Practical info, equipment and camera formats


If you wish to join us on a LUZIA photo course, this page is a must-read! Please take time to read all of it, so that you’re prepared to make the best of your holiday, and we are able to make things run as smoothly and snag-free as possible.

FLIGHTS AND TRANSFERS

Our nearest airport is Jerez. British Airways fly daily from Heathrow to Jerez via Madrid from £230. There are also cheap direct flights from London Stansted between mid-March and mid-November, which is our main season for the courses. There are also Ryanair flights from Düsseldorf Weeze (selected days from March onwards) and Frankfurt Hahn (selected days from March onwards) and Barcelona. We can pick you up at the airport, and there is a cheap and nice train directly from Cadiz to the airport that corresponds with the flight back, should you wish to stay on for a couple of days. Should you be coming from Gibraltar, Malaga, or Sevilla, please contact us and we’ll find the best solution for transfer. See more on how to get here, on the Cadiz City Info page.


ACCOMMODATION

We don’t include accommodation in the price because we believe that most people will want to choose their price level and style of accommodation, but we are very happy to help you with booking. On the Accommodation page under the Cadiz City Info tab we have a list of Cadiz hotel recommendations, varying from hotels and smaller pensions to apartments of varying prices. Booking support from us may be especially useful for those who don’t speak Spanish or arriving solo.


FOOD

Our course fee includes a full meal every day, and the main meal in Spain is lunch. Occasionally this may be a picnic, but usually lunch is taken at venues we know and where we know the food is good. See more about food in the diet and health section on this page.


LANGUAGE

We speak English, Spanish and Norwegian/’Scandiwegian‘ (Gry). We’re open-minded and easy going when it comes to communicating in several languages at any given time, as we’re pretty used to it! Language is no barrier to what we teach, and as long as you’re also prepared to communicate the best you can.


CAMERAS

Our courses are not for equipment snobs, in fact, we are fairly open minded about what camera you choose to use. We believe that good photography lies in composition, use of light, good preparation and creativity. Whatever your camera, we help you get the best out of it, even if it’s just an iPhone! However, the best camera for a course like this is usually a digital SLR, with both manual and automatic controls. Whatever you bring, please assure yourself that it’s functioning perfectly and is well protected in a suitable bag. We recommend bringing the camera manual/handbook, and if you can’t do this, make sure that you at least know the basics of the camera. We cannot be held responsible for malfunctioning cameras or cameras with quirks that hinder you from shooting. We may be able to help you with a hire camera, but we should know beforehand.

For any cameras you bring, don’t forget compatible memory cards, batteries (and spares if you can) and your camera battery charger.

See a list of camera formats at the bottom of this page.


TRIPODS AND FLASH

In some situations a tripod is essential, especially when shooting into dark, or composing very carefully. You may also want to do some creative movement shots or double exposures. You may bring a tripod yourself, or you can hire one from us, or even a monopod. You may get away with shooting using fixed objects for support, but a tripod gives you more freedom. You may want to bring a hand-held flash but we don’t see that as a requirement for the course, as we will teach you to work with the ambient light and use reflectors with the natural light.


COMPUTERS AND EDITING IMAGES

At Luzia we use Apple Macs, but we are happy for you to bring your laptop of choice. We use Adobe Photoshop™ and Adobe Bridge™ for file editing. If you haven’t got Photoshop on your computer, you can download a 30-day trial prior to the course. If you haven’t got a laptop, please contact us to discuss solutions.


ALLERGIES

If you have a mosquito allergy, make sure you bring trousers and socks that cover your legs and ankles in the evening, and wear tops that cover your arms and wrists too. We recommend the use of a mosquito net in the night. Autan mosquito spray/stick and an electric plug-in can be purchased locally. Taking antihistamine before you go to bed can also help, as it deters the mosquitoes and helps you sleep better. Allergy sufferers should know that we do have a long-haired resident cat in on the premises. Most sufferers don’t react to him at all, but if you do have an extreme allergy, let us know before booking in order to discuss precautions.


DIET AND HEALTH

The Spanish diet is generally meat- and fish-based, and to be honest it is NOT a great place for vegetarian food. You’ll be able to find a nice salad or potato dish in most places, but vegetarian options tend to be more basic than in northern Europe. Unfortunately we won’t be able to change the food venues to accommodate vegetarians, as we have prearranged venues and there simply aren’t any veggie places on our routes. However, we can always ask beforehand for vegetarian options. If you have any food intolerances or food you simply don’t eat, please let us know beforehand. If you have any known medical conditions, please let us know before you firm up a booking. Also make sure you have obtain a European Health Insurance Card, which covers medical treatment in all EEA countries. You can obtain this for free. Our course requires moderate fitness and you will be required to sign a Health Declaration Form and make sure you are insured.


