ef17-40mm

Finding inspiration in familiar places

Sometimes it's difficult to stay inspired. This happens to me quite often when we are not traveling to other places where everything seems to be more exciting than what we have at home. Sometimes, I don't see anything that catches my attention, because everything is familiar, same kind of roads, same forests, always the same places. This feeling became worse with the beginning of good weather and cloudless, blue skies. If you follow my work and have read previous blog entries, you will already know that I like cloudy, dramatic and foggy days in my photographs. So this led me to leave my camera at home for the last month and a half or so. 

This week, I really needed to change that attitude and I forced myself to bring the camera in my backpack all day long. Usually with my work schedule, I often have a few minutes either early in the morning or late in the evening to head to the mountains and make a couple of photos. And that's what I've been doing for the last few days. I also decided to use the 17-40mm lens that I hadn't used since last August, which has been really fun.

So these are some of the shots I made on Monday, when I went to wander around a little path I've seen over and over for so many years but I had never actually explored it. I loved coming across all that fern and wonderful leading lines. I also think it could be an interesting location for some portraits. What do you say?

The next set was taken yesterday morning when I drove to the very familiar road (by now in my photos) on the way to the mountain near my hometown. I had just finished teaching my first class at 8.30am when I decided to take a chance and see what I could find. I was surprised to see that the morning mist was still lingering, and as I walked up the narrow back country road the sun started burning through all the fog creating a beautiful ambiance. 

These aren't by any means the greatest photos of all time, but for me they are good enough to make me feel better and to know that each day can be an exciting and beautiful day even if it is photographing the same familiar places only a few minutes away from home.

Guess what I have in my backpack today, too? I'm taking my bike this evening, hoping to make it on time for sunset to a little river I know of, only a short ride away from home. 

Solo Roadtrip

Today I went on a solo roadtrip along the coast of the Basque Country. I only planned the first stop, I let the road take me to the rest of the places and they did not disappoint. I got ready pretty early in the morning and found the beach that I wanted to see empty. It is usually a really touristic spot for many who choose to see the unique geology of our coast. Have you ever heard of the flysch? Check it out here

I had been to Sakoneta before when we did a 15km hike along this impressive coast, but I really wanted to find that little road that leads up to a path to the sea. Yep, I did my research last night and found it without any problems. After wandering around the slippery rocks and being very impressed with the roots of the Earth, as I call these lines, I went back to the car and drove towards my second stop. 

I didn't plan to get there but somehow, driving around and seeing how close I was I decided to give it a try and I'm so glad I went! This is the Basilica of Loiola, a historical place known for being the home of Ignacio de Loiola (those who believe will probably know who I'm talking about). I didn't go for religious purposes but because of its dome, in the central part of the building. The inside is just outstanding. Somehow I love the architecture of churches, cathedrals and stuff. And this one is worth visiting, here is why.

I loved it, and I'm so glad the road took me there. There weren't as many tourists as I expected, so I was free to walk around and shoot as many photographs as I wanted. After my quick visit here I decided to eat my sandwhich just outside this place, out in the shade, and also check the road to get to my last spot. I don't know why but I guess I was in the mood for cool architecture today, so I visited the Sanctuary of Arantzazu. A really awesome location in the middle of some of the highest mountains in the Basque Country and built by some of the greatest Basque and Spanish artists. 

Compared to the previous church, which was built in the late 17th century, this is a new building because the construction started in 1950 after it was burnt down in three different fires during the wars. It's not a typical building and that's probably one of the reasons why so many people choose to visit it. 

All in all, it's been a solid 10/10 day. A little too sunny and hot in the morning but the clouds took over in the evening and made the scenery moodier, just as I like it. I only brought one camera with me, the Canon 6D and the 17-40mm. Somehow this was the perfect combination even though I hadn't planned to visit these architectural locations. 

I have something on my mind for tomorrow, too. We are expecting clouds and rain, and who knows if I get lucky, a proper foggy scenery when I wake up. We'll see.