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I am Nikonians

Jordi Viñas Bascompte (jordivb) Interview

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)


Keywords: landscape, architecture, photography, nikonians, jordivbcatalonia

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Now for a virtual tour in Catalonia, which Jordi Viñas Bascompte calls his home. He brings subject material that illustrates the advantage of photography focused on where one lives. His posts and this feature have allowed us to peek into cultural experiences, details of architecture, and places with familiar names all of which we may never have seen, except through Jordi.  

“I have an engineering background, having worked in the fields of automotive vibration isolation and industrial gearboxes for years. Since 2014 I have managed a small plant making top notch servo-motors for robotics industry. This professional story leads to intense international exposure, and also to interests in many areas, from reading, literature and history to architecture, computer science or AI. I also consider myself what would be called in the U.S. ‘a tinkerer’, as I love working in many crafts and DIY.

I’m blessed with a family with four ladies who have different areas of interest.  With my three daughters in college now, this broadens the spectrum of knowledge even more. They make me feel like a renaissance guy, a generalist.

01

Montserrat Range as seen from Manresa on a cloudy day
D750, Nikkor 24-120 f/4.0 AF-S @ 46mm, f/10, 1/100s, ISO 140
Click for an enlargement

 

We live in Manresa, an old nice city (Roman Minorisa) 50 miles north of Barcelona, in Catalonia. A few famous things about our city are the draftingof St. Ignatius - Spiritual Exercises in Manresa and his later founding of the Jesus Company. Manresa is ‘strategically’ placed at a one-hour drive from the Pyrenees Range and 1 hour from Mediterranean beaches, and rather close to Montserrat Mountains. Opportunities for photography are vast and diverse. 

02

Hiking in Montserrat
D750, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AF-S @ f/8, 1/400s, ISO 100
Click for an enlargement

 

I tend to take lots of pictures while hiking, either in the Pyrenees or in Montserrat, or even across the fields and forests surrounding Manresa. 

03

The Mummy, the Elephant and the Bishop’s belly
All rocks have nicknames in Montserrat
D750, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4.0 AF-S @ 58mm, 1/250s, f/9, ISO 100
Click for an enlargement

 

Barcelona city offers many photography opportunities, with many monuments, public events and a broad range of cultural activities.

04

Sagrada Familia. Barcelona. Architect: Antoni Gaudi
D750, Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 AF-S @ f/9, 1/80s, ISO 8000
Click for an enlargement

 

As a lover of Gaudí’s architecture, I have a project in mind to illustrate the geometries he used for his designs.

05

Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau. Barcelona
Architect: Lluís Domènech i Montaner
D750, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4.0 AF-S @ 24mm, f/4, 1/50s ISO 280
Click for an enlargement

 

06

The Warriors. Chimneys @ Gaudi’s ‘La Pedrera’. Barcelona
D750, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4.0 AF-S @ 120mm, f/6.3, 1/640s, ISO 100
Click for an enlargement

 

In the city of Manresa itself, in addition to some interesting monuments, there are many opportunities for street photography, as it is a rather active city. But this is not what I like the most. I prefer going out to the mountains, forests and old vineyards. I am reluctant to say that just one hour away, Barcelona offers much wider opportunities.

We also like to travel around on vacation with the family, hence taking also lots of pictures.

07

Ceiling structure @ St. Pancras Train Station. London
D750, Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 AF-S @ f/10, 1/200s, ISO 800
Several images stitched with MS-ICE.
Perspective correction with Photoshop CC.
Click for an enlargement

 

Photography for me is a great hobby. Time spent once in the darkroom and now before the screen, helps me relax. And taking pictures during hikes, trips or social activities helps preserve and share our memories. For one project I even illustrated the official family cook-book. 

When travelling I enjoy shooting wild flowers too. I have a wide collection of them. And now I’m trying to start with nightscapes, despite that it is difficult to find clear skies here. 

08

Crypt at Romansesque St. Vicenç church on Cardona, Catalonia
D750, Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 AF-S, @ f/4, ISO 10,000
5 handheld images HDR using NIK software
Click for an enlargement

 

Quite often, I end up taking pictures of our girls or of our yellow lab Xerpa, who makes an excellent model. One curiosity that I love to shoot is old windows and doors from old houses and farms - another collection I should publish someday.

09

Old Window. Tobed, Aragón
D750, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4.0 AF-S @ 62mm, f/4.5, 1/160s, ISO 100
Click for an enlargement

 

I particularly love the way some images restore the textures you find in some objects. 

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Old Window. Llivia, Catalonia
D750 +Nikkor AFS 24-120 f4.0 @ 40mm, 1/1000s, f/9, ISO 640
I find old wooden, stone and metal textures rather interesting
Click for an enlargement

 

Shooting macro attracts me as it involves a fair amount of preparation, which I like. This helps me also with some work-related product photography that I use in my presentations.

I found Nikonians in 2009 while seeking advice to buy a D300. I saw immediately the vast amount of information made available by Nikonians fellows, so I became a member and tried to contribute too. But I must honestly admit that I have learned a lot more from patient advice that has been offered. From choosing a tripod to focus stacking, HDR, and many, many other techniques I use for either shooting or post processing. 

It helped not just to learn about photography but to hone my English language skills too. Seeing posts from others or getting honest and educated comments for my own posts helps to improve.  

