Thursday, July 29, 2010

Salamanca, Sunday Morning Coming Down

Pedestrian and ashcans, Salamanca, Spain, July 2010

Salamanca is Spain's most beautiful city and one of its most historically significant.  A history of the Middle Ages would be incomplete without its many battles and sieges.  More importantly, Salamanca is noted for its gorgeous Renaissance and Baroque architecture, and is one of the crown jewels of the Roman Catholic Church.

Yet, in this picture postcard city is fast becoming deserted as every third shop and building has been left empty, put up sale or rent, thanks to Spain's faltering economy.  As I found Salamanca early one Sunday morning, it seemed a brightly-lit ghost town, besieged by silence and the vandal's can of spray paint.

Light switch and graffiti, Salamanca, Spain, July 2010

Shoes for sale, Salamanca, Spain, July 2010

Cracked insulator, lamp fixture, and buildings
Salamanca, Spain, July 2010

The city, as seen through the curtain of a coffee bar
Salamanca, Spain, July 2010

Respite from the heat
Salamanca, Spain, July 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

La Boqueria, Part II

Bustle of the fruit market
La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain, July 2010

I returned twice to La Boqueria, and exposed about five rolls of the highly-saturated C-41 color films Agfa Ultra 100 and Kodak Ektar 100 to capture the brilliance of the intense hues of the market.  Shooting with my Nikkor f/1.4 lens achieved the exact opposite of deep focus:  With its shallow depth of field, I could concentrate on composing with colors, rather than any particular objects.

The results were almost impressionist compositions that breathed with the fire of surrealistic color.  These prints are out of a Technicolor dream.  Fitting for their subjects' location.

Detail of grapes, La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain, July 2010

American tourists at watermelon stand
La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain, July 2010

Greengrocer and customer
La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain, July 2010

Butcher and customer
La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain, July 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rubber Chicken Dinner

Rubber Chickens
Busker's Stall, Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain, July 2010

One of the biggest tourist draws on the Ramblas -- Barcelona's pedestrian walkway which intersects the Catalan city -- is La Boqueria, the great fruit market.

The stall owners here all have artistic flair, a vivacious sense of color (heightened by the use of sodium vapor lamps) and a knack for arranging their wares in patterns which appeal to the graphically sensible.

Altogether, a visual feast for the eyes and heaven for the nose and mouth.

Produce, La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain, July 2010

Fruit salad arrangement, La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain, July 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Los Colores de Coahuila - Desaturated

Piedras Negras, Coahuila, March 2000

Another quiet exposure that looks better in black and white than color.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Garish: The Cutting Room Floor

U.S. Route 57, La Pryor, Texas, May 2008

Continuing my theme on "water," here is another spot you can avail yourself of free water!  No need to make the people at Evian and Aquafina any richer, I say!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Camera Phone Heresies

Rest area, U.S. Route 63, Baldwin, Wisconsin,
April 2010

This is an artifact of a bygone era called a "water fountain."  If one wanted a drink of water, one just bent over the spigot, turned the valve, and out came water.  For free.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvest of Sorrows

Interstate Highway 5, near Firebaugh, California, October 2009

No crops were planted on this land last year.  None will be planted this year, and next year is probably a wash as well.

Under the Endangered Species Act, and in the name of "saving the planet," half of the farm land in California's San Joaquin Valley is going fallow, and what was once the nation's most fertile ground is falling victim to soil erosion.  Farmers are being denied the use of water on their own land, in order to "save" the Delta Smelt.  Yet, as this video argues, the danger to the species of fish comes not from California's farmers, but from cities and industries upstream, who are using the environmental movement as a cat's paw to cover their own pollution.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Recovered Silver: Bringing Negatives Back From the Dead

Howard Johnson's Restaurant, U.S. Route 30,
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, c. 1989

With some Photoshopping, these negatives can be largely restored.  I lost seventy-five per-cent of my negatives in a flood, and these are what the "survivors" look like.  These two frames were exposed at a Howard Johnson's restaurant in south-central Pennsylvania.  Like most of its orange-roofed brethren, it is now closed.