Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Photo Shoot: Barcelona

If you have an opportunity to load up your photographic equipment and go to Spain, consider making Barcelona one of your stops. This city on the Mediterranean offers a photographer countless memorable photo shots, but also many things to see and do. Fabulous food to enjoy in the city is an added bonus.

One of the things that you will probably want to do is visit the site of the 1992 Winter Olympics. It is called Olympic Village and you should be able to get some good sports shots here. If the types of sports offered at the village aren't exactly what you're looking to photograph (or participate in!) there are numerous tennis courts around the city, there is Formula 1 Racing, various ski resorts in the Pyrenees Mountains (a few hours drive), and the usual water sports to be enjoyed at this city by the water.

When you are making your travel plans and looking for lodging, keep in mind that Barcelona is divided into five distinct sections. These include an ancient fishing area, a Gothic area, a medieval district, the locale at the waterfront, and the "old city" section.

For some pictures of living statues and mimes, try to visit La Rambla (also known as Las Ramblas). In addition to statues and mimes look for the bird market, the antique mansion, the regular markets, the old opera house, and the harbor with a monument honoring Christopher Columbus. You may want to also visit the Royal Shipyards. Be aware that a part of La Rambla is used for squalid activities such as strip clubs.

Visit Barri Gotic for some excellent shots of gothic and medieval architecture. You will find many cafes in this area, and this may be the place that you chose for your lodging. You will see a market here as well. "Old town" with its cobblestone streets is part of this historic area of the city.

If you want to see some of Pablo Picasso's masterpieces, stop by the "Museu Picasso" or Picasso Museum. Three mansions built of stone hold these treasures. Also while you are out looking at and taking pictures of the buildings in Barcelona, be sure to see Antoni Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia. The cathedral is absolutely breathtaking. Gaudi is actually buried here and one interesting fact about the church is that although it has been over one hundred years since construction began, it is still not considered finished.

To see more of Gaudi's art, stop by Guell Park. You will see a building that he designed to look like a dragon and also many of his sculptures are housed in the park.

Because of its location, of course, Barcelona offers some great beach photography opportunities and relaxation for the photographer. The lovely waters of the Mediterranean present many photo ops, and be sure to check the photo possibilities at different times of the day. If you dive and take underwater pictures, this is an outstanding place to do so.

What other things can be found in and near Barcelona? Many things fit into this category, but to name just a few you may want to try:

1. The Barcelona Zoo (7000+ animals)
2. The Barcelona Aquarium (21 huge tanks, 8000+ species)
3. Tibidabo Mountain (lovely scenery, amusement park, church at the top, plus a grand view of the city)
4. Take a 3-hour trip to the Pyrenees for skiing

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