As I was on my way to meet Juan (JFS) and Carlos (CarlosMarin) in Barcelona, I saw this young man standing against the wall of Barcelona's Cathedral, engrossed in the music being played by a street musician. He reminded me of someone that belongs to a different era, maybe the Renaissance. He looked really out of place in modern day Barcelona, but I was struck by how poised he was, despite his casual dress.
It was a lot of fun meeting Juan and Carlos. Their generosity and zest for life were wonderful and I thank them for the kindness they showed me. During our mini-meeting - even more so during our lunch - we spoke an interesting mixture of language which I now call Napo-Spaliano (Italian-Spanish and Neapolitan). With a little English and Catalan thrown in for good measure. We became more fluent the more wine and coffee we drank :)
You probably know by now that I'm fascinated by language, and can't help but marvel at the similarities between Spanish and the dialect of Naples, my father's city. This after all makes sense, when one considers that the Spanish ruled Naples for 500 years. Many words have been borrowed and one of them is "guapo", the title to this photo.
Pronounced "wappo", in Spanish the word can mean elegant or beautiful boy. Or it can mean someone who is bold or ostentatious. In Neapolitan dialect "guappo" refers to an arrogant or domineering braggart, a thug or Camorrista (Mafioso). The derogatory terms "wog" and "wop" which Italian emigrants in England, America and Australia have sadly been called is probably derived from the word guappo. I remember being called "wog" as a kid, and hearing my father called it. It was quite hurtful at the time, but now as I see Aussies fall over themselves to be Italian, drink the wine and coffee, eat the food, wear the clothes and learn some style; I wear the name with pride.
Canon 5D MkII
Critiques | Translate
photoray (6690) 2013-11-03 6:36
Fine candid view of the young relaxed man holding up the Barcelona Cathedral, and the monochrome forces attention to details rather than colors.
snunney (72728) 2013-11-03 6:46
A real cool dude and he knows it:-) Good choice of black and white to set the mood and concentrate the attention on the subject. Excellent street photography.
kabel (1257) 2013-11-03 7:59
Hello Lisa, fine black and white image which we do not see enough of here on TE. Nice example of street photography and good use of dof to focus on the 'guappo' gentleman from Barcelona. Sounds like an interesting mini TE meeting with other Trekkees from Spain. Thank you for the interesting linguistic notes.
Have a great day,
ChrisJ (91290) 2013-11-03 8:10
If you haven't already, I suggest you pick up a copy of the "Summer of the 17th doll". Plot spoiler warning, read no further... Basically the story ends with the Australian girl abandoning the fair dinkum true blue Aussie bloke after 17 years, and marrying the Italian immigrant, because he was a better man with more style and panache as well as reliability. I read it in high school in 1973 so it's been around for ages. My Italian lecturer on the Renaissance at Uni in 2005 hadn't heard of it, although a play was reenacted several years ago. Oh the photo! Good tonal range and a superb photojournalistic shot of the guy oblivious to the busy street around him. Excellent perspective with the sidewalk and street adding converging lines towards the back. Tfs!
ourania (18672) 2013-11-03 9:50
Hello dear Lisa,
I thought the word was also used affectionately between friends but I'm not sure, maybe it was only in the particular group of Spanish friends I used to know:) I love this candid picture and the character exuded both by the man and the architecture he's leaning on. I also love the mystery of the sight and sound that have made him stop and totally captivated his mind. The textures are fine and the mild grey tones seem to respect and enhance this intimate moment. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great week,
carlo62 (19455) 2013-11-03 14:43
mi piace il tuo modo di andare in giro per il mondo, alla scoperta di luoghi nuovi, ma anche di persone e dei loro mondi. Lo scambio di parole, di movimenti, di interessi, sono alla base della crescita personale e non c'è niente di meglio nel farlo tramite una passione comune.
Bella anche la foto, grazie a questa hai unito titolo e commento in una riflessione molto accurata.
