Probably the biggest festival of the year in Barcelona is La Mercè. Of course, we knew nothing about it until we were right in the middle of it.
We were walking around and stopped to listen to Melanie De Biasio perform a midnight concert in front of the main cathedral. Her music is a hypnotic jazz fusion that’s right down my alley. Like everything else, I’d never heard of her, but now she’s at the top of my playlist.
During the La Mercè, many of the major plazas host outdoor free concerts, plus there are fireworks and parades each night. It’s called the festival of festivals for a good reason. In my case, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart.
You haven’t seen Barcelona until you’ve seen and heard it at night. The combination of light, shadows, and music create an exotic enchantment that keeps me coming back for more.
The harpist played behind the main Cathedral, and it is here that, over the years, I have heard some of the most talented musicians. The night before, I listened to a couple of tenors belting out arias reverberating as in the best opera venues.
Here is where the greatest from all over Europe and America come to perform in front of passing nighttime crowds. The echoing acoustics of the gothic cathedral walls remind me of the New York subway; only here they don’t get drowned out by passing trains.
The pool on top of the Renaissance Fira in Barcelona has a fantastic view of the city. As a shutterbug, that ranks pretty high on my list of amenities.
I left the big boy camera in the room; all I had was my iPhone 7 Plus. I plan to upgrade, but this is not bad for an outdated iPhone if I do say so myself. I did indeed process it, as I do all my photos, but to get this kind of quality from a four-year-old phone is terrific.
When I get the iPhone 11 with its new camera features, maybe I’ll take a trip with just the phone. We are getting to the point where big cameras are becoming more of a niche item. Perhaps they’ll always be around, but if you can get high-quality photos from a phone, why bother?
In case you were wondering, Platja is the Catalan word for Beach. This particular platja is in Barcelona.
I took this panorama on a previous trip to Barcelona in 2017. On my most recent trip, I spent time at other beaches, North and South of here. I created this by stitching together four photos in Lightroom and then worked on it with various other tools such as Luminar and Photoshop.
I intended to post this last month but ran out of time before my vacation. Some of the photos I publish represent many hours of work, spread out over time. I thought this was ready last month and then, after getting back, worked on it more before posting it this week. If there is a point in any of this, I suppose its that the end can be a moving target.
This scene is typical among the towns of Spain. In particular, this is in Lloret de Mar along the Catalonian coast.
These types of street scenes are a favorite of mine because they convey a nightlife ambiance. I take photos like this by using a high ISO, (in this case, 2000), and a low f-stop, (in this case, 2.8). That combination allows picture taking as though it was daylight. Granted, I do post-processing to get the look I’m after – painterly is a word that describes this type of treatment.
We stayed in Lloret de Mar on our first day of vacation. It’s a little over an hour from Barcelona airport and is an excellent way to decompress from an all-night flight. And, because the body clock was on North American time, it was easy to stay up late and get these scenes, despite the lack of sleep.
This tower is one of the first things you see in Barcelona. However, in my case, it took me by surprise.
It was raining, so I had it in my mind to drive up the mountain and visit the Sagrat Cor church. However, the clouds created a thick blanket of fog, and it was difficult to see more than a hundred feet. As I stood outside the church, the clouds began to thin, and the tower appeared rather dramatically.
Here is a close-up view that T took with the telephoto lens fully extended. The tenth level is the observation deck, according to Wikipedia.
Here is another image I took on the beach in Barcelona. I photoshopped out most of the people, and believe me; there were a lot.
We stayed at the hotel in one of the tall buildings for a couple of days before a cruise. Walking up and down the beach is entertaining, especially with all the outdoor restaurants and bars. There are so many it’s hard to choose.
Nevertheless, the heat forced us into the shade of a bistro that served icy pitchers of Sangria. And there we sat the rest of the day, savoring the flavors, recovering from jet lag and enjoying the sights and sounds.
This is a fashionable hotel at the end of the beach in Barcelona. It’s a cool beach with a cool hotel and cool people walking cool dogs.
It’s so cool that I was starting to feel a little self-conscious. But I know that’s silly because the people in Barcelona are not so pretentious. They just have that way about them that seems fashionable to me.
By the way, this photo is heavily Photoshopped. There were hundreds of people here. But, I picked out the most interesting and turned the rest to sand. If you zoom in, you’ll see some quirkiness. That’s just me and my less-than-cool sense of humor.
These marinas are cities within cities. People in them live semi-nomadic lives and form communities; coming and going with the wind.
The marina in Barcelona reminds me of similar ones close to home. I’m heading back and have been looking at my photos from there. Marinas are enormous along the Mediterranean. We have many in Florida, but I think they are generally not as big as the ones in Europe. Maybe boat life is more prevalent there.
Anyway, I know an American teacher who leads on-line courses remotely from her boat in Spain or Italy, depending on the season. No house required; have a boat, laptop, and internet connection; and the world is your oyster.
I was somewhere off La Rambla watching other people shop. Not something I’m fond of, shopping that is.
There are a lot of things I’m not fond of, but having a camera turns the most hated activity into an artistic endeavor. Like taking pictures of shoppers, suddenly I can go shopping with my wife and have a good time.
But nowadays the only place it seems you can take photos of shoppers is in Europe. Here in the states, shopping is in a mall and the last time I took my camera, the mall cop and asked not to take photos. He said I could use a phone, but not a camera. If that doesn’t sound ridiculous, I don’t know what does.