by Yvette Depaepe
Published the 17 of May 2021
's greatest inspiration is nature in all its beauty. Through photography, Jabi feels connected to nature in a different way he never experienced before. He loves travelling and everything started when he discovered Iceland a few years ago. Since than, he travelled to some places on earth which are forever bound to his soul, such as Bali, Indonesia and Koh Lipe island in Thailand. Jabi strives to take us – the viewers – with him on his journeys, expressing his own emotions and vision by creating dreamlike landscape photographs.
Discover more about this artist through this fine interview.
Dear Jabi, please tell us briefly about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I am a tall and skinny guy, but the last few months I gained a few kilos thanks to Covid.
I was born and raised in Pamplona, a small city in the north of Spain. I always loved nature and travelling. A few years ago, a trip to Iceland changed my life and since than I fully dedicated myself to photography. Iceland deeply impressed me and now I can't live any more without photography. To me, photography connects me with nature in a way that I never experienced before. Nature is my inspiration, with all its beauty, variety of colours, sounds and sceneries. I'm living in a 'today's world', but there are places on Earth which are touching my soul like Bali, Indonesia and the island of Koh Lipe in Thailand. Currently, I spend most of my time over there, I love these two islands with their extraordinary atmosphere, fishing villages, sailing adventures, incredible hikes and amazing hidden gems.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
I think I am a very lucky person, since I have always been lucky to be able to travel, although my passion for photography started only a little more than 4 years ago. The opportunity to do almost always what you like the most is really priceless.
I am the owner of a small hotel on an island in southern Thailand and just over a year ago, I launched my own photographic travel agency together with my partner Eduardo Fuster and collaborators such as Hugo Valle and David Aguilar. We offer trips all over the world. My passion for travelling and for photography are united nowadays and that is a perfect combination.
Well, as everything in life, there always are complications especially in a world as competitive as the one we live in. I always try to listen to my heart and if I struggle along the way, I try to stay positive and to go on. I always believed in karma and I think that if you are honest and respectful, good things will come to you. Apart from that, my personal progress as photographer and artist was a long and hard road.
Just as any photographer, I'm not always on top of my shooting or editing skills. My images weren't always of the highest level. It takes a lot of trial and error to develop a style that meets your expectations. Of course, not every photo can be a winner. Sometimes the light doesn't work, or the landscape doesn't offer an impressive composition. But you have to be patient and, with hard work and perseverance, you will be rewarded.
What first attracted you to photography?
As I said before travelling and enjoying nature developed my passion for photography because it makes me enjoy things in a different way.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
I like to express my own vision and emotions when photographing landscapes to create a dreamlike and magical atmosphere. But it is not always possible as it depends on the conditions of that day.
In which specific country did you found a hidden gems in terms of landscape and nature photography? Besides visiting iconic locations, do you prepare your journey to the beaten tracks?
For me Indonesia has particularly stolen my heart and eyes. It may bi very touristic as a holiday but not photographically. It is a country full of hidden gems to shoot apart from having a very rich culture and delicious food. Because of the pandemic nothing was possible lately but for next year, I have already a workshop scheduled to Indonesia.
Of course, I like to visit and take pictures of the most iconic locations but I found it much more interesting to visit places that are not so well known. Why? well I have experienced that my creativity as a photographer is much more intense when discovering locations I didn't see before in many photos taken by others. So, I leave my mind free and let it flow – something I recommend to everyone.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
I'm definitely going for the mood/story. I can go out and take pictures any day but I always store them my hard drives until I feel motivated to edit them and to reflect what I felt when I pushed the shutter. This can vary from a few days to months.
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
I seriously prepare myself for every picture I take. I say seriously but I find it very entertaining and fun. I really enjoy both – the shoot and the editing . I generally strive to portray a scene through my own interpretation. I study each area from home if I don't know them.
I use Google earth and other applications to watch the weather etc.
I also try to talk to local photographers and friends who may know the area. Once in the field I try to see what the area has to offer and I always adapt to the circumstances. Even if I already have a more or less fixed plan before leaving home, I can change it later depending on the weather. I found my favourites images are the ones that are truly unique and not influenced by any photo from others photographers I had seen before.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I use mirror less cameras, a Sony a6500 and a7riii + a range of lenses from 14 to 300mm. I’m very pleased to work as an ambassador of the best filters on the market: the Kase filters. I also love to shoot with a drone. I think you can create incredible and different perspectives than with a normal camera.
What software do you use to process your images?
I organize all my images in Adobe Bridge. I do all my basic adjustments for my RAW files in camera RAW and spend several hours retouching my images in Photoshop, using also other plug ins like the Nik collection, some luminosity panels and of course the one that I can't miss – I am also an ambassador – Luminar. Luminar has incredibly good filters and works with artificial intelligence, which no other program offers nowadays. To me, post-processing is as important as taking the photo on field. I enjoy both and can spend hours in front of my laptop with one image and never get tired.
