Photo-Immersion 2019 Asturias, Atlantic heaven
5th - 12th October 2019

In the Atlantic north of Spain, one of the most spectacular hidden gems of the natural world can be found. 

Inland, wild mountains covered by lush vegetation are the home of bears and wolves in some of the most beautiful deciduous forests of Europe. Up in the summits, eagles sore over the white snowed peaks of towering mountains. Down in the valley, small villages still live an ancestral life, simple, authentic.  

As we get closer to the ocean, the land ends abruptly and sinks into the sea creating one of the most spectacular coastlines of the whole world. Along the whole coast of Asturias and Galicia, a mixture of vertical cliffs, secret coves, never-ending beaches, sea stacks, caves and estuaries alternate creating a feast for the landscape photographer. 

But the rocks... oh, the rocks! Geology has created some of the most beautiful patterns, colours and shapes to be found on Earth. Flysch, slate, quartzites and other rocks mix into natural canvasses full of the most beautiful shapes, colours and textures. Every time the tides get it and out, a whole new world of intimate landscapes are revealed to the photographer. 

 

The philosophy of this Photo Immersion Trip


Photography is not the goal, but the path. Nowa­days, we all rush through our life. We travel fast and we see the world without experiencing it. We think that in order to see more, we need to move faster.­ But the truth is that travelling in time and light, ­travelling through mood and weather is often more rewarding. Feelings and emotions, experiences and souvenirs, are not measured in quantity, but in qua­lity. Slowing down makes you connect more with a place. When you slow down, your inner landscape tends to blend with the outer one. And then, magic happens. Life is like a good whisky, and should be consumed in small sips. Photography is the best of the glasses for that whisky.

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 minimise 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.
During our Photo Immersion trips, we will hold daily briefings, general tutorials and “in the field” instruction together with occasional commentary and feedback sessions with image reviews, thereby tackling all aspects related to photography: Vision, composition, visual design, technique, post-processing, workflow, light and weather, the philosophy of photography, information about the different places, travel logistics, etc.

A special working session will be held during our Photo-Immersion trip to Asturias devoted to night photography, which will be very useful for photographing one of the clearest and most amazing night skies in the world.

This Photo Trip will also give you the opportunity of seeing how Rafael works, how he visualises, composes and creates his photographs in the field. Some of his photographs taken during the trip will also be used as examples during the lectures and critique sessions held during the photographic trip.

We want to eliminate all the hassle of travelling so that we can focus on creative photography and maximize our natural immersion in the location. For our entire stay we will be based at an exclusive and isolated hotel by the ocean, right in the middle of the most spectacular and unspoiled regions of Asturias. This will allow us to make the most of the conditions, tailoring our programme to the weather and light we will expe­rience during our trip, and taking advantage of the huge variety this area has to offer in terms of photographic opportunities without spending too much time on the road.

During this photo-trip, we will photograph in all kinds of light conditions: sunrise, sunset, dawn, dusk, day and night. Variety is the name!

 

For the full detailed information, please download our detailed PDF brochure at the bottom of the right column of this page.

The Itinerary


Day 1 - 5th October 2019 - Arrival in Asturias

We will pick you up at the Asturias airport (Oviedo) on the first day and transfer you to our cosy hotel, isolated and by the ocean, which will serve as our base. We will have dinner together, get acquainted and introduce the workshop. We might already photograph the sunset.

Days 2 to 7

For 5 full days, we will explore and photograph the most interesting and photogenic areas of the coast, conveniently loca­ted close to our home base. 

Our daily schedule will vary depen­ding on the locations we will visit, the light and weather conditions and very importantly the tides. 
A typical day will hold several photographic sessions in different locales and post-processing sessions with review of images. 

Day 8 - 12th October 2019 - End of Photo-Immersion trip

We will hold a last sunrise photographic session by the ocean. Then, we will have breakfast toge­ther and officially end the photographic trip. We will arrange the transfers to Asturias Airport for all participants.

 

Included and excluded


Included:

- Tour led by Rafael Rojas and Anca Minican

- "In the field’ photography advice, daily briefings, commentary sessions & image reviews

- Accommodation in exclusive hotel, isolated by the ocean

- Single occupancy for all participants

- Wonderful breakfasts, lunches and dinners with typical  Asturian gastronomy

- All non-alcoholic drinks.

- Transport during the whole stay

- Unforgettable experiences and a lot of fun!

- Transfers from and to the airport of Asturias

Excluded

- Photographic and clothing equipment

- International and domestic flights

- Any meals other than those stated in the detailed itinerary

- Personal expenses: telephone, gifts,...

- Alcoholic beverages

- Medical and Accident Insurance (compul­sory for all participants)

- Cancellation insurance (strongly recommended)

 

Other details


Photography Level

All photographic levels, from beginners to advanced photographers are welcome. A certain familiarity with your camera will be very beneficial in order to get the most from this photographic trip.

Exertion Level

Normal to moderate. None of the places we will visit are far, but on some occasions we will need to make short hikes down to the ocean by using steep stairs. Although most walks are on good paths and trails, one needs to be able to carry the photographic equipment, so you should nevertheless be of good basic fitness. On some beaches, we will walk through rock boulders, pebbles and sand. Distances are short, but the ground can be uneven and slippery.  

