La Rioja

Commercial: Wooden furniture and theatre seating, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Thursday November 13th, 2014 05:30 PM

Fotografia de muebles y butacasa, Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Ezcaray is a popular holiday destination attracting people thanks to its beautiful mountainous location, excellent restaurants and hotels and, at least as we head into winter, ski resort. It’s particularly well-known among people from the Basque Country and Madrid.

But it’s also internationally famous in one particular, and rather niche, commercial sector: the manufacture of quality wooden furniture and theatre / cinema seats. As you drive into the town you are flanked on both sides of the road by furniture factories which sell their wares to France, the UK, Germany and further afield.

Garcia Hermanos is one of these long-established family-run enterprises dedicated at making high quality, environmentally sustainable furniture. They asked me to photograph their extensive range of directors’ chairs, deck chairs and other models for a forthcoming catalogue.

For these commercial jobs I use a mobile studio, setting up backgrounds, and remote lighting in a corner of the factory – it’s a lot easier than bringing tons of furniture to my studio. Catalogue photography obviously requires faithful images where you can see exactly what you’re buying. But, at least in some images, I spend quite a lot of time and thought in capturing the curves, materials, beauty and sheer essence of the pieces. Their character and soul, you might say.

High-quality products made to exacting standards require high-quality photography to distinguish them from mass-produced alternatives.

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas, Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.orgFotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.orgFotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Portraits: On the Camino de Santiago between Nájera, La Rioja, & Burgos, Castilla y León

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 10:30 AM

Camino de Santiago, Nájera, Santo Domingo, La Rioja. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

You have to admire the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain! By the time they reach Nájera in La Rioja, they’ve already plodded 200km through the heat and are tired and suffering from blisters and still got more than 500km to go. Yet, despite the discomfort they’re an optimistic bunch and not prepared to let a bit of pain stop them.

Perhaps it’s the beauty of the Rioja and Burgos landscape that keeps them going? Around Nájera and Santo Domingo the route passes through vineyards which produce Rioja’s famous wines with the hills of Sierra de la Demanda accompanying the hikers to the south. In Burgos, it’s more a mixture of forests, cereal fields and pretty villages, such as Agés.

If anyone fancies being photographed along the way I’m happy to accompany you for a few hours, recording the blood, sweat and tears. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Camino de Santiago, Nájera, Santo Domingo, La Rioja. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Nájera, Santo Domingo, La Rioja. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Nájera, Santo Domingo, La Rioja. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.orgCamino de Santiago, Nájera, Santo Domingo, La Rioja. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Nájera, Santo Domingo, La Rioja. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Nájera, Santo Domingo, La Rioja. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Nájera, Santo Domingo, La Rioja. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Agés, Burgos, Castilla y León. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Agés, Burgos, Castilla y León. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Agés, Burgos, Castilla y León. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Agés, Burgos, Castilla y León. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Agés, Burgos, Castilla y León. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Camino de Santiago, Agés, Burgos, Castilla y León. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Commercial photography: San Pedro Apostol Winery, Huércanos, Nájera, La Rioja, Spain

Monday September 8th, 2014 08:02 AM

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

The brief for this job was straight forward: Show the people and personalities behind San Pedro Apostol, a co-operative wine-maker based in Huércanos, near Nájera, 20km from Logroño, La Rioja. “I want the photos to reveal the love that these people put into wine making,” Sergio Fernández, of Icono Gráfico, told me in his office in Logroño. “Namely, these hands make this wine.”

San Pedro Apostol co-operative has 380 members who tend 3,000 plots around Huércanos, spreading to Nájera and towards Cenicero. It’s a highly-tuned operation that produces around 5m litres of wine a year. The co-operative’s old website and publicity photos concentrated on its profesional image, showing a modern winery full of stainless steel tanks.

But it said little about the spirit of the people involved. The plots are mostly family-owned and run. Relatives travel from across Spain to help out at key points of the year. Many plots have been in the family for generations.

We decided that I’d photograph José Domingo and his family during the growing season from early summer to harvest. I visited the annual members’ dinner, held beside the tanks in the winery, The following month I went to the village’s summer festival, meeting José Domingo’s family from Catalonia. And of course a lot of the photos concentrated on the harvest.

There are many ways to market wine and distinguish one bottle from the next. But, to me, showing the character, philosophy and dedication of those who make it trumps all others.

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Photographing the Wine Battle, Haro, La Rioja, Spain

Monday July 7th, 2014 11:50 AM

Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

There’s a phrase in Spanish that I use when describing my style of portrait photography. I say I like photographing people “en su salsa”. It literally means “in their sauce” but figuratively implies that I snap away while they’re doing the things they love, be it cooking, skiing, bike riding or whatever.

The words take on a more literal meaning in these photos of last week’s Wine Battle in Haro, La Rioja, the town’s famous St Peter’s Day festival which is increasingly drawing an international crowd.

Soon after dawn thousands of people hike up Riscos de Bilibio, a hill just outside the northern Spanish town in the heart of the Rioja wine region. The path narrows as you reach the top and is lined by rows of people who throw wine over you. The exact origins of this custom are somewhat fuzzy but it’s nevertheless appropriate that the town that calls itself the Capital of Rioja should have a sensational wine festival.

Professional photographers will often tell you that if you want to feel the image you need to get close to the action and shoot with a wide angle lens. On this occasion that meant getting my oldest camera, wrapping it in plastic bags, crossing my fingers and getting stuck in…

Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Wine Fight / Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Product and Commercial Pics: Neosens & The Art Company shoes, Quel, Arnedo, La Rioja, Spain

Tuesday June 24th, 2014 01:10 PM

Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org

The Art Company, based in Quel, near Arnedo, La Rioja, is one of the larger manufacturers in northern Spain and sells its classy ranges of shoes all over the world. It specialises in distinctive, high-quality, hand-made shoes. It may be a traditional product but it comes with a modern twist and this forward thinking also applies to the firm’s marketing: It invited nine bloggers from Germany, France and Spain to visit the factory in Quel and try its latest Neosens and Art collections.

The first day of the two-day trip was in Ezcaray, the idea being to show a shoe from La Rioja in one of the region’s prettiest towns. My job as photographer was to provide the bloggers with fashion photos for their websites and also take some reportage images for the company.

The next day we visited the factory in Quel, near Arnedo, in the morning and later the bloggers were given choices of colours, soles, laces and told to design their own pair of Art Company shoes.

Switching between reportage photography, where I don’t intervene with the subject, to fashion photography, where I’m constantly asking models to do this or that, was a great mental exercise for me. The fact there were nine bloggers who all needed quality shots really kept me on my toes!

The bloggers were: Estelle Segura, Chloé Gattison, Anne-Laure Pierre, Kathrin Wittich, Marie Heid, Franzeska Albredt, Cecilia Quintana, Jeffrey Herrero & Aminta.

Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org