Barcelona Photoblog: July 2007

July 29, 2007

Cross at Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

Cross and Pavilion at Modernista Complex of Hospital de la Sant Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain

This cross is located in one of the parks inside Sant Pau Hospital. 

Remember you can admire Catalan art nouveau buildings like the one in the background if you visit the modernista complex not far away from Sagrada Familia. 

There are previous posts dealing with Sant Pau or San Pablo in Barcelona Photoblog so I recommend you browse my site for more. 

You will find out about the history behind the buildings or the works of the architect, Domenech i Montaner. As for example: Pillars of Catalan Art Nouveau in Palau de la Musica Catalana.

July 28, 2007

Small Cove at L'Escala, a Town in Costa Brava, Spain

Small Cove at L'Escala, a Town in Costa Brava, Spain [enlarge]

Another picture of L'Escala, a beautiful town in Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain. The golden rays of the afternoon sun falling on the white buildings and the boats along the improvised beach of this small cove or cala create some sort of painting atmosphere that I was lucky to capture for you. Nice weekend.

July 27, 2007

Belly Flop in Costa Brava, Spain

Belly Flop in Costa Brava, Spain

Jumping off a rock and nose diving into the sea, in this case at L'Escala, Costa Brava, may sound like an easy thing to do but everything changes when it's your turn. This kid is the son of some friends. He urged his father to let him go there and jump as the other kid in the water had done previously. The latter was a "pro", improvising front somersaults and so on, so my friend's son dropped his flip flops into the water first and came up with this funny and risky belly flop which fortunately caused him no harm.

July 26, 2007

Classic Car Reflections

Classic Car Reflections [enlarge]

Hi, this blogger is about to go on his summer holidays. In fact I will leave next Wednesday to the beach for a whole month. I will do my best to keep posting at least once a week. Remember I will be back in September so this is no farewell. In the meantime and till Tuesday I will show you my last work. This is an old picture though. I took it at the retro exhibition last year. The drawings on the side of the car are not clear but the sunny reflections are somewhat interesting. I like the lines of this beauty. Maybe it's a corvette but I don't remember.

July 25, 2007

Cactus Buds, Not Just a Way Full of Roses

Cactus Buds, Not Just a Way Full of Roses [enlarge]

It is odd that such strange a plant, like a cactus, considering the aspect, the habitat and even the name, provokes so much admiration and inspires that many people. I am happy that my tiny set of cactii pictures grows since these images are one of my favorites when it comes to capture capricious forms,attractive textures and vivid green hues. Look at those buds make their way to substitute the withered ones. See how the thorny or "hairy" stem crawls through the other cactus searching for the light. Try to forget it is just a mere succulent plant and concentrate on the pattern and the lines that nature so stubbornly has woven for us. Isn't it amazing?

July 24, 2007

A Closer Look on Igor Mitoraj's Sculpture

A Closer Look on Igor Mitoraj's Sculpture

A close look, a very close look in fact and I meant literally, not that I am going to make an essay on Mitoraj. I believe that I have said everything within my reach about this Polish-German sculptor in recent posts. I just wanted to experiment with this head called Polvere d'Oriente made in 1990. Seen from this angle it looks like some Pascua monolyth or ancient God. According to some sources this man represents Buddha.

July 23, 2007

Mayday, Mayday! Stop sending tourists up here!

Mime at Tibidabo Amusement Park
Mime at Tibidabo Amusement Park

Mayday, Mayday! Stop sending tourists up here! - might as well say this funny artist during his short performance at Tibidabo Amusement Park. Of course he didn't say that since he was a mime. 

Tibidabo is always full of visitors on weekends and during summer holidays it is packed with locals and tourists alike as the rest of Barcelona is. 

He was there jumping, dancing, stretching on the floor and tiptoeing after people to dust them or make them look towards an imaginary plane in the skies. 

I am not an expert on costumes so I can only guess that he was disguised in an American army's pilot uniform.

July 22, 2007

Mosaic in the Chamber of the 100 Columns, Park Guell, Barcelona

Ceiling mosaic at the 100 Columns hall in Park Güell, Barcelona
Ceiling mosaic at the 100 column hall in Park Guell

This is the second mosaic I show you of those you can admire on the ceiling of the Chamber of the 100 Columns at Park Guell. 

Please read the last post here to know more. And of course, do follow labels to compare to other works by Antoni Gaudi. 

I encourage you to enlarge the picture for a more detailed view of the shape of the fragments, their colors and distribution to make up the final figure.

July 21, 2007

Gaudi Museum in Park Guell, Barcelona

Pink house or Gaudi Museum at Park Guell
Pink Tower - Gaudi museum at Park Guell

This a museum inside Park Guell, a modernist house Gaudi bought in 1906 and that had been built by Francesc Berenguer, one of his collaborators. 

