Between tides

Emotional experiences at the sea's edge

«In the sandy beaches, in the rocks, in the waves, in the algae that illustrate this book, we see Stieglitz’s “equivalents", Minor White’s “for what else they are” or the “more than a rock” of Edward Weston. What we see reflected in these images is not the sea, but rather the idea and the feeling that the sea awakens in each of us. Each and every element portrayed by Isabel become gateways to a parallel dimension, that is very personal but to which we are invited, where we can discover the sea of our dreams»

 From the foreword by Rafael Rojas


This project was born from my need to create a personal world through the art of photography. For that purpose I searched for the raw material on the seashore. My subjects were the water, rocks, sand, algae and some of the dwellers be found there. However, it was not so much be about them and reproducing their physical appearance, but rather the world of feelings and emotions that could be built around them.

The body of this work mainly consists of intimate landscapes and details where I combine abstract and figurative aspects. The images evoke features such as mystery, simplicity, naivety, harmony, peace, dynamism, beauty, chromaticism, plasticity or clarity. The 133 photographs in the book are distributed over 184 pages and in 5 chapters, each one dedicated to the sensations that the 5 protagonists of this peculiar world convey to me. Every detail of the book, its design, the paper and the printing quality, have been addressed as part of the creative process. The book itself is a poetic object to me.

The photographs were taken along the Spanish Atlantic coast. The proximity of the places has been important, both from the emotional and logistic perspectives. Time and a strong emotional tie is needed in order to familiarise yourself with the landscape, embrace it and develop an idea in detail. Many of this book’s photographs remained hidden from myself until well into the project. In order  to reach the necessary receptive mental state and see them, I have needed to listen to the waves and rain, smell the algae, feel the buffeting of the wind, see the stars in the sky and to wake up in the sweet morning light.

Isabel Díez



Photographs and texts: Isabel Díez
Foreword: Rafael Rojas
Publishing: Ediciones Berenbolli
Graphic Design Layout: Isabel Díez
English text translation:
Deborah Powell

The dreamlike essence of water / The plasticity of rocks / The ephemeral art of sand / Brushstrokes  and colour of seaweeds / Some dwellers

Size: 30 x 23,5 cm
Pages: 184
Photographs: 133
Paper: Artic Volume White 170 gr.  FSC® and  PEFC Certificates.
Bounding: Hardcover
Printing: Estudios Durero, España
Copies: 640

Languages: English, Spanish (bilingual)


".......... Yet it is the combination of its fluidity and its optical properties that makes water the subject matter of my dreams. Unlike the book’s other subjects, where I started from a vague mental sketch of the aesthetical qualities that I wished to depict, I allowed myself to “go with the flow” when it came to water. This chapter therefore ranges from figurative to abstract photographs where references to reality are very diluted or non-existent ......"


".......The silky texture of the water and its light accentuate the characteristics of the rocks by creating a twofold relationship in the scene. Harmony between opposites is part of the very existence. The static fuses with the dynamic, the rigid with the soft, colours are enhanced by the lack of colour. Those contrasts magnify the expressiveness of the scene and intensify the tactile sensations. Yet the water also heightens the mysterious aspect of some rocks as it isolates and envelops them in an ethereal setting ......."


".......... the ephemeral has a temporary scale of existence that is difficult to digest in the case of those people who do not want things to change. Think of all the photographs I have lost due to the slowness of my camera or of my reflexes! How I would have liked the waves to have passed over the sand without erasing its marvellous creations. I could have tried to take the same photo over and over again until it was perfect. But at the end of the day, I would only have one photo and I would also not have discovered how beautiful and valuable things become due to their brief existence........"


"....I have painted in oils since I was a child and I experience colours as one of the most amazing expressions of the physical world. Seaweeds offer me violets, blues, reds, pinks, yellows, greens and all their possible hues. And in the same way that there is a great variety of types of paintbrush for different lines, I have the different shapes of their bodies to generate different brushstrokes ....... The colours can thus be spread with soft, subtle, free, vigorous, translucent, impasto or juxtaposed brushstrokes, awakening very different sensations and emotions"....


"...... Sea snails are also plentiful and varied in shape and colour. However, it is not their physical appearance that catches my attention, but rather the environment in which they live, their close relationship with the changing level of the sea. Seen from the perspective of my camera, they remind me of visitors to an abstract art museum admiring its masterpieces. The canvases in front of them are proportionally huge and their expressive strength is related to their size. Looking through the camera’s viewfinder, I have often felt a prying witness and have been struck by their environment....."


Based in the Basque Country, Isabel Díez is photographer and marine biologist. Since her childhood, Isabel has maintained a dual relationship with nature: a rational one that arises from her curiosity about how life works, along with a spiritual connection that emerges from the inner revelations that she experiences in the wild. The analytical and artistic sides of her personality have flourished symbiotically to give a body of work that depict the natural world through lyrical and evocative images. Anywhere on the planet where nature is well preserved is for her a special, sacred and inspiring place. Beyond the physical appearance of the subjects, he is interested in the personal world of feelings and emotions that can be built around them.

She enjoys giving talks about the creative process in landscape photography, and leads workshops focused on the development of the personal view of the photographer.  She was a member of the project ‘Objetivo Pura Vida’ [Objective Pure Life] staged by the Spanish Embassy in Costa Rica to portray the extraordinary biodiversity of this country, and Editor in Chief of the IRIS magazine of the Spanish Nature Photographers Association (Aefona) over the 2011-2014 period.

Her work have been exhibited throughout Spain and she has taken part in several exhibitions in other countries. Her photographs have been published in leading magazines and have been awarded in prestigious international photo contests, including Nature’s Best Photography and GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year (EWPY). She has also taken part in the jury panels of reknown international competitions such as Asferico, Montphoto and GDT-EWPY.

Between Tides  is her second photography book, following At the Edge of the Tides (2009). The latter is a monograph containing a collection of photographs through which Isabel shows her admiration and curiosity for the coastal landscape.

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