Photography in the Rain

Photography in the Rain at Restabal

This Tuesday we went for a walk in the rain above the small village of Restabal in Valle de Lecrin. Photography in the rain is a surprisingly rewarding pastime as long as you have adequate clothing. There is nothing worse than being wet and cold.

The beauty of rain, even if it is just drizzle is that the clouds act like a giant soft box, casting wonderfully diffused light across the landscape. The wet intensifies the colours and makes for an entirely different view of a familiar landscape.

I took my Ricoh GR IIIx as I thought this might be a short walk – the weather report was not promising and at breakfast time the rain was lashing down, but the Mountain Nomads are a hardy bunch and so we met up in the village and started the climb up into the hills behind.

As we climbed we encountered a fair amount of urban decay, unusual for the Lecrin Valley.

Urban Decay in Restabal
The City Collides with Nature

But once we got beyond the outskirts of the village we could see some quite spectacular colours and patterns in the farmland on the lower slopes of the hills.

A Lush Landscape

The highlight was found at the top of the hill. Or what looked like the top of the hill! Once there we realised we were standing on top of a ruined castle or lookout point, the Castillo de Restabal, dating from the end of the 13th Century.

During the Muslim occupation the entire Lecrin Valley was made up of farms or villages dependant on agriculture. Positioned between the Vega del Genil, the Costa Tropical, and the Alpujarra, the area became a buffer zone featuring defences controlling the movement of people and goods. These fortifications included at least nineteen locations distributed throughout the Valley. The largest were small castles. The smallest, watchtowers. They were located on hills, where they had strategic views.

Aljibe Castillo de Restabal
Aljibe – Castillo de Restabal

Of the larger fortifications, there are still remains of the Castle of Mondújar, Castle of Dúrcal or Peñón de los Moros, Castle of Lanjarón, Castle of Lojuela, Castle of Chite and Castle of Restábal. Of the smaller, the two watchtowers outside Conchar are well preserved, Atalaya de Marchal and Atalaya de Conchar as is the Atalaya de Salares.

A fascinating walk, pulling together the history of the valley. I find that walking in this area is the best way to understand the history, you start to see the connections between places much better than you do by car and appreciate the way life was back then for the local population. The Moors certainly appreciated the area and brought with them technology in the form of irrigation that is still used today. As well as architecture, cooking and agriculture. Did the Christians improve things? I wonder.

On photography, all of the images here were taken with the Ricoh GR IIIx, fixed 30mm lens usually used for street photography. Processed in Adobe Lightroom, Nic Color Efex and Nik Viveza. I’m doing a series of videos on the Nik Collection which you can see on my YouTube channel.


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