The FESTiFOTO conference, organised by A.F.C.A, will take place in Canals in Valencia on the 8th and 9th of March.


We spoke with José Vicente Micó, member of  A.F.C.A (THE CANALS PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY)

Jose has been a self-taught amateur photographer since the days of film.  In 2002 he started to take part in A.F.C.A (which started in 1988 and nowadays consists of 160 members).  A.F.C.A used to meet in person every Thursday to share knowledge and learn from each other but nowadays everything is different.  With the advent of social media and the internet everything has had to evolve.

What is FESTiFOTO?

FESTiFOTO is a photographic festival which has been held in Canals for the last 10 years or so and which focuses on inviting the best photographers in the country in different photographic techniques: landscapes, studio work, street photography, nightscapes and lightpainting.  Artists such as Miguel Parreño, Santos Moreno, La LLum de la Nit, Mario Rubio, Miguel Muñoz and Mara Saiz have all attended previouslygiving workshops, lectures and exhibitions and this year, for the first time, there will be a  conference as well.

How did the idea of starting this conference come to you?

There are a lot of activities that take place in Canals, but no photographic conferences.  I attended one for the first time last summer in Madrid and really enjoyed it so I proposed the idea of starting one in Canals to the committee of A.F.C.A, to Carles Calero, Carles Domenech and Ivan Barco

What motivated you?

Every year at FESTiFOTO there are workshops of various photographic techniques, but for the last couple of years there hasn´t been anything specific to night photography.  We knew a couple of great night photographers, but for a conference we´d knew we´d need at least 3 or 4 more, so we asked them for some suggestions.  Everyone they suggested said yes without hesitation and, at that point we were only missing two things – a magnificent location in which to hold the conference (The Centro Cultural Calixt III) and an easily accessible exhibition hall (Ca Don José)

What do you have arranged for the conference?

We have six talks planned, including live demonstrations on stage, from the best lightpainters both nationally and internationally, a massive group photo, two exhibitions (one physical exhibition made up of photos from the speakers and also a second digital exhibition of a curated collection of the best photos from Light Painting Espana), a meal with the speakers, gifts and giveaways from our sponsors (who will also have stands at the conference) as well as some amazing discounts for the attendees

Entry is free.  What do you have to do in order to attend?

Attendees need to sign up through the A.F.C.A website.  The link is below and there are three options: Friday, Saturday and the meal on Saturday (for which there is a fee of 20 euros).  In case of any questions, please contact us by email on




How did you learn about light painting?

I first attempted light painting back in the film days with fire, before even knowing what the technique was called.  I’ve probably still got the negatives hidden away in a drawer somewhere!  Later I read an article in SuperFoto magazine which mentioned the idea of illuminating models with flashlights.  Then, about three years ago, I learnt that nowadays the technique is called Light Painting and also about the benefits of Live Composite, something which I found fascinating so I changed camera makes (and also changed from film to digital).  Finally, light painters La Llum De La Nit (with Sergi Boix leading them) came to give a course at A.F.C.A and we had a ton of fun.

What does light painting mean to you?

It is a form of artistic impression which is a combination of photography and painting.  Using darkness as our canvas, we paint with light and can work within the frame without being detected by the sensor.  Nowadays is it a growing style of photography, with different styles and techniques and with different materials available to bring to life the image that we have in our heads – the only limits are the imagination.

Which light painting artists have influenced you?

Everyone who is attending the conference of course, but also artists such as La Llum De La Nit, Dave Astur, Pedro J. Alcaraz, Maria Saggese, Eric Paré, Tom Hill and Troy Pavia.

Who are your favourite light painters?

I don’t have a specific favourite – there are things to learn from everyone, even from people I haven’t met but who will surely bring their own ideas and techniques to this growing community.

If you could choose anywhere, where would you most like to light paint?

I always feel drawn towards well known sites such as the City of the Arts in Valencia as a background for “street” light painting.  Equally, light painting in a desert would be pretty cool.

What are your next projects?

In light painting, I’m looking forward to doing a bit of light painting in the centre of Valencia with Tom Hill when he’s in Valencia soon.  We’ll see what comes out of that visit and my head is always buzzing with new light painting projects.

Relevant Links:



Thanks for inviting me to do this interview. 

Of course everyone reading this is invited to take part in FESTiFOTO 2019. 

We look forward to seeing you there!!

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