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Photograph by Laura Castelein
2015 D. Bradley Smith Art Purchase Award Winner

The Artwork

Photo of the Artist Laura Castelein's experience of photography began with the gift of a point-and-shoot camera in 2010. Her father, an architect by trade, would take her on adventures to see interesting buildings in the area, and she began to see these outings as an excuse to photograph something new or to find a new perspective. She found herself enjoying the creation of striking images so much that she quickly began earning and saving her own money towards the purchase of a DSLR camera and several good lenses. But it's a photographer's eye, not her equipment, that defines her.

It seems fair to say that Laura has a gift for seeing the photo in the scene and getting herself into the right place at the right moment. She makes the process sound as if it's effortless, which, of course, is the mark of a skilled artist. The photo that will hang at BHS, for example, emerged from the mists of a pre-dawn walk on the shore of Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks, when your average high school student would have been asleep. One of Laura's goals is to create a photo that earns the cover of Adirondack Life magazine, and this one makes a good case for itself.

Laura's work has made her a finalist in the Nikon Photo Contest for two years running. The contest is open to both professional and amateur photographers and draws over 16,000 entries from around the world. She has also seen her work featured in the Image City Photo Gallery's Through the Student Lens show for two years in a row.

Laura was a member of the Brighton Rowing Club team for four years: first as a rower, then as the team's coxswain -- that's right, the boss of the crew. In the fall, as a UR freshman, she'll join the UR women's varsity crew team as their coxswain; in her free time she'll major in psychology and minor in German. She's already got big plans for a role in the UR's Creative Arts Club, which should afford her an opportunity to continue to grow as a photographer. Watch for her work in Adirondack Life.

Story provided by Jim Kane

June, 2015

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