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Diego Lopez

I would like to photograph Mars canyons, or some planets from a nearby orbit.

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Featured Photographer

Diego Lopez

About

My profession is firefighter and I am a nature photographer by passion. I spent eight years devoted largely to this wonderful world. I took a first step with birds in Doñana and the marshes of Guadalquivir, an area in which I still work for long periods, although at the moment I concentrate mainly in landscapes and the biodiversity of Andalusia, in Spain. Currently, I am not interested in doing a great volume of photographs, but more into obtaining beautiful and surprising images as long as it takes, those that approach the photography to the art that this represents.

Website: www.diegolopezphotography.com

Interview

Why nature photography?
The feeling of freedom, solitude sometimes, the work in the countryside with my good friends and the exciting moments that nature offers us are irreplaceable in my life.

What's best about it?
Those moments of life that our cameras catch are also bound to emotions, feelings and memories. For instance, how hard it was, the time that it took me, what I was able to contemplate… all this will be joined for always to that image, with no doubt it’s part of your life. In addition, if it was “easy”, we might not be doing it, in fact sometimes the more difficult, the better (well…I am saying that now).

What's worst about it?
The frustration when things do not turn out as we would like. For instance, the cold feet in winter and the mosquitos of the Guadalquivir’s marshes have sometimes got me to end up in the emergency department of a hospital, but when you want something you go for it.

I suppose that if we really like it we do whatever we can or whatever it takes to conciliate the photography with the rest, sometimes we are successful and sometimes it’s harder to get to the aim. Nevertheless, and like everything in life, “the social” part sometimes is the one that we worst get on with, there are moments sometimes that are not very pleasant.

Favourite species and places in Europe?
Andalusia in Spain is one of the regions with greatest biodiversity of Europe. Living in this area and having so many natural treasures near, with an almost African light is a luxury and a motivation. For that reason I focus so much about it and its infinite possibilities. Outside Spain, in Finland and Iceland I found the freedom and the adventure of the pure photography.

What's in the bag?
My father gave me his Nikon equipment and since then I trust the make, it never failed on me. I usually take as much material for fauna as for landscapes and an enormous suitcase full of stuff: cables, cords, tweezers, tapes, nets... As far as tripods go, I have always used Manfrotto and Gitzo.

Your specialities / skills?
I am very demanding with what I like, patient and a fast learner. The fact of being demanding is sometimes an issue because it is incompatible with time, but if I can not make it this year, I will try the next. My head goes away dreaming about things that I could do and that often hit the hard reality, but from time to time they happen and this really fascinates me.

What will you do in your next life?
I would like to photograph Mars canyons, some planets from a nearby orbit and, why not, any galaxy!

3 tips for beginners
1) Perseverance, you will learn and obtain better results if you take photos during one week than taking photos sporadically.
2) You need to establish your aims, originally feasible and do not give up until you get it.
3) You get your photos in nature, not in a computer

Mission

My missions are taking place in Poland and Latvia, also aerial photography in the Cadiz Bay, in Spain.
In Poland, I have photographed Spotted Sousliks. I believe it’s a difficult mission, because they are not very trusting. In Latvia, I have taken images of birds, old forests of cork oaks and landscapes.
I have used different techniques to photograph animals, like infrared beams and wide-angle lens with remote control, to observe the habitat where they live. I also like lateral and back lights. For the landscapes I have tried to take photos with best lights. Finally, I have taken some aerial photos of beautiful landscapes in Latvia.

Best Picture

Best Picture
BAY OF CÁDIZ NATURAL PARK, SPAIN

What's cool about it?
I had already flown over this area several times, however, that day when we arrived, everything was green, an enormous meadow of seaweed remained in the open air after the tide went out and a group of gulls and herons used the nourishment that was left in the open. Nevertheless, the light was poor; the sky was practically covered leading me to use high ISO to compensate the movement of the plane. At a certain point a ray of warm light shined through the clouds illuminating in a subtle way that wonderful scene. That moment was worth everything.
I believe that this particular photo is so fascinating because initially you do not know what you are seeing, also the contrast of the colours gives the photo its strength, as well as the position of the meanders.

Could it be better?
I would have liked to see a greater number of gulls, or perhaps to have tried to take a photo at a lower altitude.

Behind the Scene
After one hour watching through a lens, doing difficult flights with the plane’s wing aiming at the ground, a very unpleasant sensation surrounds your head and stomach when you realize where you really are.

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