During the first week of April I was working on the Basque Coast in the north of Spain to generate a file for a new project that will be released at the end of the year. I decided to work in the Basque Coast Geopark, on a beach that nature photographers love. It is undoubtedly one of the best locations in Europe to photograph. The area is so inspiring that it has served as the setting for the TV series Game of Thrones. But, what I found there changed my way of seeing the beach, and the mission to protect it.
Words and images by Antonio Liebana
My first photo session was in the imposing flysch, which are rock formations with a very characteristic appearance. While the tides rise and fall water runs through the grooves of the rocks. I found a lot of plastic waste, including microplastics, that the tide carried in and deposited on this spectacular beach. It is totally discouraging that we are getting away with so much plastic consumption. Undoubtedly, we have to denounce this practice. Above all, we need to work to raise awareness of the importance of drastically curbing the consumption of all types of plastic, especially single-use plastic items. Small actions, such as reducing the daily purchase of single-use plastic items, would exponentially reduce the amount of plastic and microplastics that end up in our rivers and seas. Reducing the use of plastic bottles, single-use plastic bags, and the sticks of the pirouettes is a good start.
We cannot allow such wonderful sites to degrade, especially when it is our task to fight with our photos to create awareness of these sites. As nature photographers, we have the mission to protect and raise awareness through our images. Whether we are amateur or professional, we must convey the need to preserve natural spaces. Through our daily actions, and our images, we can help protect these special places. We cannot settle for just displaying good images of incredible sites. There must be something behind the images, such as a message about the need for these natural spaces to remain pristine for a long time.
Without a doubt, the northern coast of Spain is an idyllic place for the landscape photographer. A place where the coastal and interior landscapes, as well as the gastronomy, leave a beautiful impression on all those who visit.
For this work I used the Canon 5D Mark IV with the 16-35 f/4 lens, LEE filters and filter holder, Benro tripod, SanDisk cards, and f-stop Lotus backpack.
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