Sometimes a bad photo is also a good photo
(click to enlarge)
2003 – I remember sneaking this photo because wanted period look of daughter and hat as a timeless tourist with this background. The pose and Paddington coat just finished it off. More of the detail came out than expected.
What’s to like?
A sort of harmony. Lines of travel, light flooding and melting – daughter’s feet dissolving in light flood,which reappears at top of head and shoots up, guided by the pointing arm, to the window spots above; upwards and out of the frame on opposite side. Water channel and arches framing folk, joining and dividing dark and light – pattern everywhere.
Better late than never
Easter brings to mind the celebrations we saw in Madrid a few years ago. This will be one of the many postings that have been made on the subject, but it is definitely one of those things that leaves its mark on the mind of the observer and, every Easter since we were there I think about it, and the continuing social and religious traditions it represents.
We have some nighttime video but, as I’m too cheap skate to upgrade this site, I can’t upload video, or the soundtrack, for which I apologies. However, after filleting out some of the frames showing the carrying of the spectacular religious images through the streets, here are a few grainy, atmospheric images.
This particular group was going through just outside our hostel, as the procession made its way from the bottom of the road in the Puerta del Sol up to, around the outside of, and then into the Plaza Mayor, where people were sitting on high balconies and hanging out of windows, looking down on the huge crowds and dancing icons.
Much is written about these events but nothing compares with the feelings evoked from standing on the streets and seeing such devotion to an expression of religion and strength of feeling for their individual church associations and religious iconography. Some walk in bare feet and carry scourges, other carry crosses and many participants seem very young. Then there’s always whatever feelings rise in you, the outsider, on seeing the traditional costume as worn in above image.
Overall it is an amazing sight and sound and there seems to be little or no problems within the watching crowds, which are packed with families. Each religious figure is applauded by the knowing spectators as their teams of bearers carry out the difficult manoeuvres round the streets, doing swaying movements and making the figures dance and float along to the choreographed count of steps and reverses. All the pictures available cannot conjure up the atmosphere of keenness, or the sounds of the accompanying bands of drummers and trumpeters that each church association musters for their part of the parade.
There are daytime processions too – the one we attended in the rain had a team of young drummers accompanying the Virgin. Because of the downpour the very young looking team, dressed in the monk style habits, brought her out in her beautiful, gold bullion embroidered clothing to show her to the crowd and carefully took her back, closely observed by mantilla-ed ladies, sombre suited gentlemen and members of the Church. (Again this is a frame from a video.)
Later in the week we were strolling around in the evening and came across a team of men wearily stowing away all the paraphernalia of their church and association until next year, and wondered if many of them had been the ones with the honour of carrying their religious icon dancing and swaying through the crowded streets.
- Semana Santa
- Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Spain (vadoaspain.wordpress.com)
- Wandering the streets – April – Seville (theinfillclicks.wordpress.com)
PS: 2 evenings on the trot the system has eaten this posting – here’s hoping this one works – make that 3
Easter Holy Week had just come to an end. We’d been in Madrid during the celebration. Seville was busy with white vans and pick-ups clearing things away. The celebrations had involved hundreds and hundreds of chairs and many sets of raised seating, so corners of streets were lined with piles of each, ready for storing till next year.
It gave the city squares and street corners a look of building work or street hordings being cleared. Restaurants, coffee houses and cafés abound: some work-a-day and some smart (as one above).
The streets were a mix of the familiar and the less well known, with lots of architectural interest in the older parts and plainer modern items slotted in, gradually becoming the blander faced, new build you find almost anywhere, as you move out from the centre.
The following are mostly from the streets around the Cathedral and central business and shopping areas, with the mix of the classical Mediterranean and the Moorish.
This run of shops, ending in the bathing suit dome, is immediately after the photo above and swivelling to the right, so it finishes off part of that street before it ends in a plaza.
On a walk down to the river we spotted this – the back view of Plaza de Armas buildings. I think it’s a mall now but was a station or may be still both, but am very uncertain, even though we went inside. I’ve included it for its shape but also for the aeroplane hanging inside.
Cut from the above, hear it is and I’ve still no idea why.
Rotating right and facing the river, there’s a more industrial view. The light was pretty hazy, at evening time by then and the colour version didn’t improve much so it’s been greyscaled and charcoaled to bring out the linear design. It is a totally different set of design parameters, harking back to the 30s – 50s which caught my eye as it stood proudly on the far bank.
Another personal view of a spectacular place. The Alcázar in Seville is still a royal palace and a set of buildings I warm to more than the Alhambra in Granada. The gardens of the Alhambra a magnificent and breathtaking but cold and a little forbidding. Whereas the Alcázar has all the magnificence and contrasts but on a more logical scale.
Everywhere there are internal gardens and at different floor levels, with occasional vistas into the larger garden outside. And water: life and paradise.
(I swear we went up a floor and still, when you looked out, there was a courtyard garden at the same level, though not this one, which I particularly like: an example of water and garden tucked in whenever there’s an opportunity.)
These are on the way to one of the exits, with La Giralda tower of the cathedral slicing the sky above.
Definitely one of those places that we have to revisit.
There are many wonderful photos of the Cathedral in Seville to be found in books and on the web and yet I still have the temerity to post our personal set of snaps with a particular point of view. It starts by pivoting on my heel 180 degrees from facing Ms Haversham’s abode (previous posting) in order to walk along this face of the Cathedral.
Walking round the outside, first impressions are of an extraordinary mixing of shapes and ornamentations with one amazing piece of work cheek by jowl against another.
Externally it’s v much a wedding cake of a place …
… that has attached itself to a medieval tower, begun in 1184.
La Giralda’s, first two-thirds were a minaret and it is used now as a bell tower.
And inside it is gloriously decorated.
The roof shapes, arches and buttresses are full of detailed work and shaping that we humans can barely see.
From the top of La Giralda you look down into the Cathedral courtyard, full of Seville orange trees, and across many of the roofs of the building complex.
There’s flat roof areas with supporting structures and buttresses.
And areas that echo the shaping of Cardinals’ hats.
And domes of various shapes too.
But up in La Giralda there’s the bells.
Intricate carvings, ironwork and mechanisms all amongst the brickwork. And video cameras everywhere.
Whilst inside the flights of fancy just flow…
… and the light is magnificent, with occasional strange results.
and two of Stephen’s Spanish photos
Kissing trains and mirrored buses
An extraordinary number of curves, lines and reflections in these two photos
Through train window
Touch of the Busby Berkeley – shiny floor, synchro legs, soft focus and all
Curves and arches with the odd pair of legs
Been exercising, carefully and am now ready to ‘get back on the horse’ of the intensive hobby kind – (must do some today but on cat duty). However, got so absorbed with the photo archive that I’d like to continue sharing the odd ones, once in a while.