Here are some people in the gothic quarter of Barcelona sitting outside at a tapas bar, talking late into the night.
Scenes like this occur over and over, and I think, are typical of Catalonian culture. Not that I’m an expert, but it seems quite friendly and puts a lot of value on spending time with family and friends.
It’s not difficult to see the appeal, especially in places like Barcelona. Sure, every area has its problems, but it’s fun to see different lifestyles and wonder what it would be like to live there, if only for a spell.
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 bridge is a commuter’s nightmare, but before dawn on the weekend, it can look pretty awesome.
It’s amazing how smooth the water looks in a long exposure. I could shoot these all morning if the sun didn’t rise. But, as the saying goes, the son also rises. Actually, that saying doesn’t apply, and I’m mixing metaphors, but we’re all friends here.
They say this bridge needs to be replaced. It’s over fifty years old and, as I mentioned, the traffic on it sucks. But, there is a bright side. Getting stuck on a bridge in Florida is not so bad; you just roll down the window, crank up the tunes, and enjoy the scenery.
I left my wife in a shoe store as I walked around taking photos in the old streets of Barcelona. This is not your typical mall.
There’s something pleasing about photos of people juxtaposed to the surrounding buildings; especially when the buildings are very old or very new. Even if the people are just going shopping, it’s better than hanging out at the mall.
Malls are becoming a thing of the past. Or, maybe, they are morphing into something else, less mall-like. I’m not sure I buy into that because as long as you have to drive to a mall, it’s still a mall. But I digress. Where was I?
Here is a street scene from a section of Barcelona that’s not too far from the beach. I took this from a moving pedicab that we hired late one night from La Ramblas to the Hotel Arts. Our driver was a German fellow who biked all over Europe and stayed summers in Barcelona to work the pedicabs.
Taking photos from any kind of moving vehicle at night is a challenge, but with a high enough ISO and a wide aperture it’s doable. And a pedicab is a lot easier to shoot from than a taxicab, although I’ve tried that as well.
The days and nights we were in Barcelona were very warm. One of the things I like most about Barcelona is how people spend a lot of time socializing in front of little cafes and bistros. That goes for much of Europe but Barcelona in particular.
This is one of two bridges that connects Bradenton to Palmetto. I live in Palmetto which is a small town so I take a lot of photos of, on and around these bridges. Bridges are a persistent theme with me as I’m sure you already know. To get these long exposures at night I use a tripod to hold the camera steady while the cars drive past creating long ribbons of light. In this case it was a thirteen-second exposure. Normally I’m freezing an instant of time however in this case thirteen-seconds. Freezing time is a funny concept, but don’t think too deeply about it, I wasn’t really going anywhere.
Back to the bridge, I said there was two bridges, but this was taken from a third bridge. It was the original bridge that crossed the river and was built maybe a hundred years ago, it now serves as a fishing pier. What’s left of this original bridge stretches about a half mile into the river so it allows this close perspective which might have required a boat.
Urban landscapes are interesting to me, especially when I can portray a simplified scene like this. Shooting at night helps remove some of the distractions, processing in monochrome simplifies it even more. I also like how the pilings are a repeating pattern below the lit surface. There is some kind of message of strength in there I think, maybe. Again, let’s not get too deep, this is a small town and this is a simple bridge. End of story.