I am an amateur photographer who lives in Toledo (Spain). I´m passionate about photography in all its forms, focused on the urban and rural landscape and fascinated by both day and night.I have always loved photography, but it was a trip to London city which allowed me to fully dedicate myself to photography…those days changed my life….and since then, this hobby has already become a way of life and covers almost all the free time I have.From that moment onwards, I have not stopped any day without trying to learn and improve my photographic technique and my digital workflow. In fact, I believe that both worlds are linked to each other and that a landscape photographer should know not only how to blend a good technique, but also a good post proccesing workflow in order to get the best results.
In relation with this, I´m proud of having met a lot of friends thanks to this hobby and having improved my photographic skills. My work has been awarded several times in big photo contests like “Trierenberg Super Circuit 2017” (Gold Medal. “Mountain”), 2nd Place in Panorama in “Fine Art Photo Awards 2017”, Gold and Silver medals in “Epson Pano awards 2016” and Third Place in “International Photo Awards 2016 (IPA)” between other FIAP and CEF awards in other contests.
Q1. What kind of gear do you use?
As other passionate photographers, I have had a lot of cameras… too many, perhaps!!! Olympus M4/3, Fuji X, Canon, Nikon… but nowadays I´m working with:
- Camera body – Sony A7R(I) and a Sony a7 as backup body.
- Lens – Sony Zeiss 16-35 F4, Sony Zeiss 55mm 1.8, Sony Zeiss 70-200 f4 and three Samyang lenses (12mm 2.8, 20mm 1.8 and 135mm f2).
- Tripod – Vanguard 263 Alta and the old Manfrotto 053B. Sirui K30 head and a sunnway levelling base.
- Filters – Nisi equipment. 100mm system. V5 Pro holder + CPl, and Nisi filters 6 an 10 stops. I´m also Beginning to test NISI natural night filter.
- Flash – Manual flashes. Two Yongnuo 560 Ex IV and a Yongnuo TX remote controller.
- Camera bag – Lowepro 400W
- Mention others, if any.: Cold and warm lanterns for some night shots. Head lights, remote triggers, cleaning towels…too much things inside the bag.
Q2. Which is your favorite lens? Why?
I don´t really have a favorite lens… For my “family shots” I use zeiss 55 mm and 135mm f2 samyang (incredible manual lens) but for landscape I wouldn´t be able to live without a good wide angle zoom. In the sony a7R I use the 16-35f4 but for me, the best of all wide angle lenses I have ever tested was the tamron 15-30mm 2,8 that I enjoyed in my Nikon FX…but It was a very heavy set that also required large expensive filters.
Q3. When you go travelling, what do you put in the bag? Why?
As a hobbyist photographer, I can´t travel as much as I would like to do, but of course for my landscape work I always take with me my A7R and the backup body Of course I always carry the wide angle zoom (16-35) and 70-200 f4. I prefer f4 telezoom, as it´s lighter and for landscape you really don´t need the heavy 2.8. With this two lenses I cover 90% of my necessities. Sometimes, If I really know that I won´t need a long tele, I just carry the gorgeous 55mm 1.8 (and with the a7R 36mpx I can crop later if I need). Something I like to do are vertical panoramas with the A7r and 55mm 1.8…the quality is simply outstanding and I can also “extract” different pictures from that panorama.
If I take night shots (I usually do) I also include a fast wide angle prime like samyang 12mm f 2.8 or 20mm 1.8; both of them excellent for nightscapes. If I have to choose one of them…It would be the 20m 1.8…sometimes it´s a bit long, but its not a problem…vertical panorama and you have it 🙂
I always take 6 and 10 stops filters and the circular polarize. I don´t use NDG or inverse filters…just full ND´s in order to take several exposures that later I can easily blend in PS And I can´t forget… two chargers, spare batteries, cleaning towels, tools for the head/tripod, remote shutter and …my cellular… which Is absolutely vital for me (GPS, off line maps and photo apps).
Q4. You probably have a lot of gadgets. Is there something you wish you haven’t bought? Why?
If I look to the past…I wish I haven´t had too many cameras…As you begin to improve your photographic and post processing skills, you realize that we care too much about equipment… But for me, the “gadget” I have never really used is the pano head…It´s big and heavy to carry… So I always leave it at home, and for my panoramas I just use a levelling base and the L bracket arca plate.
Q5. What are your camera settings when on location?
I always work in full manual at the minimum ISO I can select. Of course, at night or when it´s a rainy day, or when you are in a dark place and need to reach a “minimum speed”…you have to increase base ISO.
