And so we touched down in Barcelona - 3 hours later than we should have because we had been delayed for 3 hours in CDG - they said it was because the plane was late arriving from London Heathrow -3 hours?? Did the captain get lost? Anyway, we got there. Now it is interesting travelling within Europe with a non-European - after the hassle at Paris, we expected more of the same at Barcelona, but no, in fact it was completley different - there weren't any immigration people there! Now, dear reader, you may be familiar with my views on immigration officials the world over. But I have to say I like Barcelona's take on that particular profession - they just don't exist.
My colleague was desperate to get his passport stamped coming into Spain incase they didn't let him out again! We couldn't find anyone to do it. Someone suggested a visit to the police station a hundred metres outside the airport - we even tried that, but they weren't interested either. So we got a taxi to our hotel and checked in and went to our (seperate) bedrooms.
The next day we had the first day of the course which was about maths.
That evening a group of us went into Barcelona exploring and I took my camera.
Now, dear reader, you know I like to take photo's of flowers (and I won't disappoint you, there will be one in the next post) but did you know that I am a big fan of available light photography?
What is it?
Well basically it is what it sounds like - usually taking photographs at night without using a flash - indoors or outdoors using the ambient light that is around.
It is a lot easier to do it now than it used to be, digital cameras save you wasting a whole film on mistakes! But the techniques are the same as ever. There are two main (and indispensable) items of equipment. 1 - a camera that will allow you to take long exposure shots and 2 - a tripod.
I took 4 days worth of clothing, all the notes and stuff I needed for the course, a book to read on the plane, my camera with both lenses and I couldn't fit my tripod in - 'cos all that went in a bag small enough to be classed as cabin baggage!
So, no tripod - no available light photography.
This is the front of Gaudi's famous (and still unfinished) Sagredo Familia Cathedral.
Now I have to admit that I have done some photoshopping on this - I have actually used a technique called Repairing Keystoning and you can click there to find out what it is if you are interested. But I haven't done anything to change the light or the colours in this or any of the rest of these photo's.
This is a well photographed balcony on one of Gaudi's buildings on the Passage de Gracia and below is the doorway to the same building.
I particularly like the ghosting effect of the people walking in front of the camera during the exposure.
Finally I took this from my hotel bedroom - this one was particularly difficult because it is a 4 second exposure which is really quite a long time without a tripod!