Photographing La Crema, the burning of Las Fallas, Valencia 2011

 paul shoul,Anna Oliver,Juan Llantada,Tino Soriano at las fallas valencia 2011Photographing La Crema, the burning of the fallas in Valencia is thrilling and just a little dangerous. The climax of a week of partying and huge fireworks displays, the final act is the burning of the over 300 fallas around the city. The image above was taken in front the remains of the huge fallas in front of city hall. This one was over 50 ft high . Fire works and bomb blasts precede the burning, the flames are huge and rise fast, a wall of heat pushes you back, fire men constantly douse the nearby buildings as ashes rain down.  Left to right is yours truly (Paul Shoul), Anna Oliver, Juan Llantada from the Valencia tourism office and photographer Tino Soriano. Tino is a national Geo shooter and he and his super cool wife Anna were shooting a new guide book on Spain. Tino is a sweetheart of a man and a brilliant photographer. Myself and the other shooters were laden with many cameras and long heavy lenses, but not Tino, he was old school. He had one small Leica rangefinder with a 28mm lens. He was all about anticipating the right moment and getting in close to his subjects. It was a pleasure to work with him. His pictures are superb  My best image from that night was due  largely in part to Tinos insight that the best opportunity to capture the essence the festival would come at the burning of the children’s fallas and the expressions on the faces of the young queens watching.
Here is a link to find out more about Tino and a link to Valencia tourism to find out more about the region.