- John Freeman
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The point is that wherever you go weather can be problematic and increasingly unpredictable. I was In India towards the end of September when the monsoon season was meant to have finished. There were days in Delhi when it absolutely poured and the streets were running like rivers. Several people got killed in the floods. The irony is, is that there is still a shortage of water in India and many rivers are a mere trickle of what they should be.
Barcelona is such a vibrant city and architecturally it is amazing. Art Nouveau, Gaudi, Fascistic and Modern sit side by side. They all look better in sunlight, especially the Gaudi, as the tile work can look dull without it. Because of that I decided to start by shooting interiors and details. With 28lbs of kit on my back plus my Manfroto tripod I set off for what I knew would be many hours of walking. Weather apart, the most difficult aspect of walking the streets and alleyways of a city like Barcelona, is not to get drawn into the many tapas bars, or just bars! If you have an appetite like mine this takes a lot of self-control. Everything looks so delicious and it is! One of my favourite tapa is pimientos. These little green wonders are fried whole and then served with coarsely ground salt and olive oil. Just pick up by the stalk and eat, seeds and all. I just leave the stalk. Together with some fresh bread and a glass of vino er, I mean water they taste delicious and are so simple.
I arrived at the Santa Maria del Mar, a Catalan gothic Cathedral that dates from the 14th century. It's quite dark inside so after cursing the additional weight of the tripod I was glad that I had brought it with me. The thing I find when I'm shooting on location is that if I don't bring a particular piece of kit with me you can be sure it is the one item that I will end up needing. The other thing about tripods is that they usually get met with a certain amount of hostility from security guards or anyone else that wears a uniform. Luckily I got in without a problem. Because there were a fair number of people about I decided to concentrate on the ceiling. The fisheye has limited uses but I think it comes into its own in big buildings with expansive ceilings. I put the fisheye on the Canon and mounted it on the tripod. I always carry a small spirit level that slips into the camera's hot shoe and it means that I can get the camera completely level in all directions. It is far more accurate than the levels in the pan tilt head. Four seconds later here is the result.
Evenly exposed thanks to the overcast weather and I'm glad that I could use the conditions to my advantage. I'm now off to the next location. It's a long walk and I'm not going to stop on the way for a tapa. Honest!