October 2011

Photos of the Riojan harvest at Remelluri, País Vasco

Friday October 28th, 2011 04:01 PM

Vendimia riojana en Remelluri

One of the first rules of photography that I learned as a child was to shoot with the sun behind your back. But what do you do when the scene you want to capture is into the sun? Well, it’s time to break the rule.

It happened last week while out photographing the harvest at Bodega Remelluri on the border between La Rioja and the Basque Country. The vineyard sits beneath the sheer cliffs of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north. In every other direction there are spectacular views over the river Ebro valley, across a large chunk of La Rioja and to the distant mountains of Sierra de la Demanda.

And that scene was into the sun. I couldn’t wait for it to move as so too would have the pickers and with them the photo. So into the sun it is then. The trick is to decide the bit of the photo you want properly exposed and set the camera accordingly – in my case, that’s normally someone’s face. The background, being brighter, is at risk of burning out. However, so long as the bit that’s properly exposed holds the viewer’s attention and you can at least suggest the surroundings, the chances are the photo will work. Fingers crossed.

Vendimia riojana en Remelluri

Vendimia riojana en Remelluri

Vendimia riojana en Remelluri

Vendimia riojana en Remelluri

Vendimia riojana en Remelluri

Vendimia riojana en Remelluri

Vendimia riojana en Remelluri

Flash during Ixone & Sergio’s wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Friday October 7th, 2011 06:29 PM

Boda en el Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

At weddings I try to record the drama and emotion without drawing attention to myself and that is one of the main reasons that I hardly use flash. It is too distracting and intrusive.  I took around 4,000 photos at weddings in July and didn’t use flash even once. That said, I usually have a flash on me because, well, you never know…

And that moment came towards the end of Ixone’s and Sergio’s wedding at the Echaurren in Ezcaray last month. It was dark and I noticed the bride being sent to the far end of the terrace where there were no lights. While she had her back turned, her friends were given candles and flowers. Clearly something special was going to happen. But it was going to happen in, at best, candle light. Candle light is beautiful but forces you to shoot with slow shutter speeds where blurred images are always a risk.

So out came the flash. The key to graceful flash is to bounce the light off something large (normally a wall) so it comes back soft and directional. As luck would have it, Ixone was standing under a large white parasol – just perfect. The above image is one of my favourites of the wedding season.

Boda en el Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Boda en el Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Boda en el Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Boda en el Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Boda en el Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Boda en el Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Boda en el Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Boda en el Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja