Christine Cook likes to shoot in the rain for two reasons: the lighting it can create and that it allows her to capture moments others likely won’t capture because of the rain.
“I like texture and scenes you can catch when other people aren’t catching it, like when it’s raining. There are different kinds of light in rain; I love what rain does with the uneven lighting patterns and the holes in the sky that only shine on certain things,” explains Cook, based in Naples, Fla.
Cook might just have something here as this print won Best of Show for 2013 and a LexJet Sunset Print Award in the Florida Camera Club Council (FCCC) competition. Taken at dusk in the rain in Lucca, Italy, an old walled city in the Tuscany region, Cook rushed down to capture the people walking toward her on the street. She didn’t make in time and instead captured this shot of them walking away.
“At first I wasn’t satisfied that I wouldn’t see their faces, but when I took a look at it I was very pleased,” recalls Cook. “I believe this was shot with multiple exposures and initially processed with HDR. I wanted the buildings to show the grain and texture I know to be there.”
Cook used a Canon 7D and a Tamron 28-300 lens on a tripod. The resulting image captured the judges’ attention. Cook recalls that the judges said they were drawn into the image.
“I remember that they loved the way it drew them in and they felt the depth of the photo: the converging lines, starting with the bright wall on the left so your eye immediately enters the scene, and the red umbrella on the right is sort of in the fourth position in the rule of thirds. It’s also kind of in the golden spiral position as well,” says Cook.
Cook also won a first-place ribbon at the competition in the color category. Cook’s local camera club, the DPI-SIG of Naples Camera Club is also a member of the FCCC. The FCCC hosts three competitions per year before the annual event; anyone who wins a blue or yellow ribbon can re-submit their print for best of show in the annual competition.
Though she describes herself as an amateur photographer pursuing her passion in retirement, this is more than a part-time hobby. She teaches photography classes focusing on composition, post-processing and creative imaging at the Naples Botanical Gardens and Artis-Naples.
Cook also takes people on nature photography tours and photo walks and her work is featured at the Literacy Volunteers of Collier County and as part of an exhibit at a local Italian restaurant.
“I do it for enjoyment and promoting the natural environment. I’m a big traveler, so I combine my interest in traveling and nature with photography,” adds Cook.
For more information about upcoming competitions where Sunset Print Awards are being presented, as well as the National Competition and prizes, go to www.sunsetprint.com.