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The first day on the Camino de Santiago is said to be the most challenging of the entire pilgrimage. Dealing with the uncomfortable strain of an overloaded pack (mainly camera gear) and the constant uphill terrain, I was certain this trek would get the better of me within the first few hours. Starting well before day break, I began my Camino with a little nervousness and a lot of excitement. 800km before me and all I could see was an endless uphill walk that seemed to never level off. By the time I reached the peak of the French Pyranees I was alone, doubtful, and scared of the journey that I threw myself into. Now I am not a religious man, at least not in the organized sense, but when I stopped to drink some water and take a much needed break, I looked out at the day that was beginning to show itself and suddenly knew why I was there and what lead me to that exact spot.
Please check out Fluster Magazine to see my newest photo essay and article on the Spanish Indignados. After a year of photographing within the immense crowds, this collection of images were selected to represent a group of individuals coming together in hope of a better future, for themselves and their children.
I’m always fascinated by the eerie beauty that naturally occurs within Cathedrals. There is something about that faint, natural light streaming in through the stained glass windows that quiets the soul and forces people to talk in a respectful whisper. I’ve found that the older the Cathedral or Church the more intense this feeling becomes.
This image was taken during a recent visit to the Santa Iglesia Cathedral in Segovia, Spain. Found within its many rooms, works of art produced by some of history’s great masters are displayed. Inside the Chapel of The Descent from the Cross you can view this polychrome Recumbent Christ, crafted by Gregorio Fernandez in the 17th Century.
May 15, 2012 marked the one year anniversary of Spain’s Indignado movement, more famously known as the event which sparked similar Occupy movements in cities around the globe. The day started out with the Occupation of Puerta del Sol and at around 12.30 a.m., the massive group of people took to the streets. The following image was taken shortly after two men entered into a slight confrontation with riot police, resulting in the protesters stripping naked in the middle of the street near Banco de Espana.
I will be uploading the entire set from these protests onto my website in the following days.
As I was covering the Holy Saturday processions in Madrid, I came across a small, dark alley way. Here I found the home of a local street performer that I had seen on countless occasions standing in the main square, dressed in his mouse costume for the amusement of local and foreign children. As a crucified Christ passed by on the shoulders of the devoted, I felt more compelled to visually tell a part of this mans unknown story than to capture what was happening outside.
Body image is something that almost everyone deals with. Whether male or female, young or old, it is hard to escape the mainstream ideals on what is defined as the perfect body. The problem that today’s generation faces is that we are absolutely saturated in beauty. With almost every turn, on almost every channel, you are confronted with this idea of beauty and what it means or takes to achieve the ideal body. You no longer see yourself as you are, but as you hope to be. And you are not alone. We all deal with this need, this desire to be better; shinier hair, whiter teeth, slimmer waist, longer legs, more tanned, more toned, six pack (or is it now an eight pack?), bigger biceps, smaller nose, smoother skin…should I continue?
Yes, these ads and music videos with ‘perfect bodied’ people are definitely not hard to look at. They are sexy and fun, they transport us into another life, another world where we can (no, we are!) just like them. And that is all good, for the moment. Until we close the magazine, change the channel or walk past that larger than life poster; we are then left with ourselves, obsessing over what we could be. All I’m trying to say is that we all have the ability to start accepting who we are, as we are. Granted, the ‘want to’ may always be there…let’s just try and get ourselves away from the ‘need to’.
On March 29th, Madrid took part in a nation wide strike to protest the new labour reform laws that are being implemented by the government. The downtown core was transformed into a living wave of Spaniards, marching their detoured path through the narrow streets from Banco de Espana to Puerta del Sol. Sporadically, pockets within the immense group would stop and demand the immediate closure of any stores that were unwilling to join in on the strike. These shops would either give in and close, or see their doors turned into police barricades.
As I spent the better part of my day photographing from within the crowd, the optimistic side of me would want nothing more than to have the voices of these people heard. Although, as a journalist -and a realist-, I am able to see that even though these laws will inevitably push the already alarming unemployment rate that much higher, they will also become a Spanish reality. This will either save Spain from bankruptcy, or spiral it’s frustrated people into a string of riots -maybe even both-. We all know that it is darkest before the dawn, so let us hope -for Spain and Europe’s sake-, that the dawn arrives before it is too late.