Thanks to everyone who submitted photos in our first-ever #BlueRidgeOutdoors Instagram contest!

We asked our readers how they like to go outside and play in the Blue Ridge and more than 600 photo submissions and 7000+ votes later, we have ourselves a winner! Congratulations to Justin Costner! His picture, captioned “This is how we catch a sunset in the Linville Gorge,” received the most votes by our readers. Justin will be receiving a sweet pair of sunglasses from Spy Optic.

Check out this short Q&A to get the story behind the winning image.

 

Q: Name?

A: Justin Costner

Q: Hometown?

A: Dallas, N.C.

Q: Camera/lens used for shot?

A: Canon t3i Rebel, 18-55mm lens

Q: How long have you been shooting photos?

A: I’ve been shooting for about a year, it’s really became my passion and escape for me to just get out in the mountains with my camera and tell a story with my photos!

Q: Where was this shot taken/describe the scene?

A: This shot was taken in the Chimneys of the Linville Gorge on a camping trip with my friends Ronnie, Tate, and Kenneth Rowland. We were shooting time lapse on a rad sunset when the sun was positioned perfectly over Kenneth’s outstretched arm…I stopped the time lapse and went into full FOMAS mode to get the shot!

Q: Where is your favorite place to go outside and play in the Blue Ridge?

A: I would say the Linville Gorge is my favorite place to just get out there..it’s pretty isolated from the crowds and the climbing,kayaking and backpacking is hard to beat!

Follow Justin along on his adventures at his Instagram handle, @justincostner.