on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Between Tides

An Interview with Isabel Díez

Isabel Diez

Isabel Díez

Based in the Basque Country, Isabel Díez is photographer and marine biologist. Since her childhood, Isabel has maintained a dual relationship with nature: a rational one that arises from her curiosity about how life works, along with a spiritual connection that emerges from the inner revelations that she experiences in the wild. The analytical and artistic sides of her personality have flourished symbiotically to give a body of work that depict the natural world through lyrical and evocative images. Anywhere on the planet where nature is well preserved is for her a special, sacred and inspiring place. Beyond the physical appearance of the subjects, she is interested in the personal world of feelings and emotions that can be built around them.

Isabel is an award-winning photographer, lecturer, workshop leader and author of two photography books: "Between Tides" (2021) and "At the Edge of the Tides" (2009). She was a member of the project ‘Objetivo Pura Vida’ [Objective Pure Life] staged by the Spanish Embassy in Costa Rica to portray the extraordinary biodiversity of this country, and head editor of the IRIS magazine by the Spanish Nature Photographers Association (Aefona) over the 2011-2014 period. Her work has been exhibited throughout Spain and in several other countries. She has taken part in the jury panels of renowned international competitions such as Asferico, Montphoto and GDT-European Wildlife Photographer of the Year.


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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