This is the other side of Barcelona's cityscape. Taken from the roof of Casa Batllo, one of Gaudi's celebrated architectural creations this is the view at the rear of the Gaudi facade situated on Passeig de Gracia. It is not an original POV it has been photographed many times but I think the contrast between the building I was stood at the top of and the city behind it was in such stark contrast that I had to take the shot. Interesting too that the rest of Barcelona is seen through bars.
All cities have an underbelly, where the image that the city sells of itself to the world conflicts with the lived reality for the many who live there. Currently youth unemployment runs high in Spain, even in a city such as Barcelona with it's seemingly cash laden tourists who devour it's beauty in all it's forms. It was noticeable to me that the people who were enjoying Barcelona the most, myself included, were not members of the local population. Perhaps the tension running along the fault line between the City and it's underbelly is exemplified in the following quote from Daniela Ortiz, the Peruvian artist who was living and working in Barcelona when she wrote:
"I work 40 hours a week in a Spanish high-class chocolate boutique. While working on October 12, I stole three sheets of 24-karat gold and a Guanaja chocolate bonbon. I covered the chocolate with gold and ate it to celebrate the National Day of Spain."
That's a bit like standing on top of Casa Batllo and looking around to see the reality of Barcelona. For one brief moment she was a conquistador again.
Critiques | Translate
timecapturer (49286) 2014-04-07 3:19
Mesmerising B&W study this. Love the originality and tonal quality of this unique capture. Imaginative work and a fascinating commentary too. Stunning work!
Enjoy a good week - B.
mesutilgim (85454) 2014-04-07 3:37
Very nice n&w capture from Barcelona througn an unusual but perfect pov !
Great artisanal effect.
Many interesting notes as well.
TFS and have a nice week ahead
Royaldevon (30237) 2014-04-07 3:43
Glad to see you posting again and, as always, adding interesting, thought provoking notes.
The natural border is a compelling feature. We all have an irresistible urge to peep through holes! The bars add a symbolism, too. You can look but not touch; quite a good link with your notes.
Have a great day,
Mesut09 (378) 2014-04-07 3:50
Its like a eye.. and as if we look barcelona from a eye:) COngratulations
lousat (77810) 2014-04-07 8:53
Hi Mike,great idea and great surprise,this Gaudi' house is full of opportunities,but need great fantasy to do a pic like your,magnificent composition with this "eye" as a natural frame and great black and white very well contrasted,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano
krzychu30 (15498) 2014-04-07 11:00
this time I´ll definitely visit Casa Battlo.Looks like Gaudi built it for creative people like you,who will enjoy and appreciate every corner of his work of art(as in my opinion it goes much beyond just a common architecture).
Excellently spotted and executed shot.Also your monochrome treatment is here a masterpiece.
Noel_Byrne (24852) 2014-04-07 11:42
Another beautiful black and white, and a thoughtful note to accompany it. It seems like we are standing in the belly of the beast and looking out its mouth at the world outside. A very inspired view of this classic building. The B&W adds a somber note that goes well with your note.
All the best
siudzi (33973) 2014-04-07 14:09
What a creative and original capture from Barcelona! I really like it due to the brilliant concept and very good execution in b&w. Cool visual effect was achieved. TFS!
ACL1978 (7491) 2014-04-08 17:17
Maybe not an original perspective but still a powerful one, and your interpretation of the image stands out as well. I always find it interesting to note in new cities how 'visible' their lower-rent areas are from the touristy spots; looks like there's not much of a separation in Barcelona (which I tend to view as a good thing).
Your B&W treatment and PP I think does wonders for this too - yeah, you're standing in a Gaudi, but the bars on the windows tell a story, and the high contrast brings out the scratches and markings around the window as well, hinting at a less than shiny reality even before we get to the buildings at the center of the eye. Thanks for this one.
ourania (32127) 2014-04-13 7:05
your picture and note are very interesting and draw the viewer into big and sticky themes. I like very much how you framed the city scape and rendered the frame and the view equally important. The two are strongly associated and juxtaposed in this composition. I appreciate very much the stark sharpness as well as the richness and moodiness of the grey tones. You used the light in a magical way. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great day,
- Copyright: Michael Wright (mjw364) (7512)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2013-06-23
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D7000, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 DC EX HSM
- Exposure: f/8, 1/30 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-04-07 3:11