The house had been part of the park's utopian projects and later it could not be sold. Thanks to that it came into Gaudi hands who lived there for 20 years first with his father and niece and then completely alone till 1926 the year of his death although he was not there till he died cause he abandoned the house some months before due to the distance with the city and went to his workshop in the cathedral. 

The house was known as the Pink Tower because Antoni Gaudí was very devout to the Rose Virgin. This is the view of the building as taken from a low angle in the garden that is in the backyard.

July 20, 2007

La Pedrera or Casa Mila by Gaudi at Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona

La Pedrera or Casa Mila in Black and White by Gaudi at Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona

Today I will go to bed quite late but it has been worth the time spent on posting this photograph. It has its flaws but I like the stormy look and the contour of this building:  Casa Mila also known as La Pedrera one of the best works by Gaudi located at Paseo de Gracia. 

You can see some people up there admiring the strange chimneys or turrets that are scattered all over the roof. 

Have a nice weekend.

July 19, 2007

Flower Classification Wanted!

Flower Classification Wanted! Taxonomers, Botanists, Gardeners please help! [enlarge]

In another shameful and flagrant act of ignorance and neglection this blogger dares to post another photograph of flowers without even knowing the family, the genus and the species' scientific and common names. Taxonomy lovers must be scratching the back of their necks compulsively, twitching their eyes involuntarily while trying to assimilate this. Well yes, I just know it is a flower. Since this blog is photography oriented, or disoriented sometimes, it is not always prepared to detach from the pixels and light path. There have been some sad stories in the past of Barcelona Photoblog when I dared to mistake a moth for a hummingbird. On the other hand, why losing the opportunity to show you flower pictures just for the sake of beauty. Besides, were you born being called Rose or Hyacinth?, are you going to be ignored if you don't have a name?. I don't think so. In the end, they will give you a name, a simple name, flower or in your case, human being. I advice you to follow this youtube video link, sit and relax.
I quote: In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
Unintentional and naive link: Flower

July 18, 2007

Statue of Naked Woman At Montjuic Castle in Barcelona

Statue of Naked Woman Dedicated to Gaspar_de_Portola at Montjuic Castle in Barcelona

On top of Montjuic mountain from where you have a privileged view of Barcelona there is a fortress as it is common at the entrance of bays. It is the Montjuic castle which I will deal with on some other occasion since it doesn't show in the picture. There is an esplanade with some huge canons and in the middle of this heavy artillery you come across a statue of a naked woman which honors the memory of Gaspar de Portolà the first California governor. Besides the weapons museum which is inside the castle and the canons all the rest around the statue (as you can see in the background), the view, the cleaner atmosphere and the sea breeze (that you don't see but it is easy to imagine) creates a special sense of bliss which is highly recommended after a hard day's walk downtown. I have to point out that my colleague Valery of BCN Daily and Trujillo had published this statue not long ago and we overlapped without me knowing it, that's good cause now you can enjoy the same place twice. Please visit his site to check his work too.

July 17, 2007

The Ceiling at Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona

The Ceiling at Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona

This is a partial view of the impressive ceiling at Sagrada Familia cathedral by Gaudi. 

It is hard to capture new angles when it comes to frame these columns that resemble trees or those sort of stars and flowers that simulate the thick canopy of branches in a tropical jungle. 

The place is still under construction so it can be full of scaffolds but if you watch where you shoot, obstacles won't ruin your picture. 

There's no need to say that geometry plays an important part in the design of this ceiling. If you enlarge and examine details you will discover the mathematical perfection Gaudi obtained after prolonged sessions with scale models in his workshop. 

To make it look more surrealistic than it already is, I experimented a little with the picture and here is the result.

July 16, 2007

Seagull in Costa Brava

Seagull in Costa Brava[enlarge]

This snapshot of a juvenile seagull I took from about 2 meters distance using my 18-70 mm nikkor lens. I approached her little by little, squatting slowly till the nearest rock. Water was still coming out of her beak so I guess she was still digesting her food. There was a gentle breeze and we were both alone on top of the promontory, people down there in the cove basking under the sun. With scrutinizing eyes she followed my every movement but was too clumsy to fly with her full stomach. I had to stand on my feet with a sudden gesture to make the beautiful bird soar over summer air. Here is the same seagull against the darker background of brown algae accumulated along the rocky shore in Costa Brava.