Condivido il modo in cui hai visto questo ragazzo e la versione in b&w conferma la tua impressione.
Mics (196) 2013-11-03 21:01
Good capture of this young man leaning on the wall and very interesting note too! It's a superb shot even in thumbnail. In the Philippines, usually spelled as "gwapo", it means handsome or good-looking. We "inherited" that word when the spaniards colonized my country for almost 500 hundred years. I frequently use the word "gwapo" or "gwapito- handsome small boy) when I call my sons. Your use of B&W made it more interesting. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day!
emka (64150) 2013-11-03 22:29
So you met Juan and Carlos in Barcelona! I am envious, as always :). Barcelona (and Catalan friends of course) is at the top of my places to visit, maybe the next year. But still in this year I will meet (finally) Mariusz!
Very interesting linguistic note, I would love to hear your Napo-Spaliano. Isn't guapo, guapa just beautiful, handsome, good looking? This guy certainly is guapo. I like his pose, maybe I would like to see more of his face. After your note, I could imagine him in Renaissance clothes.
Cool b@w shot.
warm regrads Malgo
jjcordier (67270) 2013-11-04 0:16
Très bon travail de PP sur cette excellente photo. Ta note justifie très bien ton titre.
Romano46 (11535) 2013-11-04 0:43
una foto che votrremmo aver fatto tutti, tanto il soggetto apparentemente è alla portata di ciscuno di noi, ed eppure l'idea di un bianco e nero ben dosato nelle sue sfumature l'hai avuta te, tra uno scatto e l'altro girando tra le strade di Barcellona, aggiungendo quel tanto che la distingue da una foto banale.
Un bel soggetto, una bella composizione e per valorizzare il tutto anche la leggera vignettatura aiuta a concentrarsi sul soggetto.
Ciao e buona settimana
rigoletto (32764) 2013-11-04 2:40
hehe, typical latino guy that makes the girls daydream about mediterranean. his southern heritage is quite obvious with the dark tones and curly hair. his body language seems a bit showy, though. you should have asked him whether he always takes such "renaissance" poses while listening to street musicians :))
i also always am curious about the roots and interactions of languages (along with exchange of cultures due to historic immigration routes). it was expectable for me to discover the similarities of turkish language with persian, but was quite incredible how many shared words we had with indian...
ikeharel (44057) 2013-11-04 4:23
You had taken a great risk, for this pic. open for interpretations, in the eyes of the beholder.
Since mentioned the Cathedral, I now finished reading a book about the 13th century life in Barcelona, called (in translation to hebrew) The cathedral by the sea. Interesting reading, cruel life back in time and a great imaginary drama. Yet, places are real and vividly described.
Texture of this pic. takes one imaginary view over past era.
Noel_Byrne (13376) 2013-11-04 4:25
Fascinating note, I know the words, but I never knew what they actually meant, so thanks for that. An interesting candid shot too, that dude does look very relaxed and chilled out, and its a great one for converting to Black and white. Great result.
Thanks for sharing this interesting post!
Sergiom (45489) 2013-11-04 4:30
I like this portrait very much. The subject is completely on his own planet, listening to the street musin. The pose is relax. The framing is perfect and the use of the black and white give a vintage look .
Have a nice day
Silvio1953 (105553) 2013-11-04 6:08
Ciao Lisa, gran bel ritratto, ottima prospettiva, splendido bianco e nero, brava, un abbraccio Silvio
gojo (1317) 2013-11-04 6:14
Wonderful portrait and perfect in monochrome. You really captured the moment.
macjake (45588) 2013-11-04 10:30
so you said to Malgo that this guy looked better with his face turned away! haha...thats funny, poor guy!
I like it when you post these different style photos, I never post such shots. Good to step out and capture/post a photo as this one.
the wall looks nice too! i like how it descends down the line, makes for a pleasing and easy way to view the scene, whether the viewer realizes it or not.
and I also think the placement of his right foot ontop of his left looks cool too.
