Unnatural Spaces

A set of photographs taken on walks in the Garraf, a “protected area” between Barcelona and Sitges. The zone is disconcertingly industrial for a natural park, even though (somewhat surprisingly) the area is officially part of the Natura 2000 series of protected green spaces.

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Dolce Vita

A photo essay contrasting mass tourism in Asturias and Cantabria against city life in the same region. This reflects the growing tensions between increasingly wealthy and mobile tourists and and increasingly impoverished local population that sees little benefit from the tourist industry.

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State of Independence XI

This is the last in the “State of Independence” series documenting the Catalan secessionist protests in Barcelona, covering the period leading up to the new regional assembly elections on the 21st December 2017. Throughout December the protests continued sporadically, mainly focussing on a campaign to support those people currently held in jail without bail for their actions that led to the current political crisis in Catalunya. The number and intensity of demonstrations is vastly diminished compared to the period around the referendum, as people tire of repetitive and cold evening […]

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Salamanca Calligraphy

One of the unusual architectural features of Salamanca is the unusual calligraphy, which is used to mark buildings and entrances in the street. Typographically, I am not quite sure what to make of the lettering style. There are numerous sources online for fonts that reproduce the basic letters, but the kerning is consistently somewhat eccentric.

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Guggenheim Abstracts

We recently had a chance to visit the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. Aside from the exhibitions inside, the building itself is a masterpiece that was designed by the amazing American architect, Frank Gehry. The building is mostly known for its titanium cladding and twisted intersecting forms. These photographs were taken of the structure inside, deliberately abstracted to exclude as much texture and detail as possible to give an impression of the forms used. Architecture aside, the exhibits in the museum were excellent – and would justify a visit to Bilbao […]

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Torre Glòries, Catalan Independence and the European Medicines Agency

One of the consequences of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union is that it will no longer maintain several key European agencies that are currently located in London. A bidding process has started where cities throughout Europe campaign to host the relocated agencies, with the last nominations on the 31st July and the final decision taken in November 2017. Barcelona is bidding to host the displaced European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the iconic Torre Glòries – a radical change from its current location in Canary Wharf for the approximately […]

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Salamanca Blue

A short set of images showing a different side to Salamanca, balancing the green and gold posts, and a reminder that even if this is a UNESCO site, it is also a large active city. These were all shot with a micro 4/3 camera system, and I would defy anyone to get better results from a Leica. In fact, things like focus accuracy and overall image sharpness at slow shutter speeds are reliably better than Leica digital thanks to the fast AF and image stabilisation. The shooting experience may be very […]

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Salamanca Gold

A short set of images from the church and university buildings at Salamanca. The old part of Salamanca has an astonishingly consistent architectural style, for which it deservedly is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and that style is largely governed by the intersection of Catholicism iconography and the characteristic yellow stone used for many of the older buildings. I am not a great fan of this rather baroque styling, but the light and colours in many of these buildings is astounding.  

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Salamanca Green

Some images of Ranunculus drawn out in the flow of the Rio Tormes at Salamanca. These were shot from the Roman bridge, using a polarising filter to cut out the reflections from the water and boost the saturation. The 3D-like effect comes from the variation in depth of the plant within the river. We are not entirely sure what the exact plant species is. Some of the white speckles are in reality small white-petaled blossom, but it was difficult to get close enough to inspect the flowers. However, this is almost certainly Ranunculus fluitans, […]

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Sitges – and Lens Cast Corrections in Capture One

A short set of images taken on a walk in Sitges. Shot on digital using a 35mm lens and polarising filter.   Incidentally, the vignetting on some of these images is completely natural, although perhaps exaggerated slightly by the skies and polariser. The lens is a Zeiss ZM 1,4/35 (35mm f1.4), which is nice and small and incredibly sharp, but which pays for that to some extent with dark corners shot wide open – a common problem with Leica lenses shot on digital rather than film. Here is a gratuitous […]

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Week 16 :: Stop

Five loosely connected images taken around the centre of Barcelona. The lead image shows an illegal protest against the “Ley Mordaza” (gagging  law) – more officially and misleadingly titled as the “Ley Orgánica de Protección de la Seguridad Ciudadana” (2015).

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Week 12 :: Espais Naturals

Espais Naturals, Delta de LLobregat, Barcelona

A narrative set of photographs taken on a walk at the Espais Natural along the Llobregat river between Cornellà and El Prat. The green space is very much an afterthought from the planning authorities – it is essentially what is left over after carving out several large motorways, railways, power line systems and the farmland that somehow still manages to survive in this area at the edge of Barcelona. The river is flanked by large artificial embankments (levees) which contain the water when there is heavy rain. There are large areas […]

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Week 9 :: Passing By

Life passing by at Vallvidrera estación de ferrocarril

An odd (and technically prime) number of loosely connected images, all taken in the last week from various walks around the city of Barcelona. I am slipping the timing of these posts progressively to give a bit more margin to process the images from the last week when away from the computer as ongoing trouble here continues to drain time and ensure that good number of weekly images can not be posted at present.

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Week 8 :: Cementerio de Collserola

Cementerio de Collserola, Barcelona, España

Some visual fragments from the Cementerio de Collserola, Barcelona. The cemetery is located right on the outskirts of the city in a densely wooded part of the Collserola near the Ciutat Meridiana at literally the end of the line (metro L11). As with the Montjuïc, there is an eclectic mix of whimsy, sadness, Catholic seriousness and celebration of peoples lives. Here are just five images taken from individual tombs in the cemetery – I may post some photographs from the beautiful surrounding area later in the week.

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