Category Archives: Making off

History of a photo: “Pretty Little Cat”

This shot corresponds to one of those unforgettable moments that I had in Tanzania in September 2008.

After a long day visiting the south of the Serengeti (Seronera) and when we were already looking our clocks, thinking we soon would turn around to go to the Lodge, we saw something moving among the dried grass, far away, close to the road. Lawrance, our guide, said it was a Cheetah and Eli (our driver) headed for there, with no doubt. He stopped the car beside the place we supposed we had seen the animal and we started looking skeptically around the place he pointed to… nothing!

Some seconds after we continued seeing nothing… It’s here, here, at few meters from us!!!!… But no way… we weren’t able to see it.

Lawrance opened the 4W door and stand up (without getting of the car) and pointed with his arm… We continued seeing nothing; only lots of golden grass… we started doubting that was the place…

Suddenly, an enormous leopard head appeared among the mess… Wow! I mean Meaw!

400 mm, f9.0, 1/10, ISO 200, AV, autofocus, bean bag, flash and teleflash.

Lawrance sit with one jump and closed the door at once… it was not a Cheetah it was a Leopard!!! And as he repeated several times: “the leopard is bad… it hunts by the pleasure of hunting… other animals hunt to eat, but the leopard doesn’t… the leopard hunts because it loves hunting.”

It fascinated me! What appearance and elegance air! And it was there, at few meters from us… Unbelievable!!!

The following minutes were quite intense, and we all had an huge adrenalin rising!!!

And, when it turned and look us… wow!!!

I was unable to think, I shoot by inertia and… Gosh! Goosebumps on my skin each time I think about it!

The think is that, at that time, I was conscious that I was shoting with a low ISO, but I did not dare to change it for a higher one because of the “noise”… and I relied on the use of the flash to get enough speed, but I was not sure… anyway, I did not care… in front of me, at few meters, I had a “pretty little cat”, and that was the important thing.

Today, I know I should have risen the ISO to shot faster and obtain a better quality, but… it’s too late to repeat it… I wish the photo does justice to this wonderful cat.

Also posted in Àfrica, Photo History, Tanzania Tagged , , |

Photo history: The Emerald Jewel

In 2008 I visited Slovenia. I was in the West (Triglav National Park, Julian Alps and the Emerald Route) the South (Karst caves) and two days in the capital, Ljubljana.

What I liked the most was the West: the landscapes, the color of the water at the rivers… I strongly recommend you to visit that area if you love Landscape Photography (or just landscapes).

We were reaching the end of the “Emerald Route” when we found this true “jewel” thanks to Mr. Kolman, our landlord (a really nice man) who recommended us to visit it. The guide we were carrying only mentioned it exists. We would have skip it if he did not recommended it to us.

10 mm, f18, 30sec., ISO 100, polarizer and tripod.

It is the “Slap Kozjak” (Kozjak Waterfall).

The 15 meter high waterfall impresses not for its height but for its beauty. The water has been carving the stone creating a semi-sphere cavity, broken at the top from where the water falls.

The humidity is so high and the dark stones (nearly black) that surround this beauty are covered by a thin green coverage with the water color to match.

I call it “the Emerald Jewel”, because for me, it is a small jewel that saturated my retina of an emerald green, that green that I like so much, that I always keep in my mind and that it gives me a tranquility sensation when I see it again.

Green is one of my favorite colors.  I believe that this is the reason why I specially love this photo and the one of the previous post.

Do you have any color you specially love? Which one?

Also posted in Slovenia, Photo History, News Tagged , , |

Photo history: Astrantia major

The photo I show you today, Astrantia Major, is (still) not included in any of the Galleries of this website because it does not correspond to any “big travel” but to a Photographic Workshop about Flora from the Pyrenees, by Oriol Alamany, that took place between July 1st and 3rd, 2011, in La Cerdanya (Catalan Pyrenees). Maybe you recognize it from my galleries at Fotonatura and Whytake.

We were approaching a field full of orchids and at the beginning of the path I discovered this curious and nice flower. It was the first time I have seen it and I did not know anything about it, but it attracted my attention so I stopped to take some photos of it.

It was close to a bush, among lights and shades, so I took my “chinesse” (a tiny reflector “made in Hong Kong” that was given to me at a Sonimagfoto Fair stand because I spontaneously became a translator “Spanish-English”) to illuminate it more properly (so to speak, because it is a quite poor quality reflector and it reflects the sunlight in a very special manner), so I started playing with the f-stops in order to obtain enough focus on the flower while keeping a soft background.

I spend more than an hour with this flower, trying to capture all its beauty and all its details, without realizing about the time. It was a short break. I really relaxed and abstracted from the reality.

I like this photo so much, and I hope you like it too.

100 mm, f 5.0, 1/400 sec., ISO 100, Manual, Punctual Measure, Tripod, Reflector and Cable Shouter.

There was a botanic in the group who told me which was that flower and later on, at home, thanks to Saint Google and Saint Wikipedia I found out the rest… It is a Astrantia major, Apiaceae family (same family as the celery, the dill, the carrot and the fennel, among others).

Few weeks after, I went back to the area and I tried to found the flower again… but it was too late. The plant had dried and I found nothing.

I would like to see (and photograph) it again. I’ll have to wait till early summer.

Also posted in Photo History, News Tagged |

Photo history: Icelandic horses in the way to Landmannalaugar

This section wants to be a new one at my blog, where I will explain you the history behind a single photo: where I take it and the circumstances around it.

In order to start this section… why not doing it with one of my first photos: Icelandic horses in the way to Landmannalaugar.

1/320 s, f/4,5; ISO 100, 70 mm

If you have a look at the “about me” section, you’ll see that I just started taking nature photos when I took this photo, in July 2007. My first photographic trip was a photographic “workshop” in Iceland, with Iñaki Relanzón, few months after I bought my first digital reflex camera and after doing a weekend course to learn the photographic basics at “Aiguamolls de l’Emporda”, with Iñaki.

We had arrived to Iceland few days before and we were in our way to Landmannalaugar. We had done some stops on that day to take landscape photos and, in one of these stops we were in a narrow place, taking photos. Then a 4WD arrived and stoped, and the people in this vehicle told us to move out of there, because in few minutes a more than 100 horses’ sheep, that they were moving from one place to another, would arrive and, as that place was a narrow one, this could be dangerous for us… Iñaki made us go, and we, resigned, did. We get on the vans and continue our way.

We reached a wide valley and, suddently, Iñaki stopped the van and gave us few instructions to take the horses photos: not to move from the van side as this could be dangerous and… something else that I do not remember now. In few minutes we started seing the horses and my heart started to bit as never… the adrenaline run thru my veins and all my body trembled with the excitement.

As if we were at the American Far-West some (Icelandic) horse riders drived the sheep: some in front, some in the middle and some more at the end. They came troting… fast. When they arrived to the van, the sheep split and some horses went ahead in front of us (so close!) and some more behind the van.

They were 3 intense minutes, between the first and the last photo.

An unforgettable experience!!!

If you’d like that I include in this section a certain photo, do not hesitate to let me know by writting a comment at this blog entry or by using the form.

See you soon!

Also posted in Photo History, Iceland, News Tagged , , |