Price

3'700 CHF (Swiss Francs) VAT incl.

Single Occupancy Supplement

Single Occupancy accommodation is included on this photo trip for all participants. Couples will be able to share the same room (twin beds, which may be put together).

Payment details

Deposit of 1,500 CHF to secure your place at the time of booking.

Full payment of the photo-trip due 120 days (4 months) prior to the departure date.

Cancellation Fees

Should you need to cancel this Photo Trip, the following fees apply:

- 90 days or more before the departure date: Your deposit fee

- 89 to 61 days before the departure date: 50% cancellation fee

- 60 days or less before the departure date: 100% cancellation fee

It is strongly recommended to acquire travel cancellation insurance. If you need any help, please contact us and we will be very glad to assist you.

Number of People

Very small group limited from 4 (minimum) to 6 (maximum). This number includes photographers and non-photographing partners/spouses.

Accommodation, Meals, and Transportation

Transportation will be in a van seating 9 people. Accommodation is in an exclusive hotel, isolated by the ocean. Breakfasts at the hotel. We will have lunch and dinner in typical and authentic restaurants in the area, adapted to our photographic plans. Get ready for a culinary feast, Asturias is known for the quality and diversity of its gastronomy! 

Non photographing spouses/partners

Non-photographing spouses and partners are ­welcome on this trip. Even though the dinner ­conversations will certainly revolve around photo­graphy, all locations visited will allow non-photographing partners and spouses to discover and fully enjoy some of the most incredible hidden gems of Asturias. Our knowledge of the area will take you to places you would never find on your own! Same rates apply.

Languages

The official language for this photographic trip will be ­English. However, bear in mind that personal explanations for each participant can be done also in French or Spanish, as we are bilingual in these other languages. 

A certain international composition of the group should be expected, with all the fun and wonderful implications that brings! 

 

Special Conditions


Visas/Passports

Please ensure:
1) That you have pre-arranged your entry visa if required
2) That your passport is valid to visit Spain and does not expire in a critical date

Health

No vaccinations are mandatory. 
It is a condition of booking that you disclose any medical conditions you might have including allergies or special nutritional requirements. This is essential as it may affect both your own and other people's enjoyment of the trip and will allow us to understand the implications in relation to the particular trip. 

Luggage

Please bear in mind the volume limitation for your photo-bag! We will be traveling in a van of 9 seats, which should be able to accommodate all the bags we normally take for our photographic sessions. 

Insurances

All participants must be in possession of Health and Accident Insurance (with repatriation cover). 
Additionally, we strongly advise you to conclude a Cancellation Insurance. If you need any help with this, let us know and we will suggest some leading companies with which we normally work. 

Rafael Rojas

Rafael Rojas is a fine art photographer specialized in landscape and nature photography. Following a career as an engineer, researcher and university lecturer he made a dramatic change by becoming a professional photographer of nature and landscape, his true passion and vocation. Today, he travels the planet always in search of those fleeting moments when light and land combine to create sheer magic and inspire the soul.
His work has been awarded in the most prestigious international photography competitions, including the Hasselblad Master award, First Prize several times in the IPA International Photography Awards (USA), Px3 Prix de Photographie de Paris (France), Nature’s Best (USA), International Conservation Awards (USA), European Nature Photographer of the Year GDT (Germany), MML International (Spain), Trierenberg Super Circuit (Austria), Panoramic Photographer of the Year Awards (Australia), etc.

His fine art prints, which form part of numerous private collections belonging to individuals and corporations, are often exhibited at international level, in private galleries and museums such as the Smithsonian in Washington and the Burke Museum in Seattle, USA. His photographs are also frequently used by various companies and institutions and are often published for editorial use in magazines including National Geographic Travel, Terre Sauvage, etc.

One of the activities of Rafael Rojas is teaching and lecturing about Nature Photography, which he carries out during his photographic workshops and Photo Trips. This allows him to share and pass on to others his passion and knowledge about nature and photography by means of photographic tuition in locations where natural inspiration is at hand. Rafael uses his former experience in teaching at the university, his contagious passion and a deep experience and knowledge of the natural environment to assure optimal learning and unforgettable memories for all his clients. He has collaborated in the creation of several photography books, including “Visions of Earth” and “Natura” - both from Editions Altus - and is the author of his own line of photography books “A photographer’s vision” which he publishes and distributes from his website in different languages as eBooks.

He was one of the founders and directors of the company WHYTAKE.NET - The Global Community of Nature PhotographersTM. He is also a member of the select nature photography groups “Bouts de Planète” (France) and “Portfolio Natural” (Spain). He works with a panoramic 617 medium format film camera, a Hasselblad 6x6 and a whole Nikon digital system, always set on the sturdiest tripod available. He speaks Spanish, English, French and Romanian...

 

Anca Minican

Anca Minican, the partner of Rafael Rojas, provides a very special touch to all our photographic workshops and trips. Trained as an architect and interior designer, she is a true lover of nature and the wilderness and always accompanies Rafael on his photographic expeditions all over the planet.

