A photo workshop at S. Miguel church, Estella, Navarra, Spain, on the way of St James

When considering how to prepare an activity in order to learn about medieval art, I decided ask for the collaboration of  Blanca Aldanondo, a professional photographer who became very well known in Navarra because of her work with Diego Carususán , which you can see here.
We went to Estella, a village on the way of St. James, very rich in art, with nice houses, streets, palaces, landscapes, churches, museums… Some time ago, we visited San Pedro de la Rua, but this time we focused on the stunning façade of St. Miguel. Here you have a link, even if the information is only in Spanish, at least you can enjoy having a look at the terrific pictures and details that I was talking about.San Miguel de Estella
First, I explained to the students, what we had in front of us. What do you see here? What scenes can you identify? What kind of similarities and differences can you find, and explain in comparison with other medieval churches we have seen?
After looking carefully at the scenes of Jesus’ childhood, His public life, scenes of martyrdom, St. Miguel wounding the dragon with the spear, and scenes of the resurrection of Christ, Blanca explained how to take the very best pictures, each one with his own camera.
“It is not necessary to have a very expensive one”, said Blanca, “but you have to know how it works. Read the instructions before using it!”
How does a camera work? What does it have inside? She also talked about diaphragm , shutter, sensitivity… And then each one took  pictures and compared  results depending on what technique or other they used.
Taking pictures implies looking at something very very carefully, and this is what we did; one hour and a half for this façade , and it is well worth expending time in art.
It was cold and rainy, so after the shooting session we went to drink hot chocolate, coffee and had cakes, with time for chatting and talking about journalism, photography and art with Blanca. Clara, who right now is the cinematographer of a short film asked for some professional advice.It was a lovely morning, and everybody was able to bring home their own personal book of pictures of St. Miguel of Estella. If you want to know more about this village and “tierra Estella” check out the official tourism website. Turismo Tierra Estella.

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