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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

The last few weeks I have been travelling a bit around urban environments.

First, it was Paris. I was attending Paris Photo 2013, one of the biggest fairs of photographic art in the world.

With more than 55,239 entrances this year,136 galleries and 28 booksellers and publishers participated to the 17th edition of the fair. Paris Photo draws every year an audience of collectors, exhibit curators, institutions, and photographers from more than 40 countries.

During the many hours I spent there, I saw wonderful photographs and books, absorbing deeply inspiring work and had the chance of meeting some really interesting people, gallery owners and book publishers. I was also struck by the general interest photography is raising among the general public. The place was really filled with people from all over the world.

That being said, and if I am honest with you, I got a bit saddened by the strong presence of fashions and trends in the art market. Here and there, many different photographic artwork was displayed showing the very same kinds of subject matter, style and mood, as if a certain number of templates had overrun the mind of many different artists at once. Huge prints, pastel colours, long exposures, great expanses with minimalistic human presence was one of those templates. Even bigger prints, interiors of derelict constructions full of detail in great colours was another one. Shocking images showing nudes with lack of taste another… etc. In a certain way, it seemed as if many photographers had received a bunch of similar phone calls…

If art is the expression of personal vision and how a certain individual relates to the world, how is it possible that so many individuals start showing the very same kind of expression, all at once? Too much a coincidence. Maybe in the art world sometimes things start the other way around. The market asks for something, then the artist photographers provide it. In any case, I will never understand that procedure. For me, photography opens the door to a personal voyage, a catalyzer to a deeper connection, understanding and respect for those universal questions that haunt and lure us. Personal style evolves slowly, and reflects who we are and how we grow. If that mixes well with the current trend or fashion, great. If not, why care?. In fact, photographing what the trend dictates is the best solution for never be doing something original, always trying to catch the wave crest but never being able to reach it on time. Maybe I am just an ignorant, but if I were a photography collector, I would always try to buy what is not in fashion. That might be a good start point to get closer to “truer” artists, who produce what the gut and soul dictate, not what the market wants.

Do not take me wrong though. I had a wonderful time at Paris Photo, and the positive really surpassed the negative. I will go again next year, and who knows, maybe represented or published?… and well, even if that is not the case, there will always be a good dish of “Canard confit” waiting for me in Paris.

The second urban incursion was in Venice. During 5 days, we held our annual Photo-Immersion trip “Timeless Venice”. We had the chance of having with us a group of 6 fantastic photographers. Day and night we walked along the streets of Venice, soaking up its mystery, magic and timeless character. We had the chance of photographing not only the more iconic places, but also many other quite out of the beaten track. Day, night, sunrise, sunset, dawn, sunny, rainy, dry, aqua alta… we had the chance of experiencing very different weather and light conditions. All participants had a blast, and as I could see during the critique sessions we had at the hotel, all of them brought fantastic images. From here, I thank them all for their enthusiasm, friendship and great laughs!

I have no photos to illustrate this trip. I was so busy helping the participants that I decided to leave the camera at the hotel during the whole stay. Here I am posting a photograph from last year… not published yet on the website. Hasselblad 500CM camera and a good piece of Tmax 100 black and white film.

I will be visiting the floating city still a few times this winter for my ongoing project “Timeless”. Then, during the month of December 2014 we will hold again the photo-immersion trip “Timeless Venice 2014”. If you are interested, we have already published the information and the trip is open for registrations on our website, here.

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

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A couple of days ago we came back from our annual photographic trip “Lofoten: autumn moods”. Beyond the arctic circle, we shared with an incredible group of 6 photographers the magic of the Lofoten islands, truly a paradise for landscape photographers. This was one of those trips where everything turns perfect… We enjoyed a wonderful and varied weather, full moon, peaking autumn colors and even some bright auroras danced for us on a couple of nights.

Following our philosophy of our photo-immersion trips, we were based during the whole duration of the event in a same place, three comfortable and cozy huts by the ocean, from where we could visit many different places depending on the weather and light conditions. Our Photo Immersion trips offer a slightly different approach: to slow down our pace, to forget about running after photographic trophies and to focus on creating highly personal work about a specific area for a certain number of days. We minimize the travel in space to focus on travel in the light, travel through the changes in the weather, travel in time. Every day, we photograph a certain “playground” where you will notice that conditions are never the same. Every day, we get a little closer to the spirit of the place. Every day, we make a better friend. In a way, we focus on a type of internal travel, rather than an external one.

