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Water and Light - Seville's fountain

This is the fountain in the Plaza de España in Seville, Spain, where my wife and I spent a few days in June of 2015. The color version was beautiful as well (below) but it's entirely an image of the fountain. I decided to see what the scene looked like with the carriages in it, and in black and white. I was wowed by how interesting it became. I especially love how the jets of water became more visible, so to speak, as they became sprays of light as much as sprays of water. The silhouette of the carriage driver and the spoked carriage wheels, along with the subtle presence of the horse, provide much more interest, as well as a classic European flavor.

Here's the scene a few minutes later. This subtly colored version is beautiful as well, but it many ways it's an entirely different picture of the fountain. I like it, but for different reasons. The slightly brighter exposure, along with how the subtle colors of the building behind the fountain are more visible, create a subtle sense of depth, making the fountain more three-dimensional. The absence of people and carriages also makes the fountain more of a living presence in its own way, and as I look at it my eyes explore the various shapes of the individual sprays.

As I reflect on each of these two images, I reminded of how much I appreciate the ease of use and the quality of images that my iPhone makes. Since I don't print out very many of my photos, and view them mostly on the back-lit screen of my computer, I find that I take many more photos when I have my iPhone with me (always, basically), experimenting with light, shadows, shapes, textures, and color wherever I am. It's like carrying a notebook instead of a computer - I capture more because it's always with me. Similarly, I also find that I actually look at my images more since I'm at my computer so much.

Since you probably have a decent camera in your cell phone, you might explore your own world through the frame of its lens. One huge advantage over a "real" camera is that the iPhone (or similar device) has a bright screen that accurately shows you how your exposure will look, and you can easily adjust it by tweaking the exposure.

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05 ago 2021

Having spent a fair amount of time in Europe as a young man, I find these two gorgeous snaps to be pleasantly nostalgic. For me Europe always evoked a sense of long-established cultures and traditions, and the architecture and civil installations like this fountain always instilled in me a sense of the pride Europeans had in their roots and esthetic sensibilities. The black and white photo for me represents a slice of some obscure narrative in which nothing of great significance happens, but the subtle details of interpersonal relations provide a quiet fascination and appreciation of ordinary daily activity. The Europeans I knew seemed to thrive on simple leisure activities and social events, and they were nowhere near as obsessed…

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