Photography tours in Tenerife
“Tenerife has the perfect winter climate, and besides that, it has excellent food and great architecture. Plus, I love Mt Teide—it is one of my favorite places to photograph, day and night; it’s also the perfect place for star photography,” says photographer Olaf Reinen.
Olaf started his photography career young and has been a professional photographer for over 25 years. He has spent a lot of time exploring the island of Tenerife. “My natural curiosity and love of photography keeps me searching for the best places for photographs. The diverse scenery: the villages, beaches, forests, its mountain and lava are photographically very enjoyable,” he says. “I love to travel, and have visited over 40 countries so far—from New Zealand to the Caribbean, Hong Kong to Europe. Almost every place I have been has presented great photo opportunities. The world is an amazing place full of incredible vistas that I love to explore and photograph.”
During his extensive career Olaf has had a successful wedding and portrait studio in New Zealand, and with his wife he’s created, written and photographed seven books which were published internationally. “These were books based on our animal photography, and led also to an international licensing program which means our photos were also used on posters, jigsaw puzzles and so on. We even won a Henry Award (for greeting cards) in the UK for Best Photographic Range of cards. From there we decided to travel and spent three years traveling the world looking for a new place to live, ending up on the Island of Santorini in Greece. We were invited to photograph weddings there, and that’s where I developed the idea for Photo Tours, which is what I do in the summertime there and now in the wintertime here on Tenerife. I had come to the point in my life where I realized one of my gifts is to share my photography experiences with people who want to improve their skills, and get to see the best of the place they are going to on holiday. The Photo Tour is a great way to shortcut to the best photo spots, and to learn how to take the best photographs of what we see,” Olaf explains. “I’m very happy to be at a point in my career where I can visit beautiful islands along with my clients while helping them to improve their photography. It’s a very satisfying and rewarding life!” he adds.
A photo tour for everyone
There’s no need to worry about your photography skills or gear if you want to take a tour with Olaf. “My clients come from a very wide range of photography experience—from people with iPhones, to beginners who have just bought their first ‘proper’ digital camera, and right through to very experienced amateurs. As my tours are private (I never mix groups of people who don’t know each other), this means our time together is tailored to exactly what each client wants. In other words—whatever the level, I’m happy to help!
“If you want to find the best places to take photos, it’s much easier with someone who knows where there’s the best lighting at the best time of day. My focus is on the places and scenes that photograph well, and of course we will spend time discussing photography, which is always fun! My approach is to share my philosophy on photography along with practical camera tips, so at the end of the day, they will have new skills and ideas to carry on the pursuit of great photography,” Olaf adds.
“I like quirky, which normally shows up in an urban environment. I also love the peace and serenity of the countryside and the awesomeness of creation—nature is magnificent, and Tenerife has its share of spectacular scenes,” Olaf says.
Speaking of spectacular scenes, Mt Teide seems to have a great hold over Olaf and he says it never ceases to amaze and inspire him and his clients. “It is an awe-inspiring place!” says Olaf. But there are other surprising photo-ops on this island, “One of the surprising elements to photograph is Carnival, held in February each year. The attention to detail, the sheer number of people involved, and the magnificence of the pageantry is something to behold! And photograph, of course!” His favorite spots on Tenerife? “There are too many to mention - Garrachico, the forest at Las Raices, La Laguna, Auditorio de Tenerife, Mt Teide… the list goes on!”
As Olaf only spends his winters in Tenerife that is of course his favorite season. “I especially love it if it has snowed on Mt Teide. You can be photographing in the snow, and then within a couple of hours be back on the beach for a swim! In fact, the locals love to go up to the snow, build a snowman on the hood of their cars, and then see if they can get down to the beach before the snowman melts! I’ve tried it. It’s definitely possible!”
“I particularly like the afternoon light here; it is always warm and soft, but I also love bright blue skies for contrast, and we get plenty of those too, even in wintertime! When you travel, you don’t always get to choose the lighting or time of day. One of the things I teach is how to make the most of the light you have.”
Tips from the pro
We asked Olaf to give our readers one good tip to get better photos on their travels:
“My number one rule is: “Just take the picture!” If you don’t take it, what do you have? Not just nothing, but when you get home you will have the regret of knowing you saw something great, and didn’t record it ...”