell is the owner and chief curator of Castell Photography Gallery in Asheville, NC, one of the South’s finest galleries specializing in contemporary photo-based media. Castell works with established and emerging artists from around the globe for exhibition and representation, and brings to Asheville leading authorities in the field of photography for educational programming. Castell has also been a working photo-based artist for over 12 years, has exhibited extensively around the country, and is in numerous public and private collections. Castell received her MFA from East Carolina University, and in addition to the gallery, she is also an Adjunct Professor of photography at Virginia Intermont College. Examples of Brie’s work can be found at

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