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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Encierro by Bilbao Sculptor Rafael Huerta

Pamplona has a lot to offer. This Basque city is vibrant and offers so much in culture. For the pilgrim of El Camino Frances it’s a beautiful walk over bridges and cobble stone streets and a night of world famous pintxos (not to be confused with tapas or bocas) and beer or wine in prep of the next day’s journey.

Though the Running of the Bulls of Pamplona occurs in July, there are reminders of it in the city centre…then…there is the statue. El Encierro was designed by Bilbao Sculptor Rafael Huerta. This detailed life sized work of art captures a moment in the life of both runners and bulls.

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Color,  Form, Texture  
This is what catches the eye; stimulates the senses.  Playing with abstract forms captured through a camera’s lens and watching the photo change from Color to High Contrast B&W ignites different senses, changes how one sees the subject.  
This is what experiencing abstract photography is.

When photographing subjects during my walks, I find myself attracted to the same thing; granted a variety of “same things” but still the same thing. This gets old. That’s when I know I need to rethink in a more creative form.

I like to study art and will go to the library and pull out those beautiful large art books showing work across the ages. I love to go to the museums and admire the work first hand. I find that it’s the smaller works or the less famous ones that really grab my creative mind. I see many of these works doing the same thing that photography does today…capturing life. (The cats though were either really different a few hundred years ago or the artists didn’t know how to draw/paint a cat). Anyway…

I will always find old doors, windows, people, buildings, animals, etc, fascinating subjects for my work. There’s always a challenge. To take this further though, to rethink how the final piece will be or look…playing with it…letting the creative juices flow…that’s were things get exciting.

The images in the video above were taken in and around Bordeaux, France during the Winter of 2019.

MarciaGPhoto@gmail.com

www.MarciaGutierrezPhotography.com

MarciaGPhoto youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqbWPCTrqixEv8VL_y2jIig

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It was a hot, sticky day and I had been walking through the narrow medieval streets of Girona, Spain taking pictures.  I was alone–no guide, no group of friends–alone.  It was a wonderful feeling.  I could take as much time as I wanted photographing the beautiful streets, buildings, windows, doors, statues and whatever else I discovered as I turned down each street and side road.  I didn’t know where I was on the map and didn’t care.  I felt free.  Then I turned down a narrow dark street that began and ended with an arch and found myself in an open plaza with small cafés and shops.

Fifteen minutes before four in the afternoon and only the cafés were open.  This was the hour of Spain’s siesta where stores close and people enjoy a time of comfort with friends and family over coffee, tea, soda, wine, or beer.  I walked along the closed shops looking in the windows and found a bookstore that looked promising.  I was not only here in Spain to take photographs but also hoped to find books on Spanish and Catalonian folktales.  Fifteen minutes to wait till the store opened, what to do…

Across the plaza was a café with the word Xocolatería over its door.  Chocolate–YES!  It was a hot and sticky day with little air flowing through the streets but Spanish hot xocolate sounded soooooooooo good.  I sat down and ordered some.

I had first tasted this wonderfully thick hot coco drink last year when in Barcelona with my family.  So thick you needed a spoon and a churro to help you drink it.  The Xocolatería didn’t have churros but they did have almendras—almond shaped cookies—that where just as good for dipping in the dark chocolate that had the consistency of Greek yogurt.

 Xocolate with Churro in Barcelona & with Almendra cookies in Girona
So…how do they get this drink so thick?        Cornstarch…or if you prefer arrowroot.

I went on line and there are lots and lots and lots of recipes.  The trick is to heat it slowly on a low heat source and stir and stir and stir.  I like using a large wire whisk to stir.  You also need patience.  It takes awhile to heat up and to thicken (20 minutes when I did it). Then it’s HOT so after it was poured in the cup I stirred it again to cool it down before I could drink it.  I didn’t have any almendras or churros and the only cookies in the kitchen were my daughter’s Oreo cookies.

Hmmm—-No.

So I enjoyed the hot xocolate by itself and thought about how I would change it a little for the next time.   With time and many more “tassas” I will have it perfected.

Xocolate boiling and thickening on low heat.

The recipe that I used is called Nana’s Spanish Style Hot Chocolate at:

http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2011/01/28/nanas-spanish-style-hot-chocolate-hot-chocolate-pudding/

What I like about this one is that it uses unsweetened coco powder and gives a choice between cornstarch or arrowroot (I buy Red Mill at a local health food store).

¡Disfruta!

 

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