Photographing Barcelona


There are some things that you don’t learn when you study photography in college and that only life teaches you, as a person and as a photographer.

I suppose many of my colleagues will agree with me in admitting that there is no gap between who we are as individuals and how we express ourselves through the photographs we create, it doesn’t matter whether if we do it as authors or as professionals –if you really think about it, does it make it any difference at all?–.

If I look myself in the mirror and try to recognize in it the child who years ago began to wonder about his father's camera and how it worked, or the teenager who saved the money he earned in summer job to buy his first second-hand camera, I always find a person moved by curiosity and willingness to express himself in images.

Maybe the best part of these memories is to notice that being very young you actually learned to photograph by playing. The times when curiosity allowed you to be as bold as reckless in your photographic explorations because, after all, you were having a really good time and because you also learned from that joyful experience, from how to look at the world to being able to successfully implement your vision into an image.

When you finally decide to study photography at the university, there you discover the first clues to start being aware of the potential of your own look and learn from the enormous amount of possible looks that so many curious individuals, all the photographers –classic and contemporary–  that have preceded you and all the newcomers that are also studying there with you: that’s how you realize you, all of you, look at the very same world but you see it differently.

This is the idea that Ansel Adams expressed in such a simple way: 'You bring to photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved’. This intent is the one that builds the architecture of our looks as photographers and is true for of each and every one of the individuals that look at the world with a camera.

I see Barcelona like that, with this clear idea in my mind, and I photograph it as I show it to you, the city in which I was raised and where I live. I've known her since I was a child, I've grown up in her and I always return to her when I travel to other places.

All the photographs that you see here are the result of a long-standing relationship with the city, the expression of a life trajectory that is nothing more than the sum of all the images, the music, the books, the people Adams mentioned ... everything that makes life interesting, nothing that you only learn in school.

Barcelona is my city, it is beautiful and unique and it is my home. I'm always attentive to look at her with good eyes because I do want you to know her in all its glory –you know, I am writing this and I am thinking of Woody Allen’s ‘Manhattan’ (1979) intro and Gordon Willis’ incredible black and white cinematography … ‘Chapter one: he adored New York City …’–.

David Cardelús