Spain has a lot of interesting cities, but perhaps you haven’t been yet to Valencia, a nice city with lots of interest based in culture, nature and food. With great weather. Take a look to some images. Here you have 4 reasons to visit Valencia.
1. Food: You’ve read about paella. But you haven’t really tasted what it is. Lots of restaurants are claiming they know how to make it. When you arrive here you’ll discover it’s not what you thought, but much, much better. You’ll discover lots of other interesting foods, like horchata, fideuà or all i oli.
2. Architecture and culture. You’ve been watching some of the futuristic architecture of Valencia in some movies and TV, but we’ve got also impressive buildings like the Llotja de la Seda, best example of Gothic civil architecture and lots of Art Noveau, some Baroque, Rationalism, and some of the best gardens in Europe. And great museums.
3. Nightlife. The good weather invites people to go out. And you’re in a city with no slopes. You can take a walk any night, watch some places and have a drink wherever. Cool places and excellent restaurants. And there are also lot of affordable places if you’re not a gourmet.
I hope you’ve liked this post with 4 reasons to visit Valencia. If you come here and need pics, please contact me. I can show you the place. Mail’s firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to follow me in Instagram, @archerphoto.
Of course, València is no paradise. Just a nice place to visit. Perhaps another day I will write a text abouit negative aspects of the city :)
It is possible that taking many photos and writing sometimes seems like much more work than is worth doing.But it is also true that sometimes you build things without realizing it.I had wanted to take pictures of rhythmic gymnastics for some time.But I do not have too many contacts in the sector, so I left it as a wish that had been left pending.And one day there is the opportunity to take pictures of Elena López Benaches. Perhaps the name, does not ring a bell. But she is an Olympic medalist: with the Spanish team she achieved silver medal in Rio de Janeiro (the Equipaso, that’s how they are called).Of course, my doubts were between zero and none.We warned Nadia Alba to help us with makeup, hair and a little assistance in costumes, and she came with her brother, Salva, a classic dancer, who agreed to collaborate as well. He helped us in this night session with Elena López Benaches.
Interrogating Elena López Benaches
Curiosity moves me, so I asked her many things during the session, even though she has a very extensive and well-documented Wikipedia page .Elena has had an ankle injury from which she is recovering during this year of rest from the competition. She was on vacation in Valencia – she lives and trains regularly in Madrid, but she’s from Turís, a Valencian town), so we took photos here, in the capital of Turia.But I asked her about life in Turís, because in her hometown she even has a street named after her and even the municipal gym is dedicated to her.“The truth”, she confesses, without an apex of arrogance “is that in the town they behave very well with me”.It’s funny because almost never get such remarkable recognitions in life.But it seems that “not being a prophet in your land” is not something that affects Elena.
“I’m still not 100%”, she explains when we are preparing some plans. But the elasticity, the precision and the capacity is incredible.Normally, when doing jumps and pirouettes, there is a factor of luck for the pose to go well.It is not the case.It does not fail a single time, but when she sees herself in the photo, she becomes extremely self-critical.“In that pic I do not have the foot completely OK”.And it’s not that position it’s wrong, it’s that it’s not perfectly stretched.In addition, she excuses himself for not being able to hold for long in positions that she performs perfectly and that are almost impossible to perform.The flexibility is amazing, but his naturalness in the pose is even better.
Rhythmic gymnastics in a deserted Valencia
Our idea of the night session with Elena López Benaches was to make different looks for an almost deserted city on a mid-August night.The idea was not to mount large sets with flashes, but to capture, especially the movement, and the contrast with some places in the city, to look for the urban texture, instead of the coldness of a studio.With the LEDs combined with the streetlights of the city we were slightly low in light, but we did get the desired atmosphere.For this session, Nadia Alba took care of the hair and makeup.“Normally we have to take care of ourselves,”Elena explains to me, when I ask her about the sponsors and the support they have.However, he confesses to me, the atmosphere with the team is very good.“We leave all the negative issues out,” she says, very sure.
