For the past eight years, PM360 has asked the industry to send us their best original artwork for a chance to end up as the cover of our annual Greatest Creators supplement. After we pick our favorite for that issue, we are then left with over a hundred great pieces of art. So, three years ago, we started Art Attack to share this wonderful work with the entire industry and then let them vote on their favorites.
This year’s winner is “Striking Sun Rays at Daybreak in Costa Rica” by Adam Kondos, Creative Manager, Access, Commercialisation, & Communications at ICON Commercialisation & Outcomes Services. We asked Adam about his reaction to winning and for a little background on this amazing photo.
PM360: Before even sending this photo in for the cover competition, what kind of reaction had you been getting to it?
Adam Kondos: I received positive feedback for this photo, specifically regarding the vibrancy and detail of the sun and its rays. I am often asked where I took this (Los Sueños, Costa Rica) and if I would recommend visiting Costa Rica—which I always answer with a resounding “YES!”
What was your inspiration behind taking the photo?
Costa Rica has a range of lush plants, dramatic mountains, scenic views, and amazing sunrises—which were all vivid scenery I wanted to capture in a single photo. I explored our resort early one morning and came across a walkway enclosed by greenery and tropical plants. For me, this spot did the trick, as it had an opening that provided a striking viewpoint of the sunrise. In retrospect, I mostly watched this sunrise through the viewfinder of my camera and am thankful to have captured it.
What was the process like behind taking this photo?
I used High Dynamic Range (HDR) to capture accurate image exposure with a wide range of luminosity. HDR is achieved by taking several photos of the same image at different exposures. With this process, individual photos were taken and exposed for the sun, sky, mountains, and plants. I also used a neutral-density (ND) filter on the lens, which acted as a dark pair of sunglasses. This allowed the camera to capture more of the sun’s silhouette and rays without losing detail. I captured the series of individual photos, and eventually compiled them into this one final image using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
In general, what inspires your photography?
What I enjoy most about photography is having a creative outlet and sharing it with my 12-year-old daughter, Eva, as she has also genuinely developed a passion for creative work. She already has a unique style and ability to thoughtfully compose her photos. I am also fortunate to be surrounded by naturally creative people at ICON plc who inspire me to continue my photography and motivate me to try different styles.