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I have always thought that a landscape photograph can only be classified as fine art when it essentially communicates information about the photographer and the way he or she relates to a certain place. A fine art photograph cannot be just  a mere representation of a place or the record of a moment in the photographer’s life, but needs to be a clear and personal statement of how the photographer understands, feels and imagines a certain place and a certain moment. Basically, a landscape photograph becomes a fine art photograph when its storytelling goes beyond the subject matter represented in the photograph and transcends a mere list of nouns which identify the different elements depicted in the image.

This might imply that we are likely to struggle if we want to create artistic and personal work out of an iconic landscape. How to enable our inner voice to be heard by the viewers when the subject itself is astounding? How to create a personal photograph from an iconic vista or subject which stands alone as original, different and genuine?

As I have grown and matured as a photographer and as an artist, my expectations from photography have equally evolved. In the beginning, I used photography to record places and as a way to illustrate my travel adventures. As years passed and I photographed more of the world, I realized how photography could be used as an artistic outlet to express not just what I saw, but what I felt. To communicate not what was around me, but inside me. That was a revelation which changed the way I would perceive photography for the rest of my life. I was not a photographer anymore, but an artist with simply another tool in his hands. A tool with which I could show others the wonders of the apparently banal, the mystery of the unclear, questions instead of answers and so become a medium for a world many others could not see.

One would think that this different approach would steer me away from iconic places for the rest of my life. And indeed it did, at least partially. Having the opportunity of exploring the “unknown of the well-known” and discover myself through photography in the solitude that ‘banal’ places offer was something I started to appreciate immensely. I was free from the tyranny of external factors like subject, light or technique, and the strength of my photography became increasingly due to internal factors like vision, feelings, memories … I could photograph my local forest for the rest of my life and be content.

However, I did not stop photographing icons, not completely. Doing so would have made me a victim of the same human preconceptions which made them iconic. Indeed, iconic places were banal at the beginning, and became iconic due to their extraordinary appeal once we tagged them with such a label. I realized I could still photograph icons in a highly personal way if I approached them with a clear mind, free of expectations, free of preconceptions and free of existing visual templates seen from other photographers. Most of all, I realized I could make a personal statement if I focused not on the subject matter, but on its essence, the way an iconic place represented something bigger than itself.

Living in Switzerland, I have visited the Matterhorn on countless occasions. This could have created such a familiarity that it became banal to me. However, over time, I have stopped seeing the “Matterhorn” and I have started to see in it a symbolic “mountain” value. The evening I took this photograph, banner clouds had started to form. The sun was setting behind the mountains and the last rays of light diffracted along the Matterhorn ridge. I saw the symbolic value of the scene; the mountain as if it was a volcano, creating its own weather where light seemed to emanate from the mountain itself. I framed tightly, set up a neutral density filter and took a long exposure photograph, allowing the clouds to soften and to increase, by contrast, the jagged nature of the mountain. I could barely take two photographs before the Sun sunk completely and the light was gone.

NOTE: This is our secondary blog. Our main blog can be found on www.rafaelrojasphoto.com/blog

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Bonjour à tous!

Nous sommes très ravis d’annoncer que notre voyage photographique “Namibie: Désert et Vie Sauvage – 2014″ est ouvert aux inscriptions online.

Joignez Rafael Rojas, photographe professionnel de paysage et de nature et Anca Minican dans ce voyage photographique exclusif en Namibie qui aura lieu du 11 au 24 mai 2014.

Durant deux semaines, nous photographierons certains des endroits les plus incroyables de tout le continent africain : Les plus hautes dunes de sable sur terre, le paysage saisissant de NamibRand, des imposantes montagnes de granit s’élevant des plaines, des arbres surréalistes et graphiques qui semblent être d’une autre planète, la faune impressionnante d’Etosha…

Ce sera un Voyage Photo exclusive, tout inclus, détendu et en même temps très bien organisé de sorte que vous passiez votre temps à photographier plutôt que d’être constamment sur la route et durant lequel nous bénéficierons des meilleurs services d’hébergement, de restaurations et de transport offerts dans le pays, dont beaucoup créent à eux seuls une expérience mémorable.

Vous trouverez toute les informations, photos, brochure PDF de 26 pages ainsi que les témoignages de nos ancients clients sur notre site web, ici.

 

Voici quelques témoignages des participants de notre voyage en Namibie 2013:

Aubra F., USA

J’ai récemment passé 14 jours incroyables dans un voyage photo en Namibie avec Rafael Rojas et Anca Minican. Le voyage a été parfaitement orchestré du début à la fin. Que ce soit un photographe débutant ou averti, Rafael et Anca répondent magistralement aux besoins et expectatives de chaque participant. Je suis toujours inspiré par la passion de Rafael pour son métier et sa capacité et désir unique de partager ses considérables connaissances avec les autres. C’est un vrai cadeau !. Rafael et Anca sont les hôtes accomplis. Je suis parti du voyage enrichi, remplie, avec un bon nombre de photos fantastiques, et des souvenirs qui dureront toute une vie.

