Memories of my latest journey down to Andalusia still linger in my mind now I’m back to Barcelona. The pleasant and sweet scent of orange blossoms, the bright green rolling hills landscape, where even a lonely white cottage becomes a monument, those pretty white washed villages perched spectacularly atop a crag or the western atmosphere sheltered in the spectacular badlands-like Tabernas desert, one of the wildest and driest parts of Europe.
A few years ago I was shooting photos in Milan, Italy, the city where I grew up. It was a lovely sunny April morning. Blooming trees, a pleasant temperature in the air and smiling people walking in the bustling fashion shopping streets Milan is famous for. Spring was it at its best. I was shooting a picture of a nice young couple seated at a small table against the window inside the trendy Armani Cafe. They looked like perfect models for my unexpected photo: smiling each other, nicely dressed and so optimist in their natural way of being. I couldn’t ask for more. The worldwide famous Armani‘s logo printed in the cafe’s window above their heads was the cherry on top of a successful picture.
Wondering around in that melting pot of cultures that is Singapore, I ended up at Little India. I was looking for shooting some pictures of the famous and colorful Arab Street when, on the way there, I came across an interesting mosque trapped among some high rise buildings around. As the small square courtyard at the entrance offered a limited view of the mosque, I looked around for a more proper elevated view. The two-story buildings lined up the quiet street next to the mosque caught my attention. I chose the entrance door of the closest building to the mosque and went upstair. I found a beauty salon at first floor and opted out for going to the next and last floor where the staircase ended right in front of a glass door. I saw a few tables setting through and the lights inside were off. The restaurant looked like still closed apparently but I tried to open the door anyway. I was lucky! The door opened and I quickly walked in. As I heard a great noise of voices, laughs and pots coming from the near kitchen, I discovered the room had a window with a direct view over the mosque. I hit the jackpot! I walked in the kitchen almost on tiptoe and after having said hello to the two cooks, I asked, by smiling like an idiot, if I could shoot a photo out of the window.
Here is a tip for shooting some interesting photos if you are visiting Zaragoza and have some time left to explore also the surrounding area. Head, by bus or your own car, to the abandoned village of Belchite, located some 50 km south of the Aragon’s capital. Belchite was the location of a sadly known battle that took place in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. The Battle of Belchite was fought by Spanish Republicans, who represented the democratic government set in Spain just a few years before and the Nationalist rebels run by Francisco Franco.
As a professional travel photographer, I am constantly faced with unpredictable challenges: unwanted cranes, historical buildings swaddled in scaffolding, hordes of tourists and, above all, inclement weather. Weather dominated my recent trip to Madrid: unusual Arctic weather blanketed half of Spain with snow and producing freezing temperatures. High winds disrupted my shooting plans but meant that dramatic black storm clouds alternated with sunny spells.