San Francisco Bay Area photographic artist, Elizabeth Opalenik, "paints with light" and is one of our Xtreme Process specialists. Her innovative works in mordançage* and handpainted images have been shown in over sixty exhibitions internationally and are in museum, gallery and private collections throughout the world. Her images reside in such collections as La Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Milwaukee Art Museum among others. A sought-after educator, she privately leads figure and Xtreme process workshops in California, France's Provence and Burgundy regions, Italy's Tuscany region and in Mexico. She also conducts classes for the Maine Photographic Workshops, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, the British Guild of Portrait Photographers and others. Elizabeth says of her work, "From the elegance of light falling on a beautifully textured wall, to the beauty of ones soul, my photographs seek to reveal the sensuality and serenity of the world that we inhabit physically and spiritually. They are a way of seeing not only that which is visible to the eye, but also sensed with the heart. They are my perception, imagination and way of understanding the world and I teach with the theory that all good photographs are self portraits. I choose nature's palette and my guide, but all comes back to seeing first and being aware of the beauty in life that surrounds us daily." See more of her work at her website www.opalenik.com. *Known in English as the Mordant process, it loosens the emulsion in the shadow areas of a print allowing them to be manipulated Polaroid transfer-style or removed altogether.
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Elizabeth, What camera are you referring to in freestyle, the Leica, and also what is a favorite medium format camera that you would suggest? I am a new photographer and would like to get a medium format camera to capture more detail. thanks
Dear Linda, Thanks for your question about my Leica preference. I currently have both the M3 and the R6, but still prefer for most things my M3, which is the camera I was referring to in the Freestyle catalogue story. I was working under adverse conditions in underground steam pools in Mexico, standing in water up to my neck, but the camera performed beautifully and I am thrilled with the images. I see you have also requested to be on my mailing list for future reference. I will keep you posted to upcoming workhsops in 2005.
Greetings, Being interested in flower photography,I love the Poetic Grace series and wondered which paper and grade you used for them. Were they selectively toned or hand painted? I like the combination of a little colour in a B&W print. Roy
Dear Roy, Thank you for your question regarding the "Poetic Grace" series. All the flowers have been printed on the Bergger Prestige VCNB Neutral tone glossy paper and selectively toned with Polytoner and then again, overall toned with a more diluted Polytoner. I am so grateful that Freestyle carries this lovely paper, which is similar to the old Agfa Portriga Rapid that I so loved in the old days. Even though they don't produce Polytoner now, I have a few bottles squirreled away. You could get a similar effect with a diluted Selenium, perhaps 1:9, but you'll need to test.
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