How did you get into street photography? Did your childhood have any influence on you becoming a photographer?
Street photography is my passion and I’ve been doing it for about six years. When I was 15 years old, my mother gave me a Voigtländer Vito, and ever since then I’ve been deeply connected with photography. For professional reasons I had to hang up my camera for several years until I once again had the time and desire to return to photography, this time with no end in sight.
Are you originally from Barcelona? On your website it appears you speak Catalan? What do you like/dislike about shooting the streets in Barcelona? Any tips for visiting street photographers?
Yes, I am from Barcelona and on my website I use both English and Catalán, English because it is an international language and Catalán because it is my mother tongue.
In Barcelona, like in many other big cities, I like how people don’t mind being close to a camera. I also enjoy Barcelona’s light – Mediterranean cities have this quality.
What I don’t like, or perhaps what makes Barcelona a challenging place to shoot, is the great quantity of tourists that are found in every corner of the city. Trying to compose images with several subjects can be difficult.
Any street photographer who visits Barcelona should flee from the tourist areas, or if you must go, then go very early in the day to avoid the crowds. Be sure to visit and photograph the Gothic Quarter, where you’ll enjoy spending time with the locals. Other areas that I would recommend visiting are L’Eixample, Sans y Gracia.
You have quite an eye for light, shadow, contrasts and reflections. How do you train your eye to see these things when you are out on the street? (Or anytime really…)
When I head out to the street to photograph, I simply wander with no preconceived ideas, as they usually don’t come to fruition. But when your eye is trained, and you notice the light and color around you wherever you walk, then luck steps in and at some point gives you one of those photos, where the light or color caresses someone interesting, and that’s the moment – “click.”
I noticed you said you were basically self taught on your website. Any tips for street photographers that are just starting out and want to teach themselves about photography? Are there any specific resources you can share?
My advice to a beginner photographer is not to hurry, to be humble and to learn from others. Buy books, read and observe in detail the photographs of the photography greats. Take plenty of pictures and make plenty of mistakes. Taking a course or participating in workshops is also advisable. And above all, keep clearly in mind that photography happens on the street, not on your PC.
Another fundamental piece of advice, having a good pair of walking shoes is just as important as a having a camera.
What time of day do you prefer to shoot? It looks like you’re out there right at midday or early afternoon sometimes with pretty harsh light.
Any time of day is a good time to do street photography, you just have to adjust your camera settings to adapt to the current characteristics of the light.
In my case, I usually walk around the city in the mornings, never later than 12 a.m. and occasionally in the afternoons depending on my availability during any given day.
What has street photography taught you?
Photography in general, and especially street photography, has taught me to be humble, to always reconsider my work and to admit that in mistakes you can find the way to improve and grow as a photographer.
Photographing people forces you to be more empathetic with them, to respect them and admit that you can’t always take every photo you would like to.
Photography has also giving me the chance to travel and make good friends, with whom I can share my successes and frustrations.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about Ramon and see more of his work, be sure to visit his Flickr account. Ramon was selected from our Flickr group (Street Photography Magazine), where we regularly choose photographers’ work to be published in our magazine.