Alex began his love of photography with color slides of the desert southwest and Navajo lands in 1965 when living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1970, with the assistance of his uncle and father, he built his first custom darkroom for B&W and color slides. Also at that time, he began his long love of deep-sky astrophotography of galaxies and nebulae.
Alex is also known for his technical archival photography of historical artifacts and won the 1999 NC Numismatic Technical Literary Award for Oblique Angle Technical Photography of Coins. He has also been a multi-level contributor to the Smithsonian Institution (Museum of History, Numismatics, Preservation).
Alex’s artistic framed photographs are on permanent display at many historic locations in and near Hillsborough, NC, including numerous permanent examples at the new Orange County Courthouse, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Hillsborough Presbyterian Church, and Eno River State Park. Many works are also displayed at several locations in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor’s Centers, as well as overlooks. He is currently documenting the appearance of the mountains of N.C., mainly in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, their rarer fauna and habitat under different conditions, and very rare optical effects around the area’s rivers.
Alex has also helped many organizations with extraordinary images for their websites, as well as helping others towards this end in photography. Most of the photographs are full-framed artistic presentations with unusual subjects, coincidences, perspective, and accuracy of color and detail.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Association is incredibly grateful to Armstrong for his gifts of many beautiful photographs of both the lands and skies of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
William A. Bake is known for his stunning landscape and nature photography on Appalachia and southern regionalism. He has been called the “Andrew Wyeth of photography.”
Bake’s early career was as a writer and editor for the National Park Service in the Division of Publications. By 1976 Bake began publishing works on the Blue Ridge region and teaching at Appalachian State University.
He then studied under famous photographer, Ansel Adams, and pursued his career in photography. Bake’s keen observations and research on Appalachia and the American South are reflected in his books: The American South: Four Seasons of the Land, The American South: Towns and Cities, Wayfarer: A Voice from the Southern Mountains and Valle Crucis.
Bake’s photographs have appeared in Southern Living, Natural History, Audubon, National Wildlife, The New York Times, Sierra Club, Popular Photography, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Backpacker, National Wildlife, Travel and Leisure, National History, Outdoor World, National Geographic Society, among others.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Association contracted Bake to photograph the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2009-2010, resulting in his images now seen throughout this site and in BRPA print publications. Mr. William Bake donated his photographic and written materials to the Special Collections in the Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University.
Matt Celko got his love of the outdoors from his mother and father, who took him on wildflower hikes when he was young. His appreciation of nature was also inspired from his time in Scouts. He’s called North Carolina home for most of his life and currently resides in Durham. On the weekends he can be found hiking the trails of the Eno River State Park with his camera, or listening to live music at any of the local area clubs. He can be contacted online by email.