Hello, and welcome to my site!

My name is Maria Draper and I am 47 years old.  I was born, raised and educated in Iasi, one of the largest cities (and most beautiful, I would say), in Romania. Since 1992 I have lived in California (USA), with my family; last twelve years being on the central coast.
Photography is a passion of mine that I discovered by chance in 2005.
Ever since I can remember I have loved to draw and paint, and some years ago I purchased a small compact digital camera to take photos that can serve as models for my paintings.
Although photography turned into a real passion, which determined me to give up painting, every time I look at a scene, I find myself painting it with my eyes first, even if only for seconds, and only then do I take the photo.
When I open the file on my computer for processing, I don’t ask myself “what can be done with this image?” but rather process it to make it look like what had I envisioned at the time I took the shot. Many of my fans have told me that I paint with my camera, but I would rather say that I take photos with the heart of a painter.

My favorite subjects to photograph are landscapes. There are many more waterscapes and coastal shots in my galleries due to the fact that I live within a short distance of the California coastline which provides attractive sights and unlimited opportunities for photos.
Nevertheless, regardless of what I shoot, my main focus is not merely to photograph the beautiful scenery, but also to capture a special moment, or mood, something that can give life to my photos and perhaps transmit to the viewers not only my visions but also my feelings.
I currently use a Canon 5D camera and a 24-105mm lens.
Occasionally, I use a 70-300mm telephoto lens. I also own a 100mm Macro lens and a few extenders, none of which I have yet used.
On most occasions I use a polarizer, and most recently, a high density filter. All of my images on this site are shot in RAW mode, and are post-processed. I use Adobe Photoshop CS5, Nik Color Efex 4.0, and a few plug-ins for noise reduction, etc.

If you are interested in licensing an image, purchasing prints, or if you have any other inquiries or comments regarding my photos, please visit the Contact page.
Thank you for your visit and have a wonderful day!