Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Barcelona - A visit to Guell Park

This is the last blog post with photos from my recent trip to Barcelona, and all of these photos are from one of the most popular tourist locations in the Spanish city. This spot is called Guell Park and it is a park designed by the famous architect, Antoni Gaudi.

The architecture is so unique here that it makes for a really fun photographic outing. It was so interesting that I actually made two trips to the park during my week in Barcelona.

The first day we had excellent weather with nice blue skies and some scattered clouds.


For this trip, I was using my Canon 5D Mark III for all the photos. To help accentuate the colors in the blue sky, I attached my Tiffen HT Circular Polarizing filter to the 28-300mm lens. This first photo was actually taken from outside the park, looking in. I turned the camera at an angle to include multiple buildings in this shot.


This is the main entrance to the park and one of the more photographed sections.


Behind that same entrance is this really cool building. I decided to zoom in tight with the 28-300mm lens to highlight the intricate mosaic work. I was happy to have the nice blue sky in the background, since the previous couple of days were nothing but grey skies.


And here is another tight shot of the top of another unique building. As you can see, Gaudi's architecture is like no other.


I stepped back, before entering the rest of the park, and took this photo to show more architecture and the crowd of people. There are a lot of people who come to this park. If you find yourself in Barcelona, make sure to buy your tickets in advance since they limit the amount of people who can be in the park.


Since I had this perfect sky for photography, I continued to keep the camera pointed up.


At the entrance to the park, you will find Gaudi's famous mosaic lizard. I zoomed in tight to show the details of the mosaic work, but also to avoid the throngs of people who were around "El Drac".


These columns are located under the main terrace of Guell Park. What made me laugh about this photo is that the lower third of the columns are a different color from the upper sections. When I first looked at the photo on my computer, at first glance it looks like I had different photos in one. If the people were not in the shot, it would appear even more so.


This shot shows one of the angled walkways in the park.



This columns of this walkway are patterned after the legs of elephants.


The main terrace of the park is surrounded by curved mosaic walls and is a main attraction. I took this photo at a narrow aperture to make sure that the curved walls and the buildings in the distance are both in relatively good focus.


I waited for people to move from this area to get a clean shot of the curves and colors.


These next photos were taken on my second trip to Guell Park and you can see that the sky was overcast, since there are no harsh shadows. This shot does show some of the crowds of people enjoying the architecture.


I got down low to accentuate the repeating pattern of the curved walls.


As I walked around the upper section of the park, I came across these stone walls, which were home to many pigeons and parrots.


This photo was taken from high above the park, which allowed me to get a nice shot of the unique buildings framed by the nice green foliage.

The main reason for my second trip to Guell Park was to get a night shot from this location. I had looked online and did not see many night shots from this spot, and thought that it would be good to get something different for my collection.


As it turns out, there are not too many people that visit the park later in the afternoon. This gave me a chance to get a rare shot of the front of the terrace with no large crowds.


I walked around until I found the best location for my night shot, but I was not sure if they lit the park at night.


As it turns out, they do not light any of the buildings in the park. This posed a bit of a challenge for me, since I wanted to get a photo showing the city lights in the background, but did not want everything in Guell park to be dark. So...what was I to do?

Thankfully, I had planned for this possibility, and had a backup plan in place. 


This is the photo that I wanted to get, with both the Guell Park lit up and the city lights of Barcelona in the background. In order to get this photo, I had to light the mosaic wall in front of me and the mosaic tower in the center of the frame. Here is what I did to achieve this photo:

* I set my camera on my tripod and set it for a 4 second exposure.
* I set the timer for 10 seconds to give me time to move away from the camera.
* With my Canon 600EX-RT flash in my hand, I moved out of the frame and manually popped the flash pointing at the tower in the background. And yes, the flash will travel that far and make a difference!
* I had a friend use my Qubie (which is a very cool little LED light cube) to light paint the wall in front of the camera.
* Ta da! I got the shot.


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3 comments:

Stenomicra said...

Stunning places and the photos really make them justice! So many curves!

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Steve McClanahan said...

Wonderful blog post once again Jeff. I always benefit from your posts because you provide context behind the photos and tips on how you created them. Your help has made me a better a more creative photographer.