Nocturnal Creatives: David Ariño

This week we sat down with outdoor adventurer David Ariño, a photographer and videographer with a passion for capturing those spots that few others can. Based up in the Catalan pyrenees he stays immersed in nature, but regularly travels far and wide in search of new challenges, shooting the beauty he finds along the way. 
David has mastered the art of the night photo, so we tracked him down to ask for his top tips, as well as a few stories of his nocturnal adventures and what makes them so special.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in photography and videography? It can’t be easy taking cameras on your adventures, what motivates you to shoot the kind of images you do?
My name is David Ariño, I’m 32 years old, and I live in a small town in the Pyrenees.
I started pursuing photography over 10 years ago when I was living in Chamonix. At that time, I wasn’t focussing exclusively on photography, but I always took my camera with me when I was out in the mountains.
It was then that some brands started to show interest in my photos, and I thought, "Wow! Maybe this is what I should dedicate myself to." So, I came into the world of photography by chance.
I don't consider myself a great photographer (there are many who are more technically skilled than I am), but it is true that I can reach places where other photographers cannot. In the end, especially in mountain photography, I have learned that many times "the location" is more important than "the photo."



We'd love to hear about one of your most memorable adventures shooting in the dark…

Beyond my work, every year I love to seek out personal challenges or adventures, not necessarily up high in the mountains, but always experiences that are truly intense. This year, I embarked on a winter trek in the Arctic, travelling self-sufficiently, and it turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Letting curiosity lead the way, we intentionally chose the darkest time in the Arctic Circle. Walking for over 10 days in almost total darkness was both terrifying and incredible. If I already liked nighttime adventures, here I fell in love with them.

What do you find most intriguing about photographing or filming at night? How does it differ from capturing images during the day, and what techniques do you employ to bring out the essence of nocturnal scenes?

Taking photos at night is a major challenge (at least for me). Photography relies on light, and doing without it is not easy. You have to focus on elements that produce or reflect light (headlamps, stars, the moon, the snow...).

Although it is a difficult technique, it is also very interesting because nighttime photography constantly pushes you to try new techniques and explore. It’s particularly rewarding when you capture a good shot, as it’s usually something unique and special, very different from the photos "anyone" can take during the day.



If you could recommend one particular night adventure to our audience, where would it be and why?

I would recommend that everyone gets out and explores the night, no matter what sport you practise.

The darkness is magical, especially in the mountains. Exploring on foot, by bike, skiing, or even in a kayak are experiences I love. Maybe not every day, of course. But at least once a month, I enjoy going out to do sports at night. The landscape, the atmosphere, everything is completely different.



Could you share some practical tips and techniques for our audience who want to improve their night photography and video skills? 

For people starting with nighttime photography, my advice is clear: Go out, go out, and go out. Practice a lot; that's what will help you learn and master the various techniques for nighttime photography.

A trick I always use is working with the light from my own headlamp instead of using a flash. I usually never carry a flash, especially not for shoots in challenging locations where I have to walk for many hours.

Working with the illumination from my own headlamp provides a more uniform light that I can use in the areas I'm interested in. Additionally, not carrying a flash saves weight, allowing me to bring some food with me. 

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