So did you turn to stone when you made eye contact with this guy or what?
Fun photo, really like it.
So Malgo is off to Britian next? wow...she should sell her home lol
willperrett (4079) 2013-11-04 10:58
You have stolen the mantle for candid street photography from Justin (Juzo). Perhaps that's why he posted a colour image yesterday! You do it well: the sense of old-fashionedness you mention is reflected in the choice of sepia-toned monochrome, and the vignette you've added. Nik Silver FX??
ktanska (22686) 2013-11-04 11:59
That certainly is your kind of picture. Including the old fashioned treatment, which fits with the style of this guy who gives timeless impression by mixing aspects from different eras. And certainly that old architecture suits the style too.
You also have an interesting note. Hard to comment for me though as Finnish is not related to any Indo-European language.
gus72 (3400) 2013-11-04 22:59
Ciao Bambina !!
nice photo of a nice looking subject. O f course when you talk about a guapo.... you are taking about me .... ( the spanish version ) !!!
I am so glad that you went to Barcelona..... now you are a lady of the world !!
danos (78124) 2013-11-05 0:17
well chosen the vertical B/W format with the young man to watch hearing the street musician.leaning on the wall of the Cathedral.
I like the excellent light management with the placement of the man in the frame to be perfect.
mirosu (8160) 2013-11-05 0:47
This is an excellent street snapshot. I'd say very typical for Spain. I like your side viewpoint, taking the photo without disturbing him. The composition with the open space in front is perfectly balanced; and the monochrome sepia conversion works very well here. Well done my friend.
krzychu30 (12719) 2013-11-05 2:12
something different and original from Barcelona.
Juan and Mike have accustomed us to modern "face"of the city and you did here exactly the opposite.You were able to create here not only so fine "retro" look of the scene,but also unique and quite difficult to describe with words mood(his pose as well as your framing and timing contribute to so excellent end result!)
Beautiful and moody scene!
Wish You all the best
SnapRJW (23678) 2013-11-06 4:02
Hi Lisa - Rather belatedly I get to catch up with some critiquing. I agree with you.... this young man does have a Renaissance look about him. He has a great sense of style too albeit 'laid-back'. I think his 'casual' pose is in fact quite studied and he knows that he looks good! I like your PP work it suits the shot very well. Warm regards Rosemary
PS I thought 'wog' was an abbreviation for western oriental gentleman and yes .... I do know it's derogatory
abmdsudi (32509) 2013-11-07 5:25
A cool observation about street poeple -the handsome mr guapo- without intrusion and great that you have captured the real moment without him even knowing you are there. Intriguing to see his body lingo in a natural manner, sharp and well placed while the choice in mono gives a cleaner and more simplified image without colors to confuse viewers and importantly this picture has a certain charm to it with proper treatment It has the feeling of retro world back in time atmosphere that excels the eyes. Well done, TFS
Waylim (23314) 2013-11-07 22:03
Hello Naughty Girl,
This is just simply delicious, yum yum, Oh wait it is not food, but still mouth watering image :) Great choice to go B&W and it really work and I love the fact that he is so in his own world and so captivated by the music. That thick dark hair, I just want to run my hand through it.
Sorry, I have not been around much lately, not much on PF either. Just lazy and uninspired.
Nice to see you have again met up with some friend. This site certainly open up the world and bring us closer. I know I will make it to the real Down Under and just down and under somewhere here, and I will find you down there too :)
annjackman (15541) 2013-11-08 6:23
This is excellent candid portraiture. An uncluttered image with a shallow DOF really concentrates the viewer on the man. I might have thought about shaving a little off the top and left to get rid of the black window and the doorway in the BG. A wonderful opportunity to get an unusual portrait and you did very well with it indeed.
Kind Regards, Ann
fabbs99 (11148) 2013-11-08 22:07
Namaste ! Excellent shot in monochrome.The young man looks top be lost in the music he listening to.Superb composition, colors and good POV. The light and details are very good.Very well presented