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David Martín Castán: Photographer of the week

by Yvette Depaepe

Photography has always been a form of expression, a way to capture a moment, a feeling, a sensation for David Martín Castán .  He really excels in landscape photography but his biggest passion goes to night photography.  His body of work is amazing, striving for perfection.  He still tries to find the “best technique” to shoot, to develop and to process.  Read more about him an let yourself carried away with the flow of his masterful photographs.



Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I was born in Zaragoza in 1972. I combine my photographic work with other work. It’s very difficult to survive as a landscape photography alone. Today I am the CEO of a travel agency specialized in photography and combine that with giving courses and workshops on landscape photography. The little free time I have I like to spend in the mountains and with my family. I am very proud of my two children Diana and Gabriel.

How have your history and life experiences affected your photography?
From a very early age on I was interested in photos of nature. When I accompanied my parents to a library I was always looking at photography magazines, the National Geographic and an atlas with photos. When I was 16 years we had a new neighbor who turned out to a photography teacher. I was impressed and even started making some money developing films for him.

Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art?
The forum OjoDigital has been very important in my development as a photographer. I have learned a lot from it.

What first attracted you to photography?
When I was 16 I first saw a very large photo taken at night of the moon. It was taken with an analogue camera and a telescope. At that moment I told myself: “you have to learn to do this as well”.

Describe your overall photographic vision
That isn’t difficult: I am in love with landscape and night photography. I really like waiting for the daylight to disappear into dusk and to catch the last rays of light. I am also very much fascinated by shadows; they are just as important in photography as light.







Why are you so drawn by landscape photography?
My love of spending time in the mountains has given me opportunities galore to capture the light of the early morning and dusk. It is hard to explain the freedom and the feeling of being small compared to nature when I am disconnecting from city life and enjoy all the beauty nature has to offer.

What is more important to you, the mood, story behind your images or the technical perfection?
Both of them! Before taking the photo I already have an idea of what it should look like and then I use technique to accomplish it. Later at home I post-process it to get the exact result I imagined.

What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
Like every good photographer I want to be an observer and not change anything of the environment.

Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
Yes, I carefully study the locations I would like to visit. It is very important to know what it looks like exactly (by looking at other photos). I also study the light, the weather, the tides, the terrain. I am very interested in knowing more about various natural phenomena, like aurora borealis.






What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
It might sound strange but I am not sponsored by any camera company so I am totally free to choose my material. I use a Nikon 810. It allows me to shoot shadows exactly as I want to. It always comes with a 14-24mm Nikkor lens. I use a carbon Gizto tripod GT3542LS with a RRS BH-55 head. I have a couple of F-stop filters  of 150mm: La Anja (401) and the Shuka (701).

What software do you use to process your images?
Lightroom and Photoshop have formed part of my workflow for the last 20 years. Some photos need more processing than others, but they all go through these softwares. I also use Nik and Nosieware.

Can you tell us something more about your workflow?
The main characteristics of my photographic work are the shadows. I also place great importance on DOF. Shadows in the forefront and the back have another density and this is where LR and PS will help me get the exact result I envisage.

What is your most important advice to a beginner in landscape photography and how do you get started?The most important thing is to train your eye. Looking at lots of photos is a good way to do that and 1x is a good place to see many excellent photos. Also don’t think that you need the most expensive material to start with. It’s better to spend money on courses before spending too much on equipment. And exercise patience, learn from mistakes; results are not always immediate.


“Blue inferno”



Who are your favorite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography? 
That is a difficult question. One of the greatest for me is Marc Adamus, and Chip Philis and Erin Babnik who I had the pleasure of getting to know during my last workshop in the Dolomites. Others are Ted Gore, Max Rive, Enrico Fossati, Daniel Kordan  and, more closely to me Guillermo Garcìa, Oscar simon, Martin Zalba, Javier de la Torre, Jesus M. Garcia, Juan Pablo de Miguel, Inigo Cia, Dario Sastre, Arturo Solis, Carlos F. Turienzo, Sergio Gonzalez, Juan Garcia Lucas. All of these are famous Spanish photographers. I have been on photography trip with them and they work as photographers in the company that Oscar Simon and I own: WorldPhotoXperience.

Is there any image taken by another photographer that inspired you a great deal?  
This is a photo taken by Marc Adamus  Iceland.


“The Deep Blue” by Marc Adamus


and here is mine


“Ice River”


Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I would love to travel to Antartica to take photos of the Auroras Australes. With WorldPhotoXperience we organize annual trips to spectacular places. One of the places that I have loved is the Dolomites or the Italian Alps. I am also planning a family vacation to the USA next summer to visit the natural parks.

Describe your favorite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?  


“Sensual Dance”

This photo has a lot of emotional value for me. It is taken on a trip with friends to Iceland and I have captured the first solar explosion. It might not be the greatest photo but it is very important to me.

And last but not least, I would like to thank the 1x team and especially Yvette Depaepe for the opportunity to have this interview.


