June 07, 2010

Photo Contest

Last Friday I mentioned a contest sponsored by the UF International Center. It's a contest for students and faculty affiliated with the UFIC and the contestants are asked to submit pictures of their travels abroad that fall under the theme of "Global Culture." It's not a huge scholarship but it would be really neat to be recognized. Plus it would be a good use of my kajillion pictures I took in Spain!

Here are some of my favorite pictures that I took while I was over there. These are all pictures taken with my own little digital camera and then edited with either picnik.com or Photoshop CS4 (I think that's what it's called but I'm not going to pretend like I know what it's named or even what all the little controls do!).

I also provided a little background information as to why I chose each picture. So if one of these guys is way better than the others, feel free to shout it out in a comment :) Thanks!

1. For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ronda, Spain
This picture is attempting to capture the beautiful landscapes surrounding the ancient city of Ronda. Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway are two famous foreigners who fell in love with this view as tourists and continued to vacation there every summer. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" was based on an account of the murder of Nationalist sympathizers in Ronda during the Spanish Civil War. They were thrown off a cliff just like the ones in these pictures. Even though they have a pretty morbid past, these mountains and hills are absolutely breathtaking in real life.

2. Nuestro Rey (Our King)
Malaga, Spain
This was taken during the Semana Santa celebrations. Each Catholic church has its own trono of Jesus Christ and another of the Virgin Mary. These tronos are crazy intricate and are carried by armies of men (in Malaga, only one trono is carried by women!). They are carried all over town in a slow procession that lasts for hours. During the year, they are housed in their respective churches, where they remain until the next Semana Santa. This trono is about to make its rounds. It will begin around 8 PM and won't be back until at least 3 AM!

3. Broken Plates
Barcelona, Spain
This was taken in Parc Guell in Barcelona. The park was designed and engineered by Antoni Gaudi, the renowned Catalan artist. He intended for the area to be used as a housing development, but, when no one moved in, he suggested it be changed into a municipal park. It's filled with totally unique structures and spaces, including this serpentine bench that surrounds a huge terrace overlooking the city. The mosaic was actually made from broken plates donated by local Spanish women!

4. If Plates Could Talk
Barcelona, Spain
Same picture, just highlighting some of my fave tiles.

5. Protecting the Parc
Barcelona, Spain
Another picture from Parc Guell and the bench, just from a different angle. You can see the serpentine shape of the bench a little better. Gaudi actually designed the curvature of the bench based on the butt imprint left by a woman in some wet sand. This picture also showcases some of the interesting statues and structures with the silhouette of the lion sticking out of the wall.

6. Faceoff
Malaga, Spain
This photo captures one of the scenes from the bullfight we witnessed on Easter Sunday. The matador pictured is Jose Tomas, one of the best Spain has ever seen. During this brief interlude in fighting, Tomas is assessing the bull's level of energy and taking into account the animal's temperament to determine his next move. I love Tomas in this picture - the outfit, the pride and showmanship in his posture, his intense eye contact with the bull. Everything.

7. Standing Ovation
Malaga, Spain
Another shot of the Easter bullfight. Jose Tomas has just defeated the final bull of the night with amazing skill. He's accepting the crowd's ovation as he makes his way to the center of the ring for his final bow. I get warm fuzzies just looking at this picture because it sums up some of the physical landmarks of Malaga - the Plaza de Toros, the Alcazaba silhouetted in the backgroung, the gorgeous sunset. And then the fact that I got to experience a real bull fight in the company of some great friends just makes it so much sweeter.

8. A Night of Carnaval
Malaga, Spain
Carnaval is the equivalent of Mardi Gras in the United States - the celebration before the beginning of Lent. Cadiz is the most famous center for Carnaval in Spain but Malaga also has its own traditions and celebrations. Most celebrations in Malaga, whether Carnaval, Semana Santa, or Feria, make their way to Calle Larios, pictured above. It's a huge pedestrian avenue, lined with shops and restaurants and paved with the granite and marble taken from the Roman Amphitheater (so they say). Calle Larios is decorated for each holiday with beautiful festive lights that reflect off the smooth walkway, as pictured.


Aunt Amy said...

Just saw these on my iPhone but will certainly look at them on the iMac as soon as I get home. They all look beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I think they are all super amazing!

My favorite is number 2.

Love you.

Anonymous said...

That was Dad by the way :)


Aunt Amy said...

Love #8, Night at Carnaval. Says a lot about the culture of Malaga and I like the fact that it's from city in which you lived during your travels. Good luck with the contest!