is passionate by mountain sceneries taken by day as well as by night. He loves travelling to areas of nature and to be able to sleep outdoors watching the stars, to wake up with the first rays of the sun. He always strives to give his photographs a very special style in the processing and succeeded in that purpose. Today, Antonio is taking us on a journey through his magical images and reveals more about his personality. Enjoy ...
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, Antonio.
Hello everyone, I am a Spanish photographer and a professional Youtuber passionate about mountains and sports photography.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Well, my story until I became a professional Youtuber is quite curious.
I am a geologist and I was working as such until 8 years ago.
At that time, and after doing my doctoral thesis on geological storage of CO2 (as you can see nothing to do with photography), I started to create a small blog in which I showed the before and after of my best photographs.
I must say that it was something quite new, since the mystery surrounding photographic locations and especially the fear of showing RAW files were predominant among the photographic community, and practically nobody dared to show their RAW files publicly.
So, the blog started to grow in popularity, and then I began to add RAW development tutorials, photoshop tutorials and little by little I realised that I was gaining a space in the Spanish photographic community.
After a few years of creating content on the blog, I jumped to YouTube and published my first video not without shame ;-). A video just with my voice and a screen-cast showing what I was doing, simple and fast.
Little by little, and organically, I began to put myself on the YouTube channel, and 5 years later I can now say publicly that I am Youtuber. With more than 170,000 subscribers it has become my usual work.
Besides my facet as a Youtuber, I am a professional sports photographer.
I work as a freelancer, covering several of the most important sport events in the world such as the mtb Cape Epic, Gore-Tex Trans Alpine Run and other such events (or at least that's what I used to do before Covid).
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
Well more than some punctual experience, it is rather an intrinsic characteristic of my personality: the love for the mountains and the great landscapes. Since I was a child I have been passionate about mountain scenery, and I think that has conditioned me to love travelling to areas of nature and to be able to sleep outdoors watching the stars, to wake up with the first rays of the sun above the mountains.
What first attracted you to photography?
Again, photography has been nothing more than an excuse to be able to travel to the places I am passionate about. Could I do the same without photography? Sure! but now, as a photographer, I enjoy 3 times the same scene:
1. when I am planning the photograph;
2. when I am on location enjoying the moment and
3. when I return home and process the image to my liking. 3 in 1! This is why I am so drawn by landscape photography!!
Describe your overall photographic vision.
Well I think nothing special, I love being able to capture in my camera high mountain landscapes mainly, both day and night images, and
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
I would love to say that the story conveyed by the photo, but unfortunately I do not consider myself a good photographer to be able to tell a story with my photographs.
I am personally passionate about photojournalism images in which a picture touches your heart immediately, but in landscape photography it is something that, at least from my point of view, is much more difficult to achieve.
Therefore, I am content to show beautiful images, something that the viewer is able to contemplate and has a desire to travel to that place.
Technical perfection is something I have been pursuing for a long time, and obviously it is never achieved... but at least we can try!
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
For me the planning of the photography is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to achieve a stunning image. Landscape photographers need to be fully aware of the importance of the "when" in the outcome of the photograph, almost as much, or even more than the "where".
Yes, I scrupulously plan the photographs, the moment, the location, absolutely everything, and I spend a lot of time performing that task.
For me, in the equation of a good photograph, the planning is the most important variable .
If you are in the right place, at the right time it is very difficult not to get a good photo.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I'm using a full Sony equipment:
-Sony a7RIV + Sony a9II
-Sony 16-35 f2.8 and 70-200 2.8 are my main lenses for landscape
-My backpack is an f-stop Sukha with I really love for doing long trekkings
What software do you use to process your images?
This is one of the topics I like the most because that's how my blog and my Youtube channel were born, with photo processing tutorials...
-Plan it pro and Photopills: on the smartphone to plan the photos.
-Capture One: to reveal the RAW files. For me, it is without a doubt the best RAW developer we have.
-Photoshop: For the most advanced processes in which I want to take 100% of my photo.
-Tony Kuyper Panel: the best Photoshop extension that has been ever made. Absolutely essential on my processing, it helps me a lot with creating luminosity masking and many, many, many other features.
- Nik Color Efex filters: a pack of filters for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Capture One, that help me to achieve certain looks very quickly and easily.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
It's something I've talked about at length on my Youtube channel, and perhaps complicated to summarize in an interview, since depending on the photograph I do one thing or another, but in summary the workflow I use in my best photos can be summarized as follows:
1- I make a soft development in my RAW using Capture One. I try to get a RAW with a lot of dynamic range, and smooth contrast.
