More Barcelona

It seems that Giliell’s photos of Barcelona have inspired Opus to share a few pictures of his own.

I was struck by the Sagrada Familia pictures and dove back into my picture files. These are from long before I purchased my first ‘real’ camera, but the nighttime shots of Casa Batlio are still among my favorites. If you need one for the front page I’d suggest Casa Batlio 2, but I’m biased: too much time with this as a child:

Reptiles and Amphibians Familiar American Species

Casa Batlio 2 ©Opus, all rights reserved

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Holidays: de fiesta 2

To us, the highlight of the festival was the “Dance of the Dragons”. Groups from the city itself and the surrounding communities would come with their dragon figures and “dance”. They put fireworks into the mouths and talons of the dragons and danced through the streets with everybody following them, with bands and music and everything.

It was an amazing experience. Only the pics are bad and in between my batteries gave out.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved Whoever the person inside is, I hope they got a nice beer or beverage of their choice afterwards. Or a dozen. They deserve it.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Music band

©Giliell, all rights reserved Breathing fire

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved Many kids were dressed up as devils and well protected with ear protection.

 

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And a gif. It was easiest to post it to Twitter

 

Holidays: ¡De Fiesta!

During our holidays, the city of Mataró celebrated its annual major festival calleD “Les Santes”, the saints, remembering two female martyrs from probably the 3rd century. Surprisingly, those martyrs feature very little in the celebrations which had multiple concerts of different kinds of music, from classical to hip hop, theatre, children’s theatre and, most importantly, the street festival. Central to this is the “Robfaves family and the dwarves”: El señor Robfaves, his Wife the Giantess, their daughter Toneta and her husband Maneló.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And no, those aren’t just statues that are put in front of the decorated town hall. Inside of those figures are people who carry them through the streets!

©Giliell, all rights reserved

While there is one day of the big parade, you can meet them throughout the whole two week festival. Nowadays there are also many other giant figures from the various schools, clubs, institutions, churches, villages,… While many of them seem to have a meaning and a history, I was unable to find out more because the information was in Catalan only. :(

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Here’s an overview of some of them as miniatures in a shop window and now for them in real size. Sorry if the images aren’t much, they were taken with the mobile holding it above my head and hoping for the best.

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Holidays: Sagrada Familia: I’m Sorry, I Broke It

Here’s the last pics from our night out. After that, Instead of walking back the short way to the train station we got off, the family voted to walk to the Plaza Catalunya and we got a bit lost on the way. We managed to catch the last train home which was kind of strange because you’d think that trains from the capital to the bigger cities around it would run through the night, especially on a Saturday, but shortly after midnight the train service ceases for the night. On that train I had one of the more frightening experiences. A young dude was standing in the aisle and suddenly took out a dagger style knife. I didn’t say a word, especially not to the tired kids and extra especially not to the dude so I wouldn’t catch his attention. He started “stabbing” the side of the train and I started to make plans in case of emergency, like putting my camera rucksack in front of my body and shifting my position to cover the kids.

Thankfully he then used his knife to cut off the top of a plastic bottle, took out some cheap wodka and lemonade and got even more drunk than he was before.

OK, back to the Sagrada Familia. I have no clue what happened here. I guess the light and the structure and the 2D nature of photography are playing a trick, because it definitely didn’t look like this, or I would have noticed.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Looking quite chill. A day of visitors and works done.

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Maybe a bit tipsy.

©Giliell, all rights reserved. The angle of the cranes is worrying me.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Ok, looks like I didn’t accidentally walk of out a Mexican restaurant in Barcelona and ended up in Pisa.

©Giliell, all rights reserved.

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Go home, you’re drunk.

 

 

Holidays: Sagrada Familia 6

These are the last pictures by daylight. Remember that we went there in  the evening especially so we could come back later to see it in the dark? Definitely worth it!

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

 

Holidays: Sagrada Familia 5

Or “being too smart for your own good”. Many photographers have nice expensive gear and then set everything on “automatic” and wonder why their pics are not that nice. Well, I’d never do that but do most of my adjustments by hand so I can get the best results. Except for when I forget about something. So here’s the question for the fellow camera addicts: Why do Giliell’s pics have this annoying blueish tint?

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Here you can see the different style of later architects who worked at the cathedral after Gaudi’s death: sharper lines, more influenced by cubism than modernisme.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

Write your guesses in the comments and I’ll tell you if you’re right tomorrow.

Holidays: Sagrada Familia 4

Let’s stop with all the hospital talk for a while, because I’m getting sick and tired of it. Seriously, I was not made for “long, slow recoveries, but I guess few people are. There are so many more pictures from the holiday, so let’s dwell on that beauty.

These pictures showcase the architectural elements inside the cathedral, which are just as beautiful as the windows. I love the light stones.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The Art of Book Design: I am a Cat

 

Natsume Soseki. I am a Cat. (1906) First English translation published in 1909. Translated by K. Ando and revised by K. Natsume. Tokyo, Hatori Shorten, 1906-1909.

This classic book, written by one of Japan’s most celebrated novelists, is a satire of Japanese society during the Meiji period (1868 – 1912) when western customs were first being incorporated into the country. It’s written from the perspective of a supercilious and eloquent housecat who humorously comments on the people and events that fill his life.

I couldn’t find a copy of the book for you to read, but it’s been reissued many times (and in many languages) and is available at most major booksellers. If you’d like to read a few quotes before deciding to buy, the site Cocosse-Journal is the place to go. I’ll share just this one quote from the book:

“Thus, as I review the list of my friends and acquaintances, most of them emerge as stained with
 maniac stigmata of one sort or another. I begin to feel considerably reassured. The truth may
simply be that human society is no more than a massing of lunatics.”
                                                                    – from I am a Cat via Cocosse-Journal

Cover photo via: Old Timey Cats

Holidays: The Moon, Part 1

I didn’t know there was going to be a lunar eclipse, but one night I decided to take the camera to the small beach next to the campsite. That “beach” was our evening retreat. It’s actually only a cut in the line of boulders put up to secure the higher coastline where the railway tracks are, but it was a nice place to sit and have a drink. Taking pictures that night wasn’t that easy since I didn’t take the tripod with me and I got increasingly drunk.

The first pictures are taken before the eclipse, with the rising moon and the sea.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved This was an old bunker, though I have no idea what the soldiers were  supposed to do in that, other then look out at the sea and get wet feet. So probably exactly that.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

I wanted to catch the moonlight on the sea, but I would have needed a tripod and a half-coloured filter to darken the upper half of the image.