Shameless self-promotion here, my apologies, but I also offer online classes developed over the last years on my website, in which I teach all my techniques.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
It all starts when you take the picture. I try to make my images dark without losing details in the shadow parts. The today's cameras have so much dynamic range, it's easy to recover all those dark parts in RAW. I think every picture is different, so I try to approach each image according yo the mood. The first thing I do is to identify the most important subject in the picture, the one which I want the viewer to look at. So, I try to emphasize that with the light and other elements. In the post-processing I then try to increase the atmosphere and play with the colours.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in landscape photography and how do you get started?
Don't be afraid to make mistakes, ask colleagues, friends or family, share your photos with others and be open to criticism. Enjoy what you do and spend as much time as possible learning, both on the field and at home. Something I've always liked is to spend at least an hour before bedtime, to look at or to read something related to photography....and then if you want your work to be seen by other people, there's no other way than to invest time in social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and some platforms where I really like to share my work and which are my greatest inspiration: 1x, PhotoImaginArt, Fstoppers and 500px.
Who are your favourite photographers throughout your journey so far? How have they contributed to your photographic skills?
The internet has been a great source of information to me. I'm using several platforms such as YouTube, Instagram or Facebook to learn from other photographers and to obtain feedback on my own work. One of the most impactful and powerful resources in today is YouTube! There are so many amazing channels in which you can learn a lot about photography, from and on the field camera techniques to post processing. I’ve actually started my own YouTube channel. I upload post-processing tutorial videos, tips, reviews and share my experience, all is a free content! I learned also a lot from the start-to-finish tutorial videos from a few of my favourite photographers.
Some of the very best to me are , , Ted Gore, and Alex Noriega to name a few.
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 hope to continue learning and improving day by day, both as a photographer and as a person. Art, whatever its discipline, is something that never comes to an end. There is always something to learn, a new technique, a new trend etc.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
I made this photo in 2019 n Nova Scotia, Canada. It was a very special moment I had experience that day. The light and clouds were changing very fast, the movement of the waves crushing on the rocks and that beautiful lighthouse were amazing. I will never forget that day. This is probably one of my favourites photos in my portfolio. It might not be the best one but it is the one that gives me some of my best memories.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
1x is one of my favourites places to share my work. The fact that only the very best of all the images uploaded by all photographers here are published, makes this platform of high quality and a great source of inspiration...
Lastly, thanks for the opportunity to express my impressions through this interview. I highly appreciate to be able to share something about myself. I sincerely hope you will enjoy reading it and I will always be here for those who want to ask me some help.
Jose C. Lobato PRO
An interview and a series of impressive photographs. Now I know you a little better. I've had a great time. Congratulations and thank you friend. A hug Jabi.
Thank you so much Dear Jose for take the time to read it. Glad you like it, appreciate that. Wish you a good day
Congratulations on this interview, for one of the best current Spanish photographers. I love to see your work full of poetry and message again. Big hug bro!
Ohhh a big honor coming from you Martin. Thank you so much for your support and kind words.
Incredible work Jabi! looking forward to seeing more of it.
Thank you so much Mario, more is coming soon
SANDEEP MATHUR PRO
Congratulations Jabi ! This is big .... Very happy for you amigo !!
Really appreciate my dear friend, thank you so much for take the time to read it and for your kind words
Slawomir Kowalczyk CREW
Very interesting article, good for all landscape photographers!
Huge thanks and glad you like it Slawomir, appreciate you took the time to read and comment
Grandisima entrevista de uno de los mejores fotógrafos que hay en España. Tremendas fotos
Muchisimas garcias Miguel, la verdad que agradezco muchos tus lindas palabras. Un saludo
Daniel Viñe PRO
A spectacular interview Jabi, I had a great time reading it. Keep up the great work buddy!
Really appreciate your kind words dude, thank you so much
Daniel otro de los grandes, que buenos sois macho, Saludos
great work , congratulations
Thank you so much mate
Magnífica entrevista, y unas fotografías realmente espectaculares. Mi enhorabuena compañero!
Muchas gracias Jose, me alegro que te gustara la entrevista. Agradecido por tomarte el tiempo y dejar este comentario
My congratulations Jabi, you deserve this spot on 1x!
Always appreciate your support bro. Thank you so much
Serge Melesan PRO
beautiful and impressive images, love the tones of your photographies. Congrats Jabi
Tons of thanks Serge, glad you like my work. Appreciate you stop by comment and take the time read the interview
Very interesting Reading and beautiful dreamy landscapes. Thanks for sharing !
Thank you so much Stephanie, glad you like the interview and my work
Vito Guarino PRO
Amazing pictures and very interestin interview. Thank you so much Yvette and Jabi