I appreciate the patience and the knowledge within the community. Most posts are polite replies and I’ve never been let down when seeking information or advice.  I think this creates a lot of confidence, especially for newbies asking some really basic questions.

Despite the fact that Nikonians members seem to be mostly based distantly in the U.S. and other countries I’ve made good friends.  Some have even crossed the pond and we have met up which I found great.  I dream of one day joining an ANPAT.

I borrowed some advice for youngsters from a famous American: ‘Stay Hungry. Stay foolish’ (Steve Jobs). I use this with my kids and young collaborators. I think it also applies to photography, which is rapidly changing with the advent of new technologies. You must be avid to learn new techniques, and learn from others, but also be foolish to be creative and dare to experiment.

I had a scary experience visiting a closed salt mine with some friends and the kids. There was a safe place provided to keep people away from old facilities. While everybody was returning to the cars, I stayed a bit longer to take some shots. I saw what I supposed to be a big dried up puddle with spectacular splits in the pristine smooth surface of the mud. The cracks produced tile-like patterns. To add drama to my picture I decided to enter the puddle and drop something colourful - a key ring.

Big error! The puddle was a deep mud well from the mining wastes - really deep apparently and soft. So, I started slowly sinking into the mud with no idea how deep the well was. It was late evening, nobody was there to help, and the parking area was too far away for anyone to hear me.  While sinking, I managed to think that I should offer more resistance and tried to move to a flat position. This stopped vertical motion and I was able crawl to get out of the well. That could have had a fatal outcome but I was lucky, and in the end, there was nothing a good shower and washing machine could not solve. But I will definitely stay away of sand and mud stacks forever.”

Nothing like finishing with a little adrenalin and an anxiety provoking experience.  I found myself reading faster and faster worried, about the outcome. Jordi as well as all other contributors have such unique and fascinating landscapes and subjects to photograph. I know that this is a busy time for you, Jordi, in your professional pursuits to have made time to take part in this interview.  Jordi brings a friendly and gregarious quality to his interactions on Nikonians making it so enjoyable to see his posts in addition to what he adds to the photography experience.

Originally written on October 29, 2019

Last updated on November 18, 2019

Marsha Edmunds Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for her in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Lethbridge, Canada
Team, 8555 posts

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5 comments

Dale Maas (marnigirl) on November 4, 2019

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for his generous contribution to the 2017-2018 fundraising campaign

Jordi, so wonderful to see you featured in Marsha's Nikonians article. I guess I should add that I know Jordi and his family quite well. His daughter, Laura, stayed with us for a few weeks as we tried to show her the West as we know it. Laura is a wonderful daughter and has just completed her fifth year of Veterinary school and is now officially a Vet. Another daughter, Marta, Laura's twin, is working on her degree in Denmark (I believe). The oldest daughter is achieving her Doctorate in Switzerland. All of these high performing siblings are a direct result to Jordi's and Lourdes's (wife) excellent parenting and leading by example. We have visited the family twice and have been overwhelmed by the family's wonderful welcome and their ability to show us what they love about the Catalonia area of Spain. I felt that Nikonians should know these things about Jordi that he is too humble to tell all of you. I consider Jordi a dear friend and of course the girls and Lourdes as well. I should mentioned that Jordi's English is excellent and in addition he speaks four other languages. So there is more than just great photography and a quest to learn new things that should be aired. Take Care, Jordi, and hope to see you and family in Arizona next year. Dale

Jordi Viñas Bascompte (jordivb) on November 3, 2019

Hi everyone, I must apologize fot not being too active at Nikonians on the last recent years. Not that I have totally abandoned photography, but unfortunately I cannot devote the same amount of time. My workis getting complex as we're growing in several markets. Then I had my portion of health issues, nothing too bad but I was forced to pace down. And last excuse i that I decided to build a nice 12" telescope and have a go to astrophotography. Not an easy hobby, believe me. But I'm deligthed that the story we worked with Marsha has been published, so some people will have a reminder on my favourite places. I knoe that many Nikonians have already visited Barcelona, and other parts of Catalonia too. Marsha, these differences you mention makes mankind really rich in experiences. David, feel invited to contact if you decide to come, you will not regret to visit Catalonia. Tom, we need to find time for that cofee! Windows project started as something funny, as I love the textures you find in old wooden constructs. Now I 've got a great collection of windows. Maybe I should seek for sponsorship at Microsoft :) Kind regards to all Nikonians. I'll try to come back and be again more active.

David Goldstein (dagoldst) on October 31, 2019

A fascinating look of a place I'd like to visit. Thanks for taking the time to write this article. :)

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2) on October 31, 2019

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for her in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Hi Jordi, It has been quite a while since we worked on this and it was just as stirring to read your words again. We live in different worlds from comparing architecture and landscapes making your images so intriguing to me. Best to you and your family.

Tom Jacob (sevendayimages) on October 30, 2019

Awarded for his continuous knowledge and images sharing with community members Awarded for his win at the Best of Nikonians 2016 Photo Contest Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Hola amigo! Really great to see an article about your life&work up here. I never saw that project you want to do about windows and doors, and the shots are great...you should go for it! Whenever time permits and are life collides between work, we need a coffee on the Ramblas ;)

G