Another aspect that we comment on is how such a visual sport does not have a greater, and better media difussion.They had a TV ad, with Freixenet (an important cava company in Spain), that was seen and well valued.There is even a very interesting little documentary ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnjX5xD8f28 ), but rhythmic gymnastics do not have a big pull.“There was a lot of glitter on the set,” she recalls, “and it was very uncomfortable, because it got everywhere.”Sometimes in pursuit of the image professionals press a little more than necessary.
A guest post: Nadia Alba writes about Lisbon and I put the photos.So we share the work.
This summer we decided to visit Portugal.There are so many beautiful things to see there… Although in this post I will focus on its most representative neighborhoods.Some of our friends had already traveled to the Portuguese capital and they all said that we would love it.“Lisbon is very beautiful and there are great places to eat,” was the phrase we heard most.What they forgot to say is the amount of slopes that it has, as well as the curious pavement floor that characterizes its most emblematic areas, but that shatters anyone’s feet.I have to say it is worth suffering because the place is wonderful.Luckily, I checked before I packed my suitcase, and I came to the conclusion that this time my heels had to stay at home.
This land, known as “Portuguese pavement”, has its origins in 1755. After an earthquake devastated the city, the Marquis of Pombal, the prime minister of King Jose I of Portugal, “the Reformer”, ordered the reconstruction of the road with the rubble which had left the catastrophe.Today you can enjoy the beautiful mosaics that cobblestones form throughout the old part of the capital.
Lisbon downtown: commercial area. It starts at Praça dos Restauradores ( Restauradores Square) and ends at the impressive Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square).Here we could contemplate the sunset from the 360º viewpoint located at the top of the Arco do Triunfo da Rua Augusta (Triumphal Arch of Augusta Street).
Already at night, we visited the Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa’s elevator), which also offers excellent views of the whole city.The panorama is fantastic from this neogothic structure of 45 meters high, which was built in iron in 1900 and connects the lower and upper parts of the city.Over the years, it has ceased to be as functional as originally, to become more of a tourist attraction.
From Santa Justa’s Elevator.
Chiado and Bairro Alto
Chiado is an elegant and bohemian area.Here Portuguese writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries met.Now it’s full of well-known brand stores and coffee shops.Many of them have preserved the aesthetics of the premises of the early twentieth century, both outside and inside.The combination of the new and the traditional is spectacular.
Praça Luís de Camões, one of the stages of the Carnation Revolution, marks the limits of the Chiado and Bairro Alto districts.
The Bairro Alto represents the most alternative Lisbon and is located in the highest part of the city.If you are brave you can walk up its slopes, or if you prefer, you can take the tram or the elevator.Its steep streets full of facades with graffiti are filled with people of all kinds looking for fun at night.
This old quarter of fishermen and cradle of the fado, has a special charm that is perceived when walking through its streets.It is located at the foot of Castelo de São Jorge (Saint George’sCastle)and among itsold houses isCasa dos Bicos(Beaks House),with an original stone façade in the form of a pyramid, which was built in 1523. Currently it is housingthe Jose Saramago’s foundation.
In the evening, we took the famous tram 28 from the Doctor António de Sousa de Macedo square, located in the Bairro Alto, to climb to the neighborhood of Alfama.The tram ride is a fun and enjoyable experience in Lisbon.It’s hard to believe that their wooden wagons climb their slopes at the speed they do.Sometimes they pass through streets so narrow that if you take your hand out the window you almost touch the wall of the houses.The fact is that we did not reach the end of the journey.We decided to get off at the Sé deLisboa (Lisboa Cathedral), the capital’s cathedral and its oldest church.It was built in the 12th century and has survived several earthquakes.We went back on foot while watching the typical Portuguese restaurants and bars, which offer the best Fado shows.
Located west of Lisbon and in front of the Tagus River, it was one of the neighborhoods we liked the most.The Torrede Belém (Belém Tower) and the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jeronimos Monastery) stand out.
Both buildings, dating from the sixteenth century and Manueline Gothic style, are declared World Heritage.Seeing them, one wonders why this has not come out in Game of Thrones.Undoubtedly precious.The cloister of the monastery is possibly the most beautiful of all.
Back to the center of the city, we visited the National Museum of the Carriages (National Carriage Museum), which seemed as spectacular as the rest of what we had seen in Belém.This museum contains one of the most important European collections of royal carriages from the 16th to the 19th centuries and another one of fire engines.Nothing that can be seen there, as well as the 18th century palace that houses them, left us indifferent.
Parque das Naçoes
The translation is simple: Park of Nations.It is the most modern part of Lisbon, where the 1998 Expo was held. It stands out from other neighborhoods for its contemporary architecture.We arrived in the subway and got off at Estaçao do Oriente (Estación de Oriente), the work of Santiago Calatrava.We are so familiar with its style that when we saw it, it gave us the feeling of being in València.
The park has the pavilions and venues inherited from the Expo, among which is the Torre Vasco daGama (Vasco de Gama), which with its 145 meters is the tallest building in Lisbon.We would have loved to upload it but it is not accessible.A pity;sure the view from above is breathtaking.It is located in the middle of the Tajo Estuary, where the longest bridge in Europe is 12.3 kilometers away.We could have climbed the cable car but it did not reach so high and we did not enjoy ourselves so much.
That afternoon was the most relaxed we had because, although we did not stop, we got rid of slopes and cobblestones for a few hours.We walked around the area, which does not get rid of runners fever;We visited the mall and had coffee.We are still surprised at how cheap it is there (€ 0.70).
Lisbon deserves all the attention
In short, a very, very recommendable trip.The flight from València is less than two hours (752 km) and pass quickly.The food is good and not very expensive.The people are very friendly and there is not much problem with the language.Besides that Portuguese is not difficult to understand, in many places they also speak Spanish.We plan to return and learn more about our neighboring country.
Photography and translation (if you seee some mistake, it’s been me) by Sergi Albir (Archerphoto).If you need content for your website or your company, be it photos, texts, or video, you can contact us at email@example.com or +34644459753.
San Juan (St.John’s Eve) is an impossible night in Valencia. If you try to get to the beach you can stay dull in a horrendous traffic jam. If you arrive at your destination you will see hordes of young and not so young people in a huge botellón (youngsters drinking outside around their cars) on the beach. There are also people who just try to walk or put their feet in the water, but in general I do not like them. It reminds me too at New Year’s Eve the year, but with the beach.
Lindy Hop, St.John’s Eve and Valencia
So, I decided to get close to taking pictures of people dancing to Lindy Hop (a dance that started in Harlem, New York, in the late 1920s) in Valencia. At first it was planned to go to their place in Ruzafa, but my contacts in the dancing mob told me that they planned a street coup: they would go to the Turia bed to dance, taking advantage of cops would be distracted watching the beaches and / or night street parties that sprinkled the city. I think this is one of the worst nights to be a cop.
Despite the infamous heat during the day the night was fantastic. And for some reason the mosquitoes had no interest in Lindy Hop. Just armed with an iPad and a not-so-big speaker, without any pretensions, there were around fifty people who were going out dancing in a strictly natural way. Zero organization, zero problems. Most are known and the atmosphere was cordial. They barely talked to me, except for my contact, but neither was making any effort, just photos. I am usually a commercial photographer but this was more a documentary job.
So, I spent this night from the 22nd to the 23rd of June shooting a few photos. I will only show a small, clear selection of everything I did. More than 600 photos with only sodium vapor lamps as lighting. As an extra difficulty, late at night, I do not know exactly the reason, all but one of the lights went out. So I got a look with harder shadows, but if during all night I was shooting in high ISOs, in the end, even more.
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Some say there is nothing like film pictures. I may respect fundamentalists of celluloid, but I can not agree. Since we have digital cameras we can work at night with good results without dependence on the flash and tripod. The better our camera, the easier it will be for us. Although night it is not a particularly strange event, in my case, it has a special attraction.
Night Urban Pictures
I like to shoot at night in the city. There are a raising number of amateur astrophotography but it is not my thing. Valencia sky it is too bright because of the light reflected from the streets: excess of ill-designed street lights . So if it’s not a good place to take pictures of the sky, it’s fine to shoot on the street with that excess of luminosity.
