Creative Course / DIGITAL SIERRAS

This is a Creative Course from Cortijada Los Gázquez with a unique perspective designed to put Fine Art and genuine creativity into your photography.

This is also the opportunity to capture the epic landscapes of the high sierras of untouched Spain, the high planes and lost locations. Experience from within the semi-wilderness, the alpine desert. Possess the sun and feel it’s warmth on your face. With 300 days of sunshine a year we can guarantee the drama of shadow and light…

Whether you have a ‘point and shoot’ compact camera or an SLR we can guarantee results. We also teach essential Photoshop so that you can be certain that your results correspond to your visual memory.

Successful outdoor photography is reliant on being in the right place at the right time with sufficient knowledge of your camera and an awareness of your situation.

You will learn to seasonally predict the direction and passage of the sun as it casts it’s light upon the land, spreading shadows before objects.

We will teach how to make good photographic landscape character assessments to better allow you to find situations where you know you will get good results.

Locations, seasons, the weather forecasts, combined with local knowledge and experience will teach you how to predict cloud formations and cloud inversions, how to position yourself so that light is caught in these formations.

You will become aware of where to find colour, and colour combinations, and how to manipulate them to your advantage.

You will learn composition.

We will show you from looking at photography and Fine Art that has preceded us how others were so successful.

We will teach you how to create good catalogued files that you can access with ease in the future.

We will teach you how to manipulate shutter speed and aperture to increase your opportunity to get good results.

We will teach basic Photoshop and Aperture 3. (depending upon suitability)

You will learn a deeper understanding of nature by increasing your sensory awareness and knowledge of the landscape you are working within.

Calendar 3

January - the month of sunshine and snow. The sunlight is low in the sky casting shadows across the alpine plains picking out texture, making the coloured earth glow. For us this is one of the best months, the days are brisk and sunny, the nights cold but you will be very warm by a log fire reviewing your photographs from the day.

February - dramatic skies. When not clear blue the sky is populated with dark grey clouds their shadows passaging the landscape, one sierra caught in sunshine another black and craggy. From our position we can look down upon the weather or horizontally to sunlight on a distant ridge. Lower down the mountain now the almond blossom comes.

March - this is the month of the spectacular almond blossom display. Terraces of fields are bright green with the fresh spring grass and the almond blossom shines pink all across the landscape. This is an Andalucían speciality and a wonder to behold.

April - orchids arrive heralding the spring flowers. Walking through the mountains, through the forests in the new warm air and the sunshine, another of Andalucía’s specialities greets us, the wild flowers of such variety with rich aromas.

May - this desert landscape is now fully green, fields are abundant with poppies both red and purple. This is the first month of summer, not too hot but getting hotter.

June - the fiestas begin. It’s nice to descend from the mountain to the little white villages with their artisan food shops and bars for a cold drink. Sunrise and sunsets offer the best opportunities with vistas so wide you can see the curve of the earth’s surface.

July - the alpine desert. The abundance of flowers now yield to the dry earth. The sierras are blue and only the distant jet streams scratch a perfect sky. Preparation creates wonderful results, the sun is high and further north and it’s beautifully warm all night.

August - the forest sings with the sound of cicadas. The air is rich with the scent of pine resin. High in the sierras we find griffon and black vultures gliding on thermals. From your feet on the forest floor to the towers of mottled limestone we are offered a visual feast.

September - phantom lakes appear. Cloud inversions appear when the warm earth releases it’s heat in the night and vapour appears compressed by the warmer air above. These events make the sierras appear like islands in a silver lake.

October - and still the sun shines. But the days are shortening the nights cooler the sun lower, it’s light more horizontal. Golden poplar leaves are illuminated, pomegranates hang from leafless trees. A rich variety of form and landscape makes for some gorgeous photography.

November - mountain trails and goat bells. Houses hang with drying pimientos in the sunshine. Clouds run aground and tumble to the valley bottom and on the high planes giant solitary oaks feed the wild boar.

December - and full circle. The other month of sunshine and snow. We harvest olives and drink red wine in the sunshine. We savour the local food produce. We drink coffee in bars in villages surrounded by Moorish architecture and Baroque churches. The days are still, the light pale yellow, and we are warm by the wood fire.