Street photography & New years Eve
Barcelona was the place where I ended another decade in my life. In the last decade, about 3 years ago, I started with street photography. If you like to read my blog after my first year and what I have learned, please visit this page:
Barcelona is maybe my favorite city to wander the small streets, the sun creating magnificent shadows, a diversity of people, architecture, and, of course, the food, the bars, and the beach.
My first blog about Street photography in Barcelona:
It's my third time in two years, and for this blog, I visited Barca for 5 days. I walked about 85 km, did not grab a yellow/black taxi, took the metro once. Just enjoy the life on the streets.
In this blog post, I will take you to my Barcelona Street photography journey.
DAY 1 - 30 DECEMBER 2019
I am living in The Netherlands, in the middle of the historical bulb field. Finally, it is time to go to Schiphol airport and board the airplane to El Prat Airport.
It was early in the morning when we entered the aircraft. It was a very clouded and rainy day but after a couple of minutes. Just above the clouds, the deep red and orange color of the rising sun seemed through the small window of the airplane.
Barcelona starts at the amazing airport El Prat. This airport has amazing big windows and a floor that is as smooth as a mirror, which results in a fantastic area for creative photos. I can walk around for hours, but I have to go to the city.
Tip: Buy a ticket for the Aerobus. It will bring you directly to Place de Catalunya, the center of Barcelona.
Our hotel was close to Place de Catalunya and called: Vasanta Boutique Hotel. A lovely hotel is definitely worth staying in. Beautiful rooms, friendly people, and in the morning a small breakfast before you are going to explore the city.
I dropped my suitcase in my room and grabbed my camera to start a great week in this fantastic city. Started my GPS tracker and walked this route for the first day:
Hotel Vasanta is in the neighborhood of Eixample. In the 19th century, Barcelona needed to expand to solve the residential density and to connect the smaller towns around Barcelone to the city. The design of this neighborhood was almost done scientifically. The first city in the world with scientific planning and till today very famous in the world. The four-floor octagonal buildings are designed to have a clear view of the traffic at a crossing.
The first part of the route is a couple of blocks through these beautiful buildings and small shops and offices. There are many Japanese restaurants and shops. Barcelona has a lot of Japanse tourists.
I walked to the Tetuan square, a square when you can use the shadow from the trees.
After you have seen the square with maybe some pictures. You are going to the right (Passeig de Sant Joan). You will walk towards the Arc de Triomf. The comic store street. In the second block, you will find a couple of comic book stores. If you like it, you should definitely visit Norma Comics and Fantasy the Store.
If you want to have the best light for your photos. The sun hit this street between 9 AM and 10 AM. You will get some interesting shadows. I was here around 1 PM, and it was hard to find a good shot. This was my best one:
I continued my journey towards the Arc de Triomf. A great square with a large arc. You can wander here for a long time and see a diversity of people. Most of the people (locals) are sitting on the concrete mini-parks. People are talking, drinking, and enjoy the sun and the great weather that makes everybody smile. Although the are recreating small gardens, and therefore the view was not that good. Soon it will be all normal again. Take your time to enjoy this place.
If you have taken enough photos. It is time to move on. Walking south until you cross the Passeig de Pujades street. You will now enter Parc De La Ciutadella, a big parc. On your right sight, you see an old abandoned castle. The name of the castle looks like it comes straight out of the game of thrones. The castle of the three dragons. It is closed for renovation. More about this building:
I wish I had an opportunity to get inside the building. A creepy atmosphere where the light shines through small cracks.
Walking past the castle will enter Parc De La Ciutadella.
Across the castle, another old building, the former botanical garden. You can't access it, but you can look through the broken windows. It can be such a beautiful place where you could take a great picture. This place tickles your senses to climb over the fence and enter the building. There are still a lot of plants and trees, but it is also a place where homeless people sleep at night. You can see the colored sleeping backs, but no people. There are some spots to get close to a window. To respect these people, I took only pictures of the place.
If you want to see a botanical garden. There is one open for the public.
It is in the middle of the park on the same side as the old not accessible botanical garden. While you are walking, you pass an old library. Also not available to enter, too bad this kind of abandoned buildings tickles my curiosity.
You should definitely take some time walking the park. During the day it is safe, but I would not enter it in the evening/dark. During the day, an artist creating bubbles for the kids, people enjoying the sun, and you can find the Palace of the Parliament of Catalonia deeper in the park. At the end of the park, you can go to visit the Zoo. I did not do that.
Parc De La Ciutadella is for street photographers a great place to walk around for about two hours and capture people enjoying life.
ps. the second photo is from me with my girlfriend crawling through Barcelona.
We leave the park at a big round square and follow the Passeig dels til-lers. The entrence of the zoo is across the square.
