on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Between Tides

An Interview with Isabel Díez

Isabel Díez

Isabel Díez

Based in the Basque Country, Isabel Díez is a photographic artist, lecturer, workshop leader and author of two photography books.


Charlotte Parkin

Charlotte Parkin

Head of Marketing & Sub Editor for On Landscape. Dabble in digital photography, open water swimmer, cooking buff & yogi.

There is something special about a walk along the beach; The sound of the waves, the patterns in the sand or the smell of the sea air.

Isabel Díez's career as a marine biologist has kept her in constant contact with the shoreline. Her passion for photography was created out of the need as a researcher to document the ecosystems along the coast.

As Isabel says 'The gaze of a scientist and the gaze of a photographer who wants to express emotions through her images are very different.' We talked to Isabel about how her relationship with the coast has developed and evolved with her love of photography.

Tell us about why you love nature photography? How did your passion develop as a child and young adult?

My emotional bond with nature developed long before my passion for photography. I was born in the Basque Country. My parents had a house near the sea and a small boat we used for fishing. I spent hours in the intertidal pools and watching the waves breaking on the shore; the angrier the waves were, the more excited I got. Finally, I went to the Canary Islands to study Oceanography. At the same time, I have loved art since I was a child. I still remember the first oil painting I painted in the kitchen at my home; it was a copy of a lithograph showing a small wooden boat on a beach under a deep blue sky. I continue to paint and also make mosaics with small stones that I collect from the coast. I always depict natural elements.

Isabel Díez Rocks 1

Photography took a long time to reach my heart. It started as part of my work at the university. I have worked for 30 years as a researcher on issues related to seaweeds and human impact on the functioning of their ecosystems. I wanted to make a field guide to identify the species and raise awareness of the importance of these wonderful and primitive living beings. I didn't know anything about photography, so I bought 4 books on John Shaw's photography technique, a camera, a lens, and lots of Fuji Velvia 50 slides. Something unexpected then happened; I discovered the art of photography was the best way to join my need to be in nature and my need to create.

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