Yves C., Suisse

Organisateurs joviaux, méthodiques, multilingues et déterminés, ayant le sens du détail et de la perfection, rayonnant d’une atmosphère positive Rafael et Anca nous ont mijoté un voyage aux petits oignons… L’œil photographique juste, les qualités d’enseignant patient de Rafael ont sans doute contribués à l’amélioration de mes connaissances (et celles de chacun aussi !) techniques en photos sur le terrain, comme en post traitement. Tout ceci dans des paysages de rêves : En Namibie. Une réussite totale!

Luke C., USA

N’ayant jamais participé à un voyage photographique avant, je ne savais pas à quoi m’attendre et j’étais un peu inquiet … mais à ma grande joie, il était exceptionnel. Rafael et Anca sont les hôtes parfaits et leur magnifique attention au détail a abouti à un voyage photo que je n’oublierai jamais dans ma vie. Je n’hésiterai pas à m’inscrire à nouveau pour une autre expérience incroyable!

Marie-Eve G., Suisse

Voyage inoubliable tant par les endroits choisis par Rafael que par l’organisation sur place ! Hébergements dans des lieux fantastiques permettant un accès idéal aux lieux de prises de vue. Rafael sait nous transmettre tout au long du voyage sa passion de la photo et des lieux qu’’il connaît parfaitement. Les parties « théorique » s’intègrent parfaitement dans les séances de prise de vue sans que cela devienne scolaire pour autant !

Bernard D., Suisse

Des paysages à couper le souffle, des lodges improbables au milieu du désert, un camping de rêve sous les acacias et la voie lactée omniprésente, une organisation sans faille , Anca et Rafael nous ont offert un voyage magique, hors du temps, qui vous imprègne encore après.

On peut appréhender , avant le voyage , l’idée de vivre dans un groupe de 12 personnes qui vous sont inconnues ? Aucun problème avec nos deux organisateurs qui ont su créer le climat qui nous a permis de devenir complices.

Pour la partie photographique, les variétés de paysages choisis par Rafael, son implication permanente et ses conseils avisés rehaussent encore la qualité de cette expérience.

Yvonne et René H., Belgique

La Namibie est une destination de rêve pour un amateur de paysage et de photographie. Le parcourt, les lieux et les moments choisis subliment ce très beau voyage. Anca et Rafael ont pensé à tout pour que celui-ci soit un souvenir inoubliable. Bravo et merci à vous deux.

Justine E., Suisse

Des paysages époustouflants, des rencontres humaines bouleversantes, beaucoup de rires, une organisation parfaite et des milliers de souvenirs font que ce voyage restera inoubliable ! Un immense Merci Anca et Rafael pour ces moments magiques et à bientôt !

Jean C., France

En plus d’être un photographe talentueux, Rafael s’attache à nous accompagner dans notre démarche photographique … Sa passion et son enthousiasme pour la photo est contagieuse ;) Un voyage photo cuisiné aux petits oignons. Vraiment de la haute couture ! Merci et bravo à tous les deux… À vous revoir avec plaisir.

 

N’hésitez pas à nous contacter si vous avez encore des questions et à bientôt,…peut être sur les dunes du désert de Namib?

NOTE: Ceci est notre blog sécondaire. Le blog principal se trouve sur http://www.rafaelrojasphoto.com/blog

Rafael et Anca,

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We are really glad to announce that our new Photo-Immersion trip Finland, Kingdom of Silence 2014, which will take place from the 9th to the 16th of February 2014 has been published on our website this month and is open for registrations. So far, there are only three places available.

In winter, the boreal forest of the Finnish Lapland becomes a surrea­listic kingdom of silence, where trees turn into sculptures, the sun skims the horizon and the northern lights paint the skies. Nowhere else is winter as magical as here.

Our Photo Immersion trip will coincide with the peak of the auroral activity and with the full moon. During a whole week, we will photograph the otherworldly trees of the boreal forest encrusted with ice and snow, rock canyons, frozen lakes and rivers­ and northern lights in two of the most amazing national parks of the Finnish Lapland.

During the entire week we will be based at our exclusive and comfortable log house, from where we will be able to easily reach all our chosen photographic areas and adapt ourselves to the different weather and light conditions. It will be here too where we will be able to discuss photography in front of a convivial­ log fire in the evenings, and relax in our sauna after a magical day of winter photography.

Join us on this exclusive Photo-Immersion trip to one of the most magical winter wonderlands on Earth, the Finnish Lapland.
A very limited number of places is still available (3 places remaining), for all photographic levels. The official languages for this photo-immersion trip will be English and French.

