12 questions to Sergio Abello Villanueva
1. Do you remember taking your first photograph?
I don’t remember exactly what was the first photograph I took in my life, but what I do remember is my father had a Praktica Mtl3 (analog), and whenever I could, I tried to take it away from him to spoil a photographic reel… I think the first photos I shot that I can remember were those of a school trip.
2. At what point did you understand that photography would be your passion?
I remember it perfectly! It was 5 years ago, the day I took my first photograph in manual mode, after having read several manuals and hundreds of tutorials… I showed up at sunset on a beach near my house and had great luck in photographing one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life. The sky was full of big red clouds and the sea water was totally static. In spite of the fact that the photos didn’t get the expected results, that experience of beauty made me decide to continue this wonderful hobby.
3. Why did you choose landscape photography as your domain?
I chose landscape to adapt to the environment. I’ve always liked the mountains and outdoor activities, and I’ve also been lucky to be born and live in one of those areas with the most stunning landscapes in Spain. I’m surrounded by forests, mountains, beaches, rivers, and areas with very low light pollution. Almost unwittingly I started doing landscape photography. Other types of photography such as architecture and nature photography also get my attention.
4. What gear have you used in the past and present?
As I’ve already told you, I started stealing my father’s analog Praktica MtL3 and using disposable cameras. Then my first digital was a basic Olympus and the first reflex a Nikon D60, then I had a Nikon D80 that I had to replace with a D7100 after falling in the river with it, then a D7200 that I still use on some occasions. I am currently working with a Canon 6D (temporarily), With lenses I’m working with the IRIX 15mm 2’4 Blackstone for most of my photos (Landscape, architecture, night photography…). I know that the brand is working on new lenses and I’m waiting for new focal distances to be able to complete my gear with Irix lenses. As regards tripods… I’m now working with Sirui tripods – a lightweight and robust model.
5. Which place in the world you personally consider to be the most photogenic and why?
I have no doubt that the area where I live seems to be the most photogenic area. In a short distance we can find the sea and the mountains; we can photograph large waterfalls, incredible lakes and immense caves. If I had to choose a specific place in this area it would be the Somiedo Natural Park, the usual area for my workshops.
6. Which photo technique/trick you like the most and why?
I really like panoramic photography because it allows us to capture the magnitude of some of the places I visit. I also like photographs where there are large flowers in the foreground with a large landscape behind.
7. Which Irix feature you consider to be the most useful in your photography?
Next to its incredible sharpness, one of the great merits of Irix lenses is the assistance in the location of the hyperfocal in the focus. During the workshops I’ve observed that many people find it very difficult to focus on low-light situations, either due to visual problems or other conditions, but thanks to this system they can focus their photos without any problems.
8. Do you have your own role models in photography? Who inspires you?
I think that everyone can inspire me, both famous and not so great photographers; there is always someone to learn something from. I really like the works of photographers such as Ryan Dyar, Ted Gore, Michael Shainblum, among others. I think they’ve been a source of inspiration for many photographers.
9. Is there anybody or anything you would love to photograph?
I would like to visit the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile or Antarctica.
10. What are your photographic ambitions for the next three years?
My main ambition is to continue travelling and be able to photograph new places. Right now I have many projects underway; I’m working on the publication of a book among many other things. I’m sure that to achieve this I have to work hard.
11. What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography?
My advice is to never stop training yourself and always do research. I think the key is perseverance; when we aren’t able to achieve the expected results we must try again. In the end we will achieve it.
12. Describe photography in one word.