April 2011

Child Portraits: Football and God, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Saturday April 30th, 2011 04:00 PM

futbol y comunion

The football season is in its final throws and the confirmation season is just about to start. For a few weeks the two overlap and a lot of the talk in the bars and streets is about one or the other. Fourteen Ezcaray children are being confirmed in June and the parents of one of them, Dani, asked me to take some portraits to mark the occasion.

Of course Dani, like most children his age, is captivated by football and particularly this season, the series of matches between his beloved Barcelona and Real Madrid. I spent a couple of hours with Dani this week. My aim was to produce a series of shots that reflected not only his confirmation but something of his character and passion for football.

futbol y comunion

futbol y comunion

futbol y comunion

futbol y comunion

futbol y comunion

La Concha beach, San Sebastián / Donostia, País Vasco

Friday April 1st, 2011 09:01 AM

Foto de Donostia

I was last in San Sebastián seven years ago and, being the height of summer, the beach was choc-a-bloc. Standing room only, almost. I was back again last week putting together a piece and set of photos for Get Lost, an Australian travel magazine.

Despite the temperatures being no higher than mid-teens there was no lack of activity along the city’s famous beach, La Concha. In the port, fishermen fixing their nets and retired fishermen, like Miguel and Inocencio, both in their 80s, who were drawn down to the water’s edge in much the same way as they had been most days over the past seven decades.

Along came Felix, back from a canoe trip. The first thing he did after disembarking was jump in the water. “It’s phenomenal,” he said, “but chilly”. Felix was fully wet-suited up but back on the beach I found Ovidio, marching out of the surf. He was just in his bathers. He told me that he swam every day, despite the sea temperature being around 10C.

I’ve just read the late Roger Deakin’s, Waterlog. It’s a wonderful story of eccentric swimming around Britain’s seas, lakes and bogs. Deakin believed the cold water swimming had both mental and physiological health benefits.

So I thought I’d have a go. Due to the shallow slope of the beach, by the time I was knee deep I’d already lost the feeling in my feet. I dived in and came up arms flailing before settling down in some sort of stroke for 10 minutes. I felt the cramp in my foot just as I was wading back up the beach. But, oh, what a sensory experience. And with the added bonus of there being plenty of space on the sand to recover afterwards.

Foto de Donostia

Foto de Donostia

Foto de Donostia

Foto de Donostia

Foto de Donostia

Foto de Donostia

Foto de Donostia