You will be able to find all the information related to this Photo-Immersion trip, download the full PDF brochure and proceed to the online registration here.

See you under the northern lights!

NOTE: This is our secondary blog. You will find our main blog on the url http://www.rafaelrojasphoto.com/blog

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Hi all,

This blog has not been very active lately, as many of you might have seen. The reason is we have been really busy finishing a long 3 year work on our new website, http://www.rafaelrojasphoto.com, which has been finally released.

One of the many new additions to our website has been an integrated blog, which from now on you will find on http://www.rafaelrojasphoto.com/blog/

As a consequence, we will not make more additions to the blog you are reading right now, and all new posts will be published only on http://www.rafaelrojasphoto.com/blog

You will be able to sign up for RSS feeds or for notifications by email from our new blog.

We will be really glad to see you around, and we are really looking forward to your contributions. With the website over, our blog will be updated way more often with new content, photographs and news about my photographic endeavors.

See you and great light to you all! ;-)

 

NEW BLOG!

NEW BLOG!

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From here, we would like to wish you some wonderful Christmas and an even better new year 2013 full of dreams come true !

See you soon in a couple of weeks, with many many many exciting news coming !! ;-)

Merry Christmas 2013_Rafael RojasRafael

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Hi there!

We would like to let you know that our new photographic Workshops for the year 2013 have just been published on our website.

You will find the whole list of courses available and will be able to download the PDF brochures of each of the workshops (either in French or in English) here:

http://rafaelrojasphoto.com/workshops.php

Feel free to forward this information to those who might be interested! As the number of places is quite reduced, the workshops tend to sold out quite soon.

We are looking forward to meeting you and sharing with you some great light!

rafael

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Bonjour à tous,

Nous vous annonçons que nos nouveaux stages photographiques pour l’année 2013 viennent d’être publiés sur notre site web.

Vous trouverez la liste de stages disponibles et pourrez télécharger les brochures PDF soit en français soit en anglais de chaque stage sur le lien:

http://rafaelrojasphoto.com/workshops.php

N’hésitez pas à envoyer cette information à vos proches qui pourraient être intéressés de nous rejoindre. Les nombre de places est assez réduit et normalement les stages se remplissent assez vite.

Au plaisir de vous rencontrer et de partager avec vous de belles lumières!

rafael

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Acaba de salir la nueva edición de la revista electrónica (gratuita) de Arte Fotográfico, con la habitual columna “Luz Natural” que escribe un servidor. Este mes están además de celebración, ya que que la Confederación Española de Fotografía a concedido el Premio Nacional de Fotografía a la revista AF online.

Para acceder a la revista, pinchad aquí.

Espero que os guste! Dentro de unos tres meses, más!

Buena luz a todos!

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I am humbled to announce that two of my photographs have just been awarded in the last Px3 People’s choice awards!

After 22’585 votes of the general public, the photograph “Burning Peak” has obtained a Gold Medal, and the Portfolio “Icelandic Waters” has obtained a Silver Medal in the Nature category.

Px3 People’s Choice Awards are managed by the “Prix de Photographie de Paris” and allow the general public to vote for the best photographs submitted to this renowned contest.

The “prix de la photographie, Paris” (px3) strives to promote the appreciation of photography, to discover emerging talent, and to introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris. Winning photographs from this competition are displayed in a high profile gallery in Paris and published in the high-quality full color px3 annual book.

You can see the whole list of winners here!

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Hi there!

Geez, it has been some time since I last showed up on the blog. In fact, I have been unconnected for a month from all social media, sites,internet and my blog. Contrary to what you might believe, this apparent “lack of movement” in fact is due to the biggest peak of activity I have had in my business in the last years, in terms of projects I am working on. New ebooks, new photo trips, new workshops, new blog, new website, new communication tools, and most of all, a whole range of new photographs are in the pipeline from my last travels in Norway, Finland and Scotland. I am already counting the days till all that is going to be released, so stay tuned since more news will be coming soon progressively…

Otherwise, I am very glad to let you know I have become regular columnist in the electronic version of the Spanish Photography magazine “Arte Fotográfico“. This electronic magazine, which is distributed for free every 4 months, is the sister publication of the printed magazine with the same name. Arte Fotográfico is the oldest and one of the most acknowledged publications in Spain devoted to Photography, in all its sorts and fields but mainly focused on artistic and professional photography. Every 4 months, I will be the author of one of its sections, called “Luz Natural” (Natural light), where one of my photographs and the story which lies behind will be unveiled.

You can find here the last number of the magazine.  On this issue, one of the new photographs which will be released in the new website soon…offered by the Gods of Valhalla.

Spanish only!

Take care you all and great light to you! ;-)

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