Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sagrada Familia - The architectural centerpiece of Barcelona

This weeks blog post is the second post with images from my recent trip to Barcelona, and today's subject is the famous Sagrada Familia church designed by Antoni Gaudi.

Come along and join me for a virtual tour of this amazing building.


This is your typical photo of the outside of the building. Normally I hate taking photos of buildings surrounded by cranes and construction materials, but this is different. Why? Because one of the unique things about Sagrada Familia is that it has been under construction since 1882. And...after more than 100 years, it is almost complete.


I started with the wide shot of the basilica to show you the size and scale of the building, but I still prefer the tighter shots showing more of the detail of the architecture. For this photo, I walked a block away and framed the church with the trees in the foreground.


Here is another photo of the church from the side, also including some of the fall colors in a nearby tree.


If you know me, you know that I like shooting photos that are different from what most others are taking. When walking around the front of the church, I saw these panels of glass on the adjacent gift shop. There was no reflection of the building from where I stood, but as I walked closer to the glass, the Sagrada Familia came into view. And this is what I was looking for!


At the time, I was using my Canon 5D Mark III with the Canon 28-300mm lens. This allowed me to shoot both wide shots and tight shots (like this one). From these first three photos, you might think that Sagrada Familia is similar to all the other churches in Europe, but this is definitely not the case.


As you enter the front of the church, it is apparent that this is not your typical European architecture. This is a column by the front door, which in itself looks different. And you can see the colored metal leaves which frame the entry.

But if you think the front is different, check out the other side of the church!


The back side of the Sagrada Familia is much more modern than the front. If you did not know any better, you would swear that this is a different building.


Gaudi died with only 25% of the construction complete, but he left his designs for the entire building so that others could complete the building. During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, those designs were burned, but construction continues. Some of the plans were saved but some of the design is left to the interpretation of current architects. That is obvious in these photos.


As I walked back into the church (from the back side), I noticed these amazing doors. I switched to my Canon 24-105mm lens and got really close to one of the doors. I stood and photographed the door at an angle, which creates lines which lead you through the photo.

And then it was time to take the elevator up to the top.


From the top, you have a sweeping view of Barcelona.


And this high vantage point also gave me a close up view of some of the newer architecture that is still being constructed.


I had the option of taking the elevator or taking the circular staircase all the way down. Gotta take the stairs of course! I had one of the guys from our group look back up at me for this shot. As you can tell, the circular staircase makes for a really cool frame.



Now let's take a look at the inside of the building. Once again, you can see that this is not your typical architecture. Each of the columns is made to represent a tree with branches coming from the top.


On each of the columns you can see colorful mosaic work.


Here is a better view looking up towards the ceiling of Sagrada Familia.


And a tighter shot of the mosaic work in the ceiling.


I love the wonderful use of color.


Like so many of the old European churches, the stained glass work is breathtaking.


There is a wide variety of colors used within the basilica.


Again, searching for something different. I looked away from the stained glass windows and saw the light reflecting off of the organ pipes. I stopped the camera down by a full stop to darken this image and draw more attention to the reflecting colors on the bottom of the pipes.


Most of the people in the church were fixated on the stained glass windows, but very few were taking photos of the colors that were cast onto the inside columns and ceiling.


I was having a great time capturing the amazing colors...


This was one of my favorite photos from inside the Sagrada Familia. I was teaching people to look beyond the obvious, and find the "hidden beauty" in this building when I pointed out the different colors being cast on each individual column. None of them had noticed this, but I sure did. This is what a decade of photography has done to me. It has helped me see beauty in so many things that I would have been blind to previously.

Stay tuned for more posts from Barcelona...
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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey I was there a month ago!

There really is no way to convey the awe when you first walk in.

Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to go up the building.

Here are a couple of my shots:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/43145301@N00/albums/72157660456023790

Chuck Bessey said...

Amazing photos - Thanks
Chuck

Amanda Clowe said...

Great photos of one of my favourite 'wonders ' in the world of Architecture... Last time I saw it -it was not open to go inside, so now I can't wait to go back to see all those amazing colours. I loved the way you used the light cast by the windows -especially those different coloured columns !
I am always struck by its resemblance to a rib cage of some massive whale-like creature -that man Gaudi was someone very special ! Seems so bizarre that the great man was knocked down and killed by a tram and presumed to be a beggar because of his shabby clothes...
Thanks for reminding me of a wonderful place, Jeff !

Stenomicra said...

I had just watched a documentary about it, coincidentally. Great photos!

christyjames said...

These pictures are so beautiful, I imaging they were even more beautiful in real life. Thank you for sharing them.
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Wow this is stunning! So light and bright.