Andrei Duman

Andrei Duman explores extreme environments with medium format

This week, Phase One photographer, Andrei Duman, takes over our Instagram feed. Andrei is an award winning Los Angeles based photographer with a huge thirst for travel, having already visited over 80 countries. He takes his Phase One XF IQ3 100MP to unique locations all over the world, including some of the harshest environments possible. Current planned trips include Bora Bora, the Grand Tetons, South Africa, Romania, JapanCa and Namibia. Below we share some of his takeover and the stories behind the captures.

Power Lines

(See featured image at the top of this post.) “One of my favorite types of photography is aerial and one of my favorite subjects to capture while being airborne are salt flats. I love the freedom that aerial photography provides, as your subjects and compositions are constantly changing. By a quick switch of your lens mid flight, your focus changes from a panoramic view to an abstract focus, where one can get into the details and create an almost alien-looking environment. I adore the variety and sometimes converging colors of the compartmentalized salt pools. Man-made objects help provide scale and perspective to the whole environment, changing the look and feel of the image entirely. This location in Northern California has an otherworldly feel.”


Iceland Glacier Runoff

“Thus far, I have been to Iceland 7 times. Each time, I try to capture something different from the last. With my love of aerial photography, I knew I had to see and capture the inner portions of the country. Going up in a small, 5 seater Cesna for just over 4 hours, was by far my most challenging photo shoot. The winds were relentless and the cold, punishing. Just extending the lens outside the window extremely difficult. Your hands quickly freeze, your eyes water so much that even looking at what you are shooting is nearly impossible. However, the unbelievable scenery wills you to keep shooting and push through. The scale of these giant rivers and tributaries of glacial runoff are vast. Using both a wide angle and telephoto lens, you can capture different aspects of this fascinating landscape.”

Blue Salt Flats

“I’m always on the lookout for new aerial subjects to capture. I was drawn to this location because of the varied intensity of the blues due to man-made chemicals in these salt flats. Although vast in scale, I was drawn to a small segment towards the middle of the flats where the converging road lines created an almost fishbone-type pattern. As a result of wanting to focus on such a small area, it was crucial to be in constant communication with the pilot to direct them on altitude, pitch angle, speed, and approach. Due to strong winds, it took over 10 passes to be positioned over the exact area I wanted to capture.”

Ice Cave
“The ice caves underneath the Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland are as beautiful as they are dangerous. Featured in this photo is the guide I have been using to explore the wondrous caverns for years. With it being a pre-season ice caving trip, we hiked for over four hours, mostly delayed by being bogged down to my shins with nearly every step in soft volcanic ash to reach this location. It was worth the struggle of lugging my camera bag and tripod, as you are greeted by the stunning light coming through the cave. It helped to reveal the magnificent blue hues as it danced across the smooth ice layers and glacier walls. The first time I went exploring with my guide, 6 years ago, I nearly fell into a fast running river under the ice block, after an ice sheet cracked and gave way. Thankfully this did not happen on this trip, however it is always advisable to travel with experienced guides to help in any adverse situation.”

Bali Water Kids

“On a recent Phase One Digital Artist Series (PODAS) I led in Bali, we had the opportunity to photograph some incredible locations and subjects. One that I was particularly keen to shoot was the Tukad Unda Dam with its beautiful double waterfall. It makes for a stunning backdrop for human interaction with water. We were able to hire local children to play and dance as our subjects, and capture their joy and fun while they performed traditional Balinese dances.”