fotógrafo

Photojournalism: Mules in La Rioja forests

Thursday May 16th, 2013 09:23 AM

Fotografía en La Rioja, España. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

We live in an age where we’re encouraged to think newer is better. This year’s camera / computer / car (insert your preference here) is better than last year’s, they tell us. So, once in a while, it’s nice to spend some time photographing a very traditional activity.

A team of loggers have been thinning a 40-year-old pine forest near Ezcaray, La Rioja. By taking down some of the trees, those left behind have more room to grow. But rather than dragging down the trunks with tractors they use mules. Using animals means they don’t have to carve new paths through the forest; mules’ hooves damage the mountain environment less than mechanical tracks.

The animals are trained to obey the voice commands of their handlers and watching them work as a team was a real privilege.

Fotografía en La Rioja, España. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografía en La Rioja, España. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografía en La Rioja, España. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografía en La Rioja, España. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografía en La Rioja, España. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografía en La Rioja, España. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografía en La Rioja, España. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Commercial Photography: El Portal del Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Sunday April 21st, 2013 08:52 AM

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

El Portal del Echaurren, Ezcaray’s Michelin starred restaurant, has opened its doors with a new menu after the winter break. This year the dishes are designed not just around local products but also the history, sociology and even geology of this corner of La Rioja.

Take, for example, the “marine fossil” dish above. During the Cretaceous period, the land where Ezcaray is sited today was under the sea. You can find fossilised gastropods (snails etc) in the surrounding mountains. Chef Francis Paniego has incorporated barnacles, cockles, scallops into the dish and also “edible fossils” made from seaweed and seafood broths.

Other dishes on the menu include “The River Fish that Dreamed of the Sea” – based on the trout that migrate along the River Oja – and “The Wool”, lamb sweetbread wrapped in candy-floss in a nod to the area’s traditional textile industry.

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

The Wool, El Portal de Echaurren. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

El Portal del Echaurren dish. Photo by James Sturcke Fotografia | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sánchez, the great lady of Riojan cooking

Wednesday November 21st, 2012 11:39 AM

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Walking into Marisa Sanchez’s house is like going into a museum. On the walls are portrait paintings and countless family photos revealing key events in the life of the grand lady of the Echaurren restaurant.

At 79, Marisa is meant to be taking it easy though it doesn’t appear to come naturally to her. Among the books piled beside an overflowing bookcase is Retirement for Dummies which, if it was a gift intended as a hint, clearly hasn’t worked. The first thing she says when we meet is that she wants us to try her new recipe for chickpeas & mushrooms, cooked with white wine and sherry.

I’m there with the journalist Pablo García Mancha who’s to interview her for a piece published in last Saturday’s Diario La Rioja. For someone used to being photographed and filmed – she appeared last year on the BBC series Rick Stein’s Spain – she’s surprisingly nervous. While Pablo and Marisa talk, I look for the elements that define and drive Marisa and show her continued vitality as she approaches her 80th birthday.

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Marisa Sanchez, Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photographers descend on Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Tuesday January 17th, 2012 04:02 PM

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

How do you unlock your creative juices and improve your abilities to take emotionally moving and intimate photographs? This was at the heart of a course for wedding photographers that I attended last week in Astorga, Castilla y Leon.

Taller La Mirada was hosted by the Brazilian wedding photographer, Vinícius Matos, whose work has attracted worldwide admiration in recent years. Aside from being an excellent photographer, Vini argues that you improve through an honest self-assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Only by understanding what holds you back can you learn how to move forward, he reckons.

On the first day the 12 photographers were sent out blindfolded – so they’d use their other senses for a change. The next two days were devoted to documenting 12 local people as they went about their daily lives, including a policewoman, politician, artist and elderly lady in a retirement home.

My job, as photographer of the course, was to follow all 12 photographers as they went about their tasks. Apart from the photos here, you can see my three-minute show of the course on You Tube.

The photographers on the course were:

Paolo Bocchese,  Virginia Gimeno,   Rares Pulbere,

Susana Barberá, Sergi Escrivá,  Alfonso Azaustre,

Horacio Arriaza, Santiago Vega,  Albert Pamies,

Daniel Garcia Lopez, Nelson Philipe, Antonio Luna Castaño.

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

The world’s best wedding photographers in Madrid

Monday November 7th, 2011 10:39 AM

Fotografia de Madrid

Just back from Madrid where I’ve been at a series of stimulating talks by wedding photographers who regularly take images to die for. All of those in the above image, Katarina and Jim Garner, Bob and Dawn Davis, Yervant and David Beckstead (from left to right) have been named among the top 10 wedding photographers in the world in recent years.

At the Foro de Fotógrafos talks, they revealed how they nurture their creative side and the methods they’ve used to capture amazing and natural wedding pictures. I’ve come back home inspired and looking forward to incorporation their best suggestions into my wedding photography.

Fotografia de Madrid

Fotografia de Madrid

Fotografia de Madrid

Fotografia de Madrid

Fotografia de Madrid