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 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.
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.
Now that the camera, film-stock and developer issues are resolved it is finally time to get around to starting the project that was originally meant to start in January – night photography in Barcelona.
After six months away, the M7 is back and seems to be working. These are the last of the test images used to check that the camera was working correctly. All the images were shot here using Delta 400 rated at EI1600 and push-processed in DD-X 1+4. Everything was shot with either a 50mm C-Sonnar or Summilux lens with manual exposure and manual focusing.
The M7 is now back from its latest repair attempt in Leica, and I have shot a couple of test films to re-check the focus calibration and metering. So far, it looks promising. The metering is now usable at ISO 400, and ISO 1600 looks ok down to about 1/8th second (a huge improvement from before, where it was failing at 1/125th). But…
Another short set of push-processed film images, showing some fragments of urban Barcelona. These are from some more test rolls looking to improve the processing and improve contrast (using Delta 400 in DD-X 1+4).
A set of stormy beach scenes, shot along the coast from Badalona to el Masnou, north of Barcelona. These were part of a film shot as part of a processing test for Delta 400 exposed at EI1600 and processed in DD-X 1+4 as if shot at EI 3200. The resulting grain is quite harsh, but also quite fine compared to faster films. The film was scanned using an E-M1.2 with a macro lens, which tends to de-emphasise the grain compared to standalone (non-flatbed) film scanners.
A shot set of images connected to the Spanish Civil war, shot around Barcelona while hunting for some contextual images for the State of Independence series.
A short set of panoramic black and white film images taken around El Prat, just outside of Barcelona. This is a mainly agricultural area, with many walks that make a nice change from being in the city. All images made with the Horizon panoramic camera, using Delta 100 film.