Spain

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

The first Somos Capital season of Restaurante Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja.

Friday June 29th, 2012 09:15 AM

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Arzak, Pedro Subijana, Andoni Luís Aduriz, are just three of the dozen or so highly-regarded chefs who’ve given talks in Francis Paniego’s new restaurant, Tondeluna, in Logroño, over the past few months. I’ve been to eight of the talks and have been trying to choose by 10 favourite photos. I’ve got it down to my favourite 16, so far.

By the way, the Somos Capital series of talks continues in September. I understand some world-famous chefs will be among those taking part. Watch this space!

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Tondeluna, Logroño, La Rioja, España. Foto: James Sturcke Fotografiía | www.sturcke.org

Emotion and wedding photography

Wednesday February 15th, 2012 11:46 AM

Boda en Ezcaray, La Rioja, Espana

“How do you achieve such emotionally moving photos?” That was what María wanted to know as she interviewed me for Wevents. María and her colleague Carlota have recently started the wedding planning business. The idea is that you tell them about your dream wedding and sit back while they get on and organise it. Wedding planners are well established in the UK and now, increasingly, in Spain too.

Anyway, back to the question and the answer is a combination of things. As noted in previous posts, light and composition but importantly too patience, observation and anticipation. And I get close to the action. It’s the best way to improve your photographs. The trick is to do so without bothering those around you or interrupting the proceedings.

Boda en Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Pais Vasco, Espana

Boda en Ezcaray, La Rioja, Espana

Boda en Ezcaray, La Rioja, Espana

Boda en Ezcaray, La Rioja, Espana

Boda en Castelldefels, Catalunya, Espana

Snowy photojournalism in Ezcaray, La Rioja

Friday February 3rd, 2012 04:30 PM

Nevada en Ezcaray, La Rioja, España

The call came just as my feet were finally getting warm in my draughty study. It was -4C outside and snowing and I was happy to spend the morning doing admin. “Ah James, I bet it’s snowed lots in Ezcaray,” said the voice on the line. “How about going and getting us some photos.” It was Javier from Diario La Rioja.

I normally like getting calls from the picture desk of the newspaper. They call me up from time to time to go and take a portrait of someone or if something exciting is going on in my corner of La Rioja. Being sent out by the paper is a good way to meet local people and also gives me the chance to try out new techniques.

With the freezing weather yesterday, I was a bit less enthusiastic than normal but, on the other hand, how can you refuse the chance to play in the snow, even if it means numb fingers and toes? And of course it was nice to see this morning one of my pictures on the front page, despite strong competition from the paper’s other photographers.

Nevada en Ezcaray, La Rioja, España

Nevada en Ezcaray, La Rioja, España

Nevada en Ezcaray, La Rioja, España

Nevada en Ezcaray, La Rioja, España

Nevada en Ezcaray, La Rioja, España

Nevada en Ezcaray, La Rioja, España

Wedding: Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Basque Country

Wednesday November 23rd, 2011 05:01 PM

Boda Marques de Riscal

I’m often asked to recommend cameras and whether one model is better than another because it has a bigger zoom lens. And I reply that, generally speaking, the best way to zoom into a scene is by using your legs. It’s also the cheapest option.

Take the image above and first two below at the recent wedding of Hanna and Bosco at Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Basque Country. They’re all taken with the lens set around 30mm. The first shows the overall setting and the amazing architecture of Frank Gehry’s building. The second is of those present and the third as Bosco comes over to thank his brother after a moving speech.

I could have stayed where I was and used a telephoto lens for the second and third shots but I doubt I’d have obtained an image that conveys the emotion of the moment while keeping the context and even a bit of the dusk sky. And that is so key to my style of photography.

I do carry a telephoto lens with me at weddings which is used mostly for the portraits of the couple. When I get back home, I typically find I’ve taken around 50 images with the telephoto and 950 with the wider angle lens set at 30-50mm. In this gallery of 33 images, only one is taken with the telephoto. Can you see which it is? And why?

—–

Hanna’s feedback:

Hi James,

The albums are here and they’re great. A thousand thanks for everything; your professionalism and understanding. We’d recommend you to anyone getting married in Alava.

A big hug,

Hanna.

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal