dante

‘..through me you go into a city of weeping
through me you go into eternal pain
through me you go amongst the lost people’
― dante alighieri, the inferno


The images which follow were made in, of all places, a convent.

The ‘Convento de las Duenas’, tucked away in a quiet corner of Salamanca.

One can only imagine what passed through the minds, and souls, of those who walked these cloisters, once upon a time.

A different world.

Or is it?

Perhaps not so much.



*all images made with fujifilm x100f with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens, tweaked in lightroom cc with fujifilm acros filter added in post*

Unfinished business

“The bulls are my best friends.”
I translated to Brett.
“You kill your friends?” she asked.
“Always,” he said in English, and laughed. “So they don’t kill me.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises


Graffiti emblazoned remains of a disused bull-fighting arena nestle uncomfortably behind bars amidst an affluent ‘urbanización’. Eerie silence shrouds the abandoned amphitheatre. Distant echoes linger amidst the litter strewn pens. Serried rows of cold concrete stand in witness to battle and blood.

A stone’s throw away children laugh in a newly completed park. Football pitches and gym equipment laid out amidst newly planted trees serve a different purpose to this stone enclosed ring.

Unfinished business.



Images made with Fujifilm X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm FF equivalent) and processed in Lightroom and Analog Efex Pro 2.

toros

Every man’s life ends the same way.
It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another
– Ernest Hemingway


With thanks to Felix and Mamen, and our fellow guests, for a beautiful evening full of light, good food and wine, and the opportunity to photographs the bulls on a glorious late summer evening.

Gracias a Felix y Mamen, y a nuestros compañeros invitados, por una hermosa noche llena de luz, buena comida y vino, y la oportunidad de fotografiar a los toros en una gloriosa tarde de verano.


*All images made with Nikon D700 with Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 lens*

isla de soto

our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty”

― albert einstein

misty ambiguity

twist

reedy

exhausted

haven

hoopoe, youpoe, weallpoe

crossed

fallen

if you’ve got it, flaunt it

nesting

setting goals

black redstart

bs

who am i?

la españa vacía

only the sunset knows my blind desire for the fleeting
only the moon understands the beauty of love
when held by a hand like the aura of nostalgia

Nostalgia, Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo


Inspirado en parte por la españa vacía, el libro escrito por sergio del molino

cerrada

mordaz

vacía

retorcido

camino

bloqueado

ironía

mordido

presionado

acerbo

después

abatimiento

refugio

desolado

centinela


*imágenes realizadas con olympus om10, objetivo de 135mm f/3.5, película de blanco y negro de ilford, sin editar*

lunes de agua

I wonder, would it be true and fair to describe Spain as the home of ‘fiestas’?

Each town, each community, often has more than one day set aside each year to celebrate one thing, or another.

Perhaps none has a celebration quite as distinctive as that held in Salamanca each year. Hot on the heels of the solemn processions and religous observance over Easter comes Lunes de Agua.

Literally ‘water Monday’, the (half) day fiesta which begins in the middle of the afternoon, on the Monday which follows Easter Monday, brings everyone in the family (young and old) together to celebrate the day on which, by long-standing tradition (dating back to the reign of Felipe II) the prostitutes of this ancient University city, banished during Semana Santa from its beautiful streets and plazas, were repatriated (with pomp and circumstance) from the far side of the river Tormes by boat. The option of simply walking back across the Roman bridge which lies in the shadow of the cathedrals apparently deemed inappropriate due to the nature and terms of their employment also described as ‘living in sin’.

The students of the city did not miss this opportunity to hold a wine soaked riverside party as they took to their oars to return the banished to their place of work.

To this day students of all ages are released from their studies to celebrate this liberation, friends and family across the city seize the moment to come together and celebrate.

A slightly less salacious aspect of the day is the tradition of eating hornazo, a delicious savoury pastry that (in my view at least) is best consumed after a long walk and accompanied by a decent bottle of red.

Which brings me to my photos, taken during a walk with friends at Ganadería Herederos Angel Sánchez Sánchez in the beautiful provincial countryside just a few km outside the city.

And yes, with thanks to our kind hosts and friends, hornazo and decent red were consumed.


*all photos shot with fujifilm x100f with fixed 23mm lens (35mm full frame equivalent) developed in lightroom cc with fujifilm ‘provia’ simulation applied*

lloviendo

i woke to the sound of rain
― sylvia plath, the bell jar

see me

the face

in the rain

see me

the fingers

on the pane

see me

before

i am

wiped

away


*one of a series of shots made in salamanca with my ancient olympus om10, with zuiko 50mm f/1.8 lens, and loaded with ilford xp2 super ISO 400 film*

plaza

“Look at the rain long enough, with no thoughts in your head, and you gradually feel your body falling loose, shaking free of the world of reality. Rain has the power to hypnotize.”
― Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun


We often spend time wondering who, where, or perhaps what we are.

What we’d rather be.

Maybe, our lives would be better if we simply accepted who we are, where we are.

And what we have.

Let the rain wash over us, cleanse us.

Make us whole again.

And maybe then, we’d rather not need to be anything that we are not.

Already.


A thoughtful piece for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo challenge which posed the rhetorical question ‘I’d rather be’

And, in an odd way, the fact that each of these shots was captured, in Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor, with a 35 year old Olympus OM 10 with a battered Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 lens and a fresh roll of Ilford XP2 Super ISO400, and posted here edit free, says something about where I’d rather be too.

Perhaps.