Monday, October 16, 2017

All Blacks: premio Princesa de Asturias de los Deportes 2017

My reportage on rugby in New Zealand was published last Sunday in El País Semanal (EPS), the week-end magazine of the Spanish newspaper El País.

The All Blacks have been awarded the 2017 Princesa de Asturias award for the sports, one of the most prestigious distinctions in the world. No award was ever more deserving than this. How can a country with a population of barely four million people dominate a sport the way the All Blacks dominate international rugby?  In order to find out (and to capture it in photos), I travelled around the country for months, photographing rugby teams of all ages and levels. For a former rugby player like myself this was like a pilgrimage to the rugby Mecca. In New Zealand rugby is more a religion than a game.

You can see my photos of rugby in New Zealand in my website.

Friday, September 08, 2017

The colors of Madrid

Photographers, like criminals, tend to go back to the "scene of the crime". We like to go back to a place where we have found a good photo before, or where we think we can find one. I like to go back to this corner, near my home, by the supermarket where I buy food regularly. Specially late in the afternoon I love the combination of warm colors and shadows. Then, once you have your stage, it is just a matter of "waiting for something to happen".

© Nacho Hernandez

After many years in the Philippines, I am now back working as a photographer in Madrid. I'll be adding more photos from Madrid and Spain to my website.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Easter Island

Many years ago I spent some time in Easter Island. One day, with a rented jeep, I visited this part of the island. Luck or fate, I was the only visitor. Not one single tourist in sight. I decided to sleep there, in the car, and got to visit these beauties at sunset, in the middle of the night, and with the sunrise. All by myself. I swear I heard them whisper at night. Magical.

© Nacho Hernandez

More travel photography in my website.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Paeng Nepomuceno

Before Manny Pacquiao, there was another multi-world-champion Filipino. Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno, from Manila, has won the World Cup of Bowling four times. He won it in three different decades and is the youngest bowler to have won it (at age 19). He is considered the greatest bowler of all times. The Michael Jordan of bowling.

Paeng Nepomuceno training in Manila      © Nacho Hernandez

More photos of the Philippines in my website.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Casa Labra, Madrid.

Back in my hometown, Madrid, I am revisiting my favorite places in town. One of them is Casa Labra, one of the oldest taverns in Madrid. It is famous for its fried cod and its cod croquettes, perfect with a vermut for the aperitivo. Casa Labra is also famous because the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) was funded here in 1879, during a clandestine meeting of workers. Will it last 138 years? Well, Casa Labra might; their cod is really delicious. The PSOE? After seeing their current leaders in action, I have my doubts.

Casa Labra                                                                                                                                     © Nacho Hernandez

Do you need a photographer in Madrid? Get in touch!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Back in Spain

So, after many years roaming around I'm back in Spain and in one of my favorite cities in the world. It also happens to be my hometown: Madrid. Probably a good time to relaunch this blog of mine too.

Happy to change my title and to be, again, a freelance photographer in Spain. From my base in Madrid I'll be covering Spain, Portugal, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Do get in touch if you need a photographer in this part of the world.

A coffee at the Circulo de Bellas Artes.                                                                                              © Nacho Hernandez

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC2015): 1st week

I am in England to continue working on my photos of English rugby, or on my rugby project, in general. A rugby world cup is, of course, the perfect opportunity to capture some images of rugby fans from all around the world. They are, at the end of the day, as important to rugby as the players themselves.

One week (and a few days) into the Rugby World Cup 2015, here are some of my favourite photos so far.

I spent the last few days in Wales, but that deserves its own post. Coming soon.

All photos © nacho hernandez

© nacho hernandez

© nacho hernandez

© nacho hernandez

© nacho hernandez

© nacho hernandez

© nacho hernandez

© nacho hernandez

© nacho hernandez

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Manila North Cemetery

Manila's biggest and one of its oldest cemeteries. Shared by thousands of families and a million of souls. The living among the dead.

© nacho hernandez 2014, all rights reserved

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital: The busiest maternity ward in the world

© nacho hernandez 2014, all rights reserved

The maternity ward at the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila is dubbed the "baby factory" for a reason. It is considered the busiest maternity ward in the world, with more than one hundred deliveries every day. As many as four or five exhausted mothers and their newborn babies often share double beds in an open space that oddly does resemble more a factory plant than a maternity.