July 15, 2007

Blue Cliff Wildflowers in Costa Brava, Spain

Blue Cliff Wildflowers in Costa Brava, Spain [enlarge]

Totally offtopic and out of place, I know, but these blue wildflowers that I spotted on a cliff in Costa Brava are beautiful and beauty always has accomodation in this photoblog. I don't know the name of the plant so finding out the name is your assignment for tomorrow. I like the contrast of the blue petals against the sepia tones of the clay color background of the soil.
*Due to requests and after the kind cooperation of smb who told me these were thistles I found more information in wikipedia with a very similar image that indicates these can be especifically Echinops commonly known as globe thistles. I also have to thank Kate for the advice.

July 14, 2007

Secret Cove in L'Escala, Costa Brava, Spain

Secret Cove in L'Escala, Costa Brava, Spain

Walking along the path on one of the promontories in L'Escala beach you have the chance to explore many coves or calas that vary in size. Some are wider and full of people, some are more private and a few are so small that are empty. That's the moment when you have the chance to see nature in a wilder state. I couldn't help thinking of secret adventures, pirates or castaways when I came across this beautiful spot.

July 13, 2007

Snorkeling in L'Escala, Costa Brava

Snorkeling in L'Escala, Costa Brava

The picture: A father and his son snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of L'Escala a small town in Costa Brava about 150 kms away from Barcelona and 70 from the French border. It's holidays time so I will be using some images that may not be located in Barcelona or just the outskirts. Here is some information about Costa Brava and L'Escala which is famous for its exquisite anchovies.

July 12, 2007

Flower Patch Detail

Flower Patch Detail at Park Guell, Barcelona Spain [enlarge]

Today I didn't feel like showing any specific place in Barcelona and I've decided to brighten up your eyes a little bit. I got this beautiful flower patch at Park Guell but framing the whole triangle was too obvious so I finally chose one of the corners to trace a diagonal line in the picture. It's a pity there was that tree shadow but I suppose felling the tree was impossible now that green is a sacred word. I hope I don't disappoint people when Barcelona is not featured in my photoblog in one way or the other but my camera sometimes digresses just as her proud owner.

July 11, 2007

Onboard Montjuic Cable Cars: A Privileged Panoramic View of Barcelona

Onboard the Barcelona Teleferic or Cablecar of Montjuic: A Privileged Panoramic View [enlarge]

A polarized panoramic view of Barcelona city from behind the protective cover of the new cable cars or teleferic cabins in Montjuic mountain, Barcelona. As you know this service has been available for years but old semi covered scary cabins have been replaced by the ones in the image. Now we have a whole brand new non-stop chain of cable cars conditioned for all kinds of weather, with all guarantees of security and more freedom of movement with a little less visibility. It's a pity that pictures aren't as perfect as could be considering the fair skies and the altitude but I think the polarized methacrylate cover is just a minor annoyance for photographers or tourists. The city in all its splendor lies at our feet and we suddenly seem to be flying as in some sort of amusement park attraction or soaring with a delta wing, hmm...more or less. Price is higher now so that keeps us locals away for the moment. I think the ride is worth trying though, at least once. Check Montjuic cable car fares here. A panoramic picture of cable cars in Montjuic before renewal. A second opinion here. The place on a map. And finally a Google Earth satellite view of Montjuic Castle with cable car route and Barcelona port.

July 10, 2007

Picasso and Flamenco Dancer in Paper Mache

This is the entrance to a small shop at carrer Montcada in El Raval quarter not very far from Picasso Museum, that's the reason why these paper mache figures are sitting out on those chairs taking some fresh air in the most traditional Spanish way. 

It is a well known fact that Pablo Picasso loved everything related to flamenco, remember he was from Málaga although you don't need to be from Andalusia to love flamenco.

July 09, 2007

Young Girl Climbing on Rocks at Park Guell [Barcelona, Spain]


I was lucky to capture this young girl the other day at Park Guell while she was climbing on the rocks of the arcade. I certify she was not my model and that this is a spur of the moment picture although the pose is so perfect that it seems prearranged. Fortunately enough, she was wearing a nice color dress, a hat and a handbag which made the picture even more interesting from the point of view of kids photography. With her natural pose and the texture of the rocky background it was pretty easy to compose in this case. I like the fact that she is staring vacantly into space in the middle of a silent game perhaps. I admire the ability of kids to find happiness in the most boring things: for example, climbing on a rock.

July 08, 2007

Vandalized Door Knocker or Modern Art

Vandalized Door Knocker or Modern Art [enlarge]

In a narrow alley there was this big door knocker with human face which probably has silently witnessed some important episodes of Catalan history or at least has adorned the lives of many passerbies with its beautiful design. Nevertheless, some bastard decided to leave his hoofprints on it just to satisfy his ego. Now from the distance it looks like some old African shield or a voodoo symbol, but on a second glance it only provokes sadness.

