Monday, December 17, 2012

Barcelona's Placa De Sant Felip Neri

Placa De Sant Felip Neri, Barcelona, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Pana-Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4
iso 1600, f5, 1/320 sec
Placa De Sant Felip Neri, located in the Barri Gotic neighborhood of Barcelona, is a special place with a deep history. Originally the site of a Jewish cemetery, a baroque church was built here in the mid 1700s and still stands.
On January 30, 1938, during the Spanish Civil War, a bomb fell on the square, killing 42 civilians, including 20 children who were taking shelter in the basement of the church. In the images below, you can see the significant damage that the bomb did to the stone walls of the square.
While the shot above was taken with the Lumix DMC-G3, the remaining pictures in this post were taken at night with my Leica CL, Minolta Rokkor 40mm f2 lens, and Kodak Tmax 400 film. I did not use a tripod, and most were shot at 1/15 second exposure.
My goal was to capture the feeling that the place gave me as darkness fell. It is not a sinister place, but certainly has a dark history.
There is still an elementary school in the square. The children in these pictures were meeting their parents, and playing before walking home. While the pictures look dark and threatening (which was my intention), the kids were quite happily running around the square.
If the soul exists, many have flown skyward from this place. Remnants of those flights persist. Like a tidepool that stays intact after the tide has receded, this place holds memories for those old enough to remember, only vague shadows and moods for those too young.
I thoroughly enjoyed trying to capture the impression Placa De Sant Felip Neri made on me. The Leica CL was the perfect tool for it, even though I had to work carefully with iso 400 film and low light levels.