Asturias & Northern Spain Workshops Report
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FIRST ASTURIAS & NORTHERN SPAIN WORKSHOP
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ASTURIAS & NORTHERN SPAIN WORKSHOPS
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ASTURIAS & NORTHERN SPAIN WORKSHOPS REPORT

I started exploring and photographing the seascapes of Asturias & Northern Spain in 2015. Featuring otherworldly rock formations, unique sea arches and sea stacks, and with beautiful coves alternating with bays and sandy beaches, Asturias & Northern Spain’s coast has it all. During my first visit there I got immediately hooked by this coast’s inspiring, dramatic beauty, and I kept coming back for more. We run our first Workshop in Asturias & Northern Spain in 2017, returning for one or more tours every year.

DESIGNING THE WORKSHOP | Designing our Asturias & Northern Spain Workshop, I focussed on seascapes only, creating an array of locations completely covering all kind of seascape shooting. In Asturias & Northern Spain, as I always do, I chose locations that are impressive, spectacular and unique, while offering various artistic and technical photographic challenges. I believe that helping you to face and solve together as many photographic problems as possible during our time with us will, in turn, help you to develop your vision both during and, most importantly, after the Workshop, when you are back working without a tutor.

THE LOCATIONS | Out of all our 25+ available locations, during our four Workshops in Asturias & Northern Spain we photographed, among others and in no particular order: 2 different spots at Playa de Buelna, 2 different spots at Castro de Las Gaviotas, Playa Ballota, 3 different spots at Playa de Portizuelo, 2 different spots at As Catedrais, Playa Vallina, Playa de Aguilar, 2 different spots at Playa de Campiecho, 2 different spots at Playa de Gueirua, Playa de Mexota, Playa Barrika, 2 different spots at Gaztelugatxe, Playa de Arnia, Playa de Pendueles, Urro de Manzano, Playa de la Regalina, Playa de Silencio and Playa de Pendueles.

Every time we go to Spain for our Workshops there, we add some extra days to our schedule to keep exploring Asturias & Northern Spain, so that we can keep adding new spectacular locations to our list. Having as many extra locations as possible gives me maximum flexibility in my choice of locations for any given Workshop day, plus it allows Alumni wanting to come back for a second tour with us to know that they’ll be able to see different locations as well, besides taking another shot at the locations they loved on their first trip.

IN THE FIELD | During our Asturias & Northern Spain Workshops, our trademark limited attendance of maximum three people allowed me to dedicate every participant plenty of personal time in the field. Before each session, as I do during all my Workshops, I briefed the group with the location’s challenges, offering my advice on how to best solve them. I then followed participants during their work, quietly offering my suggestions to each of them, both respecting their individual approach to landscape photography and without imposing my views.

Besides answering any questions they might have had, when I thought it might have helped I shared my ideas and my own approach to the locations with them, sometimes showing them images on my camera’s LCD screen. When the occasion arose, during the four Workshops I led in Asturias & Northern Spain we enjoyed revisiting some of the locations as well, something I always find very useful.

IMAGE REVIEW & POST-PROCESSING | In Asturias & Northern Spain, thanks to our limited attendance and to the small number of hotel changes during the Workshop, we had the opportunity to do in-depth image review and post-processing sessions as well. These sessions allowed participants to go home with ideas about which images were stronger than others, and with post-processing pointers helping them to make the most out of their photographs. As well, thanks to our image review sessions our participants had the opportunity to try out in the field the new ideas gathered during these sessions, either in new locations or revisiting old ones, applying novel solutions to whatever problems they might have faced the first time there.

NO CROWDS | As customary for all our Workshops, during four Asturias & Northern Spain Workshops we never had to work in locations crowded by other photographers. In all these years, we met another group only once, arriving to a location, and thanks to my knowledge of the area we simply let them enjoy the beach we intended to work on and went to another equally beautiful location where we were completely alone. We then came back another day to find our original location, El Picon, completely empty and free for us to enjoy. Not having to deal with crowds definitely made a great experience even better!