SUN PROTECTION

The sun here is blazingly powerful, but if you take precaution, even the lightest skin can be protected. Please bring general sun protection, with a UV factor a bit stronger than you’d usually use. Also bring a sun block for noses, bald heads, lips and shoulders, and some very light cotton shirts to block the rays of the sun. You’ll also want some lip protection and sunglasses. A hat is strongly recommended, and it should be the kind that can take some breeze, and you don’t want the famous Levante wind to take it off to sea. If you have long hair, it’s best to tie it back, as it can get in the way of shooting.


CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR

Dress like an onion!! Bring loads of layers that you can peel off or put back on. Whatever the season we experience a range of temperatures here, with an effective range of up to 15-20 degrees difference in one day! It’s not uncommon to enjoy the sun in a t-shirt on the terrace and having to dress in a fleece just a bit later on a winter or early spring day. Bring cotton shirts, t-shirts, jumpers to layer, a light scarf, and a hat to protect from the sun. A wind- and water-proof jacket is also very useful, as there may be wind and sea splash. Bring footwear suitable for walking on sandy beaches and dunes, and these should also withstand water. For city walking, remember that we have cobbled streets!


BAGS AND CARRYING EQUIPMENT

You’ll need some kind of camera bag that protects your kit from knocks, damp and also sand if it’s windy. It doesn’t matter what brand it is, but remember that it is your own responsibility to protect your equipment. It’s also a good idea to carry a smaller bag for memory cards, extra batteries,


INSURANCE

You need to be fully travel insured, and this should also include having EHIC medical card, which may cover Spanish state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. No liability is accepted by Luzia for personal accident, loss or damage to personal property. Each individual must state their insurance on the booking form.

Nacho shooting

Nacho with his analogue Hasselblad during building works

 


Camera formats you can use on our courses


Digital SLR: This is the best choice, as you will have a range of functions and controls on the camera that can make for better shots. For example, controlling white balance, shutter speeds, depth-of-field, and exposure compensation for very bright subjects. On these cameras you can also change lenses and select different focus and light metering methods. You can also shoot Raw files, which have more latitude for processing than Jpegs.

Compact SLR: Some of these can be surprisingly good, and come packed with features, but often you are restricted to one fixed zoom lens. Others may be more basic in terms of manual control and range of features, but we’ll always squeeze the best out of it. There are also several new mirror-less compacts with rangefinder views.  Some of these are fully professional cameras with interchangeable lenses.

Digital Compacts: these will have limited  features and you’ll only have one lens, generally a digital zoom. There will usually be very little possibility for setting manual exposure. In some cases you are actually better off with an iPhone or iPad.

iPhones and iPads have one big drawback, which is the very reflective screen. We can help you shield the screen, but it’s still not very practical in bright sun. However, it is possible to get some fairly decent images out of these devices, especially if using a particular app (we can recommend upon booking). Gry has a lot of advice when it comes to using the iPhone for location shooting, and if you are more interested in the holiday and the experience than the picture quality, we will give you just as good instruction on the iPhone as on any camera!

Film Compacts such as Lomo /// 35mm film SLR /// 35mm Rangefinder: For these you’d have to bring your own film and be prepared to process upon return home. We can give you advice on processing but we currently have no darkroom locally. However, we are both experienced film shooters, and Nacho still shoots some film. These cameras all use 35mm film in Black & White or Colour, and there’s a huge span of what these different 35mm cameras do, in terms of manual control and features. Please avoid high ISO films!

120-film medium cameras: Nacho still uses an analog Hasselblad and even his gran’s old Rolleiflex from time to time. As mentioned before, there is no darkroom, so if you use 120mm film, please make sure you have a good supply of it, and bring it back home for processing.

5×4 large format is a model we’ve both shot extensively on in the past. For certain courses we will accept the use of  it, but you must bring dark-slides, film, instant (polaroid) holder and black cloth yourself, and be prepared to carry it and set it up in the different locations. Please be aware that unless you are familiar with this camera, you’ll require a lot of one-to-one tuition on it and therefore we cannot accommodate this on a normal course. Please contact us to discuss a custom course for this. We may, on certain occasions demonstrate a 5×4 on our courses, but this will not be an in-depth tutorial.

For all film cameras we strongly recommend that you bring a digital camera as well, or you’ll lose out on the post-production part – if you have no files to work on!

Gry shooting

Gry shooting her own reflection at Luzia, with an iPhone

Copyright © Luzia 2013