Testimonials

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Cutting Edge


Amadeus Cebolla, Barcelona, 2006

Click HERE to view video in Quicktime.

There are times when I turn a corner in Barcelona, and I sometimes run smack into a revelation.

This day was no exception. What I saw was a man with a cart, not an ordinary cart, but a cart with a big machine for sharpening knives.

Now what makes this person, his job and machine interesting to me is that the last time I saw such a person was when I was a child visiting my grandparents in the Bronx (the Bronx is a county or borough of New York City).

His name is Amadeus Cebolla. He’s been doing his job for almost 4 years now after previously being a restaurant owner of several cafés.

Anyway, he cut me some slack, going that extra mile, allowing me to video him several times and experiencing his cutting edge personality. (Pun intended).

Amadeus is a guy who makes sure you don’t lose your edge.

Good Grief!!


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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Learning the Ropes

Bogatell Playa is a wonderful beach where anyone can enjoy the sun and water. It has a walkway where you can stroll, rollerblade, and jog. This beach sort of reminds me of the famous New Jersey boardwalk.

For major fun and testing agility, try climbing these "monkey bars", ahem ropes.

Bogatell Playa, Barcelona, 2006

Click HERE to resize.

And see if you're as good as these kids!


Bogatell Playa, Barcelona, 2006

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

My First Taste of a REAL Kiwi

About a month after my initial arrival to Barcelona in June of 2002, I got my first taste of a REAL Kiwi that I luckily found in a kiosk in Barcelona.

Kiosks are small outdoor stalls which are just about everywhere in Barcelona. You can buy almost anything from a kiosk, from stamps to candy and sometimes train tickets. Oh, yes, how silly of me to not almost mention that newspapers and magazines are sold as well as videos and toys.


Kiosk, Barcelona, 2006
Click HERE to resize.

But! We like a particular kiosk because of a particular kiwi. Not the fruit or the bird as you might imagine, but, a real live person who is helpful, hospitable, kindhearted, friendly, courteous, good-natured, sociable (shhhh, I can go on and on, but I don’t want to embarrass him) with a wonderful smile.

Meet Lee. A Real Kiwi ... from New Zealand. Imagine that.

Click HERE to resize.

Click HERE to resize.

So the next time your in Barcelona, look for Lee and oh, yes, mention that you read and saw him in Barcalunacy.

He’ll like that.



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Monday, July 24, 2006

There's a Kind of Hush

The video shows La Rambla in a quiet setting with pretty much just the locals.


La Rambla, Barcelona, 2006

Click HERE to view in Quicktime.


I made the movie the first week in September just after the annual surge of August tourists had left.

Yes, La Rambla has its quiet moments.



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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Still Life Continues

It’s was 8 am, on a Saturday, and I was wandering the streets of Barcelona looking for a place to get a nice bocadillo for breakfast. The streets were empty except for me and my camera.

Drat! Café’s that are usually opened during the week were closed. Silly them … I could have been their customer.

Stop!

The day was not lost. On the corner of a certain street was an array of assorted trash, speaking to me. I felt like I was seeing a neat composition of a Van Gogh still life.

Perfect!

So, here’s a rendition of my still life.


Here’s a friends two attempts to take a picture of trash and make it artful.




I don't see the art.

Do you?


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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Barcelona’s Own Wailing Wall

For optium viewing be sure to click the pictures.

We found ourselves strolling by Plaça de la Virreina (Barcelona) and happened to see these birds congregating on the walls of St. Joan Church. Now birds gathered in large groups are not unusual here in Barcelona.


I then saw a bird flapping its wing rapidly, reminding me of a sparrow, and its beak buried into the church’s wall, pecking. My curiosity was aroused.


What followed was very strange, at least to me. There appeared many other birds doing the same activity. What the purpose of that activity was I will never know. Would you know?


I have never seen such a sight and I was fortunate to get these photos before the pigeons noticed me and flew away.

The birds pecking at the wall reminded me of photographs of persons at the Wailing Wall in Israel as demonstrated in the picture below. Even the colors of the stones on the wall are almost a match to my picture.


Please click HERE for the contributory link to the above photo.

An aside note: In no way do I wish to make light or fun of any important place or structure or belief. I just wanted to show the similiarities of man and nature.


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Friday, July 07, 2006

The Shadows of Day

On a great day, Barcelona has wonderful, normal lighting where, if you are lucky, you can shoot photos of shadows that are crisp and sharp.

I had such a day on a side street off Gran de Gracia in the barrio of Gracia. I immediately saw what a wonderful picture I could shoot, and I waited patiently for a subject to demonstrate scale and add interest.

I also wanted to photograph a person’s shadow on the wall or sidewalk, or even the leaves’ shadow on the person.


She came. Click HERE to resize.

I shot 3 pictures in sequence prior to the last photo shown above and not ONE shows the shadows I mentioned in the previous paragraph.


Click HERE to resize.

That is what I call perfect timing of near misses. Write me an email if you want to perfect this technique. Ha!

No matter what, I am still pleased with this photo. It has that crispness and sharpness I mentioned even if I didn’t get what I wanted.


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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Flor de Tila

Walking down Rambla de Catalunya one morning, I noticed the trees being pruned. Now the Rambla has many, many trees and there were branches everywhere - just any ordinary walk watching ordinary people cutting back trees.

As I continued my walk, there sat a lady surrounded with the cuttings on the ground. The natural lighting was magnificent … almost ethereal. I had to take this picture.


As I slowly walked by her, there she sat, plucking the flowers and assisted by her husband. The leaved branches were draped over her like a bridal veil. I then took this photo showing her looking at me in a serene and inviting way.


She told me that the flower was named tila and that every year she comes down to Rambla de Catalunya to gather a year’s supply of flowers as she has done since she was a little girl. From the tila flower, she brews tea that helps her to sleep.

As I continued my walk, I asked the many other women I had seen their reasons for bagging the flowers. They too made tea. There reasons were many from acting as an antiseptic, a sedative, to helping with the digestive tract and so on. The list was endless.

Seemed to me why even bother getting any prescription medication. All that you need to help you feel better is on Rambla de Catalunya and it’s free.

Be sure to bring a bag!


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Monday, July 03, 2006

The UNHOT Dog


Click HERE to view the video in Quicktime.

I returned back to the placa hoping to get more shots of Diego of Brazil. My main objectives were to get a better handle of the wide angle lens, lighting and motion, but, alas, Diego was no where to be seen.

My backup plan, if Diego was a no show, was to practice shooting photos of a running fountain and capture in midstream that ONE drop of water I’ve seen in books and magazines.

But, instead, I had an unexpected visitor … a beautiful POOCH sitting in the fountain’s water. I got a few stills of him and then he left. He had enough.

I had a gut feeling he might return. So, I set my camera, like a true photographer I am, ahem, to video mode and luckily for me, the dog came back.

Smart dog!

Lucky me!


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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Meet Diego of Brazil


Click HERE to view the video in Quicktime.

I don’t know who he is. I don’t know if he’s agile, you be the judge, but he sure has a sense of determination, tough constitution and a wonderful sense of self.

Meet Diego of Brazil. This is his first moment on roller blades. What a treat for any person with a camera and a chance to shoot everyday shots of everyday people doing everyday things.

I am certain of one thing about Diego; he will be soothing his aching joints with hot water and more hot water.

Oh yes! The name of the placa will remain anonymous as Diego of Brazil will be practicing at the same time and practicing in the same place this coming week.

Stay tuned!


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