2- I open it in Photoshop, where I make a standard workflow:
A. Tonal adjustments: improve tone and contrast
B. Chromatic adjustments: I modify the colour of the picture
C. Directionality of light : I try to direct the viewer's look with different techniques, such as dodge and burn, creation of points of light, selective vignetting...
D. Dark Mood: here I try to create a dreamlike and dark atmosphere that characterizes all my images
E. Orton effect: an effect that, despite having many detractors, I love. I like to selectively soften my photographs and for that I apply an ortho effect "in my style" to desaturate the image, soften the background and leave the atmosphere that I like
F. Final adjustments: I try to finish the picture leaving the colour, tone and light to my liking
In the end, having such a structured workflow helps me not to forget anything and always perform similar processing.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in landscape photography and how do you get started?Planning, planning and scheduling.
There is nothing that has changed so much the result of my photographs, as when I really learned and internalized that the photos had to be taken at a certain time. There is no point in being in a wonderful place if the light is not right, and usually the light is good at a certain time of day. So plan your sessions so that you can be in the locations that you like at the good times of the day.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
There are many photographers who have brutally influenced my images, today I love the wave of Spanish landscape photographers who are doing incredible work: , , , , , and many, many others who surely left me in the inkwell and are excellent photographers.
But without a doubt there are 3 photographers who, in different moments of my career as a photographer, have influenced me more: Elia Locardi, when I was starting to process my photographs; , later on when I discovered his processing techniques, and for me the greatest : a true genius.
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
I don't think I can choose just one photograph, but without a doubt, the is the place I go back to from time to time to try and get some inspiration.
This kind of photographs, with those powerful close-ups that lead you to a spectacular background are my dream.
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 just wish that this nightmare related to the Covid would end as soon as possible and that we could all rebuild our normal lives. That would mean being able to continue travelling and planning photographs. As for the future...well, honestly, I am more focused on the art of video making, which I am becoming a true passionate and still have a lot to learn about.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
It's hard to choose a photograph from your portfolio, hehehe, but if I had to, I think I'd keep this image taken in Scotland, specifically in the Glen-Coe Valley at the famous Buchaville Etive Mor location.
As usual, I had everything planned perfectly, in my mind I had a magical sunrise where the sunlight flooded all the scene, but when I arrived at the location, after an hour driving alone, at night and on the opposite lane (British customs :-)), it was pouring and everything was covered with clouds. A real disappointment. Anyway, covered with a raincoat and an umbrella for the gear, I mounted the tripod, the camera, the filters, absolutely everything, and took some very boring pictures.
When I gave up I picked up the gear and went back to the car, and of course, as soon as I started the engine, I saw how the sky began to open, the clouds were gradually leaving and let some shy rays of sunshine. Running I stopped the car, took out again the equipment and repeated location. And, magically, I lived 10 spectacular minutes, with the sun sneaking through the clouds while it was raining behind me. When I saw the rainbow appear, I smiled like a little boy when he saw it for the first time, I couldn't believe it, it was all SO PERFECT!
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
Just thank you for the opportunity you have given me since 1x to make my work known. Today it is the only online platform I use to show my photographs and it is an honour every time I have a picture published (it is still very very difficult!).
But if a photo already makes me happy, an interview fills me with pride!
Norbert Maier PRO
Excellent!! Images and interview.
A very intereting interview. And don't forget that you are also a reference for many people. Thank you very much for naming me as one of your referent photographers ;)
Eyyyy..thanks a lot for the interview. It's an absolute pleasure to be featured on the most important photography site!
beautiful work indeed! Its making me think of the times that I would inadvertently be at the right place at the right time with my camera.
Congratulations Antonio! Beautiful work and fine interview. Thanks for sharing and for your fine collaboration, my friend! Cheers, Yvette
Rolf Endermann PRO
As always a good article about a good photographer Many thanks to the photographer and Yvette for the interesting interview not only about the technology but also about the people behind it
Thanks a lot, dear Rolf!
Excellent interview ... Antonio Prado does an important job on his YouTube channel helping many photographers to improve. It's a joy to see him as "photographer of the week" on 1x. Congrats!!
Good to mention Antonio's YouTube channel, José !!! Thanks for your appreciation, dear friend.