Guest Shutter – The Brc of Sevilla

ETA: Okay BRC see my comments in BLUE

First, I must admit I am increadibly jealous.  These shots are killer; every single one. I had to wait to comment on them until the pea green envy disapated.  You could submit these AS IS to National Geographic.

The only changes I would would be oh so very minor…infact I make these comment only to spur you on to purchase the required software.  Because, we need you submitting photos to and being the PhotoJournalist for LoneyPlanet books on Spain.

Our Brc a few weeks ago took an extended vacation to Sevilla. There are few words I have to describe the images she captured…I am in awe; therefore I will just let the images speak for themselves.

Rectangulos de Color

I believe this shot just needs a little color boost and sharpening to show not only color changes but texture…I took the liberty. 


Ventana Negra

Umm this is so perfect…one of my all time favorites from you. 

Bodega II

This seems to capture the mood of Sevilla…am I right? 


I LOVE this shot…however, I do believe this shot is not part of the overall flavor of your trip. The subject is universal and without seeing the mother and child and some contextual information I would never have known it was shot in a foreign country…BUT PLEASE PLEASE hear me when I say this shot does not need to be part of a photo essay…it is a piece of art on it’s own merit! 

Banco Verde

Again…goose the color and add sharpening brings new texture to this image


Mercado VI

I will not comment on each Mercado shot they are all fantastic…but put them together and you have the supporting images for a National Geographic article on Spanich Market living.  Seriously…these are THAT good!  I think these are the ones that are really making me so very jealous…You have done these without the aid of photoshop…new to DSLR world.  This is when I know if anything, you my friend need to pursue this as a living.  YOU ARE THAT GOOD.  I wish I had your eye. 

Mercado V

(Secretly my favorite of the market shots cause the animals and the man are all looking down…love the irony in it…but I am not commenting on these individually) 

Mercado IV

Callecita II

Callecita I

Both of these “Callecita” shots are wonderful…I would have liked a person in one of them to give the human perspective on the size of this alley. 

Andalucian Rincon

Another that color punch benefits…(not so subliminal…Brc must buy Photoshop) 


Flamenco Frills I


Mercado III

Hello…calling National Geographic! 

Mercado II

Fachadas Antiguas

Lovely context provider…but of all the shots my least favorite…yet I think I need this shot to give me the back story or anchor for the rest of the images…albeit the same shot at an off time of day dawn, sunset, evening…would be cool. 

Colorful Shapes

I didn’t play with this…but just a bit of color play and sharpening could be used here…HINT buy photoshop, Brc…and don’t play wth element…go strait to CS3…you have students in the house. 


I love the red flowers…without them this photo would be less interesting 

Top Hat Crossing

Okay…the biggest thing here is the cropping…I know Kelby says you need to crop within camera, yet I feel it is just as okay to recrop as it is to clone out a truck. The edge beyond the yellow wall detracts from the photo for me…so I cropped it a tad…and then while I was at it…punch color and sharpen.


Ceramic Pilars

I love these.  Pea green again.

Hot Chestnut Vendor (I ave to ask are the chestnuts hot or the vendor Brc?)

I like this shot…I would have liked it better from another more complex angle…you crouching looking up…or three quarters around the cart…or the cart off center in the photo. I feel you documented him…I do wonder what you felt about him.

Abstract Greenery

Perfect…print on a large plotter and frame. 

Palm Tree

Fun perspective 

Resting in Park

This shot spoke to me. He is so old world…it is perfect as is…but I couldn’t help but play…forgive me.

brc-sevilla-5a-1-of-1.jpg Color punched

brc-sevilla-5c-1-of-1.jpg Antique style

Fruteria This could live with the Mercado shoot you are doing for NG


One of my favs…just a tiny cropping. and I straightened the imagebrc-sevilla-6-1-of-1.jpg..okay, okay…Punch color and sharpen

Bodega I Send this to NG too…

Oferta de Zapatos – Least favorite shot…you needed a filter to decrease the glare on the window.

Olé anothe NG shot…man I am soooo envious

Door Knocker – This is the same as Amore….I LOVE it…but without context it could have been taken in Paris or Denmark as well as Spain

Colorful Door Love this…would love to see what you could do with it in Photoshop…oh yeah you still have to buy it

No Hotels To The Left great on humor!

