Photo Essay: Barcelona in One Day

Posted September 2, 2013 by Rachel Lee in Photo Essay

Awakened; get dressed, and get ready to see Antoni Gaudi’s iconic masterpiece of architecture, still in construction for more than a century, the La Sagrada Familia. I hop into a tapas bar and eat something light on the stomach, an Ensalada Rusa–a delicious ‘Russian’ salad. This bar only had bottled horchata, a refreshing summer drink.

Once out of the tapas bar, I get into a cab for a ‘Modernisme’ tour. I saw a local artist–an elderly Spaniard painting a watercolor on a street junction near Urquinaona Plaza. I continue walking ahead to the narrow streets of Passeig de Gracia, admiring the other kind of modern art: graffiti. I gaze at the streets full of art by local unsung artists.

I head back for a siesta at noon, but when the cool breezes start again, just before 5 p.m., I explore the surrounding Sants area, straight down the long avenues. I say ‘Hola’ to the smiling locals sitting in their front terraces and outside their narrow apartments, and I hear them greet me in return. In the evening, I explore the long Las Ramblas, where I see the street performers and a multitude of souvenirs for sale. I settle into a tapas bar with artisanal cocktails, located beside the gothic-style cathedral, as it slowly starts to rain.

These images of Barcelona, Spain were all taken in one day. As a film enthusiast, I shot these in 35 mm film. The images retain the natural properties of film – grainy in shaded areas and vignetting in other areas. Some of the film underwent a cross-processed development to create interesting tinted hues and depths. This retro-style appearance is popular today in several digital photo applications.


Facade of La Sagrada Familia


Details of a part of the facade of La Sagrada Familia reflected in the glass panels


Awestruck tourists appreciating the facade of La Sagrada Familia


A local artist painting a watercolor, Urquinaona Plaza


Narrow streets, Passeig de Gracia area


A kind stranger invited me to his apartment where I took a snapshot from his balcony


Three stories of graffiti


Into the narrow streets


At the top of the buildings in the Barcelona Sants area


A wall painting in the Barcelona Sants area

About the Author

Rachel Lee

She is a native of Singapore who loves the savage beauty of mountains and seas. Just over a year into making photographs in film, she aims to capture known and unknown places, arousing a sense of nostalgia for the fragile moments of everyday life, as observed in her travels around Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong, France, Sri Lanka and in the Philippines.

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