The Amateur Photographer – Barcelona (Part I)

It’s time for another edition of The Amateur Photographer.  As always, most of these photos have descriptions and my personal observations.  I hope you enjoy.

All of these photos were taken in Barcelona, Spain.

This open door was so welcoming, not despite, but because of the graffiti on the wall.  A cold, metal barrier separates the outside with its lifeless earth, but bright, vibrant colors are within.  It’s an invitation into a place of free expression of all kinds.

More graffiti, also giving life, color, and vibrancy to an otherwise cold and empty environment.

The woman’s orange shirt creates a striking contrast with the imposing stateliness of the building.  The building cannot help but to be seen, due to its size and structure.  However, the woman, with her bright color and outstretched arm, demands attention as well.

This bike speaks of unused potential.  There are multiple lines that propel the viewer’s eye to the right, in the direction the bike should be moving: the three bars of the railing; the division between the sidewalk and the asphalt; the white lines on the asphalt; the longer part of the lock.  The people in the background are also moving toward the right.  Yet, the bike is locked, stuck, and unable to move.  It’s meant to move, to be ridden, but it isn’t.  Even though everything around it is ‘telling’ it to, the bike isn’t doing what it’s meant to do.

This is the same bike from the other side.  I don’t even know if this is a particularly good photograph, but I’m putting it here because it illustrates a lesson I’ve learned from photography.  Much of the practice of photography is about learning how to see differently, to see beauty in more situations than one normally would.  I appreciate the simplicity and beauty of a bike locked to a rail.  I’m definitely still learning how to ‘see’, but I’m grateful for the process of developing this skill.

That concludes Part I of The Amateur Photographer – Barcelona.  I’ll get Part II up soon.  As always, comments and critiques are appreciated. Contact me at

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