One to one workshop in the forest

It doesn’t happen very often, but when conditions are right, the photos are right there, in front of you. That’s what happened last Sunday during my workshop with a friend. I wanted to go to a new forest and I asked him if he knew about a place near where he lives. He said he had never been there before, but that the fog had set the previous night and that we would have fog until midday. I was in!

After a one hour drive I got to this beautiful place and the magic began. Autumn colors were showing already, there was a nice, thick fog, the beech trees had incredible shapes and the best thing was that we had the place for ourselves.

During my workshops in the forest, people often ask me how I compose and how do I achieve a specific mood. I understand that it can be a bit tricky with all the information we have in front of us, that’s why I think that foggy conditions as well as rainy mornings help achieving better results. You may ask why photograph in such dark conditions… but the truth is that dramatic scenes are more attractive than dull ones. Rain saturates the colors, therefore leaves look more vibrant. Fog helps composing the scene, it blurs the background, helping create more simple, yet more powerful compositions.

The key is to find a subject and try to photograph it in a way that the viewer will stare at it for more than two seconds (huge achievement nowadays!). Always look around, don’t stop when you shoot the first photo, I’m sure there are many other ways to find a different perspective.

I always compose through the screen, I feel it helps to check if branches are interfering in the corners, or if there’s anything we want to leave out of the scene. Also, I always shoot with my editing in mind, so I usually underexpose in order to get deep shadows, because in a forest scene like this, you will have lots of dark areas as well as bright light in the higher part of the photograph, so why try to always expose everything?

I feel that the most important thing in my workshops is not just to learn the technique, but also to take the time to look around and feel lucky to be there at the right time in the right place. I feel it’s when I’m most creative and then during the editing everything comes easily.

I already mentioned this on a recent post on IG, and here it goes again… I don’t know what my photos may make you feel. I don’t want my photos to seem scary and I’m not trying to achieve the mysterious look either... I’m simply trying to convey a rather peaceful feeling, and definitely pushing you to take care of nature.

If you want to get more info about available dates for my landscape or online editing workshops, drop me a line to leireub@gmail.com :)

All photos were taken with a Fujifilm XT2 + 16mm f1.4

Trip to southern Spain

I've been to the south of Spain a few times, but never on a proper cultural holiday. So this is what we did last week on a quick 5 day road trip around Merida, Sevilla, Zahara, Grazalema, Ronda, Setenil de las Bodegas, Granada, Sierra Nevada, Alpujarra granadina, Consuegra and Toledo. It was great to spend sometime with wonderful friends, visit lovely places and eat delicious food. I definitely want to go back again very soon because I feel like there's so much more to explore!

Since we mostly visited towns and cities, I barely took any landscape photos. However, I concentrated on photographing quaint and colorful corners and streets of these places. What do you think?

Camera: Fujifilm XT2 // Lenses: 16mm f1,4 and 23mm f1,4

Faroe Islands

We went on a 21 day road trip from the Basque Country all the way up to the Faroe Islands and it was the best type of adventure to heal our minds and hearts. These are some of the memories from this wonderful place. 

Winter wonderland in Switzerland

One week roaming this beautiful country in our van

And just like that we are back from Switzerland. We left one week ago and we got back home last night. This was our third time to this beautiful country and the third time we traveled around its quaint little towns in our van. 

The first day we drove for over eight hours and we stopped near Lyon (France) to spend the night  on one of those big gas stations along the highway. We were very close to Geneve but my husband had been working the morning shift and we were tired to continue driving. After a good night sleep we ventured onward to one of the most beautiful valleys in the country, a place we visit every time we return to Switzerland, a tiny village called Lauterbrunnen. This time though, we took a train that goes to the Jungfrau (4158m). This train goes all the way up to the highest train station in Europe at 3454m, but we decided to stop in Wengen where the views where already incredible.  

This valley is very close to Interlaken, another favorite spot of us. Interlaken is a little town in between two lakes and there are tiny villages around them, just like this one below, called Iseltwald. 

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The next day, we drove to the other side of the mountains of the Jungfrau region. Our plan was to take a cable car all the way up to the viewpoint of Eggishorn (2927m) from where you can sit and stare for hours the Aletsch glacier. Unfortunately, once we got there, they told us that the top was covered in clouds and that it would be impossible to see anything. The worst was that it was already Tuesday and the rest of the days except for Friday (our last full day) the weather forecast said we would be having rain and snow. I have to admit that made us a bit sad, but it also pushed us to change our plans and search for other wonderful locations to explore. 

Until we made it to Italy. That is one of my favorite things about Europe... it's so easy to have breakfast in one country, lunch in another and spend the night on a third one. And all of them are so unique and beautiful.  We drove along Lago Maggiore (Italy) and suddenly we were surprised by the beauty of a little town called Cannero Riviera, and we didn't think about it twice, we found a camping by the lake where we spent our third night. 

It rained all night, and the sound of rain against the roof of the van was so relaxing... But when morning came we needed to get back on the road to drive through Valle de Verzasca. We were surprised by the magical fog over the lake and the mountains. The colorful towns along the road had such a unique mood. It was truly special, and perfect for the kind of photos I like to take. 

Our first stop of the day was in Lavertezzo. I'm sure you've already seen photos of this quaint little village of only a handful of houses and emerald color river that flows through the entire valley. 

The color of the freezing water and the big stones of the river are already perfect, and the stony bridge that connects both sides of the river is pretty unique too.

At the end of the road that crosses Valle de Verzasca, there were mountains also covered in fog. But that whole morning, even with pouring rain was so beautiful. We had to stop every few kilometers to take in the views around us and photograph a bit more. 

In the afternoon, we drove the to the famous town of Sankt Moritz, the famous ski station in Switzerland. On our way there, we were greeted by a white landscape, with frozen lakes that made everything feel so desolate, yet so peaceful at the same time.  

The next morning it was already Thursday, and even though it was still raining and snowing, we wanted to get closer to the Aletsch glacier and Zermatt area, because we were expecting good weather for Friday. So we woke up in time to watch the sunrise over a lake and then headed out towards Fribourg to spend the day and get some chocolate and cheese there... Always a must, if you are in Switzerland. 

On Thursday night we slept on an empty camping by the town of Fiesch. We watched the sun go down and stars lit up what would be the coldest night of our trip. We had static heating installed on our campervan so we slept pretty warm and comfy though. 

The next day, the sun rose around 7.30am and we got ready to get to the top of Eggishorn and then drive to Zermatt to catch a train to the Gornergrat glacier where we had lunch looking at the famous Matterhorn. 

I think it was the perfect ending to our week exploring the beauty of Switzerland. In the end, we were able to see everything we had planned, and a bit more. That's the best thing about roadtrips, you never know what lies ahead, and the road is part of the journey too. 

All these photos were shot with the Fujifilm XT2, along with the XF16mm f1.4, XF23mm f1.4 and XF18-55mm.

Edited with Forged presets by Tribe Red Leaf Studios who were kind enough to team with us and support us through their Field Trip Program. I'm very grateful to be part of such a wondeful collective. 

Hope you liked our little adventure!

See you soon!