Think of photos of Spain and the most obvious images that come to mind are sun-drenched Mediterranean landscapes and amazing historical architecture.
All gorgeous, of course, but that is the holiday Spain we travel to in our holiday dreams on a regular basis. This is exactly why it was so refreshing for us to see the extraordinary shots by Toni García, next up in our series Around the World in 80 Lumias.
Though from scenic seaside Valencia, Toni prefers to photograph the rough beauty of the less well-known Northern Spain… “the cold, rainy days and snow… the green fields, the rocky hidden beaches, and the foggy winter nights.” His pictures give us a behind-the-scenes tour of abandoned buildings and nighttime cityscapes, empty beaches and mysterious mountains. Thanks, Toni, for taking us somewhere absolutely stunning we have never seen before.
So, Toni, how did you get into photography?
I did an audiovisual communication degree, because I wanted to get behind TV cameras, but to tell the truth, photography never used to be one of my greatest interests.
Four years ago I bought my first DSLR camera. I started learning from the camera manual because I had no idea how to use a semiprofessional camera.
When I thought I already knew how to shoot with the camera in manual mode, I started taking pictures of everything during my walks and my trips to abandoned places (yes, this is another hobby of mine).
Over the last four years, I’ve tried a lot of different styles and stopped using some of them, because they didn’t work for me. One example of these is HDR, I guess it’s a question of personal taste.
Nowadays I’m still trying to find my way and style of photography, but one thing that’s become certain is that I could no longer stop shooting. Some months ago I won a contest at Talenthouse and thanks to Nokia I’m now here, sharing my pictures with everybody.
What do you like best about your Nokia Lumia 1020?
If someone had said to me a year ago that today I’d be shooting with a smartphone, I would probably have said that he was mad. I never thought phone photography could replace DSLR equipment. Now I know I was wrong.
What I really love about my Lumia 1020 is that in a small device you have a superb tool for taking pictures, just as you have in a DSLR. Nokia Camera lets me take pictures in every context. From the hard sunny days we have lots of here in Valencia to near nights with the lowest light. With the PureView sensor and the RAW files, I haven’t had to change my way of working, but only the device.
Where in Spain do you like to shoot photos most and why?
Although I live by the Mediterranean sea where most of the year is sunny and hot, I prefer the cold, rainy days and snow. For that reason, I really love the north of Spain, especially the Principality of Asturias. All those green fields, the rocky hidden beaches, the foggy winter nights and all the stunning landscapes make me feel so happy there.
I like shooting on overcast days because of the way clouds distribute light equally everywhere. The nature, rivers, empty landscapes and of course, the local people make Asturias one of the most beautiful places in Spain for any photographer.
What are your 3 top tips for shooting awesome Lumia photos?
One of the most important things I try to do every day is look at well-known places and imagine what kind of photography I could take there. Then, I try to discover new locations near my home. Young people, or at least in my case, haven’t normally got the opportunity to travel. So, to stay creative, we must surprise ourselves every day with the things that we already know. Keep our eyes open.
As for technical tips, I’d like to share one about focusing at night; I don’t use the infinity focus position. If there are any light sources, even if they’re far away like a lamppost, I focus manually until I see the light source blink. That means that everything is on focus and I’ll get a good result.
And finally, I always try to shoot with the lowest ISO setting. Between 100 and 200 to minimize the noise and capture colours at their best.
If you loved Toni’s photos as much as us, go check out more of his shots around the web, at Talenthouse, on his own website, Tumblr, and Instagram. And if you unearth any other shots you think deserve a wider audience just include the link in the comment section below. As ever, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the latest stopover on our around the world tour with Nokia Lumia.