© nacho hernandez 2014, all rights reserved

The Philippines, with a population of almost one hundred million, has one of the highest birth rates in Asia and could double its population in three decades.

The Philippines Supreme Court recently declared constitutional the Reproductive Health (RH) bill approved last year. Thus, it ended a long tug of war between the government and the very influential Catholic Church which in the past went as far as threatening President Aquino with excommunication if such a law was ever passed. This law aims to provide family planning education and access to birth control to those Filipinos who didn't have it in the past for cultural, religious or economic reasons.

© nacho hernandez 2014, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez 2014, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez 2014, all rights reserved

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Notre Dame, Paris

One of the most photographed views of Paris, but always hard to resist. Not for nothing they call it the city of light.

© nacho hernandez 2014, all rights reserved

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sydney Opera House

© nacho hernandez 2013, all rights reserved

Friday, August 09, 2013

Manila American Cemetery

The Manila American Cemetery is the biggest American military cemetery outside of the US. Over 17,000 soldiers from the Pacific war rest there.

It is also, probably, the best taken care of park in the country.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Catholic Church in the Philippines

The French journal Le Monde published recently some of my photos about the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

Although during the Holy Week the catholic fervor is particularly evident, it is also very present during the whole year.

It is estimated that 80% of the Filipino population is Catholic, making it the third biggest Catholic community in the world. In the Philippines the Church is still extremely influential, not only in the day to day life of the Filipinos, but also at the political level.

Many more photos from the Catholic Church in the Philippines in my website.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Thursday, March 07, 2013


In a recent, fun assignment for the Wall Street Journal, I had to photograph a cocktail bar in Makati, the Blind Pig, for an article on speakeasy bars in Asia.

Speakeasies were created during the prohibition in the US. Hidden, you could only access them if you were in the know and  informed about on which door to knock. A slot in that door would then open and a guard would decide if you were allowed into the sanctum or not.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Today, some cocktail bars recreate that speakeasy environment. This comes as a nice surprise in a city like Manila -in my view, the noisiest in the world- as clients are also expected to be quiet inside.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

The biggest challenge shooting this assignment was that the Blind Pig is very, very dark, and flash photography is not allowed (which is, by the way, also a great idea). Therefore I had to go for the blurry and out of focus effect so in vogue these days (the fact that I "had to" try a few of their delicious concoctions may have also helped with the out of focus effect). I blame their fantastic barman, Tog, pictured above.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Children of the Clouds: Western Sahara

"They call themselves the children of the clouds because, since times past, they have been chasing clouds for their water. For more than thirty years now they have also been chasing justice which, in today's world, seems more elusive than water in the desert". - Eduardo Galeano

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Inquire, a new magazine for the iPad, is publishing in its latest issue a piece with my photos and text about the Sahrawi struggle. This new magazine uses a shared-revenue model with its collaborator so by buying the magazine you are supporting independent photojournalism. You can download the app and buy the magazine here.

More photos of the Sahrawi refugee camps and the Western Sahara in my website.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Slasher Cup: Cockfighting in the Philippines

A banner at the top of the Araneta coliseum in Manila reminds us that this place was home to one of the most epic fights in history: The "Thrilla in Manila" that in 1975, for the third and final time, brought face to face Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier to fight for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World. The cocky but totally exhausted Ali prevailed, after the coach of a heavily punished and almost blind Frazier stopped the fight before the 15th and last round.

These days other fighters, cocky in their own way, engage in a no-prisoners combat at the same venue. During the World Slasher Cup, the Olympic Games of cockfighting, hundreds of fights take place in a pit almost identical to a boxing ring.

As each fight is about to start, the shouting among the Kristos or betters starts to go in a crescendo until it becomes generalized yelling in the arena. The roosters are given the go. They study each other for a few seconds. Then a flash, a cross or two of their sharp blades, feathers flying around and the fight is over, one of them biting the dust.

Next fight.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Good photography is not about Zone Printing ...

... or any other Ansel Adams nonsense. It's just about seeing. You either see, or you don't see. The rest is academic. Photography is simply a function of noticing things. Nothing more."  - Elliott Erwitt

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hong Kong: Best city in the world?

