Saturday, December 19, 2015

Photowalk in Sarrià: A Beautiful Barcelona Barrio of Contrasts at Christmas

On a quest to meet more people in Barcelona, I've joined several Meetup  groups - one of which is Camara Creativa. As the group's very first meetup, we went on a 2.5 hour photowalk around the beautiful neighbourhood of Sarrià this morning. One of my favourite things about Barcelona is that it is a city of neighbourhoods - every barrio  has a unique feel or theme, with varied prices, architecture and people. Alessandro (a professional photographer) and Ana, the organizers, took me (I was the only one who came to the first meetup!) around the neighbourhood and through the Christmas market to give me some tips. You'll have to check out the slideshow at the end of this post for my view of the neighbourhood, but here are the tips and a couple of my favourite shots of the day:
Girl with Christmas Spirit in Sarrià Market - one of my favourite pics of the shoot!

Photography Tips

  • Get the smallest camera you can for photographing people - it's much easier if they don't notice and you can take candid, natural pics
  • To take a closeup of someone standing in front of you, but facing you, take a photo of the architecture above, then pose as if you are checking out your photo on your digital camera and snap the pic you really want - inches in front of you. It sounds a bit strange - but it worked so well for Alessandro that I will have to try it!
  • Set up your scene even if there is a car or something blocking it - take photos, align your camera and wait  - until the obstacle disappears and the subject you are looking for walks by. It takes a lot of patience, but it makes for beautiful photos.
  • Remember to use the exposure settings! (I was on Aperture mode and used to just changing the F-stop, but the exposure definitely makes a huge difference! Then, use Lightroom for editing.
  • Look for contrasts - I especially liked the playground shot we took, as there are pieces of old walls and old doors that must have been buildings at one point - leading to a modern looking playground (see the slideshow!)
  • Reflections in windows make for excellent photos - sometimes a tree with leaves can show up in the window of a beautiful building, or flowers of a plant across the street appear in a neighbourhood window - it's incredible. (Check out my slideshow for examples)

My Favourite Shots of the Day

Scootering through the ancient door to the playground!

Pensive and Festive at Christmas!

Floral reflections in the architecture

Here's the slideshow! I hope you enjoy it... unfortunately, this won't work if you are viewing this site from a mobile device, so go directly to My Flickr album page here, click into the first photo, and press the play button in the top right hand corner. Remember, you can hover over the upper right corner to turn on/off titles and change the speed of the slideshow - there are about 50 photos in this one, so you may want to choose medium or fast!

My Good Luck Muérdago

On a holiday related note, I received a muérdago, or Besque in Catalan, from my student's mom last week. It's a traditional plant only available at Christmas time that is supposed to bring good luck. There is only one catch - you cannot buy one for yourself! It must be a gift to bring someone else luck.

I feel so happy to have received one - let's hope it works! We all know what I'm wishing for in the New Year. Here's to my first year officially "in my thirties" to being a year made of the stuff of books and movies, as I like to say ;) 

The holidays are almost here - stay tuned for my tales of Christmas in Madrid with Sean, New Year's Eve somewhere fun, and a photoshoot of holiday lights in early January and more!

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