Detail from the Calatrava designed City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia visited when much of it was still under construction. This is one end of the Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe, an interactive science museum completed in 2000 and modelled on the skeleton of a whale. At the time, the vast majority of images of this place on the web were in colour, so I deliberately chose to shoot in black and white also. Unfortunately I found I only had ISO 400 film in my bag and was concerned it might suck in too much light in the strong sunlight, resulting in washed out images. In hindsight, the film had quite a bit of latitude and I quite like the subtle high-key effect.
Whenever I look at this image it's the eyes that grab me. I can't decide whether they're in the world or not, sad or inquisitive, brain cogs quietly turning. I'm reminded of a line from Charles Bukowski:
"But your eyes - they're beautiful. They're wild, crazy, like some animal peering out of a forest on fire."
Taking photographs of a shabby but photogenic apartment block in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerifé in the Canary Islands, I turned around to see this guy sitting on the footpath staring at me. I hadn't noticed him before. He kept staring, emotionless-faced, which was a little disconcerting, so I decided to break the ice to ask, by gesturing toward my camera if I could photograph him. He nodded. So I knelt down, changed my lens and ran off a few frames. He sat patiently and all the while his demeanour changed not one bit. Before I left, I thanked him and offered him a few Euro coins which he slowly pocketed and again he nodded, still staring intently. Not a word. After I'd walked away perhaps 50m I turned around and he was still staring intently at me.
The bus station in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital city of the Canary Islands. I'm acrophobic (have a fear of heights). The floor in this new bus station was so highly polished I actually felt queasy walking across it because the reflection of everything above the ground was so clear and vivid. It felt like I was walking over a mirror universe.
Detail from Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona. Captured with an old manual focus Sigma 35-70mm f/2.8-4 Zoom Master, a lens I tended to use more and more infrequently as the years went by (and nowadays, never). It's far from a popular lens and generally gets a bad press. However, initially I found it to be quite acceptable. My copy is capable of returning very sharp images even wide open, provided the light is strong. It particularly suits ISO 100 and 200 films with saturated colours though, surprisingly to me, others have said that their colours turned out on the dull side. But - and this is a big but - the barrel distortion is really poor. I'm not talking expected normal wide-angle noticeable here, but ridiculously bad, especially visible in architectural shots with straight lines, that I eventually grew tired of the necessary post-processing to correct the verticals and retired it for good. This is one of the last images I captured with the lens and it's been skewed in Photoshop.
A chance encounter, strolling through the back streets of an Andalucian town. My first thought was that she must have lived through the Spanish Civil War. I pointed in the direction we were walking and pointing hopefully in the right direction, asked "estación de autobuses?" She must have thought I spoke more Spanish than I actually do because she offered comprehensive directions, accompanied by numerous directional flexions of the hand, of which I understood perhaps 10%. She very graciously let me photograph her and I later added a little Photoshop dating treatment. After we thanked her and walked away my wife said "bet she was a babe when she was younger." She still is, or sadly, most likely was. All things must pass.