Adrián started as a speleologist exploring and documenting caves in El Bierzo (León), his homeland. He chose photography as a way of documenting caves and he got stuck to it, thus, the underground world gained a valuable component for his team of ambassadors in the surface world.
He has collaborated with numerous caving groups throughout Spain, visiting caves all over the country. This has allowed him to take advantage of the geographical diversity to develop his taste for night and landscape photography.
As a member of the association Espeleofoto, he took part in the organisation of the Speleo Photo Meeting 2016 in Soncillo, Burgos. His photographs have illustrated, together with those of Sergio Laburu and Roberto F. García, the book El Soplao, a report that comprises more than five years of photographic work. He is also involved in the Alto Asón project, photographing the most important caves in this karstic massif.
He has participated in several lectures about night and underground photography and is currently giving a webinar on underground photography. He won the Espeleólogo de Barro Award in 2020.
Chris discovered photography as a child in Oxfordshire, England, thanks to the camera his father gave him and the introduction to darkroom principles he received from the local photography shop. His passion later extended, while working as a biology teacher in Cardiff, Wales, to nature and sports, especially caving, and he soon became known for his black and white photographs of caves.
The artistic and technical quality of his photographs have won him countless awards, including a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society (the highest level of distinction) for his work in black and white cave photography (1981); the Peter M. Hauer Award from the National Speleological Society, USA, for his research into the history of cave photography (1993), as well as taking the Best of Show at the annual speleo photo competition 13 times; the Giles Barker Award for excellence in cave photography (1997); the Premier Trophy, the UK's top cave photography award, 11 times (most recently in 2019); and the Best in Show at the 2017 UIS International Caving Congress in Sydney, Australia, among many others. His entries for the Clay Speleologist Award won first prize in 1985, 1987, 1990 and 1994.
Howes' published books include topics such as the techniques and history of underground photography, caving and biodiversity. Chris is also editor of the caving magazine Descent. In addition, he has contributed articles and chapters to many magazines and books, and has thousands of photographs published in various media.
Freelance press photographer since 1994, Paco Santamaría has published in various national and international media. He is a contributor to the Diario de Burgos and EFE news agency, specialising in advertising, industrial and social photography; he is a member of ANIGP and FEPFI (professional associations of photographers and reporters in Spain).
Paco has won several awards and mentions in different national and international competitions, such as the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards 2011, Canson and Premio Ya.com at Photoespaña 2000, and has been nominated for the Goya Photography Awards in 2011, 2013, 2019 and 2021.
In 2011 he published the book Sonorama ¡un festival de verdad! with snapshots taken throughout the first decade of existence of the Sonorama festival. He has exhibited in galleries in Aranda, Burgos, Madrid, Brussels and Hamburg, and stands out for his work The Factory.
In the academic and informative fields, Paco has given lectures on photography such as "The image as a creative link". Since 2015 he is the director of the Burgos University summer courses on photography and film, together with Diego Morán.
He has collaborated in several editions of this contest and currently lends his studio for the management of the photos that will be shown in the exhibition.