You follow the street for about 400 meters, and you will find street Passatge de Palau. Walk down this street cross plaça de les Olle towards Carrer de les Dames. This is a short street that ends up in a T-junction. Go to the right Carrer de l'Esparteria and directly to the left. You will find a beautiful small road Carrer de la Volta dels Tamborets. You can feel a pleasant atmosphere. The lights from the small shops that lit the people. It can create some beautiful pictures. Like this one.
Take your time and wait for interesting people passing by. When you are finished and hopefully captures some good pictures. Walk down the street under the arch towards a large stone wall. This large wall is part of a big Cathedral. I run into two old men talking to each other. You can find a lot of more aged people in Barcelone in the old neighborhoods. Older people are, most of the time, very characteristic, lots of expressions to capture. Just keep your eyes open. I took the opportunity to catch these nice and beautiful older men with my camera.
Now follow Carrer Santa María del Mar on your left towards the entrance of this amazing cathedral. Definitely a great place to capture some great photos. The entry is at the Placa Santa María del Mar on your right. Too bad, I did not obtain any inspiring images. Maybe next time.
After you have seen and maybe went into the cathedral, find the street Carrer de l'Argenteria and follow this street until you cross Via Laietana. A broad road with a lot of traffic.
Barri Gotic neighboorhood
Cross this street to plaça l'Angel, and you enter the neighborhood, Barri Gotic. My favorite area in Barcelona. This place is where I take a lot of photos and get inspired the most.
This part of the route begins at Placa de l'Angel. It is also the place for Metro Jaume I. You will find more sightseers in this part of the city. Look for the street Baixada de la Llibreteria, walk down this street that will change into the Carrer de la Llibreteria. Just look around, there are small shops, lovely corners where you can catch life on the streets..
At the end of this street, you walk onto plaça Sant Jaume. On this square, you see the Ministry of the Presidency on your right. I have heard that people protest regularly. In this square, you will see people who are doing photoshoots, especially in the early morning. The scenery is perfect for some amazing backdrops. Maybe it inspires you?
Now walk down Carrer del Vidre, and then you will enter one of my favorite squares. And I think from a lot of people. Placa Reial is a bustling place where you can walk around for hours. In my 5 day visit, I have visited this place multiple times during my stay. Even the same day in the evening. photos of placa reial in the evening later in this blog.
I love to take photos without a lot of people and when there are a lot of people, I always look to create a balans. This square is a perfect place for the most street photographers. There is always something going on. Like the photo in the middle. I was trying to capture the woman in the red jacket. Maybe something funny would happen and yes it did. The boy kicked the bird while I pressed my button. Really cool this kind of photos.
I love to take pictures without a lot of people, and when there are a lot of people, I always look to create a balance. This square is a perfect place for most street photographers. There is still something going on. Like the photo in the middle. I was trying to capture the woman in the red jacket. Maybe something funny would happen, and yes, it did. The boy kicked the bird while I pressed my button. Really cool these kinds of photos.
After I walked around for some time and drank a cocktail at bar Ocana. They have great cocktails! I left the square through carrer de Colomto the famous la Rambla towards Placa Catalunya (go right), which is near the hotel. La Rambla is a broad street from placa Catalunya towards the coast. Many tourists and restaurants where you can get cocktails, bucket size. Although looking good around you and you will find some interesting pictures. Try to find small side streets like these, where you can find people working or interesting passages to use the light and reflections.
It can be very croweded in this street, you will have to try hard to create interesting pictures.
When leaving la Rambla, you will come to another great square. This is the same square if you have taken the Aerobus from the airport. Some charming fountains, a prominent center where artists and people try to earn some money from the tourist. It is always crowded. During my stay, there was a Christmas show in the middle of the square.
This time I walked around, and I walked past the biggest shopping mall of Barcelona El Corte Ingles. With the right light (it was our golden hour), people in the shop are getting lit very well. You can create some fantastic photos with glass that reflect people behind the window. Shadow towards the sunset. I love this picture:
The last meters of the day before the day turned into the evening. I went back to my hotel via Passeig de Gracia then turn right towards Carrer de Casp. You will pass Radio Barcelona and theater Tivoli on your right. Keep on walking until you find the hotel where I started, Vasanta Boutique Hotel. I took some time to relax and got back on the streets 2 hours later. When it was dark.
I went to Placa de Catalunya, Carrer del Bisbe (my favorite street in the early morning). It is near the square we have seen today (Placa Sant Jaume)
Some of my evening photos
After these shots. I turned off my camera to have a delicious diner and to enjoy the city in the evening.
After these shots. I turned off my camera to have a delicious dinner and to enjoy the city in the evening.
Tomorrow it is beach time.
Thank you for reading and I hope you get inspired to visit Barcelona for some amazing street photography sessions.
All the best,