Casa Batlló—2008

The Story Behind the Photograph...

We were in Barcelona four years ago this month… I still remember the pain of arriving there in the wee hours of the morning at the tail end of a red-eye flight, two kids in tow, and having to make it to 2PM before we could check into our hotel room. We had a great week in Barcelona during which we almost didn’t go into Casa Batlló, often known as the Gaudi Apartments. Jordan was five at the time and Tamar was three and, given all that we were juggling, we seriously considered skipping the chance to walk the inside of this famous Gaudi building.

What a mistake that would have been.

In our defense, the outside of the building is spectacular enough that we thought I had captured the important shots. And with the sun shining, it seemed equally important to get to the next site for more pictures. And then there were our kids. Jordan and Tamar are great travelers, but we still weren’t sure that walking around the inside of a building would hold their attention long enough that I would be able to get the space I needed to capture compelling images.

But we were there – in Barcelona and standing in front of this amazing building. Common sense, thankfully, prevailed. Of course we shelled out for the admission tickets not knowing if the kids would give us five minutes or 15 minutes to tour the building. Turned out the kids gave us 90 minutes and they were quickly and happily as fascinated as we were.

Tamar, all of 3-years-old, later drew some wiggly pictures and proudly declared them her, “Gaudi House” drawings. The amazing thing about this house is that it got me thinking about Picasso and Frank Gehry – Gaudi’s work must have influenced both… The inside of Casa Batlló, for those who haven’t been, is spectacular and not to be missed.

Among the many treats to photograph was this interior window. I shot this handheld without a flash. The light struck me as perfect, allowing the details of the picture window and it’s surroundings to register, while giving us this terrific shadow effect. I like the peace and serenity of the scene as well as the unexpectedness of the window itself. Helen suggested capturing the picture with a person in silhouette and I did it both ways, with and without the person. In the end, Helen was right and this is certainly a compelling image.

In many ways, both subtle and obvious, I suppose my life is a creative collaboration with Helen. This image stands as a terrific example of her influence and help on all of my creative endeavors.


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