Apparently, or according to the smart people at the Economist Intelligence Unit, Hong Kong is the best city in the world.

I was there recently, taking photos of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. Although briefly, I got to explore the city a little bit. I confess I loved it.  Can't wait to be back and I could definitely see myself living in Hong Kong. A photographer's dream to be sure. (They make some mean noodles too).

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Manila skyline

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Ominous sky.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

"Bad weather ...

... makes good pictures." - Sam Abell (quoting his father Thad, also a photographer)

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens: The South Stand

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

The Hong Kong Sevens is considered the world's best rugby sevens tournament, but it is much more than that.

For three days every March, as the best teams in the world compete to conquer one of rugby's most coveted trophies, a boisterous crowd in costumes goes totally wild in their support. This is particularly true at the infamous South Stand, a sold-out party where rugby marries carnival. Hong Kong's craziest annual event.

Don't be fooled by people in their costumes peacefully drinking their beers (guys) or Pimm's (gals) on Friday, at the beginning of the tournament. By Saturday morning those beers and Pimm's will be flying around, the boldest (drunkest) fans will try to jump naked to the pitch and the whole South Stand will be on fire, a boiling pot ready to explode in a thousand colors.

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter".

More photos of the Hong Kong Sevens in my website.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved
© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Monday, June 04, 2012

"Colors are the deeds ...

... and sufferings of light"  -  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

“My understanding – of course, I’m not a philosopher or a scientist – of an aspect of Goethe’s theory of color is that he felt that color came out of tension between light and dark. I think that is very appropriate when you think about the kind of color that I shoot.” – Alex Webb

Thursday, March 08, 2012


I was recently in Palau shooting an assignment for International Inspiration, a legacy program created by the Olympic Games London 2012.  One of my photos will be used in an exhibition at the Museum of London during the upcoming games, and this is probably as close as I will ever get to fulfilling one of my childhood wildest dreams, participating in the Olympics. But that is another story.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved
© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Beautiful Palau is one of the smallest and youngest countries in the world. Its people are laid back, relaxed and friendly. The kind of place where strangers greet you on the street (happens to me also in New Zealand). The name Palauans gave their national congress, "the house of whispers", is also very telling about their character.

Palau is, above all, about island life. One of the world's top diving destinations, formed by some 300 islands. On my first day I had to go to work on a speed boat, trapped between a emerald sea and a blue sky. Beats catching a cab or a bus any time.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"I didn't want to be a woman photographer ...

... That would limit me. I wanted to be a photographer who was a woman." - Eve Arnold

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Chinese New Year in Binondo, Manila, the oldest Chinatown in the world.

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

¨The best pictures last because they sing ...

... and some people will remember them as they remember songs. Maybe that´s a stretch. But I believe it; it works for me to think that way¨. - William Albert Allard

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wellington, the cool

My coldest Winter was a Summer in San Francisco, said Mark Twain, and that could probably apply to Wellington too.

Like San Francisco, New Zealand's capital is a very cool city in every sense of the word cool. Cool because of the chilly gushes of wind from the Cook Strait, cool because of its overall vibe. Modern and dynamic but laid-back, with good museums and culture, fun bars and cafes, good restaurants. Friendly people, everyone seems to be into one sport or another. All of this by a very beautiful landscape, water ever-present.

While traveling for my project on rugby in New Zealand, I got a call from one of the photo editors at M, the weekly magazine of Le Monde. "Can you fly to Wellington and shoot something for us?"

Why, of course ...

Some photo assignments are more fun than others, and this one fell in the camp of the really fun ones. M has a section where a local who knows a city well, writer Eleanor Catton in this case, picks her five favourite spots. My job was to take photos of those places: a theater, a pizzeria, a bar, a pie shop, and a trendy street.

Camera in one hand, pizza, mince pie, flat white or beer in the other. Fun.

Eleanor Catton takes us to Wellington, Le Monde's on-line slide show.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011 - Final - All Blacks vs France

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved
© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved
© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved
© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved
© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Congratulations to the All Blacks for becoming the World Champions, 24 years later, and to France for putting a good fight. After my previous comment, which came out a bit harsh on the French, this time I have to give them credit for falling with honor. In front they had the best team in the world.

More photos of rugby in New Zealand in my website.