I have been quite a few times to the Lofoten islands already, and the truth is I never grow tired of it. There are few places on Earth where the juxtaposition between mountain and ocean is as strong and dramatic as here. Vertical cliffs of granite rise from the depths of the cold waters of the Norwegian Sea, like ancient monsters stranded on the beach and the rocky coast. Granite; eroded, sculpted and shaped by the elements during eons of time, sets the stage for this Wagnerian landscape, where the sea and the land battle with each other forming fjords and creating a paradise of negative and positive space at both sides of the shore.

We will be organizing this photo-immersion trip for next year 2014. In case you are interested, you will be able to find all the information about the trip and book a place here. We are really looking forward to sharing with you the light of the Valhalla!

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

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In just three weeks I and Anca will be leaving for the norwegian arctic, where we will be leading a group of fellow photographers in the peak of the autumn magic in the Lofoten islands, one of the most photogenic and incredible places of this planet.

Our 2013 edition photo-trip sold out in a few days, and for good reason. We cannot think of a better place for landscape photographers: Mountains, sea, northern lights, autumn colours in the forest and the moss, dramatic weather and light conditions, wonderful villages nestled between granite and water.

We have decided to repeat this photo-trip next year. Our new edition of the Photo-Immersion trip “Lofoten: autumn colours 2014” has just been published on our website and is now open for registrations.

You will be able to find all the information, photos, itinerary, details, full PDF brochure and clients’ testimonials on our website, here.

We are looking forward to sharing with you the light of the Valhalla!

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

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Dans quelques semaines, Anca et moi partirons vers l’arctique norvégien, où nous encadrerons un groupe de photographes au milieu de la magie de l’automne des îles Lofoten, l’un des endroits les plus spectaculaires dans le monde.

Notre édition 2013 de ce voyage a été rempli dans quelques jours seulement, et cela avec juste raison. On ne peut pas imaginer un endroit plus fort pour les photographes de paysage: des montagnes effilées qui tombent à pic dans l’océan, des aurores boréales, des forêts habillées en or, une lumière et des conditions météo impressionnantes…

Nous avons décidé de réaliser à nouveau ce voyage photographique l’année 2014. Notre prochain voyage Photo-Immersion “Lofoten: couleurs d’automne 2014” vient d’être publié dans notre site web et est déjà ouvert aux inscriptions online ici.

Vous trouverez toutes les informations, photos, détails, brochure PDF de 25 pages ainsi que des témoignages de nos clients sur notre page web, ici.

Rejoignez-nous. On sera vraiment ravi de partager avec vous les lumières magiques du Valhalla!

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

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Imagine a place of infinite sand beaches, tidal flats, and endless dunes covered with grass swaying in the wind, waves crashing on deserted shores and in the background, sensual mountains rising from the water… Now, add some of the wildest and most dramatic light conditions you can imagine and a delightful sense of remoteness. That is the Isle of Harris.

Join us on our new photo-immersion trip to the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, “Isle of Harris, Hebridean Watercolours 2014”, which will take place from the 2nd to the 8th of November 2014.

During a whole week, we will photograph a constantly changing landscape where the magical brushes of light and weather paint over a canvas of sand, water and grass in this gem of the Outer Hebrides.

This will be an All Inclusive Photo Immersion trip conducted personally by Rafael Rojas and Anca Minican. During the entire week we will be based at our comfortable hotel from where we will be able to easily reach all our chosen photographic areas and adapt ourselves to the different weather and light conditions.

If there is a place which seems been made for landscape photographers, it is the Isle of Harris. By far our favourite location in Scotland and one of our preferred places on this planet.

You will be able to find all the information, photos, itinerary, details, full PDF brochure and clients’ testimonials from our website, here.

We are looking forward to sharing with you the light of the Hebrides!

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

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Imaginez un endroit de plages de sable infinies, d’estuaires, de dunes sans fin recouvertes d’herbe balayée par le vent, de vagues se brisant sur les rivages et, comme toile de fond, de montagnes s’élevant au-dessus de l’océan… Maintenant, ajoutez les conditions de lumière les plus impressionnantes que vous pouvez imaginer et une touche de bout du monde. Bienvenue sur l’île de Harris.

Rejoignez nous dans notre prochain voyage photo-immersion dans cette terre mythique, “Île de Harris: Aquarelles des Hébrides 2014” qui aura lieu du 2 au 8 novembre 2014. Durant une semaine entière, nous photographierons le paysage en constant changement de ce joyau des Hébrides extérieures en Écosse.

