For a special Christmas and New Year treat, Tenerife Magazine caught up with Raico Rosenberg, Tenerife’s gifted landscape photographer whose sensational images have occasionally graced our Facebook page, leaving us all open-mouthed in wonder.
Not only did Raico share his passion for photography and let us showcase some of his amazing photos, but he also gave us some priceless tips for capturing Tenerife’s extraordinary landscapes AND is giving TM readers a 10% discount on his 2013 calendar if you quote TM2013. We think that would make a rather splendid Christmas present for anybody’s stocking ““ don’t you?
TM: Hi Raico. Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to chat to Tenerife Magazine, we have been huge fans of your work for some time now. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, first of all allow me to thank you for this great opportunity.
I was born and raised in Tenerife and went to Wingate School in Cabo Blanco where I picked up my English and then furthered my education in the UK at University. Whilst growing up in Tenerife I learnt to Speak fluent English, Spanish and German. I also became very proficient at French and Italian during my time at University. When I was younger my parents had refused to buy a TV for our home so I always spent most of my free time outdoors spear fishing, hiking around and doing plenty of surfing. I”M thankful now because I believe it has enhanced my experience with nature which I attempt to reflect in my images. Outdoors in the wild I feel completely adept and agile.
I currently work as a telecoms technician for PH Electronic in Costa del Silencio. I enjoy it quite a lot since it means I”M mostly outdoors where I feel most comfortable. It also helps me finance my very expensive photography hobby.
TM: When and why did your passion for photography begin?
It started at a very early age from the moment I picked up a camera and became mesmerized by the creative possibilities. Growing up I had become frustrated at the lack of decent imagery of Tenerife, most came in the form of simple postcard shots. Unfortunately my peers deemed it an overall expensive hobby so it wasn’t till about 2008 when digital photography became so much more affordable that I purchased my first DSLR (digital single-lens-reflex). I had never done a photography course in my life and the learning curve was very steep but taking digital pictures is free and fortunately my endless passion fuelled my drive to excel. I would spend hours reading magazines, researching on the internet and bought many books on the subject. It wasn’t till 2010 that I met Michael Bolognesi (a veteran concert photographer from the late 80s) and my photography took a great leap forward. Michael was now a successful restaurateur with a passion for landscape photography so together we undertook many photographic projects and trips abroad. This resulted in perfecting our knowledge and techniques dramatically, taking our photographic skills to levels we had only dreamed of and even further.
TM: What is it about Tenerife that makes it such a special place to photograph?
Apart from Tenerife having an incredible climate it has possibly some of the most diverse and photogenic landscapes all packed in a relatively small 2000 km2 (785 sq mi). It also has more than just sunny beaches where the sand varies in colour. There’s the Las Cañadas natural reserve that takes my breath away each time I”M up there as it looks like it’s from another planet. Up there we have the unique tajinaste flowers at the end of May, vast fields of colourful flowers in spring, snow in winter, pine forests and endless volcanic shapes. In the northern tip in the Anaga Massif we have a lush laurisilva forest, volcanic pumice shores in the south, the mighty cliffs of Los Gigantes and the list goes on endlessly. The good thing is that is all within a very affordable 4 hour flight from Europe.
Sadly I must add that I’ve met quite a few people from abroad who have lived here for decades and have never really explored the full beauty of the island.
TM: Many photographers seem to favour early morning for their landscapes. is there a time of day or season on Tenerife that you particularly enjoy capturing?
Absolutely, photography is all about capturing light. The best times are sunrise and sunset. The light at those hours transforms dramatically. This “golden light” not only makes everything much more visually pleasing but is also a very exciting experience to watch how some of nature’s most dramatic spectacles of light unfold in the sky. I love getting up early in the morning to chase light.
TM: What camera(s) and equipment do you use and why?
I use a Nikon D300s with 12megapixels which is an absolute gem. The D300s is classed as a semi-professional camera and becoming a bit out of date in digital terms. Despite this its image quality and capabilities are more than enough. It’s all down to image quality and most of all the person behind the lens. Cameras don’t take pictures, people do.
I also use a good selection of lenses that allow me to achieve maximum image quality. For my landscapes I have a healthy selection of LEE filters, handmade in the UK and ridiculously expensive! Although in the digital age many landscape photographers blend exposures in Photoshop to produce a final image I prefer to use my filters for many reasons, its a bigger challenge and a much purer process in my eyes.
TM: Do you have any tips on techniques to use when photographing landscapes?
Certainly, landscape photography is all about patience and having lots of free time! Investing in some neutral density filters is definitely worth it to balance the exposure between the sky and foreground. I would recommend a set of Cokin filters to start off with. Another filter that is imperative for shooting landscapes is a polarizer that will come to good use in Tenerife. A polarizer will not only saturate colours but also eliminate haze and unwanted reflections. A sturdy tripod is a must. Overall try not to invest in cheap gear, it will only weigh your progress down and be heavy on your wallet as you will have to shell out again later on.
TM: What’s your view of photo apps such as Instagram, and trending techniques like HDR photography?
It all depends on the person. These different apps/techniques are simply different ways to be creative. I have done some natural looking HDR photos for many commercial architecture shoots with great success. HDR means high-dynamic range, a process where many different shots at different exposures are fused to create one single image with greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image. The typical HDR look is often associated with a very dramatic, saturated and grungy look.
TM: Where else in the world would you like to photograph and why?
There are so many places to photograph in the world, too many to mention. In summer 2012 I did a trip to the west coast of USA with Michael and had a real blast photographing the wilderness there. Sadly most iconic locations were jam packed with photographers of all groups but fortunately we went off the beaten track and captured some images to die for.
TM: If you could only capture one Tenerife shot, what would it be?
I´d hate to say this but it would be Teide erupting!
TM: Where can people see/buy your landscapes?
At the moment I have a selection of my work at the Magma Centre in Las Americas which is part of the Ten-Diez.com project.
People can also visit my website where I have all my photos online with a 2013 Tenerife Landscapes calendar. I can give a 10% discount to Tenerife Magazine readers for the calendar with the following discount code: TM2013
TM: Muchisimas gracias, Raico y ¡Feliz Navidad! 🙂
Images of Raico courtesy of Michael Bolognesi – another excellent Tenerife landscape photographer