My trip to the Spanish island of Fuerteventura involved some people watching. The other tourists – particularly fellow British ones – are always a source of fascination and bemusement.
But on the shores of the colourful town of Corralejo, it was another species that warranted photographic attention. Fishing is a popular pastime, and cuts across nationalities and age here.
During one lunch in the sun, I observed a young Spanish man on the shoreline, his blue shirt melding with the azure waters as he deftly hauled in a catch, barefoot and without fear of the rocks. And of course he was totally unaware that he was being photographed as he went about his task.
Another scene from the jetty sees British visitors milling about as two people are fishing. By chance I captured a young woman absorbed in the act of taking a photo – just like I was.
This marks the last of my posts from the island. An extensive gallery will follow soon, including several shots which have not yet been featured.
An inviting blue Spanish pool. Your instinct isn’t to dive into the cool waters, but to observe its ripples, glints of sunshine, textures and colours. Click first image to view the gallery
You also feel compelled to capture the top arch of the steps that take you gently into the water – but never set a foot in yourself. It’s almost a crying shame that the searingly bright metal is dappled with watermarks.
Photography rules over a luxuriously cool dip in a Spanish pool.
It’s been more than seven months since I took delivery of my 1968 Zenit-3 camera, a beautiful, mechanical beast from the Soviet Union promising the retro joy of film photography and a new way of looking through the lens.
I soon became used to its weight and vintage clunkiness, the lack of battery and digital function. A flurry of enthusiasm was dampened by my lack of experience, leading to the pain of ruining an entire film of shots.
The heady smell of my Zenit’s leather case was left untouched for months before I dived in for another attempt. This time I minimised the risk of destroying another roll of film by winding it back prematurely. That was after fast-shooting in an afternoon to avoid further long delays.
Well the first results were returned, and it evoked the boyhood memory of checking a sheet of negatives against the light. Yes, I had shots, although some had failed due to overexposure on a very bright day.
This selection of monochrome images are simple, safe and taken around my west London neighbourhood of Hammersmith and Ravenscourt Park.
Was it worth the wait? I love the grain to these shots. They feel entirely different to the crisp images produced by my Fuji X-E1. The focus and depth on the garden wall image is very good, while the floral images have a compelling quality in black and white.
But the initial results of this return to film expose how digital has dulled my instincts for the technicalities of photography. I had to made blunt guesses about aperture and exposures – although analogue aficionado Stephen Dowling says a pocket light meter is a must. These photos, taken on a sunny day, seem a little bleached and lack the strength of contrast monochrome offers.
However, the Zenit makes me think differently about taking pictures and often goes against my usual thinking. It obviously has practical drawbacks and requires the effort we used to exert without a moment’s worry.
Right now the camera is sitting idly and may not be picked up again for a while. But after 45 years in existence, this patient creature is always ready for the next assignment with its latest – still wet behind the ears – owner.
Read the first post about my new Soviet friend here
On the outskirts of the Canarian town of Corralejo, there is a modern complex which houses a cluster of shops and restaurants. It’s been built in traditional style, and has at its heart a bell tower – campanario in Spanish.
Not only does it chime every hour, but provides a wonderful viewpoint over the entire seaside resort and beyond. It’s easy to see Corralejo’s twin wind turbines (Fuerteventura can be very blustery), the harbour and across the sea to Lanzarote and the nearby islet of Lobos.
I clambered up several flights of stairs on a couple of occasions, the more memorable being for the end of the day and a dramatic sunset. The viewing platform was always empty. A very handy resource for a photographer looking for some elevation.
I was taking a stroll around the outer reaches of the Canarian town of Corralejo on my recent holiday, and came across something totally unexpected.
On a whitewashed wall next to an ordinary pavement on an undistinguished street, was an image of Marilyn Monroe. A simple stencil graffiti in dark paint, with those iconic features very clear in the fading light.
Who put her there and why? I can’t find the answers to those questions but am pleased with the photograph – she is almost outdone by the bokeh from some distant traffic in this shot.
It seems there is a lot of Marilyn street art all over the world. If anyone knows any more about this example, I would love to find out.