Shutter Speed – It depends on the picture you are going to take, but for example if I´m on a river, a waterfall, or a beach…I don´t like taking very long exposures…and I always look for “textures” on the water so I move around 1/5, 1/15 etc… (it depends of the speed of the water).
Aperture – For landscape work, It´s very common to use F8-10… If want a beautiful sunstar, I usually made a shot with a very narrow aperture (f18-20) and for night shots I usually choose f2 – f 2.8
White Balance – At daylight I leave it at “auto” (RAW always). At night I manually choose a cold balance (3500… more or less).
Q6. What programmers do you use for post processing? Tell us about your work flow.
My personal workflow is 95% made in PS, I usually do basic adjustments in camera raw plugin and continue the post processing in PS.
Once in photoshop I make an intensive use of luminosity masks (TKv5, and Raya pro pannels) and work the light and the mood of the image. I also like to work with color effex plugin. For panos my favorite program is PtGui.
My style is also a bit “dark” I like to work the shadows of the image and I usually look for that dark mood. I recognize I like very much the “magenta and dark buwewish”
Q7. What do you do to polish your photographic skills?
I think that a photographer can´t forget that you always must “study” you can´t stop trying to improve your photographic skills, there is always something you could do better…I have always said that if one day you sit on your chair and think… “I´m a master, I Know everything I need” that day you will be “photographically dead”. If you ever think you are a “master” it´s enough to have a look to online galleries, magazines etc…just to realize that there are thousands of photographers better than you.
If I think in a landscape photographer, the best thing you can do…the best investment is …Travelling! it´s the best way to achieve good photographs … But when I´m at house I´m, most of the time, reading photography books, buying and watching video tutorials of many photographers etc…
In addition I´m always trying to learn different techniques, that´s why I like daylight landscape, but also nightscapes in which frequently you have to work with cold or warm lanters, street photography, architecture, black and white…etc.
Q8. Which is your favorite shot? Why?
Very difficult question!!! I don´t have an answer to that…but perhaps If I have to choose one picture…It wouldn´t be one of my best…but I have a special feeling with an old photograph that meant a lot for me and marked a turning point. It was also the first time I had a picture featured in a magazine…and that was something I will never forget
Q9. The work of which photographer has influenced you most?
It would be a never ending list!!!! There are too many photographers I follow, whose works I deeply admire and inspire me. As a landscape photographer my preferences are American photographers like Ted Gore, Marc Adamus, Ryan Dyar, Alex Noriega, Ryan Buchanan; Italian photographers like Enrico Fossati, Massimo Coizzi, Gianluca Podesta, Nicola Pirondini…. and others like Daniel Kordan or Max Rive.
Luckily, In Spain we have an incredible group of absolutely talented photographers which we can be proud of…My main influence comes (without no doubt) from Juan Pablo de Miguel, but I can´t forget others like David Martin Castan (I have completely fallen in love with his astonishing pictures of Dolomiti), Jesus Mª Garcia, Javier de la Torre, Carlos Turienzo, Miguel Ángel Martin Campos, Íñigo Cia
And if we talk about another of my passions…night photography…there are always several names that comes to my mind: Michael Goh, Michael Shainblum, Nicholas Roemmelt and, in Spain, César Vega.
Q10. What is the thing you wish you knew when you started taking pictures?
I didn´t know at all that this hobby was going to take me so much time!!! In fact, I think that photography occupies almost all the spare time I have. I wish I had known, from the very beginning, that there isn´t a perfect camera/lens and that you must train your skills and your eyes instead of losing too much time comparing photographic material… Of course… I can´t forget…I would have never imagined it was going to be such an expensive hobby!
Q11. You’ve been to many places. Tell us which one of your travels was the most memorable? Why?
Well, I have traveled a lot along my life…but most of those trips were done before photography was a serious hobby…so I am “obliged” to come back to some of that places. I remember a 18 days route in Peru like an incredible experience that I wouldn´t hesitate to repeat with a pure photo graphical mind.And…I am a USA lover…I would like to come back soon.
Q12. The world is full of amazing places and photo opportunities. Tell us what countries or regions you would like to visit, and photograph, in the coming years? wowww….another never ending list!!!! I would like to visit several national parks in The USA, The Rocky Mountains in Canada, Greenland…and Dolomiti, a Germany-Austria route, Scotland, some regions in France, coming back to the north of Spain…too many places to describe here!!
Q13. And the last question. What would you say about Capture Mania photography magazine?
Well…I must say a big thank you for counting on me in a new issue. It´s a great pleasure to be again on this fantastic magazine; a magazine which day to day increases in quality and where a lot of incredible photographers have been featured. It´s great honor for me to be here. Thank you very much.