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AFTER THE WORKSHOP | Our Workshops never end on the last day! As we always do, once every Asturias & Northern Spain Workshop ended, we kept working on post-processing and image selection with those participants interested in that, either on our private Facebook groups or via the email.

Let’s see now how our Asturias & Northern Spain Workshops went, starting from the most recent one and going back to 2017!

ASTURIAS & NORTHERN SPAIN 2019 WORKSHOP REPORT (2)

At the end of September 2019, we returned to Asturias & Northern Spain for our fourth Workshop there, this time a 7-day Workshop One-on-One. The participant, a returning Alumnus, after exploring Dorset’s Jurassic Coast with me wanted to continue working on seascapes, this time focussing on the amazing coasts of Asturias & Northern Spain.

Asturias & Northern Spain 2019

Doing a Workshop One-on-One with a returning participant made it easier for me to fully customize the Workshop on my Alumnus’ level and requirements, giving him my undivided attention and choosing the best locations both for great photography and to continue along our photographic path together. In Asturias & Northern Spain this allowed him to make the most of the locations we photographed, while continuing the work we started in Dorset.

During these 7 days, we worked on some of Spain’s most spectacular grand vistas as well as on taking a more photographically intimate approach to composition, down to creating more minimalist imagery. More, we had a chance to revisit Playa Ballota, looking for a second chance with better weather, and Playa de Portizuelo, where we worked on different compositions, the second time over staying farther away from the arch.

Last but not least, the social aspect and the human side of the Workshop, always very important for us. During our Asturias & Northern Spain Workshop One-on-One, first and foremost I really enjoyed seeing an old Alumnus again after almost a year. We had a great time working in the field and during our transfers, lunches and dinners we enjoyed long conversations about photography and equipment, something he is truly passionate about, reinforced by our mutual love for Hasselblad and Leica gear!

THE PARTICIPANT’S IMAGES AND COMMENTS | The participant in our Asturias & Northern Spain Workshop One-on-One kindly sent me a few images to share here with you, together with his testimonial about the Workshop. Enjoy the work he did in Spain and see what he had to say about our Workshop together!

FEDERICO FREGNI

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Wonderful locations and a truly unique & extremely useful experience to understand not only the aesthetics of seascape photography but also all the logistics & preparation necessary to approach such photography at a professional level. Vieri is an almost endless source of ideas, suggestions and creative energy!

ASTURIAS & NORTHERN SPAIN 2019 WORKSHOP REPORT (1)

In September 2019, we returned to Asturias & Northern Spain for our third Workshop there, this time a 4-day Workshop One-on-One with a returning Alumnus. After working together in Glencoe & Isle of Skye and in Cinque Terre & Tuscany, for this third Workshop One-on-One together we decided to focus on Asturias & Northern Spain’s seascapes.

Asturias & Northern Spain 2019

Doing a Workshop One-on-One with a returning participant made it easier for me to fully customize the Workshop on my Alumnus’ level and requirements, giving him my undivided attention and choosing the best locations both for great photography and to continue along our learning path together. In particular, in Asturias & Northern Spain we worked together on simplifying compositions down to near-minimalist work, exploring new territories compared to what we previously worked on together.

Last but not least, the social aspect and the human side of the Workshop, always very important for us. During our Asturias & Northern Spain Workshop One-on-One I truly enjoyed seeing an old Alumnus coming back for a third Workshop with us. It’s always great when someone enjoys working with us so much that they come back multiple times, and we had a great time both working in the field and during our lunches and dinner, when we talked about photography and about equipment, particularly the Hasselblad X1D II that he had ordered and was eager to receive!

THE PARTICIPANT’S IMAGES AND COMMENTS | The participant in our Asturias & Northern Spain Workshop One-on-One kindly sent me his testimonial about the Workshop. See what he had to say about our Workshop together!

