Thursday May 16th, 2013 09:23 AM
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.
Sunday April 21st, 2013 08:52 AM
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.
Friday July 13th, 2012 11:08 AM
Couples who hire photojournalists not only want beautiful wedding photos but also stories told through the images. There are various ways of doing this – perhaps the most obvious being through a series of photos. You can narrate the day with a portfolio taken over many hours or tell about a special moment with a number of images snapped in a couple of seconds.
But another, more subtle, way I tell stories is through the components I include in the composition of a photo. The above picture was taken in the Zaragoza flat where María grew up. There were lots of family photos on show. As soon as I entered I started making a mental note of what pictures were where, including the picture of María’s mother on her wedding day more than 30 years before.
A few minutes later María and her father were together near this photo. I took a couple of shots, one focused on María and her father, the other on the picture. Perhaps it’s not the most beautiful shot of the day but it is the one that tells the story of two generations of a family.
Client comment: “Thank you for being an excellent photographer. Not only were you excellent but also very popular!!”
Friday June 29th, 2012 09:15 AM
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!
Wednesday February 15th, 2012 11:46 AM
“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.