Thursday, June 17, 2010

Student Showcase: Cristina Iacob

Today, we are featuring the work of Cristina Iacob. She joined us for workshops in Death Valley & Olympic National Park this year, and for our online iHDR webniar last year. We've been very impressed with her talent...we hope you will be too.

We get great satisfaction from seeing our students capture stunning photographs using skills learned during our webinars and workshosp. After attending our iHDR webinar and Death Valley workshop, Cristina was able to capture this stunning shot of Calla Lillies in Big Sur, CA. Her careful processing, and an outstanding composition resulted in a final image with perfectly exposed highlights, stunning colors, and beautiful detail in both the foreground and the distance.
"Nothing compares to the immaculate soft white of the early spring calla lilies. Imagine a canyon all covered with lilies, reflecting the light of the golden sunset near the ocean. That’s what I tried to capture in this photo, and I must confess it was quite a challenging task. I disregarded small inconveniences such as having to cross the deep creek in the canyon several times, making way through 5 feet tall vegetation and trying to stay away from hungry bugs to find this breathtaking view. Because the canyon walls were making for about 50% of the upper half of the composition, I couldn’t use a GND filter. Instead, I bracketed the shutter speed for foreground and for the sunset sky as I was shooting toward the sun. With an f/14 aperture and low sunset light I had to compromise for a long shutter speed of 1.6s, and I was lucky enough not to have the breeze moving the flowers around. Finally, finding a proper angle for the composition took me quite a while, as I was struggling to find firm soil for both my tripod and my feet. I applied the wide angle workflow I learned during the Death Valley workshop. The hyperfocal distance technique worked like a charm, and it was a great satisfaction for me to be able to get a good wide angle shot on my own. Later, applying iHDR post-processing techniques I was able to produce the final image of the Calla Lilies sunset."
Cristina captured this next shot on an early December afternoon from the top of Burnaby Mountain (15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada).
"At times, the fog was totally engulfing the mountains, just so that later to generously reveal the spectacular view of the Indian Arm, while a light rain was setting a mysterious mood. It felt like I was part of a Lewis and Clark expedition, as all signs of civilization were fading away in the mist, while the meandering fjord was carrying you afar through massive mountains heavily covered by the northern rain forest. I took several shots to recreate the mood of this unique moment. Post-processing went through several trials, and I finally reached a satisfactory result after applying the onOne filter to create the old time photo effect. This seemed to be still insufficient for my purpose - therefore, I added a sepia tone."
Well done, Cristina - and thanks for letting us share your work on our blog!

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