MAGNUS JONASSEN

As always it was great to meet my inspirational teacher! Vieri and his wife picked me up as planned and we took the road to the first place for the first shoot! It was 1.5 year since last time, and I was thrilled to get out and learn more from the master! As always, and one of my main reasons for going the third time with Vieri, was that everything was well prepared. Travel, hotels, and of course the different scenes. As the weather change very often on the coast, we discussed where to go and what to shoot to get the most out the four days together. Vieri is a great teacher in combination of being a great photographer, from the way you are able to discuss the different settings on your gear to the way you’ll work on composition and processing when back in the hotel. To join Vieri on a photographic adventure will never disappoint you. And to join him in such a beautiful place as the Northern Coast of Spain, will just inspire you even more! Thank you for all the good experience!

ASTURIAS & NORTHERN SPAIN 2018 WORKSHOP REPORT

In early October 2018, we returned to Asturias & Northern Spain for our second Workshop there, this time a 7-day Workshop with a full group of three participants. One of them was an Alumnus, returning for the third time with us, and who was with us in Asturias & Northern Spain in 2017 as well. He just loved Asturias & Northern Spain and enjoyed the Workshop so much that he came back for more! To me, that’s one of the best compliments our Workshops can get, as well as being a testament to how unbelievably beautiful this coast is, with its sequence of never-ending astonishing seascapes.

Asturias & Northern Spain 2018

During our Asturias & Northern Spain 2018 Workshop, we worked together on advanced seascape photography techniques, such as how to photograph arches with our tripods in the ocean balancing on boulders at Playa de Portizuelo, how to explore the ocean for compositions at El Picon, or how to work with tripods sinking in the sand in the ocean at Playa Ballota, for some truly unique resulting images that you couldn’t take otherwise.

Last but not least, the social aspect and the human side of the Workshop, always very important for us. During our Asturias & Northern Spain 2018 Workshop we worked with three participants equally enthusiastic about photography and the landscape, each with their different personality, but all perfect gentlemen. We had a great time both working in the field and during our image review & post-processing sessions, and we truly enjoyed our lunches and dinner, talking about photography, art and life!

THE PARTICIPANTS’ IMAGES AND COMMENTS | The participants in our Asturias & Northern Spain 2018 Workshop kindly sent me a few images each to share here with you, together with their testimonials about our Workshop. Enjoy the work they did in Spain and see what they had to say about our Workshop together!

STEVE MARSON

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Another Vieri Workshop and another trip to the Asturias – what more could a landscape photographer want? Impeccably well organised, good companions and good weather made for a memorable 7 days culminating in a location and sunrise that most photographers only dream of.

All the locations here reward repeat visits due to changes in tide and weather and the new areas visited yielded some of my all-time favourite sunset images. Accommodation and food were exceptional, and the Asturias is a very hospitable and unspoilt part of Spain. The coastal scenery is exceptionally photogenic and varied, with us being the only people present at most locations.

Afternoon processing and image review sessions were immensely helpful, being conducted in a constructive and friendly manner, including the daunting but enjoyable '5 minute processing challenge'! Thanks to Paul and Raimondo for being knowledgeable and amusing company for a memorable week of photographic pleasure.

As many will testify, a Bottazzini Workshop never disappoints, and I cannot recommend him highly enough as a guide, photographer, mentor and teacher.

Unfortunately, I will miss Vieri and Zeynep's company in 2019, but will certainly be back again for more adventures with them in 2020.
Steve Marson

RAIMONDO RESTELLI

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I liked the Asturias' workshop very much, not only Vieri is a very nice person, but he has been very professional in the organization & planning, with nice shooting locations, good accommodations and restaurants, very concerned about everybody's safety in the field, plus he was always available for suggestions and help when requested but never intrusive.

