I visited Spain twice this year. Twice without a digital camera.
So twice this year I enjoyed that old inevitable process of sitting on rolls of forgotten film like a mother hen, waiting for a blue moon to wander to the printers for them to hatch. And I now have a clutch of chicklings- a vibrant yellow testimony of Spain, parched with the tedium of every day scenes. And like a mother hen, they are mine and I could write an entire post on each individual image, so laden with crisp, meticulous normality that they are.
Instead I have to do the impossible, and edit them into a series for this one post, or we’ll be looking at grainy, muted pictures of Spain until 2014. Still, impossible. I love these pictures. They are more autobiographical of my personality in photography than any commentary on Spain. The process of shooting film is still a refined pleasure for me. It could not be a further separate process from my digital workflow despite the almost identical formulas. Film for me rewards the most banal and ordinary things with a rich verisimilitude, and I have come to detect an entirely separate and very raw style that leaps from my photos like a miracle remedy to my safe, digital work.
But in-between my darting eye, and the steady turmoil of Spanish streets, an outline materialises of the heady, tumultuous, dusty living in Spain that appeals to me so much. Looking back months later, my memory isn’t concise enough to expand the images into a fitting text. Instead, approaching the heart of a dark winter, the one word that does my experience of Spain any justice is yellow.
Warm and sun slicked, slow moving, where pleasure and health come before accomplishment. Yellow in the roadsigns, in the traffic lights, in the stone, in the flora, yellow in the flag. Yellow in the beer, and in the crushed lemons left over from a meal. Yellow in the evening sun, melting rows of alabaster rooftops into a hazy collage. Yellow in the cacophony of scooters under midnight streetlamps. Yellow in the glittering sands that frame the span of an opal sea as the sun blooms for another day.