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Posted on Mar 10, 2013 in Blog, Places | 2 comments

Early Morning Light in Asturias – Part II

Early Morning Light in Asturias – Part II

We’ve been rising early and working on our mini project to photograph Los Picos de Europa and surrounding peaks at sunrise.  The biggest challenge has been coping with the wind.  It’s been blowing head-on, which means not much chance of sheltering whilst shooting.  A new sturdy tripod head is definitely required! The weather conditions have been mixed.  I’ve been using the 50mm prime lens and even the 70-300mm to zoom in and pick interesting sections of the landscape.  The Tokina wide angle lens hasn’t left the camera bag.  Even when all looks hopeless, everything can change in an instant (and then disappear again).  The different light combined with wind and clouds has produced an amazing variation of colours.  Each sunrise is unique and for that reason alone, a good excuse to continue trying to capture them. The blue hour, before sunrise. Los Picos de Europa. Still appearing blue, the sun was yet to rise and covered by a thick blanket of cloud outside of the frame. The sky looked...

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Posted on Mar 6, 2013 in Blog, Places | 0 comments

Outside Asturias: Monfragüe, Extremadura

Outside Asturias: Monfragüe, Extremadura

A view of the ‘Dehesa‘.  Grazing land amongst the Cork, Holm and Portuguese oaks – taken from the path leading to Castillo de Monfragüe. Last weekend we crossed the border of Asturias, drove over the Cordillera Cantábrica mountain range and passed through Castile and Leon. As ‘aficionados de la naturaleza’ we’ve often been told “you must go to Monfragüe, it’s a birders paradise”. So Monfragüe National Park in Extremadura was the destination. We enjoyed clear blue skies, although the strong sun was accompanied by a cold wind. Bird sightings were of impressive quality.  Among the highlights were – Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Stork, Black Stork, Red Kite, Peregrine Falcon. As well as deer, fox and an otter family. Belinda watching for Griffon, Black and Egyptian vultures, Imperial Eagles and otters – from Portilla del Tiétar. We spotted them all from this viewpoint. A griffon vulture near the dam at La Malavuelta. A griffon vulture at Salto del Gitano. There was a large vulture colony...

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Posted on Feb 17, 2013 in Blog, Places | 5 comments

Playa de Vega, Ribadesella, Asturias

Playa de Vega, Ribadesella, Asturias

As the crow flies, La Playa de Vega is one of the closest beaches to where we live.  It’s situated east of Ribadesella, often windy and the sea has a strong current. A short river, ‘Río Acebo’ enters the sea here, dissecting part of the beach, a little too strong to cross without getting wet feet, especially holding a camera and dragging along a tripod. There’s also a small sand dune area as well as the Camino de Santiago running close by. But it was the rock formations and evening light that took our fancy this week.  We made 3 visits and recorded this moments. Rocks pointing towards the Mar Cantábrico. A different day and lower tide than the picture above, exposing more rock pools and the green algae. Rock pavement. Layered rock formations at the cliffs of Playa de Vega, which form part of the Jurassic coastline of Asturias. Sunset looking out towards the cliffs behind the village of Berbes on the left and La Isla in the distance....

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Posted on Feb 4, 2013 in Blog, Places | 0 comments

Early Morning Light in Asturias – Part I

Early Morning Light in Asturias – Part I

This week we’ve started a new project, to photograph the sunrise over the Picos de Europa mountains. El Sueve is a separate mountain range close to the coast and offers a good vantage point.  Better still, it’s not far from home and after a steep drive, we can be set up and ready to go within only 20 minutes of leaving the front door. So far we’ve had mixed results.  During our three attempts in the past week, we are yet to see a completely clear view of the Picos mountains.  The lack of snow has also been a little disappointing but there are plenty of other opportunities with the closer peaks, valleys and ridges. It has certainly been fun to get up early, arrive in the pitch black, set up the camera by torchlight and then wait for it to begin.  Each sunrise is unique.  Magical. Share...

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Posted on Jan 4, 2013 in Blog, Places | 0 comments

Sunrise & Sunset – Chasing the light in Asturias

Sunrise & Sunset – Chasing the light in Asturias

The southern winds have produced some fantastic skies in Asturias. We’ve spent many mornings and evenings chasing the light.  I’ve enjoyed arriving somewhere in the dark and then waiting for the magic to begin! Here is a selection from various locations in Asturias. Sunrise from Cabo Peñas, Asturias, looking east towards Los Picos de Europa. The same view, 25 minutes later. Still sunrise at Cabo Peñas, an hour after the first picture.  The mountains of Los Picos de Europa is a lot more defined now. The impressive cliffs at Cabo Peñas, the most northerly point of Spain. Sunset at Huexes, Parres, Asturias. Sunset at the coastal village of Candás. The moon rising, looking out to sea from Candás. Still in Candás.  30 minutes later. Share...

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Posted on Dec 6, 2012 in Blog, Places | 2 comments

From the Archives – La Tierra de Pinares, Segovia

From the Archives – La Tierra de Pinares, Segovia

In times of winter I occasionally like to look back through pictures of warmer days.   Back in August we headed south to Castilla (whilst many spaniards head north to Asturias!).  Most years we escape a huge local fiesta and visit friends in the region of Segovia. La Tierra de Pinares is an interesting landscape dominated by forests of Maritime & Scots Pine. A roe deer.  We watched a male and female for over an hour. Belinda watching a Little Bustard. We luckily spotted it crossing the road whilst driving but unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough with the camera. Nuthatch Azure-winged Magpie – we don’t find these in Asturias.  They are not shy and incredibly noisy. Share...

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