We are all attracted to scenes in different ways. What we see isn’t necessarily what others see or are attracted to. I recently read a blog of Joel Meyerowitz from Masters of Photography, “First Thought Best Thought”, and it got me thinking. As photographers, as artists, this is what makes our work individually unique from each other and why it is all very subjective. We all see and relate to things differently.
As I read Joel’s thoughts on his photos, I began understanding the images more, his feelings behind them and why they impacted him. There were little stories embedded in each of them.
Joel’s words inspired me. So for this blog, I thought I would choose some of my recent images and explain why I found them interesting, why the scenes appealed to me enough that I had to capture them.
Behind Hidden WallsOn this day I was heading out to do the tourist thing, to visit Casa Vicens, home of the prominent architect, Antoni Gaudi. It just so happens that his house, now a museum, was only a 10-minute walk from my apartment. On my way there I came across a little plaza, surrounded by old textured walls, which I have always been drawn to. As I went closer, I noticed the doorway had a cross above it and realised there is a church hidden behind the walls. It enthralled me. I took a few shots, but couldn’t stay long as my ticket to Casa Vicens had a scheduled time slot. So, I thought to pop back in on the way home. This meant my entire time at the Gaudi house was spent thinking of the little hidden church. After I did the tour, I headed straight back, rushing against the fading light, and when I arrived I had even better luck. It was by chance that some young girls partaking in an Instagram shoot had positioned a mirror against the old wall for hair and makeup touch-ups. I knew this was the shot. I am still continually drawn to this place. It holds for me a sense of mystery, a yearning to know more. I am hoping to get access inside, but for now, it is closed.
Last LightOne of my favourite times of the year in Barcelona is Autumn. The light is warm and directional most of the day, but it is the late afternoon light that I love the most. I would wander the laneways, enjoying the last light of day before it disappeared behind the high rises. In this image the light was so intense, a golden shard had snuck through the buildings and revealed itself like a last hoorah for the day. I took a few shots and watched as it slowly faded out. I often think of the people who live or work in this building and how I’m sure they would have appreciated the warm light as it filled their rooms, while the surrounding apartments sat in shadows.
Sunset ViewI had been keen for a while to visit the old Spanish War Bunkers to view the sun setting over Barcelona. It’s a nice scenic bus trip to get there and then a small walk up to the top. My thoughts on the way were focused on finding the best vantage point for the shot. But as it was, the view on the small walk up the hill is what grabbed my attention the most. Apartment buildings, all intertwined together and stretching on for miles. They were linked like Lego blocks, stacked and joined. Little windows and doors, washing strung on lines, terraces and tiny satellite dishes. They were like tiny dollhouses. They drew me in so much that I nearly missed the sunset.
Stops you in your TracksOn the same trip to view the sunset, on the way back down, I came across a small clearing that led to a small path back into the shrubs. It was a little eerie, but the colours instantly grabbed my attention. Sometimes colour is soft and subtle, and other times it hits you in the face. This was one of those times. The sky glowed with amazing shades of blue, contrasted against the warm glow of the streetlights. At first, I wanted to keep walking, thinking I don’t want to miss the bus, but the colours kept drawing me in. It’s not a shot of too much importance, but it resonates with me. It made me stop and that will always mean something.
Morning NewsIt was an early morning walk through the city to visit friends when I came across this scene. The streets were peaceful, and I was enjoying the morning sunlight. I noticed these newspapers behind glass doors, caught in a stream of light. Just as I went to take the photo, a gust of wind had snuck under the small space of the door and fluttered its pages. It was as if it was saying, ‘good morning’ to me, ‘here is today’s news.’ It’s one of my favourite images, reminding me that every day brings new beginnings.
From another world
It was the first morning of a few days’ break in the Pyrenees. It was cold and the heater in our room wasn’t working. My husband woke up early so he and our friends could hit the slopes before anyone else. I wanted to stay in bed where it was warm, but he jabbed me in the side, “quick get up it’s snowing,” he said. With a flash, I was up too! I jumped out of bed and peeked out the window, and what I saw was something from a fairytale. It was quiet in the little town of La Molina, as covid had restricted most tourists from travelling, and the playground below was covered in light snow. The streetlights, still on as the sun hadn’t risen yet, had cast shadows from the playground equipment. It was magical. Or as my daughter said, ‘very Narnia like’. Even now, as I look at this image, I’m transported to another world.