Christine is a friend of a friend that lives in Seattle and this year decided to visit Barcelona while traveling with their son in the south of France.
We got in contact because an american friend living in Barcelona thought it would be nice for them to take pictures and learn a little about Modernist erchitecture during their visit. A complete visit to all relevant modernist buildings in Barcelona would take about one whole week, this including private homes, shops, public buildings and parks. Only Gaudi ´s work would take at least 3 days and our goal was to make it enjoyable in 4 hours.
For photographers and photo amateurs a tour requires a little more time for framing, thinking and shooting, so no place for rushing or running here. Too many wonders in too little time, so we decided to take the left part of the Eixemple district as our territory and explore the most notorious architechts of modernism in this area. So from our previous Modernist circuits we took this part and developed a personal map and a booklet with information on each building, architect and location for each one of them. Our meeting point was at their apartment right in front of Fundación Godia, our first landmark to be visitised.
During the walk we disocovered that Christopher, after working for Microsoft for many years is now a very active photographer with his own website and photography exhibitions in the USA, Christine enjoyed the stories about the Catalan families and their desire for notoriety, in a city that became metropoli keeping a deep smalltown soul. The Harris-Crandall family had a great afternoon to be together, learn, take pictures, shop for local food and discover a little bit of this wonderful city.
one of the nicest things about living in this city is that you never stop discovering places. people and situations. There is always a new story around the corner a new anecdote to recall , a new building to say wow about. And when it is not about that, it is about beautiful things that suddenly happen here. Like a cat wearing a lady hat, 4 rabbits that follow a homeless lady or a romantic couple that hold hands over 80. Street art brings lots of surprises when it invades abandoned or taken buildings and when the summer starts, it is also magic, hot but magic, the new light brings reflections and mirages that make us enjoy.
Yes, you say Parc Guell and not Park Guell because it is written in catalan, the local language of the city. We discovered a very big sign at the main entrance that makes it very clear.
We were 17 people + 2 instructors, meeting last Saturday at the park to admire and photograph Gaudi´s work in terms of architecture. The day was splendid, because even tough we are in the middle of the winter Barcelona has ha shinny blue sky that gave us bright light, deep shadows and great colors for our pictures. our group was eager to learn more abut aperture and speed so we started exploring the secrets of contrast and aperture on everyone´s cameras. every camera a new discovery and also a wonderful opportunity.
One great thing: the work of Gaudi offer a lot of texture and opportunities to expand photographic techniques and capture, texture, depth and color in a vibrant way. Gaudi´s philosophy about creating a point where architecture and nature interact in an harmonious way is the legacy we have recently discovered in sustainable architecture.
But also, speed was a photographic interest for this group, freezing and registering movement here was not an easy task, because such a splendid day made visitors lay down or recline o enjoy the magnificent view. We could not stop laughing about freezing relaxed people, so we relaxed ourselves and joined them.
Ranan came from New York to spend a couple of months in Barcelona.
He was certainly interested in developing his photography skills and took the Raval Photocircuit. As his main interests were architecture and moving objects: the perfect target were Raval Skaters, they usually skate around Macba and other squares downtown, specially during the summer. The afternoon light provided two main scenarios one completely illuminated with the sunshine and the other back light images. In addition a high speed was needed to freeze jumping and figures they constantly made.
In the background there was alway architecture both modern and classical, sometimes mixed, it was a nice idea to set them in an eclectic environment instead of the traditional graffiti-like backgrounds everyone uses.
After skaters, Ranan focused on architecture and discovered that it was very cool to meter reflections and create contrast between the light inside the reflection and the actual ¨real¨light in the building.
We ended our tour in Drassanes the Old Boat factory.
Last Sunday we went out with friends for brunch and spare time and found a couple nice places. One is the very photogenic Juicy Jones, a vegetarian restaurant in Calle Hospital where sandwiches and natural fruit & veggie juices make a great breakfast. the place is handpainted with colorful flowers and graffiti all over so you feel somewhere between a higway and a the beatles yellow submarine movie.
Then we walked across the city to the Old Roman Temple hidden in an apartment building backyard, near plaça st jaume, this a very quiet and singular spot where modern and classic definitively meet. For late lunch Pizza del Borne was a budget and tasty option, not Italian but Argentinian a wide variety of combinations will make you take 2 or 3 slices…
heading back home amazing graffitis all over the place where begging for a picture which they had.
Last week 12 groups of 24 participants from Open Text Canada one of the biggest software companies in America, played the treasure hunt in Downtown Barcelona.
More than 1.000 pictures were produced and 5 hours of video recorded. Each group had a tour guide, a list of hints and a path to follow discovering places like the churreria in Petritxol Street, the Roman temple, St Jaume´s Square, Cartoonists & live statues from Las Ramblas, and a lot more.
Capturing images became the funniest part of it in a team building activity that integrated sales teams from UK, Germany, Canada, Italy, Spain, France and the USA.