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Filmmaker, daughter showcase work

By Staff | Aug 21, 2009

Photo by Hilary Grabowska

Hilary Grabowska, 17, has worked as a production assistant on more than one of her father’s environmental films, but now she’ll see her own images of Yellowstone National Park featured in national venues. Hilary’s dawn shot of Old Faithful will be on the cover of a new PBS documentary, and a slide show of images will be seen on a PBS website.

For local audiences, an expanded version of the slide show will be presented Aug. 27 in Byrd Auditorium at the NCTC, right before a 7 p.m. screening of John Grabowska’s new film, “Yellowstone – Land to Life”, a lyrical interpretation of the sweeping geologic story of Yellowstone, the world’s first national park.

“I was bringing Hilary along to haul gear up mountainsides,” says John Grabowska. “But since she had just attended the Potomac Valley Audubon Society’s Nature Photography Camp out at NCTC, I thought I would put her to work shooting production stills. She got great training from Matt Poole (director of the Camp) and he agreed to let her use the camera equipment for another week. It certainly paid off – some of the shots are stunning. Hilary has a good photographic eye.”

About 50 of Hilary’s Yellowstone images will appear on screen at NCTC before the presentation of her father’s new film, which will also be broadcast nationally in September on PBS.

The Jefferson High senior attended the 2008 Digital Nature Photography Camp at NCTC, taking photos at area parks and wildlife refuges. The first evening she arrived in Yellowstone, she says, they saw an amazing amount of wildlife in just three hours before darkness fell: grizzly bears, elk, bison, pronghorns, black bears, moose and coyotes. She and her father got up at 5 a.m. in order to shoot Old Faithful at dawn, with the rising sun backlighting the steam of the famous geyser.