One of the key factors is -in addition to working with high ISOs, high luminosity lenses and godd cameras- a steady hand. Personally, I almost never carry a tripod or monopod with me, so I just have to lean against a wall, lamppost or the like to obtain not trepidated photos . My system, apart from the above, is to shootjust after I have emptied my lungs with well placed camera. But it not always works.
Another important issue is knowing that many of the photos will not be fine, but do not fall into despair just for that. After all, only we’ll only show the good ones. In many cases the secret for success of urban and night shots is a matter of patience.
London, Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid are among the cities that I have photographed at night. If you are interested in purchasing any of these pictures in large, you can email me, because I still have not an operative online store.
If you need a professional photographer, forget Jimmy Olsen: my name is Sergi Albir, my phone is +34 644459753 and my e-mail es email@example.com .
One of the neighborhoods in central Valencia. The Barri del Mercat, or Market Neighborhood , is the nearest to the Central Market, which itself is a remarkable piece of modernist architecture. The neighborhood is not like that, but are rather humble dwellings mixed with occasional palaces. This space was an extramural suburb in the Arab Valencia, which had its wall in the current Caballeros street, where some parts of the wall remain integrated within existing buildings . Until the fourteenth century the neighborhood remained outside Valencia, but became integrated with the construction of the outer city wall. Next to the current Central there was a mosque, which gave way around 1240 to Santos Juanes church. That same church was rebuilt some centuries after.
Valencia Central Market Neighborhood: Barri del Mercat
The neighborhood also houses the Llotja Mercaders or Lonja de la Seda, world’s greatest example of civil Gothic. Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, was started to be built by Pere Compte on the very concept of Llotja de Mallorca, and it is an indicative of the commercial revolution during the late Middle Age in the city of Valencia.
Both the Central Mercat as Llotja deserve its own post, but for now, we will release some detail.
They say that he is one of the biggest DJ in the world. According to some classifications, the best one. It is not a subject I master, but it he is certainly a well-known trance music producer and also an outstanding star who gets public attention. So if he came to Valencia and I had the opportunity to shoot some pictures of him and some on his show, well, it did not sound bad.
Armin Van Buuren in Valencia
He came to present a product in which he has been involved in the design: Philips M1-XDJ, an invention that allows iPad or iPhone using the full working DJ, providing mixers and including three speakers with a power Total 80W RMS, which is a respectable power for a small party. The device features a plug, but if what you like is getting lost in places that have no outlet, you can use batteries. And if your friends have a some other M1-XDJ, you can stack the speakers for adding output power.
Later at night I assisted to his show. The tickets they gave me were subject to the general access rules so it was strictly forbidden to enter the event with an SLR or interchangeable lens camera, so I had to make do with a Canon Ixus 120 which have to, well, because I love the Ixus and go. You can not configure speed priority or aperture, so good, I managed as best I could.
Valencia is my home town and it’s where I live now. Sun, beach, colorful place and funny people. On the other hand we’ve got some issues with our politicians but, then again, who hasn’t?
Valencia is a 800,000 inhabitants city on the shore of Mediterranean Sea. If you include the metropolitan area you can count about 1,300,000. Mostly flat, as long as an important part of the area was desecated from a lagoon, the Albufera de Valencia. The Albufera is partially wet and it’s the only protected natural space in a capital in a UE city. Or I read that some time ago.
Valencia is very famous for the Fallas, giant monuments made of cardboard and wood that are exposed in the street during less than 1o days. After that they are burnt in March 19th, Saint Joseph. It’s kind a way of a good-bye to the winter. The festivities are popular, but you can find a growing social pressure against it. Lots of problems with traffic and the constant fireworks and explosions happening. People hurt by fireworks, wasted money, social discussions. Yeah, I’m one of the people who disagrees with the festivities, I’m not trying to be impartial.
Architecture in Valencia
The cultural inheritage is really important. Valencia was a kingdom some centuries ago and was integrated in Aragon Crown and after that in Spain. Palaces, religious and civil buildings are very important, and also contemporary architecture. Most important civil Gothic building in the world, Silk Exchange, is inside Valencia.
There is also a cathedral, important baroque palaces (Marqués de Dos Aguas). Architecture in Valencia is really interesting. As a commercial photographer in Spain, when I have some time I love to shoot those buildings.