Barcelona Day Four: Easy Mazes and the Gothic Quarter

Our last day here in Barcelona started slowly as our over-priced cocktails from last night took a grip. After re-hydrating we sloped towards the nearest cafe we could find. Typically we found the best breakfast spot on our last day. It was a tiny, albeit slightly cramped veggie cafe. But it was cheap and delicious.

After consuming some food (5 plates of food to be precise..) we strolled around the nearby gothic quarter; home of the town hall and very impressive gothic cathedral. The area was buzzing with locals, tourists and street sellers.

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When i’m in a new city I like to try out the different modes of transport they have on offer, and Barcelona has trams. So we boarded a tram to our next and last destination of the holiday- a hilltop maze. unfortunately it turns out the tram lines are very limited and we had to get off after two stops to get a bus. We both needed the toilet and luckily we had got off the tram near a new, and very modern shopping mall in the middle of nowhere. There was music playing out speakers around the shopping mall, if you’ve ever played Sims, you can imagine the music playing.

We also realised we hadn’t consumed any water for a very long time so headed into a CarreFour super market- well we tried. The entrance wasn’t very clearly marked (considering Alex speaks both Catalan and Spanish)  so we just headed backwards through the self checkouts so we could get into the supermarket. But one lady on the checkout did not take us ‘breaking in’ to the shop very kindly and proceeded to shout at us then call security..

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So after that slight misunderstanding we boarded the bus; drink-less.  It dropped us at the bottom of a massive hill, on a road, with no pavement and no phone signal. Against our better judgement we started to walk up the giant hill.. And to our surprise the winding path did lead us to a beautiful gardens complete with a maze..

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Although often the main selling point of these gardens is the maze, it was very small thus easy to complete. The real charm of the place is the hidden, secluded paths winding through forests, past waterfalls and beautiful wildlife.

As we reached the exit of the gardens and the entrance of the metro it dawned on us that this was the end of our holiday. So we collected our luggage, stocked up on tapas and spent our euros in duty free. So here we are at Barcelona airport planning our next trip whilst waiting for our delayed flight home..

Photography on the Streets of Prague

While inter-railing through Eastern Europe the sun was not on our side. We went a week without seeing it and when it did make an appearance from behind the clouds it was still -4 degrees! This made photography really hard as it made images look flat and dull.

With just a couple of days left a miracle happened.. I woke up to sun shining through the hostel windows. I didn’t take my Sony A7RII on the trip as I knew how cold it was going to be and that I’d have to leave it in the hostel when we went out partying.

So with just my phone I headed out to the main square in Prague. My old iPhone performed really well and I got some shots I’m really happy with. Only problem was it killed my battery within the hour and I was meant to be meeting Emily. Despite a lack of map, google maps and an internal sat-nav we managed to find each other.

So here are my favourite images from my hour in the middle of Prague draining my phone battery:

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Playing to the Gallery

My latest project is a little different to my normal street photography/ documentary style photography but I really enjoyed putting it together and shooting it.

Each image represents an idiom.

So here it goes, my latest project ‘Playing to the Gallery’..

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Here are the images with the idioms in their captions..

 

 

 

Photography Basics and Street Photography: Shutter Speed

A great advantage of running a photography blog is the people you meet and seeing so much brilliant work that inspires you. Recently Pier got in touch via the comments section and we have now exchanged work and blog posts. This is a great way to stay motivated espcially when you are in a creative rut.  Todays blog post comes from Pier and it’s a great read, its all about making use of the shutter speed options. Follow him on his blog or over on Instagram @phppi_official

phppi street photography

I have decided to write a few articles on the most basic aspects of photography, which will become natural as you start mastering this art. However, I remember struggling with them when I first started – and I guess that most of us have a similar experience.

This series is called: ‘Photography Basics’ and will be divided into four main parts: shutter speed, aperture, ISO and composition. I will try to cover the fundamental concepts and see how they can be applied to street photography especially.

Today, I am going to talk about the shutter speed, which is a fundamental variable to master and can open up to many artistic opportunities.

