An Andalucian Spring | April 2017
Published on: 26th April 2017
By F11 Magazine
The view of Alhama de Granada amongst the olive trees on the hill above was a quintessential Andalucian classic. With the ancient spa town perched on the lip of a gorge set against the backdrop of a patchwork of verdant fields and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada beyond the composition was strong, but the problem was we (my mucker and mentor from the early '80s David Waterman and I) were looking due east. I reluctantly concluded short of tilting the earth on its axis - there was just no way I could use this peach of a location at this time of year. At dawn I'd be shooting straight into the rising sun, at dusk the setting sun would be right behind me. And yet, as we climbed back into David's well-travelled pick-up to continue our search I pondered; maybe it would work in the twilight of the evening with the lights in the pueblo blanco coming on. It had to be worth a try... The key would be if the church was illuminated. A quick check on Google suggested it was.
It wasn't, at least not that night. We waited until near darkness, and yet; y aquí. It works; doesn't it? Well I think so, but whatever; a short week in Andalucia was a real visual treat. This time of year the light is crisp and all is green and fresh - the attractions of the new beginnings of spring in a nutshell.
Speaking of new beginnings, this month's edition of the Chasing the Light Online Photography Magazine is the first under the stewardship of our new f11 Editor, Ian Farrell. Here, in Ian's words, is his introduction:
IF: New beginnings are always exciting, aren't they? And this is one for me as the new editor of Chasing the Light, The Online Photography Magazine.
I've loved David's imagery for many years, so it's a privilege to be working with him and the other photographers that contribute regularly to the magazine. And what an issue to start with! We have more stunning photography from David and Wendy's recent trip to Argentina, with plenty of revealing behind-the-scenes tales that show exactly how these amazing scenes were captured. David also takes a humorous look back on his love-hate relationship with the many cars, trucks and vans he's used to travel the world. It made me somewhat thankful that I commute to work by bicycle!
Regular contributor Ross Hoddinott discusses how to use white balance more creatively in your landscape photography, while our columnist Bas Meelker falls in love with one of Canon's less popular telephoto lenses. Our guest feature this month is written by travel photographer Toby Adamson who shares his experiences shooting street portraiture. In part one of his guide he looks at some techniques for shooting in the midday sun - invaluable advice for anyone looking to take a big trip this year. While those shooting closer to home will appreciate Ben Pipe's travel guide, in which he doesn't actually travel anywhere. Instead he walks us through some of his favourite photographs of his home city, London. They are inspirational images, and prove that you don't always have to journey to the heart of the countryside to find a great landscape. Our usual mix of video blogs, post-production advice and opinion is also featured. I do hope you enjoy the issue as much as I've enjoyed editing it.
DN: Welcome aboard Ian. We've fresh ideas for new features, plus a whole new look to the Online Magazine and a new website coming your way, watch this space. That's assuming you're an f11 of course. If not, well, I've said it before; you're missing out, and here's a video and sample edition to prove it.
The Photography Show came and went. Whilst the confines of the NEC weren't as inspiring as the olive groves of Andalucia. It was great to catch up with so many of you ... and to congratulate Lorraine Heaysman, our f11 Your Vision Competition winner on her success. Lorraine's image and all the other the winning images feature in this month special f11 Members' Gallery.
As spring morphs into summer in a cloud of barbecue smoke emanating from our garden, our preparation for our workshops for later in the year steadily advance.
First up for 2017 is our special Capture to Print Workshop in the Yorkshire Dales 8-11 September, a course for anyone wanting to improve their skills both in the field and post-production. We'll have a full Digital Darkroom set up at High Trenhouse to take you right through the process from exposing on a hill top to outputting a Big Beautiful Print. RAW processing; editing in Lightroom and Photoshop, printing; we'll do the lot, as well as tramping over the moors and up the dales to some truly gorgeous locations.
If that doesn't suit, join us for a long weekend of photographic indulgence on our Photo-Explorer Adventure in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France, October 20-23. This autumn, we'll be exploring this beautifully rural, yet little visited region of rolling fields, wooded valleys, deep limestone gorges, waterfalls, chateaux, vineyards, villages and the mountains of Haut Jura just when the fall colours should be at their prime. Lying between Burgundy and Alsace, and between Champagne and Switzerland, Franche-Comté is easily accessible from the Low Countries, Germany, the Channel Tunnel or various regional airports. It is possibly the most underrated of all French regions, and one we've grown to love.
By the time you read this we'll be in Bordeaux; a trip to celebrate 30 years of marriage. In fact I'm packing for it now; 5D MK IV, tilt & shifts, fast primes, Gitzo... Yes, we'll be shooting, just as we were 30 years ago on our honeymoon in Italy. Plus ca change; you're happy with that, aren't you Wendy? After that; well, Scotland's Torridon Mountains beckon. You will of course be able to follow it all in the features and videos we'll be publishing in the Chasing the Light Online Photography Magazine, plus on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Talking of social media there's a series of 13 videos produced and published by Lee Filters available to all on YouTube now featuring Joe Cornish and yours truly In Conversation. Two dinosaurs waffling on in the pub; it was fun making them.
Fun is still what photography is all about for me, as it was shooting David and his dogs on his home patch in Andalucia. We go back a long way. Visiting him is always inspirational; he has so much experience, and once a photographer, always a photographer.