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“Eivissa 2022” by Quim Farrero

I’ve always loved crosses as a graphic sign, and I always try to take advantage of the visual strength and symbolism of a so simple shape. Although I usually try to include human figures in my pictures and also try to work using wider scenarios, sometimes crosses justify the picture by themselves. When traveling, I’m often (always?) looking for this kind of symbols no matter where. Actually, the rarest the place, the better the resulting image and, if the place is not good enough, isolating the cross usually make am interesting picture.

In this case, a wider framing would have meant including the church in the picture, or the little graveyard where it was, and I though that the idea of not giving any information about the place made the picture a little more suggestive, maybe more mystic. The absolute white of the cross and the wall and the richness of grays coming from the shape of round corners of the wall (left and right in the picture) made a great chance to get a maybe good photograph.

That picture is one of a series of crosses images taken in Eivissa (Balearic Islands) where white churches make an excellent scenario to get the most of black and white pictures. It was just a question of quietly walking, observing and enjoying the soft light provided by cloudy sky in a period of the year where the island is not crowded. Although I carried my 4×5 camera, those crosses pictures were shot just by walking with friends, as a kind of photo notebook sketches so, there isn’t actually a nice story behind this precise picture, more than what I was thinking when shooting it.

Black-and-white and film are almost always my personal choice when I’m not at work (I’m usually paid to work in digital color) and I feel much more comfortable just avoiding color from my pictures. I’m convinced that light, shadows and the shapes that come from the combination of both have something magical and allows the spectator to concentrate about the essentials of light: Shape (with capital “S”).

What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

Saying that is a good photograph is maybe too daring (what’s a good photograph indeed?) but in this case, what makes the picture interesting is, from one side, the isolation of the white cross in a white environment that gives a great richness of greys. I think this isolation helps to emphasize the, let’s say, mystic meaning of the symbol. In addition to that, the grainy, almost tactile, aspect of the image due to film grain is, I think, one more aspect to consider in terms of how we look at the image: by observing the photograph, it comes a kind of a need of touching it.

If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

I don’t know if better, but I cloud try a closer framing in order to isolate even more just the cross.

Quim Farrero shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.

Photographer

Quim Farrero, Premià de Mar (Bcn), Catalunya, Spain

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Equipment and settings

Leica M6 with 35mm Summicron lens and Trix 400 film, shot at ISO 200 and developed with HC100 (B solution) 6′ at 20º. Nagative scanned with a Epson Photo 4990 scanner, cleaned (dust from the scanner) in Photoshop and then adjusted (contrast) in Lightroom.


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