The first post for 2021, with some images taken on a recent work trip to Bulgaria. Street and social-documentary photography has been badly curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Barcelona there are heavy restrictions on all forms of movement, with both a curfew and limitations how far it is possible to move. Added to this is the expectation of social distancing, which makes conventional street photography with a wide-angle lens and close proximity with people problematic. Street photography is invariably something that feels risky, but with a highly contagious […]
Spain’s massive COVID spike not withstanding, it is now at least possible, if not necessarily advisable, to go out and photograph on the streets again. These are some of the images from the initial attempts to resume the Barcelona Dark project. In fact, getting back to photographing at night again is proving somewhat challenging. Having moved home more or less during the worst of the pandemic earlier this year, the surrounding area is different and needs a different approach to photography. I also feel like I have lost a lot […]
A set of test images shot on a Mamiya C330 TLR with HP5+ film. These are from a few rolls taken to test out the camera and 80mm lens, in anticipation of a longer term project, for which I wanted a higher resolution camera that could conceivably be used without a tripod and which was not prohibitively expensive. The C-series TLRs with leaf shutter lenses and lack of a flappy mirror are a good candidate for this, and more versatile than TLRs such as the Rolleiflex thanks to the ability […]
A set of test images shot at night in Italy, to gauge whether or not a digital camera would be a reasonable replacement for film in the Barcelona Dark series. The bottom line is probably not. It is very hard to emulate the “glow” around lights that get with film (caused by back-scattering of light from the film base). Shooting with a diffusion filter gets someway towards the look of film, but the fall-off with distance from the light is never quite right – although it is a nice effect […]
A short photo essay on the easing of lock-down and the (quasi) return to normal life, albeit somewhat cautiously. These images were shot on a short and cautious trip to Italy, with some hiking in the mountains both in Italy and neighbouring Switzerland. It is clear that the COVID19 situation is going to persist for some time to come, not least because there is still widespread confusion and/or refusal to take simple preventative measures against infection. Surprisingly, the flights and public transport were perhaps the lowest risk in the trip, […]
Barcelona, and indeed all of Spain, is now shut down thanks to the COVID-19 emergency. It is now illegal for people to go out of their homes other than for essential purposes such as food or medical supplies, and the police are actively enforcing the measures and fining or arresting violators.
This is a short look the Leica M-A film camera, from the perspective of someone used to shooting the technically much more advanced M7. The M7 has been my main film camera for more than five years now. What started as an experiment to reduce the size and weight of camera equipment has ultimately led a growing reliance on Leica M series rangefinders for most of my photography. A key advantage being the ability to keep the same lenses and basic shooting experience in both digital and 35mm film media.
A set of images from along the sea front in Barcelona, taken in the aftermath of Storm Gloria. It has been quite a rough January, and there was considerable damage across the city even though it was spared the worst that was endured further south.
A short set of images from the independence backing encampment in Plaça Universidad, which was recently disbanded after more than three weeks of blocking traffic and a key public transport interchange in the centre of the city.
A short set of images taken walking along the beach inn Barcelona with some stormy weather.
Barcelona’s weeks of fire: after sentences were issued against the Catalan political leaders responsible for the events around the constitutionally illegal 2017 independence referendum and the subsequent unilateral declaration of independence, the region has been rocked by both peaceful and (as shown here) rather less peaceful nationalist protests. This is a set of images shot around the upmarket central streets of Passeig de Gràcia and Via Laietana in the centre of Barcelona.
Continuing the series of night-time street photographs in Barcelona. This time I have tried using a 28mm lens, which has proven very difficult. You might expect that the wider angle would mean needing a lower shutter speed, but in practise if you try to get closer to the subject to compensate for the wider field-of-view there is no real advantage. Add to this the practical limitation that my 28mm is a stop slower than my usual lenses, and it is very hard to catch images successfully. With the typical light […]
More Barcelona street photography at night, shot with push-processed film.
Four more night-time street images shot on film, with a focus on tourism and commercialism.
A short set of new images in the Barcelona Dark series. I am gradually managing to tame the processing and also gradually migrating away from 50mm to 35mm for the shots – largely because the 35mm is noticeably easier to focus and hand-hold. Some of this might just be psychological, but fear of failing to get rapid and accurate focus with a 50mm means that I seem to have more close-up images of subjects with the wider lens. These are also somewhat more randomly framed than usual. Not sure if […]
More night-time photographs from Barcelona, again shot on Tri-X (400TX) and processed in ID-11 with the M7 and 35mm f1.4. The 35mm does make it easier to deal with focus, but it is very difficult to get close to or isolate subjects except in the narrowest of streets.