Her broad experience in the corporate world, her professionalism and her methodical and serious approach make her a valuable asset for the organization, on-site logistics and the support to customers during our workshops and photographic trips. She also plays a key role in the team building and knows how to create an amicable environment with a personal touch as all our clients can testify!

Anca was one of the founders and directors of the company WHYTAKE.NET - The Global Community of Nature PhotographersTM. She is also co-editor of the whole range of Rafael Rojas Photography books, ensures the representation of our Limited Edition Fine Art prints and manages the photographic library of Rafael Rojas Photography. To summarize, nothing would work without her! She speaks English, French, Spanish, Romanian and quite some Italian...

 

Photo-Immersion trips seem quite deep and intense... Are these trips only for experienced photographers?
No. Photo-Immersion trips are open to everyone and all levels. A good photographer is not someone who just knows how to operate a camera. If you are nervous of the technical knowledge, you will see how in less than an hour we can resolve that aspect. And then, we will discover what lies below the tip of the iceberg...

Why do you offer these "Photo Immersion trips", is it a type of marketing gimmick?
No. Basically we propose activities that we ourselves enjoy, and that we have identified as most suitable to develop what we consider the most valuable aspect about photography; experiencing the world, connecting with it, having something to say and saying it by means of a camera. We realized that, after many years photographing the natural world, we could summarise why we enjoyed it in two distinct ways: Either with the thrill and adventure of slow-paced itinerant trips, or in the quietness and intimacy provided by short periods of discovery of a particular environment. What we offer to our clients is what we have found we enjoy the most ourselves, and that is why we propose both Photo-Adventure as Photo-Immersion trips...

What sort of photographic equipment do I need to bring?
In terms of photographic equipment, the choice depends very much on your experience, your budget and your style of photography. There are a few general points though which should be mentioned. Most photographers tend to bring too much equipment to Photo Trips, leading to extremely heavy bags which then become a burden more than a useful tool to experience and photograph the places we visit. Never bring pieces of equipment you are not familiar with to a photo trip, and limit your equipment to what you will need in the majority of cases. Typically, any camera you use normally and a couple of zooms like a 24-70 and a telephoto 70-200 are more than enough for the vast majority of situations.

Please refer to the Checklist document of the detailed PDF brochure where we mention photographic and non-photographic equipment necessary for this trip.

How many people will attend these Photo-Immersion trips?
A highly reduced number, of a maximum of 6 photographers, will be accepted. The idea is to keep the group at a very individual level, being able to engage in deep discussions as we evaluate our work completed during each day. As Photo Immersion trips are shorter than our Photo Adventure trips, this allows us to focus on each of the participants in a more personal manner.

Can you cater for special diets?
Yes, our accommodation partners can cater for most diets. Please advise us of your preferences at the time of booking on your booking form. 


Is this trip available for all photographic levels?
Yes. This Photo Immersion trip caters for all photographic levels, from beginners to advanced and even professional photographers. However, the truth is that to make the most of the possibilities of this photographic trip it would be best that you already have a certain knowledge of the use of your camera so it is recommended that you exercise a little and become accustomed to your equipment in the weeks prior to the trip. Or you may prefer to enroll on one of our intensive photographic workshops of 1/2 day or 2 days in Switzerland (see availability). In any case, during our Photo Immersion trip we will tackle the basic technical use of a DSRL for all our beginner participants.

Can I bring my non-photographing spouse or companion with me?
Yes. Non-photographing spouses and partners are welcome to this trip. Even though the dinner conversations will certainly revolve around photography, all locations visited will allow non photographing partners and spouses to discover and fully enjoy the beauty of the area.

Which are the official languages for this photo-trip?
The official language for this photo-tour is English.

However, as the number of participants is quite small, we can tailor the teaching to cater for the particular language of our participants, and speak with them either in English, French or Spanish.

We are used to dealing with international groups in our workshops and photo trips and it is normal to have four or five nationalities represented in the group. Trust us, that is one of the strong points of our workshops and a highly enriching experience!

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Photo-Immersion 2019 Asturias, Atlantic heaven

  • Place: Asturias, Spain
  • Date: 5th - 12th October 2019
  • Price: 3,700 CHF
  • Number of Places: 6
  • Language: EN
available

phototrip highlights

    Asturias is authentic, genuine, true and unspoiled. Green and wild, its nickname in Spain is “the natural heaven” and you will understand why! 
    The places we will vi­sit are all about diversity. Atlantic wet forest, rocky shores, long beaches, secret coves, intimate landscapes of colourful rocks and sand, abandoned villages, high mountains. This will be like experien­cing several trips in one!  
    The natural light in Asturias is soft and delicate but can also be wild and spectacular. We will enjoy a wide range of light and weather conditions, making the landscape show a different face every day and night. 
    Rafael was born in Spain and knows this stretch of coast like the palm of his hand. You will get to places that not many people know and where many natural treasures can be found.

difficulty level: Normal
photography level: All

PDF brochure