Weather has been lovely in Seville lately and this Saturday temp. is beautiful. I have a photoshoot with Cuarto de Maravillas for a new blog post about how to lay a well-set – table just by using paper staff. The point is: why disposable table settings have to be always as this tasteless and shabby? Is it possible to prepare an elegant supper one without using real plates, glasses and cutlery?.
We got in touch with Gollerías, one of the best bakeries in Seville, in spite of its small establishment; and also with RM fiestas, a little shop in los Remedios, located in front of the Príncipes park, which has a nice range of colorful and high quality flatware, both plastic and paper.
Both the writer and I have decided to go to Plaza de España, at Maria Luisa´s park. Initially, our idea was to shoot in the morning, but we had some disadvantages. Everything seems to be a problem:
Firstly, the pastry chef could´t be ready before 11:30 a.m., then having the staging before 13:30 p.m. seemed difficult and the sun is already quite high… with too many backlights!
Secondly, as we lost my grandparent´s keys, we can’t get one of the plastic tables that my grandmother used at family celebrations (my grandparents have 10 children, eight of whom are married, eight have kids and not necessarily the same eight). Then, we went to my aunt Maripaz´s house to get copies, but as we arrived, Jacobo (the only son still staying with his parents) had left a new lock at the main gate, so I had to jump over the fence, get into the house, rummage all over the house, and finally manage to get the lock´s key.
And when we thought nothing worst could happen to us, we weren’t able to put the table into the car!!! Luckily, my super fit cousin Nacho appeared at that moment (he is a professional golf player), and helped us with that. He seemed to be so amused that decided to come with us.
Thus, since Nacho appeared, our luck changed and we found a place nearby to park and unload all the stuff we had brought with us.
(Nikon D3X, ISO 125 66mm f.2’8 1/30 seg.)
Imagine people´s faces when passing close!! Some of them even asked if they could taste one, others got annoyed when trying to step on the clothing pretending they were feeding the ducks. The children running around my cameras fastened over the tripods… I don´t even know how I achieved not to kill someone.
With such a panorama, we speeded up as two mad beasts, were driving crazy towards the poor Nacho, who looked fascinated at the situation. In the meantime, the wind blew the glasses and twirled the plates.
(Nikon D3X, ISO 280 62mm f.2’8 1/30 seg.)
(Nikon D3X, ISO 100, 70 mm. f.16 10´0 segs.)
In a photoshoot, nothing is always perfect. It is important to take care of all details. A perfect example: the tablecloth was short on one of the sides, and we forgot retouching it for this photo. However, I am fully in love with this one, as the side perspective shows both the fountain and the center part of Plaza de España, designed by Anibal Gonzalez.
It is 05:15 a.m. and the alarm is ringing. I haven’t got enough sleep and I get up fast and anxious as it´s my first sunrise shooting. It is said that sunrises are more difficult than sunsets, not only because of the duration but, in my opinion, because of the crack of dawn, but that’s just my point of view. I can´t take a shower as my brother´s girlfriend Mar is sleeping in my bedroom in the bed next to me (my mother is very conservative, and around 7 years is no time enough to stay in the same room), so I take my clothes and I get dressed in the restroom.
Before I leave, I enjoy a coffee with my dad and head right to the car, as we were late picking up my father´s friend Luis and his girlfriend Pilar at the hotel where they were lodged for the weekend.
So once we get all together, we start our way to El Rocío, Almonte.
We picked El Rocío as our location for it´s beautiful marshland, stablished as a natural reserve with a biodiversity that is unique in Europe, so when the sun rises, it reflects on the water, drawing beautiful colors. To be honest, this year the marshland is not as full as usual, and that`s such a shame. Anyways, the light is beautiful and the atmosphere is magical with the dew formed over the vegetation.
This is the perfect day for me to learn, as Luis is a really good photographer, who has been three times in India, once in Vietnam, China and many other places around the world looking for amazing photos (follow him on flickr as Luis Estrada. In my opinion, portraits are his strong points). Also, I am sharing this moment with my father, Agustín Vidal – Aragón (also on flickr), who has already worked with different filters and, to me, he is my favorite photographer ever (I wish he give me a new full frame camera for Christmas –I am considering a Nikon D800, opinions are requested– and I have to suck up him). Jokes apart, they both are quite generous, and have no objection in teaching me all the time.
It is 6:30 a.m. now and we arrived to El Rocío as planned. There’s a unique bar open, the one that is on the hamlet entrance. Time for a good spanish breakfast: toast with olive oil, ham and tomate, also a black coffee. After such a good breakfast, we go to the place we have selected.
On this occasion I have decided to pick my Nikon D300s with the Nikkor 17 – 200 mm. lens, as this lens is really versatile and allows to photograph both a landscape (17 mm. perfect) and the marshland details, with the 200 mm. Of course, the tripod was indispensable before 8:30 a.m. so as it was the timer (Dear Jesus child, I have been an amazingly good girl, so for this year, I want a shutter release. OMG I think I’m asking for too many things…).
For these captures, I choose the manual mode, selecting the shortest diaphragm aperture (f.25 with this lens) and around 30 seconds of shutter speed, although having in mind the exposure – meter at the time the sun is getting high. Find the capture details below each picture.
As you can see in this photo, the hamlet lights are already on. We didn’t know exactly where the sun was going to appear in spite we have seen lot of pictures to inspire us.
This saturday morning I was crazy about the extreme thirds (David Mejías, my super patient photography teacher, director of the academy at Fotografiarte is guilty).
Here you can see one of the hermitage:
Later, we head to the hamlet to see the marshland´s biodiversity, as there is a great observatory where you can learn all about the fauna living there. Nowadays backlighting photography is on trend. As you can see in this portrait of Pilar, the sun is in front of the camera, and not behind me.
To close this beautiful morning we have decided to visit Matalascañas, which used to have one of the most beautiful beaches of Andalusian coast. Unfortunately, nowadays this beach is very crowded in summer, though still keeps its charm in winter. Since there is no people, winter is the right time to enjoy the boundless sand seashores.
Some hippies chill out with their dogs, most happiest beings in the world. I should have brough my Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Thorcuato, with me.