This image was taken in the gothic section of Barcelona on my last night there. I was standing next to the cathedral listening to musicians and taking photos of people walking down Carrer del Bisbe.
Coming from North America, this is an enchanting place. I can't describe it in words, I try with pictures, and yet it still falls short. You have to experience it for yourself. I'll be going back in a couple of months, so I hope to get out in the gothic section again.
Anyway, this is a street scene, a night scene, and an architecture scene all wrapped into a single image. I'm not sure what to call it, but it's a lot of fun. For me, the appeal is shooting at night when everything takes on an almost mythical quality. You can imagine the same spot hundreds of years ago and see with your mind's eye the same scenes, unchanged over the centuries.
On my last night in Barcelona I walked around the gothic quarter until quite late. For some reason I always find cool things to see near the old cathedral.
In this case it was some guy with a guitar singing classic ballads from Bob Marley, Tracy Chapman and others. He had a full voice and his melodies echoed against the walls of the ancient cathedral. When I first came upon him there were only a three people listening, but within fifteen minutes he had gathered a crowd of thirty.
He was so good that it left an impression on me and I can still hear him in my head. But I think it’s not unusual for a summer nights in Barcelona. That’s why it is one of my favorite places to hang out.
Scenes like this are very much why I like street photography at night. There is a completely different atmosphere and mood, and when that is combined with amazing architecture and music it’s irresistible.
As an American, one thing I will say about Europeans is they have an evolved sense of style. I took this in central Bologna around noon while I was busy snapping pictures of people. Most of my people pictures were not very good but this one I liked. It makes me think of the differences between Europeans and Americans.
I could have spent my time taking pictures of the architecture and ancient landmarks, but the Europeans and their culture intrigue me. It’s instructive to observe how they carry themselves in everyday settings. By taking pictures of people in different places I am recording something a little more ephemeral than a ninth century church. Not that there’s anything wrong with ninth century churches.
If you walk around and observe things around you, interesting things appear, they happen all the time. This lady has a delightful style and, she’s using a bike. The scene is reminiscent of something I’d expect to see in a fashion ad.
If I saw something this in the little town in Florida where I live I would know for certain that hell had frozen over. But here in Italy a fashionable lifestyle is as common as an ancient church.