Compared to other workshops I previously attended, what I liked most is the small number of participants, which makes for more learning time and more personalized attention, and also that most of the downtime was used among all of us to review and critic pictures, rather than sleeping as it happened in several other workshops.

I was so happy and satisfied that I already booked 2 more workshops for next year, hoping to have again the same great time I just experienced.

PAUL SKILLEN

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Vieri, I came to your workshop to improve my ability to see and shoot wide angle and I learned a lot, so thank you. In addition to the great locations, I also appreciated the peer review sessions which were incredibly insightful. Lastly, I enjoyed everyone’s company and the beauty of Spain, so thank you for a great workshop.

ASTURIAS & NORTHERN SPAIN 2017 WORKSHOP REPORT

In September 2017, I had the great pleasure to lead our first Asturias & Northern Spain Workshop, this time a 9-day Workshop with two participants. One of them was a returning Alumnus, on his second trip with us after joining us on the Isle of Skye in the spring.

Asturias & Northern Spain 2017

During our Asturias & Northern Spain 2017 Workshop we worked on advanced seascape photography techniques, which I found fun and inspiring. In particular, I introduced the group to photographing with our tripods in the ocean, we had great fun (and got great images, too!) jumping up and down in the waves at Playa de Gueirua, exploring the ocean for compositions at El Picon, wading our way through the ocean to reach Playa de Campiecho’s arch at the perfect time for sunset, and photographing Playa de Mexota with water up to our knees. As well, during this Workshop we revisited Playa Barrika and Playa Ballota, to put different light conditions at our service.

Last but not least, the social aspect and the human side of the Workshop, always very important for us. During our Asturias & Northern Spain 2017 Workshop we worked with two participants with very different personalities, but equally enthusiastic about photography and the landscape. We had a great time both working in the field and during our lunches and dinner, when we talked about photography, art and life in general, for a pleasant and fun Workshop!

THE PARTICIPANTS’ IMAGES AND COMMENTS | The participants in our Asturias & Northern Spain 2017 Workshop kindly sent me a few images each to share here with you, together with their testimonials about our Workshop. Enjoy the work they did in Spain and see what they had to say about our Workshop together!

STEVE MARSON

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The 2017 Asturias Workshop was my second trip with Vieri and made me appreciate the huge amount of work and organisation that goes into a successful landscape photography trip. Planning the logistics of visiting locations at the right state of the tide and light, with contingencies for bad weather is a difficult task that takes intimate knowledge of the area. As a result, we had a superb workshop with full days and excellent photographic opportunities even on the few days when the weather was sub-optimal. Particularly rewarding was the occasions where we visited the same location at sunset and then the following sunrise, which produced completely different images and helped enormously having been there before. Waders enabled us to reach locations at the best state of the tide before other photographers and also use viewpoints that would have been impossible otherwise. Vieri's teaching style encourages individuality… with the occasional nudge in the right direction and excellent advice when unsure of technicalities or compositional problems. Travel time was not wasted… much of it was spent discussing all aspects of photography. The afternoon image review sessions were very helpful, encouraging self-criticism of our images followed by suggestions on processing to bring out the best in them. Vieri invariably saw good images hiding in what we thought were destined for the trash! Accommodation was wonderful, food excellent and the company great. The Asturias coast is a wonderfully photogenic area and the whole trip was a delight. The images I have testify to that and will bring back happy memories for many years to come. I'm eternally grateful to Vieri, Zeynep and Witold for a super time!
Steve Marson

WITOLD KACZANOWSKI

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They say money can´t buy happiness but you can book Vieri´s workshop instead and the result will be the same! If you don´t have much time for searching for the best locations out there, if you want to be on these locations at the best time of the year/month/day and learn tricks of the trade from top-notch landscape photographer then don´t think twice and press “book now” button. If you, like me, think that spending a week or so speaking and breathing photography all day long and shooting at gorgeous locations seems like a best bet for your precious time out of the office, then again, stop reading me review and press than booking button now!

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