19th to 24th May 2015
This was my first visit to Barcelona, a city recommended to me by various friends as a laid-back metropolis with a number of excellent photo possibilities.
It is very much known for the architecture of Antoni Gaudi, whose buildings are unlike anything else in the world.
In addition to the obligatory visit to Gaudi's masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia (a huge Modernisme cathedral) still under construction after 100 years, we also visited Park Guell. Whilst the architecture here was very impressive, and unusual, I found more photographic opportunities in the fact that a part of the park looked down on a local schoolyard where children were playing in the sunshine. I took a number of images of which the Child with the Ball was the best. I find it a sad indictment of UK society that I would have to be careful even pointing my camera at a school playground in my home country.
One of the "must see" tourist attractions is the Magic Fountain in front of the Palau Nacional. This whole area was built for the 1929 International Exhibition on the hill of Montjuïc. Most evenings in the summer there is a display at the base of the stairs in front of the building where a huge fountain changes colour and shape in conjunction with music played over a PA system.
I attended this but found far more interest in turning away from the fountain and directing my camera at the lasers emanating from behind the palace. In order to achieve an acceptable hand-held (tripods seem to be frowned upon in public areas in Barcelona) image I had to resort to an ISO of 800 and HDR techniques.
For any photographer visiting Barcelona I would recommend booking a trip to the Palau de la Musica. Once again this is in order to appreciate the architecture and test your skills at hand-held low-light photography. Although your ticket will say that photography is not allowed, the guide on our tour said that this was not the case so long as flash is not used. Flash would be of little use anyway.