Photo Shoot & Field Trip highlights

This page highlights only a few of the photography possibilities in the Dubuque area. 

Blufftops & Visions, the 62nd annual N4C photography convention, hosted by the Dubuque Camera Club in downtown Dubuque, Iowa on September 13-16, 2018.  Registration is now closed. 
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  • N4C Print Gallery and vendor room. Free and open to the public. Located in the Ben Bolt Room and Clarion Room at the Holiday Inn Five Flag Main Street. Non-Conference attendees, please join us here.
  • Camera Clinic. Total camera cleaning will be offered throughout the weekend. First come, first served, so get in early. Fee is charged.


Most events will be held on Friday and Saturday, with a special kickoff event on Thursday evening.

Opening Reception | Historic Shot Tower Shoot Out
Thursday, September 13, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Join us for a special dusk photo shoot on Thursday evening to kick off the convention! We will meet at Stone Cliff Winery (600 Star Brewery Dr., Dubuque, IA 52001), which is located on the Mississippi River Walk. A short welcome ceremony will happen at 6:30 p.m. Then we’ll walk to Dubuque’s Historic Shot Tower. We’ll get a tour and a rare look at the interior staircase. The tower will be lit for a sunset photo shoot (Sunset is around 7:15 p.m.). Bring your camera, tripod and a wide lens. FREE.

While you are visiting Dubuque, you may also enjoy the suggestions below:

On-Your-Own Photo Opp: Millwork Night Market. Get a preview of the location for Friday’s Millwork and Models! Enjoy local produce, artists, hot food, and music at an evening farmers’ market in the Historic Millwork District. Thursday, Sept. 13, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Located on Jackson street between 7th and 9th streets.   Event website

On-Your-Own Photo Opp: Gary’s Graffiti Nights. Weekly cruise-in for classic and antique cars. Thursday, Sept. 13, from 5:00 to 9:30 p.m.  2600 Dodge St. Dubuque, IA 52003 (Plaza 20, in the former K-Mart parking lot). Event Facebook page. A similar event is held at the same time in downtown East Dubuque, just across the river on Hwy 20.


Photography seminars will be held all day Friday and Saturday at the Holiday Inn, followed by the keynote presentation and a delicious banquet. Featured offsite events are listed below.

Millwork and Models Creative Shootout
Friday, Sept. 14, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Offsite field trip. Travel to Dubuque’s Historic Millwork District.  Enjoy the rugged brick and limestone of 19th century industrial architecture for compelling portrait backdrops. Live models will be available in several shooting locations. Experts will showcase lighting techniques. Tamron will provide lenses for you to try. Located 9th and Jackson streets, in the Voices building. Look for the orange door. Registration for this event is now closed.

St. Luke’s Tiffany Windows Tour
Friday, Sept. 14, 1:30 p.m.
Here’s your chance to photograph the fifth largest collection of Tiffany windows in the U.S. This guided tour will reveal the history of the church and its windows, followed by time to take photographs both inside and out.  A portion of fees collected will be donated to the ongoing window restoration fund. St. Luke’s United Methodist Church is located at 1199 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001. Registration Closed

While you are visiting Dubuque, you may also enjoy the suggestion below:

On-Your-Own Photo Opp: Eagle Point Park. For a beautiful vista that stretches up and downriver, make time for a visit to Eagle Point Park. The historic park is located on the bluffs directly above Lock & Dam #11.  The main park entrance is located at 2601 Shiras Ave. (42.535699, -90.652342). Admission: $1.00.


Photography seminars will be held all day Friday and Saturday at the Holiday Inn, followed by the keynote presentation and a delicious banquet. Featured offsite events are listed below.

Dubuque Farmers’ Market
Saturday, Sept. 15, 7:00 a.m.-noon
Enjoy the company of other Blufftops & Visions photographers as we take in the sights at the Dubuque Summer Farmers’ Market. The market stretches for several blocks around 1300 Iowa Street. See colorful local produce and baked goods, crafts and flowers, or get a bite to eat and hear live music at the oldest farmers market in Iowa. There are lots of photo opps at this festival-like event, so be sure to take your camera! 

Happy Hour Mississippi River Cruise
Saturday, Sept. 15, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Registration Closed
What a wonderful opportunity to have fun with other photographers! Cruise the Mighty Mississippi for 1.5 hours on the American Lady. Bring your camera, or just enjoy! View the Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin shorelines from the river. Appetizers and drinks provided (cash bar). Boarding starts at 3:00 p.m. Registration for this has closed. Event to be held rain or shine. Cruise departs from Catfish Charlie’s, 1630 E 16th St, Dubuque, IA 52001

While you are visiting Dubuque, you may also enjoy the suggestions below:

On-Your-Own Photo Opp: Dubuque Audubon Hawk Watch and Big Sit, from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Nature photographers and early risers will enjoy the company of expert birders in this annual event hosted by the Dubuque Audubon Society. September is prime time for raptor migration. Bring binoculars!  Julien Dubuque Monument, in the Mines of Spain.

On-Your-Own Photo Opp: The Great Draw Street Art Competition, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15. Youth and adults will create chalk art in the street as a fundraiser for an art scholarship program. Lots of photo opps at this unique event! The event will take place on  11th St. between Locust & Main Streets. It is sponsored by Outside The Lines Art Gallery. For more information, visit Before you go, check the gallery’s Facebook page for the latest information.

On-Your-Own Photo Opp: Fenelon Place Elevator.  First-time visitors to Dubuque will be awed by the spectacular view! See the Julien Dubuque bridge as it spans the Mississippi river, as well as the rooftops, steeples, and bluffs of downtown Dubuque. It’s a great all-around vantage point. Ride the cable car or simply visit the viewing platforms. The base of the elevator is at 4th and Bluff Streets. Open 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. $3 round-trip. Learn more on the Fenelon Place Elevator website.

On-Your-Own Photo Opp: Dubuque Oktoberfest. Sunday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in A.Y. MacDonald Park, rain or shine. The park is located at Volunteer Dr., Dubuque, IA 52001. Traditional German and Bavarian costumes, wiener dog races, and more. Admission charged. For more information, visit


A good-bye breakfast will conclude Blufftops & Visions on Sunday. Registration for this event has closed. Before you leave, make sure to see all the sights that Dubuque has to offer!

On-Your-Own Photo Opp: Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. The River Museum is a world-class attraction with fish, animals, history, ecology, special exhibits, 4D movies, and an outside courtyward. Allow a couple of hours to see everything. Located adjacent to the Ice Harbor in the Port of Dubuque. Admission: $16.95. See the River Museum website to learn more.

Are you curious about what else to see and do in Dubuque?
Visit our More About Dubuque page.