First of all, the shutter is a curtain placed just in front of the sensor – or film. Depending on the time it stays opened, it will let more or less light come through and hit the sensor or film. Therefore…

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People of London

People of London

Last night London was the focus of another terrorist attack. Living in London I know the resilience of born and bred Londoners along with people like myself who have moved here from all around the world and call this place home. I took these images yesterday morning on my way to work, they capture the brilliant diversity and spirit of the people of London. Thoughts are with those affected by last nights events.

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Winning the 2017 Analogue Awards

I was very excited to find out this afternoon that I have won the analogue open awards over at the Ginnel photography festival in Suffolk. Readers often ask me whether it’s worth entering photography competitions. (Free) Competitions can be a great thing to aim for and help improve your photography whether you win or not. Always have a look at the judges as even if you don’t win your work will be seen by them and future opportunities can come from them remembering your work.

I was extremely excited to win the analogue awards as it makes all the time and money spent on shooting and developing film even more worthwhile. Below is the image I entered.

Shot on Portra 400 35mm film with a Pentax K1000

 

Once again thanks to all my readers and supporters of this blog.

IG: @Madisonbeachphotos

Runners-Up

Having been a lifelong supporter of my hometown club BHAFC yesterday was a dream come true. 20 years ago the club nearly went extinct and now their on the way to the premier league after finishing 2nd in the Championship. I went to my first match (away to Watford!) aged 5 and got my first season ticket when I was 6 so it was great to celebrate not only the teams success but the all the ups and downs over the years. Below are some of my favourite photographs I took during the day.

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Chris Hughton (Manager)

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IG:@Madisonbeachphotos

Combining Travelling with Creativity

Over the last year I have been lucky enough to experience many new cultures which I have always wanted to capture.  But it’s not always been easy juggling photography, filmmaking and experiencing a place for the first time.  I have written an article for a great new magazine, 99% Lifestyle, which is available to read on their website.

I hope you enjoy the article, comment below if you have any questions or what you’re getting up to over the weekend. I Hope you have a great Easter!

A short guide to what ISO you should use and why

Since starting this blog a lot of readers have shown interest in starting to shoot film and asked how they can improve their photography skills. Starting to shoot manual on your digital camera is a great way to improve and prepare for shooting film or just jump straight in. There are 3 main components when shooting manually; aperture (how much light is let in), shutter speed (how quick the shutter opens and closes) and ISO.

If you’ve never shot manual before then don’t worry you can get the hang of it, if you have then you can use the guide as a little refreshers course. I will be using 35mm film examples but the same applies to other film cameras and dslr’s.

ISO Guide

Simply the ISO, also refereed to as ASA, relates to how sensitive the film is to light. The lower the number the less sensitive the film (or camera) is to the light.

If you want to shoot a variety of subjects inside and out ISO 400 is a solid choice.

If you’re going to be shooting outside in bright sunshine or traveling in a hot country then ISO 200 will fit the bill. Low ISO films can also produce some great results at night using flash.

The lowest film I use is Portra ISO 160. The film works well for portraits and bringing out skin tones.  I would only use a low ISO if you know you’ll have sufficient light for the whole roll to avoid disappointment. If not go for a 200 or 400.

On the other end of the scale for low light conditions you can get ISO 1600, 3200 and 6400. But the higher the ISO number the more likely your image will have noise (visual distortion) but you can use this to your advantage. I recently shot a roll of Black & White Ilford 3200 film in Iceland. Its one of my favourite rolls I’ve shot this year.

The more you learn and experiment the more you can get out of your camera and/or film.But at the end of the day if your enjoying taking photos then you don’t have to change a thing.

 

Exploring the South Coast & Photographing Portsmouth

Keeping true to my new years resolution of spending more time exploring my home country of England I headed along the South Coast along to Portsmouth, Hampshire. Home to one of the worlds most famous ports its the location of the largest dockland for the Royal Navy. I have been to Portsmouth a couple of times before; for a graduation and to watch Brighton play football but never just to look around and take some photographs.

It is well worth a visit with harbour-side walks,friendly locals and  the spinnaker tower providing views across the city.

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