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.
In my next life, I’ll be born in France and, when I go to school, it will be in Montpellier. They have by far the best nightlife.
Not that I am suggesting one should go to school because of the nightlife, but if one did, this might rank high on the shortlist. But to be fair, I’m rating it more on aesthetics than academic qualities. In fact, the medical school is quite good; it’s the oldest in Europe.
Anyway, I wandered around the narrow streets shooting scenes on a school night. There were a lot of people out, and I’m sure some of them had to be up for class the next day. But, I suppose that’s just training for the sleep deprivation they’ll experience the first years of residency.
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.
This picture feels a little like a gloomy Monday morning, even though I took it on a Friday.
I took this near our friend’s house at the beach in Carnon. I never tire of these minimalistic scenes because they leave much room for interpretation and reflection — however, calm thoughts were the last thing on my mind when I took this.
I was about to go for a swim and, the water was chilly. Getting in took two types of effort, one of the mind and one of the body. Neither my mind nor body was overly enthusiastic at the prospect. In the end, I completed the swim, which left the rest of the day to contemplate sweet nothing.
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.
What do you get when an architect designs a city? A collection of eccentric-looking buildings along the Mediterranean.
La Grande-Motte is a French beachside resort town. Spain has dozens of these that attract their French neighbors. However, someone got smart and built this town in France about fifty years ago. Now there are many beach towns along the French Mediterranean, and no need to cross into Spain for a holiday.
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.
Lately, we have been getting a lot of rain. When that happens, it usually means you can count one thing, a sky full of colors in the evening.
When I took this image, I didn’t realize children were in the picture until later. I was too busy making sure I didn’t drop the camera in the water. In any case, it was a lucky happenstance caused by the wide-angle of the lens.
All good things are fleeting and come to an end. But taking photos is a passion for me, partly because it saves a moment to re-experience later. Pictures like this are memory pills that cause neurons to fire, bringing back moments, and sometimes surprises.