July 07, 2007

Knocker on Chocolate Color Door at El Raval Quarter, Barcelona

Knocker on Chocolate Color Door at El Raval Quarter, Barcelona [enlarge]

Door knockers may adopt different shapes like hands, animals, flowers, weapons, etc. Imagination has been particularly rich in the creation of these simple artifacts that prevent people from breaking their knuckles when slamming on a big door. I wanted to show you this hand I found at El Raval quarter covered in thick chocolate color paint. I liked the light on the smooth surface so I thought you might like it as well. Here is a good link to more images of knockers I found at a stock photography site (I am trying hard not to play on words, believe me :)

July 06, 2007

Ska-mania: The Third Wave


"Skamania an Indian word meaning "swift river" and refers to the swift currents of the Columbia River"...hmmm nope. Not this meaning, what is it then? I am getting too old for this. Oh, here it is, "Ska is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was a precursor to rocksteady and reggae." I don't get it why is she wearing that T-shirt then. Well I read that there was a second wave in the UK in the 80s. But she looks too young for that...oh yes there is a Third wave Ska and even Ska punk, that must be it. She looks punk alright, not the dirty kind though. Maybe I have been listening to Ska bands without me knowing it. Should I ask her? No, let her alone in her sweet teens waiting for her date, who cares how they call music nowadays.

July 05, 2007

Nativity Portal at Sagrada Familia: Equilibrium and Chaos

Nativity Portal at Sagrada Familia: Equilibrium and Chaos [enlarge]

I will be brief cause I am behind schedule in my daily posting. This is a detail of the Nativity Portal at Sagrada Familia. The façade as you know is full of sculptoric groups such as the one in the picture. Each of these groups is well balanced in composition and proportions but when you take some steps back and take a look at the whole building you face up with an authentic chaos of animals, saints and mythological beings. Maybe there is harmony in this chaos but if there isn't you never really care. The work of a genius sometimes is whimsical and hard to understand that's why we consider them unique.

July 04, 2007

Heads of State Caught in Barcelona Shop During Solemn Act

Fidel Castro and George Bush Caganer Figures for Catalan Chrismas

Heads of state are human after all. They have to look elegant, sound clever, have good manners and an impeccable resumé perhaps, all of that creates a sort of idyllic aura that makes us forget about who they really are. We say, hey look, the president, it's the president himself, oh my God. But then come to think of it they are made of flesh and bones like you and me, and though they represent us nothing can stop them from being common mortals with disgusting needs. It is at that very moment that politics becomes just that...shit and men remain equal.

These small figures are called caganers which means someone that is in the act of, you know. It is traditional in Catalan popular culture where it is common to mock local personalities in a funny and naive way. This shop is located at carrer LLibreteria in Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter). I almost forget to mention the characters: from left to right, Fidel Castro Ruz, commander in chief; the honorable, Mr. Artur Mas i Gavarró, Catalan politician and Mr. George Walker Bush, the 43rd and current President of the United States of America.

July 03, 2007

Flower Digital Photography: Light Purple

Flower Digital Photography: Light Purple

Another assignment for flower enthusiasts: I came across these beautiful purple flowers at Park Guell gardens. Due to the long stem and leaves I suppose it is a bulb flower very common in public places but I must have missed that botany lesson so I need your help one more time.

Last quiz answer was Lantanas. Thanks to those who gave me the correct name or enhanced the scarce information of the post.

Update: agapanthus was the name!

July 02, 2007

Ceiling Mosaic Inside The Chamber of the 100 Columns, Park Guell, Barcelona Spain

Ceiling Mosaic Inside The Chamber of the 100 Columns, Park Guell, Barcelona Spain
Trencadis ceiling at the 100 Columns Hall in Park Guell

Not the first time Barcelona Photoblog visits Park Guell in Barcelona to show you the impressive work of Gaudi.

We have dealt with mosaic work recently, we mentioned the trencadis technique but we needed some more examples where the degree of improvisation and nature leitmotifs were more evident. Such is the case of this ceiling mosaic inside The Chamber of the 100 Columns including not only tiles but fragments of cups and dishes among other materials to make up something that recalls a flower.

Please follow labels for previous posts.

July 01, 2007

Pure Classical Music at Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Double-bass player and a girl listening at Park Guell, Barcelona
Double-bass playing classical music and girl at Park Guell

A street musician playing for money at Park Guell in Barcelona.

The well tempered sound of the string instrument, a double bass I suppose, attracted a curious visitor who invaded the scene, something that I really, really appreciate. Classical music really touched the pure fibers of this baby cause she stood there like a grownup with a musical background.
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