Barcelona, the impressive capital city of the Catalan region within the Spanish kingdom has a lot to offer. Founded as a Roman settlement and surviving all the way to present times, its architecture offers the perfect picture for Street Photographers of any level.
A diverse history as diverse as this leaves any visitor spoilt for choices. But there are some hotspots a little more interesting than the others:
Old Town of Barcelona is a great spot for all kinds of Street Photography. The district know today as “Barri Gotic” is built over Barcelona’s Roman roots from 133 BC. Here, the enthusiastic street photographer has the opportunity to explore contemporary urban street art with the vibe of historical architecture. Playing around with light and shadows works particularly well in this corner of the city as the famous sight of “La Rambla” which stretches from Pl. Catalunya to Pl. Colom Barcelona offers great shots down long alleyways, some of them nicely framed by high trees or cypress plants.
Wandering as a Street Photographer through this part of Barcelona, other motives worth having a shot at include beautiful archways and the oldest synagogue in Europe. In this area, playing with the contrast of “old versus new” is particularly interesting for any street photographer. One example would be catching a group of young people taking selfies right in front of a building dating back several hundreds of years. Late afternoon or early evening is usually the best time to visit this part of the city because the temperature goes down a little and the light coming in at an angle puts interesting shadows on the wall adding character to the pictures.
In the morning just before breakfast, there is no better place to go to than Barcelona Beach. You will find people enjoying a bit of quality time before the area gets overcrowded later in the day. Take pictures of old and young coming together for a chat, practise your skills with moving targets like bikers or skaters against the impressive sea front of the city and don’t miss out on a walk down the little streets next to the beach area.
The Mercat de la Boqueria does not need an introduction. Time and time again, it has been chosen as one of if not the best market in the world. As one of the oldest food markets, it is a treat for all senses but particularly for the eyes of a street photographer. The different colours and textures of the products on sale provide an excellent background for all types of street photography motives such as a sales chat between a stall holder and a customer or a portrait shot of a customer having a taste of one of the delicacies on offer.
The best time to visit is very early in the morning as it gives you a chance to catch the local people doing their shopping rather than the crowds of tourists who will populate the area later in the day. The highlights of the Mercat de la llibertat are the numerous fishmongers who will not only sell the “raw product” to their customers but also have the option of preparing it right in front of the buyer. So why not take a shot at a local speciality straight from the pan?
In Barcelona, a day in the city is all I takes to put an impressive portfolio together which displays how Gaudi’s architectural vision became reality. Sagrada Familia, a church Gaudi started working on in 1883 remains unfinished up to the present day and offers unique architectural views and angles. The so-called Casa Mila on Passeig de Gràcia No. 92 is probably the most famous apartment house built by Gaudi and his pioneering project in terms of innovative interior design.
Take a shot at the impressive balconies and be inspired by the eye-catching mixture of shapes and angles. Parc Guell is another hotspot in Barcelona not to be missed. Conveniently situated on top of a hill and overlooking the city all the way down to the Mediterranean, the park is most likely the most practical spot to take pictures of Gaudi’s most famous buildings around the area.
Examples for great Street Photography from Barcelona on Flickr:
First opened to the public in 1991, Senda is passionate about the creative works of all types of photo artists. The gallery believes in the diversity and the richness of the talent of young artists. In numerous different exhibitions, you can admire the work of artists such as Jane Hammond, José Pedro Croft and Glenda León. Take a wander through the different exhibitions and let yourself be inspired by the way other street photographers see the world through their lenses.
In 1999, Senda moved to a second new location in the artistic and cultural heart of the city, renaming the former venue Espai 2NOU2. Today, both galleries work closely together and provide an excellent platform for young emerging artists.
The Galeria Joan Prats first opened its doors in 1976. The foundation of the gallery goes back to the Catalan businessman and patron of arts, Joan Prats i Vallès who, upon his death, left his fortune to the Fundació Joan Miró. Today, the gallery shows exhibitions of Alicia Kopf, Lola Lasurt, Fabian Marcaccio to name but a few.
This gallery in the heart of Barcelona Exhibits more than 800 pieces of artwork including the work of famous photographers such as Marcus Aub and Conrad Roset. The Artevistas Gallery is built on the premises of Miro’s birthplace and offers different temporary solo exhibitions every six weeks. The range of exhibits includes paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures in different styles.
This contemporary art gallery is located in the Gràcia district opened its doors in 2003. Similar to the Galeria Senda, the aim of Espai B is to promote and support young artists in fulfilling their desire to express themselves through their art. Let yourself be inspired by the Gaudis, and Monets of tomorrow and improve your skills as an artist through experiencing somebody else’s art.
Photo Shoot offers an intense 2-day street photography adventure that takes you right into the heart of Barcelona. The course is run by Keith Moss and Joan Figueras, both long standing experts in street photography. The number of participants is limited to 4 people per course so your teachers can guarantee the best hands-on experience of taking shots at downtown Barcelona.
Keith believes that an excellent photograph is a blend of 25% technical and 75% human visual skills. Over the course of his 2 day workshop, he will guide you towards a deeper understanding of human interaction within the urban setting of a European capital.
During the months of August and September, Pentaprism gives you the opportunity of exploring Barcelona on an entirely new level. Intermediate photographers for example will enjoy their 3-day street photography workshop called “Click Barcelona” . Depicting the essence of a city is one of the challenges any street photographer will face eventually.
This course will teach you how to source out the right location and catch the right mood for an excellent street photography portfolio. It all starts with one shot. To expand your skills even further, Pentaprism also offers courses in architectural photography and long exposure shooting in the city.
The well-known street photographer Gueorgui Pinkhassov calls his workshop “Dare yourself in Barcelona”. Within this 5-day-workshop, you will share your experience with other fellow photographers and get honest constructive crititcism on all your street shots of vibrant inner city Barcelona. After the course, you will be surprised how far you managed to expand your portfolio in just five days.
Inspire, learn, create – that’s the motto of this city tour offered by Photo Workshop Adventures. Guided by street photographer Laurie Cohen, your group of 4 – 8 photography enthusiasts will head out on a treasure hunt from no less than 9 UNESCO world heritage sites to travelling the times from the Roman period to modernity. Enjoy the feel of Bohemian Barcelona and be inspired by the way the light plays on the ancient Roman walls as the day comes to a close.
Students get a great opportunity to spend 12 amazing days in Barcelona and learn the art of photography and street photography as they go along and enjoy the beauty of the Catalan capital. During this photography workshop, experienced photographer Tino Soriano teaches everything from the technical basics of good composition and angling a good shot. Is there a better way of spending a holiday in a foreign country than coming back home with an entirely new skill set and the experience of learning abroad?
Follow me on Instagram: