Stormy Times

A short set of images taken along the seafront in Barcelona shortly after a storm had passed, These were shot with a Minolta X700 and a Tokina 28-70mm objective as part of some tests to select a lens for a future project. I bought the Tokina while a student, thirty years ago, and never really liked the image quality. Wide open it is just soft across the frame and without any real character – it needs to be stopped down to at least f8 to get decent results. Despite this, […]

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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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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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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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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 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 7 :: Urbanity

Anti-capitalist protest, Barcelona - GR II processed in Capture One Pro 9.03

More vaguely urban railway themed images and a (sort of) selfie taken on a railway bridge. The protest image is only vaguely connected – it was of an anticapitalist assembly, which is only very loosely linked to the TMB Metro drivers’ strike this coming Monday and Wednesday. The strike coincides with the extremely non-anticapitalist MWC conference – one of the most busy and commercially important events in Barcelona. The drivers are protesting against salary freezes and ever increasing automation, such as the driverless trains seen in last week’s pictures. As before, all five images were shot […]

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Rough Night

Homeless in Plaça dels Angels, Barcelona

Plaça dels Angels, Barcelona. The square is home to both Barcelona’s main modern art museum, and possibly the largest collection of homeless people in the city. There is a seemingly endless supply of old mattresses that provide at least some comfort in the night, but the unseasonably wet and cold weather at the moment is problematic. In a curious twist on the banking crisis many homeless people are now sleeping inside the lobbies of local banks to avoid the weather. The number of homeless people in the city has increased dramatically since […]

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Independence

  September the 11th is the Diada Nacional de Catalunya – the national day of Catalunya. There is a strong push for complete separation from Spain, to create a new member state of the EU. There is a perfect storm brewing. Firstly, there is the ongoing financial crisis that means the economically prosperous Catalan region sees itself as being unjustifiably forced to subsidise the rest of the Spain. More than anything, economics (tax rises, salary cuts, lost savings and unemployment) fuels dissent. Secondly, there is the emergence of Spanish right-wing nationalism in […]

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