Communication Arts 57th Photography Annual Competition Winner

It feels amazing when you receive good news, and today I'm so over the moon to finally be able to share this good one here. I'm so honored to have my photograph Shore, from the series Expressions Around the Table, selected as winning photograph in the 57th Photography Annual Competition held by Communication Arts. The selected projects, among which my award-winning photograph, will be reproduced in the July/August 2016 issue of Communication Arts, both in print and digital editions (more than 34,000 copies of the issue will be distributed worldwide). For my winning photograph I will receive a personalized Award of Excellence, milled from solid aluminum, that I will soon share here with you all. I'm so proud to represent SCAD with this work in this prestigious competition!

Published each July, the Photography Annual incorporates special reproduction techniques developed by CA, including quality 200-line color separation and printing on premium 70 lb. coated paper by one of the finest printers in the United States.  Of the 4,024 entries to the 57th Photography Annual, only 137 were accepted, representing the work of 127 photographers, making the Photography Annual the most exclusive major photography competition in the world.

Expressions-around-the-table-Gabriela-Iancu1


Artistic Reflections on Food and a Cheesecake Recipe

Everyday food can open up questions of memory, that nostalgia that makes us crave for something we've longed for, and its discourse and practice has changed a lot in the past years. Our relationship with food has changed, for some through the exploration of old recipes, for others through new eating practices, more organic or vegan and raw. For me is somewhere in between, interchanging my grand-ma's old-fashioned recipes of flavorful family-style meals with modern versions influenced by my travels, seasonal produce and my favorite cuisines.

A few months ago I created this cheesecake, as a family-inspired dessert, that's so perfect for celebrating. Each holiday, birthday or guest visit comes with good treats, and this recipe is pretty low on sugar and butter and gets topped with a good mixture of eggs and cream cheese. So, it's sort of a compromise on the classic cheesecake, but fully loaded with good flavors. The vanilla wafer crunch makes for such a great texture and the soft cheese filling just works beautifully. Just top it with your favorite fresh fruits and you're ready to dig in!

Cheesecake with Strawberries Gabriela Iancu Detail Cheesecake with Strawberries Gabriela Iancu
Cheesecake with Strawberries Gabriela Iancu Overhead


Peaceful Contemplation at Tismana Monastery

March and April were fully loaded with commercial food photography projects and May has almost passed by in a swing of trips, meetings and artistic collaborations. On top of the list was my solo photography exhibition "Outside the Museum" held in Romania this spring. The exhibition had on display twelve large scale photographs custom printed in advertising banner style, pieces that were showcased in downtown of Târgu-Jiu city, in Romania. The exhibition aimed to bring closer people and photography, and inspire contemplation and conversation. Framed around the Romanian identity, the exhibition encouraged the Romanian audience to experience photography through the accessibility, openness and attractiveness of the public space. This project has been possible by the collaboration with the Alexandru Ștefulescu Museum.

While being in Romania I let myself be inspired by the peaceful and spiritual surroundings of Tismana Monastery. It's hard not to be impressed by the breathtaking view of the mountain and the forest where this holy monastery has been built. The monastery is the oldest in Wallachia (one of the three medieval Romanian states), and was built on a rocky top of Stârmina Mountain.

The translation of its Dacian ancient name "Tismana" means fortress, and it is here at the base and then up, from where I started to capture with living stills the beauty of its medieval walls, on-site rocks and monastery' steeple. Spot the shadows, the wind and birds, and immerse yourself in this pristine atmosphere. The breeze was carrying the flowers' perfume on my way up the hill, and the quiet walk was accompanied by the echo of the nuns chanting in the monastery. Once you're reaching the top, you'll discover the monastery's clean architecture made in the Byzantine style of the 14th century.

Tismana Monstery has continued to amaze me at each turn, from its medieval walls, to the surroundings and the peaceful living of the nuns, all-in-all telling yet again its story. I love discovering and contemplating places like this one, where history and nature come together in a celebration of good principles and respect for life. This photographic documentation gave me the opportunity to capture the beauty of simple life, something we see less and less today. Let's love and be joyful more often!

Tismana Monastery Living StillTismana-Rock-Shadow-Living StillTismana-Monastery-and-Birds-Living StillTismana Monastery Gabriela Iancu 1Tismana Monastery Gabriela Iancu 2Tismana Monastery Gabriela Iancu 3Tismana Monastery Gabriela Iancu 4Tismana Monastery Gabriela Iancu 6Tismana Monastery Gabriela Iancu 7Tismana Monastery Gabriela Iancu 8Tismana Monastery Gabriela Iancu 9