Ce sera un voyage Photo Immersion exclusif dirigé personnellement par Rafael Rojas et Anca Minican. Tout au long de la semaine, nous serons confortablement basés dans un hôtel duquel nous serons en mesure d’atteindre aisément toutes les zones photographiques sélectionnées et nous adapter aux différentes conditions de lumière et météorologiques.

S’il y a un lieu semblant être créé pour les photographes de paysage, c’est sans aucun doute l’île de Harris. De loin, notre destination favorite en Écosse et l’une de nos préférées sur cette planète…

Vous pourrez trouver toute l’information relative à ce voyage, photos, brochure PDF complète, témoignages de nos clients et procéder à l’enregistrement online ici.

Rejoignez-nous et partagez avec nous les lumières magiques de l’Écosse!

NOTE: Ceci est notre blog sécondaire. Notre blog principal est sur http://www.rafaelrojasphoto.com/blog

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If there is a place we would never grow tired of visiting and photographing in this world, that is Namibia. That is why we have decided to run another photographic trip to this landscape photographer’s heaven next year. Our photographic trip “Namibia, desert & wildlife 2014” has just been published in our photo-trips page and is open for online registrations. If things happen like last year, we expect places to run out fast, so if you are interested please register sooner than later to avoid disappointment. You will be able to find all the information, photos and a full PDF brochure of 26 pages here.

Here is what some of the participants of this trip in 2013 had to say:

Aubra F., USA

I recently spent 14 incredible days on a photo trip to Namibia with Rafael Rojas an Anca Minican. The entire trip was perfectly orchestrated from start to finish. Whether a novice or serious photographer, Rafael and Anca masterfully meet each participants needs. I am continually inspired by Rafael’s passion for his craft and his unique ability and desire to share his considerable knowledge. It is a gift. Rafael and Anca are the consummate hosts. I left enriched, fulfilled, made some fantastic photographs, and now have memories that will last a lifetime.

Yves C., Switzerland

Rafael and Anca are jovial, methodical, multilingual and determined organizers, with enormous attention to detail and always striving for perfection, radiating a positive atmosphere. Rafael’s photographic eye and qualities as a patient teacher have deeply contributed to the improvement of my photographic work, not only in the field, but also at post-processing. And all this in the dream landscapes of Namibia! A total success!

Luke C., USA

Having never been on a photo-trip before I did not know what to expect and was somewhat apprehensive of the anticipated trip…but to my delight and amazement, it was outstanding. Rafael and Anca were the perfect hosts and had made sure that every little detail was provided which resulted in a photo-trip of a lifetime that will never be forgotten. And, I would not hesitate to sign up again for another incredible experience!

Marie-Eve G., Switzerland

Unforgettable photo-trip, not only for the places chosen by Rafael but for his top-notch organization ! Incredible accommodation in lodges ideally placed to maximize the photographic opportunities. Rafael knew how to pass on to us his passion for photography and his detailed knowledge about all places we photographed. The photographic tuition was perfectly integrated into the different photographic sessions in a very practical way, without it becoming too academic or theoretical !

Bernard D., Switzerland

Breathtaking landscapes, unbelievable lodges in the middle of the desert, a dream camping under the acacia trees and the milky way, a perfect organization… Rafael and Anca have offered us a magical photo-trip, out of this time, which remains with you long after it is finished…Sharing a couple of weeks with a group of strangers is always a tricky thing…but not a problem at all with Rafael and Anca, who knew how to create a great ambiance in the group and foster the complicity of all its members.In terms of photography, the sheer variety of the places chosen by Rafael, his permanent implication and his effective photographic tuition elevated the quality of this experience to a higher level.

Yvonne & René H., Belgium

Namibia is without doubt a dream destination for every landscape photographer. The itinerary, the places and the timing chosen by Rafael and Anca for this photo-trip made it border on the sublime. Rafael and Anca’s attention to detail turned this trip into an unforgettable experience. Congratulations and thanks so much to both of you.

Justine E., Switzerland

Mind-boggling landscapes, an unforgettable group of people, lots of laughs, a perfect organization of the trip and magical souvenirs which made this photo-trip unforgettable! A huge thank you to Rafael and Anca for all these magical moments and see you again!

Jean C., France

Not only is Rafael a very talented photographer, but he also knows how to coach and foster his participants’ photographic work. His enthusiastic passion for photography is highly contagious! A top-notch photographic trip! Thanks so much to both of you! I am looking forward to seeing you again.

If you have any question related to this photo-trip, just let us know!

NOTE: This is our secondary blog, our main blog is on http://www.rafaelrojasphoto.com/blog

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