Barcelona Afternoon and Night Photography Tour
6 hours duration
Photo Tour Summary
One of our most popular itineraries and a personal favourite, the 6 hour Barcelona Afternoon and Night Photography Tour covers the most photogenic locations and during the most interesting lighting conditions. This itinerary is all about the manipulation of ambient and artificial light. An extension of our popular Barcelona Night Photo Tour, the tour includes photography during afternoon golden hour when the low angle of the sun creates depth and casts long shadows, to sunset for adding colour in the sky, followed by the blue hour with electric blue skies, until artificial light of the street lights create atmospheric directional lighting. The tour is designed for photo enthusiasts who are just beginning to learn how to master their cameras, for keen amateurs who want to learn about experimenting in the exciting world of night photography and for semi-pro and professional photographers eager to be escorted to the best spots for photo opportunities.
The Afternoon and Night Photography Tour is held at a slower pace than our other itineraries. Perfecting your composition, being patient for your subject to appear in the frame, using slower shutter speeds due to low light levels and the use of a tripod means that we will spend more time at each location. The tour entails a professional photographer giving tips and advice on the equipment needed, camera settings and how to create interesting images, while being escorted to Barcelona’s most stunning locations! During the tour we will discuss which images stand out and why, and how they were created. The tour is designed for using digital DSLR, mirrorless and compact cameras. Cameras on smartphones can also be used on this tour. This is a very pleasant tour, which will give you the opportunity to learn the basics of night photography while visiting the city in the cooler temperatures. This photo walk is designed around ambient and street lighting in conjunction with a tripod. A flash gun is not necessary, though you can bring a flash or constant LED to express your own creativity if you wish. We are confident that this tour may very well be the highlight of your trip.
Barcelona Afternoon and Night Photography Tour itinerary
The meeting point would be on the corner, outside the Zara store in Plaza Catalunya [Pl. Catalunya 5, Barcelona 08002]. The meeting point can be found HERE.
Beginning our tour, we will head into the Raval neighbourhood to take advantage of the low afternoon light with some street photography. As the sun gets lower, colours become more saturated, the harsh light of the day disappears, contrast increases, lit subjects stand out against dark backgrounds and long shadows are cast. Due to the long, narrow streets, the use of telephoto lenses to compress a scene while picking out details is ideal to use in this part of the city. Tall apartment blocks where residents hang out laundry on washing lines that cover the facades can make for interesting subjects, and are an ideal representation of the Raval. Incredible street art can be found in this district, creating a colourful, vibrant backdrop for street photographers. The interesting characters that wander the Raval include tattoo-clad skateboarders, fashion designers, hairdressers, elderly citizens shopping and friendly neighbours willing to have their portraits taken. You are likely to see more tattoos and piercings here than any other part of the city. Photographing architecture is equally good in the Raval. Modern structures of converging lines, reflections, minimalism and other aspects of an urban environment can be captured here. For photographers that may have already visited the Raval with us on a previous tour, we can exchange this location with the Borne district – an exceptional neighbourhood to photograph where you will see how the locals go about their day, devoid of any influences of tourism. We will walk the narrow dark alleyways and visit Gothic churches, trendy stores, open plazas, violin makers, designers workshops and more. The Borne district really has it all for the avid photographer.
Continuing into the Eixample district, the part of the city characterised by the grid system of wide avenues and square blocks. When you see the corners of the squares chamfered, you know that you are in the Eixample. What makes this district great for photography is being able to predict where to stand according to the light, shadows and focal points. Streets that head uphill can give great views of the church at the top of the Tibidabo mountain, making for a great focal point during sunset. Likewise, great views of the Torre Agbar can be captured when photographing through the long avenues to the north. Continuing up the beautiful Paseo de Gracia, you will notice the stunning benches that turn into Art Nouveau street lamps that line the street and make for wonderful foregrounds to the Modernist architecture. We will arrive to the Block of Discord – the famous block in the Eixample that house masterpieces from 3 of the most famous Catalan architects, all competing against each other to create the most beautiful structure possible. Casa Lleó i Morera (1902-1906) by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Casa Amatller (1898-1900) by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and Casa Batlló ( 1904-1906) by Antoni Gaudí. But it is Gaudi’s Casa Batlló, as well as other works he created, that millions of visitors come to see each year. This unique building was reconstructed by Gaudi for the Batlló family in 1904. Unique features include balconies that resemble facial bones, a roof resembling a dragon’s back and an interior containing not one single straight line. We will photograph the exterior of the block during sunset and the surrounding architecture during magic hour.
Depending on the day of the week and time of year, we will either begin the tour by walking up the Paseo de Gracia to photograph some of Barcelona’s best examples of Modernist architecture at the Block of Discord, or if opening hours are relevant on the night of your tour, by taking the metro to arrive to the spectacular Magic Fountain. This awesome light, water and music show located at the foot of Montjuic is a pleasure to capture through your lens. The backdrop to the main fountain include further fountains leading up to the National Palace. We will spend time experimenting with different camera techniques, capturing the effects of high speed and slow speed shutter settings. We will also head up to the MNAC [National Museum of Catalan Art], located in the beautiful National Palace. The vistas that spread out over the fountains and down over the city make for spectacular views. From the Magic Fountain at Plaza Espanya we will return on the metro and arrive to Plaza Catalunya and continue through the Ciutat Vella where the old city takes on a new perspective at night. Should you like to take a break for a snack, we can take a short break at a recommended tapas restaurant before continuing our tour.
Just as blue hour begins and when the street lamps turn on, we will head into the Gothic quarter – our favourite location for night photography. Circling the Santa Eulalia Cathedral, the Gothic quarter has a multitude of locations for photo opportunities thanks to a myriad of old stone streets that stretch on 4 sides from the old Roman road to the Ramblas and the Ronda de Sant Pere to the seafront. Medieval architecture merges with the old Roman wall, while reconstruction during the late 19th century transformed the area from a sombre looking part of the city, to one that attracts millions each year. Known as the “Call”, the ancient Jewish quarter is located within and contains Europe’s oldest Synagogue and one of the most important Jewish communities of the Iberian peninsula. The Jewish community settled here from the 7th to 14th centuries. Despite being such a magnet to tourists, the Gothic quarter at night is relatively quiet, likely due to far less restaurants and bars located there. Most of the area is completely closed off to traffic, adding to the calm and quiet. With an electric blue sky, some directional lighting created by the street lamps and fewer people wandering around, photography here at night creates an atmosphere reminiscent to a film set. This would be the end of the tour, and we will escort you back to Plaza Catalunya.
Please note that we are able to bring 1 tripod and 2 quick release plates, should you prefer not to carry a tripod abroad.
To see our full range of itineraries, you can return to the Barcelona Photography Tours page.