Monday 27 May 2024

Barcelona's Street Art

Most large cities have street art, but Barcelona is one of these cities that perhaps welcomes it with open arms (or perhaps allow it). It's incorrect to conflate street art with graffiti, as street art is usually painted with permission or commissioned. Graffiti is word-based and its ‘writers’ are mostly self-taught and under most laws, this art-form is considered vandalism, while others appreciate it as a form of art.

Barcelona has the vibrancy of the famous artists who lived within the boundaries of its old quarter such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Antonio Gaudi.

The history of the street art scene in Barcelona begins in the 1970’s with the end of the Franco dictatorship. During the 1980’s it was inspired by the booming street art scene in Paris. Up to around 2002 the laws were relatively lax allowing for street art to flourish in Barcelona.

As per Barcelona Navigator, here are some of the jargon words:

Throw up: A throw-up (throwie) is made up of easy-to-paint bubble style letters.

Tag: A graffiti writer’s tag is his or her unique signature, normally done in one color.

Bombing: To bomb is to paint many surfaces in a city area within a short time.

Installation: A work that is often 3D or sculptural that may combine several techniques.

Wildstyle: A graffiti style using complex lettering which intertwines within itself and often other shapes and lines making it hard to read for the untrained eye.

For larger sized photographs, click this:

Barcelona by Tewfic El-Sawy on Exposure

Sunday 26 May 2024

Barcelona's Barrio Gótico | Monochrome

The Gothic Quarter (in Catalan: Barri Gòtic and in Spanish: Barrio Gótico) is the historic centre of the old city of Barcelona. It stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to the Ronda de Sant Pere. It is a part of Ciutat Vella district.

The quarter encompasses the oldest parts of the city of Barcelona, and includes the remains of the city's Roman wall and several notable medieval landmarks. Much of the present-day quarter, however, dates to the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, I took the opportunity of visiting Barcelona to satisfy my "hunger" for monochromatic street photography and architectural photography. It was brought to the surface by having watched the Netflix series "Ripley".

For larger photographs:

Gothic Quarter by Tewfic El-Sawy on Exposure

Wednesday 8 May 2024

POV | Netflix's Ripley | Monochrome Awakening

Inspector Pietro Ravini of the Rome Police (Netflix)

I've been watching "Ripley", the recent Netflix which is a masterpiece of monochromatic cinematography. The main characters are of course odious, but this doesn't change the fact that the principal "characters" in this series are the exterior and interior scenes which are exquisitely filmed using light, chiaroscuro and other impressive artistic devices and sleight of hand by the famous cinematographer Robert Elswit ...which would make Caravaggio jealous.

The only character I find sympathetic and I like is Detective Ravini.

The plot itself irritates me, as I want Ripley to get his comeuppance but that's not happening according to the novel. However, the cinematography is so superb that  I still continue to watch the series.

It has awakened in me the hunger to shoot in monochrome...which I've recently done while photographing the rallies/protests for Palestine. But photographing protests falls under the banner of photojournalism, and that's different. What I hunger for is people photography, street photography and architectural photography. That will happen soon.

Sunday 5 May 2024


Following a photo shoot with Mahogany on the grungy Bowery, I experimented with various LUTs, which include Neopan and Tri-X LUTs. I haven't decided whether to show her gallery in color or black & white...but this experiment reminded me of the quote by Dominic Rouse...Color is everything, black and white is more.” 

To be continued.

Friday 26 April 2024

AI Generated | The Women In Red

Prompts: Nostalgic photography, catalog pose full body front view, black haired Afro Asian woman wearing red shirt leaning back in chair over her head, tattoo on neck, sitting against dark plain wall, --ar 16:9

Monday 22 April 2024

KUNCHOK | In Fuchsia

I photographed Kunchok (कुनचोक) for a couple of hours on the streets of Soho. A New York University student, she posed for my cameras on a lovely day in late Spring, resplendent in a flamboyant fuchsia look, accented with Tibetan jewelry.

Larger photos of the shoot are here.

Barcelona's Street Art

Most large cities have street art, but Barcelona is one of these cities that perhaps welcomes it with open arms (or perhaps allow it). It...