“In memorial”











Enhorabuena Amigo!!!!
Enhorabuena Davíd. Creo que te mereces este reconocimiento en el mundo de la fotografía. Es un placer ver las imágenes que publicas, gracias también a Yvette por esa interesante entrevista.
Felicidades Máquina. Muy interesante la entrevista.
Enhorabuena y gracias por la parte que me toca... A seguir así y siempre hacia arriba!! ;)
Muchas gracias Brother ;)
Muchas felicidades figura. Sin duda uno de los mejores paisajistas que pululan por estos lares. Cada imagen es mejor que la anterior y las palabras se terminan. Repito unas imágenes de ensueño.
Gracias por tus palabras Doroteo
An excellent report, for an excellent photographer and a better person. Congratulations David, for your interview, a distinction that you have long been deserving. Thank you Ivette and congratulations on the quality and content of the interview.
You're so kind, Alejandro! I just did the best I could to present this interview in a way worth this great artist David is, my friend. Cheers, Yvette
Gracias Alejandro, a ver si nos vemos pronto
Fantastic set of images and a great interview; I've admired David's images for years, and it's a pleasure to "get to know" him through Yvette's eyes, er, words!
Thank you, Greg! Images and words are all David's ;-) I just put everything together in harmony and that was a huge pleasure to me. Cheers, Yvette
Thank you for your kind words ;)
Splendide immagine. Complimenti.
Thank you Massimo
Enhorabuena David, una distinción más que merecida. Genial esa selección de fotografías y la entrevista. Un saludo. Congratulations David, a distinction more than deserved. Great selection of photographs and the interview. A greeting.
Gracias crack ;)
Fine interview from an exceptional landscape photographer .... congratulations David ... thank you Yvette !
Thanks Luc! It was a pleasure to me to lead this interview ;-)
Thank you ;)
Muchas felicidades por tan merecida mención, tambien por la entrevista, tus fotografías no dejan indiferente a nadie, son fantásticas, algún día me gustaría hacerlas solo la mitad de buenas. Ywette, Thank you very much for the report, very good. A greeting.
Thanks, dear friend! The real star here is David ;-)
Gracias Amada, tu ya haces muy buenas fotografías
enhorabuena David creo que mas que merecido este reconocimiento ;)
Gracias amigo
Hace poco que tuve el privilegio de que David comentase una foto mia en FB, me dije que la foto tenía que tener algo para que un referente como él, dedicara una parte de su tiempo en ello y se lo agradecí sinceramente. Gracias al trabajo que desarrollan fotografos como él, los cuales aprovechan la realidad directa para obtener su propia visión o extraer la belleza, en definitiva comunicar y seducir, cada vez tengo mas claro que es tan artístico este proceso como el obtener resultados mas subjetivos e incluso próximos a un expresionismo abstracto. Enhorabuena a David y enhorabuena a Yvette por su entrevista. ---------------------- I recently had the privilege of David commenting on a photo of me in FB, I said that the photo had to have something so that a referent like him, dedicate a part of his time in it and sincerely thanked him. Thanks to the work that develops photographers like him, who take advantage of direct reality to obtain their own vision or extract the beauty, ultimately communicate and seduce, I am increasingly clear that this process is as artistic as to obtain more subjective results and even Next to an abstract expressionism. Congratulations to David and Congratulations to Yvette for her interview.
Thanks Marco! As I said before, it was a pleasure to invite David for this interview. Cheers, Yvette
Muchísimas gracias Marco
Great interview! It is always a plesure to have such a good photographers in our country. And he is one of the biggest! Congrats for being the sensation of the week! Well deserved ;)
Thank you Alvaro
Congrats both, Yvette and David. Great interview for a great photographer. It's apleasure to share with David trips and adventures around the world looking for the best light :-)
Thanks Javier! I'm so pleased to have interviewed David ;-)
Thank you mate ;)
Thanks for that interview Yvette! David is such an amazing photographer! David, a ti que te voy a contar, muy crack ! ;)
Thank you, Juan. A honor to me to interview David!!!
Gracias crack ;)
David, enhorabuena por las fotos, por la entrevista con Yvette y por ser el fotografo de la semana. Todo ello muy merecido. Es un placer ver tus fotografías y espero que algun día pueda asistir a algunos de tus cursos y aprender mucho de tí. Te sigo en 1x. Un abrazo y una felicitacion cariñosa desde San Sebastian. Yvette, congratulations for the repport and for getting to know this great Spanish photographer. Best regards Jois
Thanks for your appreciation, Jois. Of course all merits go to David Martín Castán. He is such a great landscape photographer!!
Gracias compañero
Hola David, muchas felicidades por esta distinción, eres un gran fotógrafo y las fotos que nos enseñas son fantásticas. Dear Yvette, thank you so mucho for this repport, fantastic!
Thanks Martin... All honour goes to David ;-)
Muchas gracias maestro