AJC Sightseeing – Perfect…print, frame and put it in you gallery show!

Tapas Time II

Tapas Time I – Tapas I and II are lovely…but I do find them a tad bit cold…no sign of the human element…this is why I like the bodega photos better…and why your Marcado photos hit the bullseye…people are in them! but we all know I like people in pictures.

Watering Hole – Same here, I just want one glass emptied with the residue of cervasa half way down…to imply one person was there…orjust one of the stools askew to imply someone just left.

Restaurante del Laurel – Did you eat here? If yes…how was it?

Flamenco Patterns – Ummm yet another NG shot!

Lost In Paradise – I could sooooo see this shot on the back cover of a tour guide book.

Community Bikes

What a great shot…not to sound like a broken record…say it with me now…punch color and sharpen.


 With allof my tweaks to your shots…take it with a grain of salt…and if they look a tad bit fuzzyit is only because I want you to go get Photoshop and do these fixes! 😉


Simply Magnificent!

When you think of it…Brc JUST bought her DSLR…does not own Photoshop…so these all are SOOC…goes to show you…it is the shooter not the equipment that makes the shot!


36 thoughts on “Guest Shutter – The Brc of Sevilla

  1. Yes, what hlantz said!

    Such beautiful colors! Such perfect framing. I love them all except for the dead birds and rabbits. Which is not to say anything against the shot, which is certainly a good slice-of-life type of thing. I just don’t want to look at it.

    Well, it looks like you had a wonderful trip, and I bet you are so happy you invested in that DSLR, brc! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I certainly had fun taking photos there. Technically the sharpness is not what I would like, but I also don’t own a tripod nor did I think toting a tripod around town was very practical.

    As you all look at the photos, I would love to know which, if any, you like the best from a photographic perspective. What did I do right? AND (other than sharpness) what could I have done better? I am very critical (possibly too much so) of my own shots so I would like your input.

    And Shrew… thanks for the very nice post. (and it was definitely the chestnuts NOT the vendor)

  3. What an exciting trip! And you didn’t even tell all of us you were going! That would explain your absence from the blogs for a bit!

    Just going from my gut, without any particular reasons, the photos I liked best are Mercado III, Ceramic Pilars, Bicho (that one just cracked me up!)and Lost in Paradise. I think the reason I chose those is I particularly liked the composition, the color, and the interesting patterns.
    Great job, brc! And what wonderful memories you will have. I can’t imagine what you could have done better – you gave me a real feel of what this place is like.

  4. It’s really, REALLY hard to choose, brc! Abstract greenery is very cool. And I like the patterns in Flamenco and community bikes. Amor is some sort of masterpiece! Honestly, that looks like one of the prints a fancy-pants local portrait photographer around here uses to advertise.

    I really want to go have tapas now!

    Oh, I also like the perspective on the palm tree. Love Mercado I too, but I am not sure if that is for the photo itself or because I want to eat the olives.

    Fachadas Antiguas is beautiful.

    I can’t think of anything to tell you to improve on. It’s all too good!

  5. Not that it really matters all that much, but I meant to say Mercado II rather than III – I like the one with all the colorful, shiny produce!

  6. I wanted to add some context to “AJC sightseeing.” My son got that book for Christmas and he took it EVERYWHERE we went. So we’re all taking in the sights and he’s walking through the streets of Seville reading his book. So I had to capture it in a photo. Hopefully when he’s older he’ll appreciate travel more than he does now.

  7. Holy freaking guacamole, brc! These are exquisite!
    My faves:
    Bodega II: how you gave it some space at the top and followed the columns.
    Callecita I & II: again, the composition and angles…really well done.
    Mercado II: all of the food shots are great but this one really deserves to be in a magazine.
    Tapas Time II: again, your composition. I like how we can see more than one table.
    Tapas Time I: I love the lighting and the chair’s shadow on the orange part of the wall.
    Community Bikes: you did such a good job focusing on that second bike. I often try something similar (with my #$@#%@#! point and shoot) and get the first or last object in focus rather than the one I really wanted.

    What do you mean not sharp enough?? Tu es muy loco!

  8. Okay, first a confession. I saw the photos yesterday. I was simply blown away. And I’m commenting only now because I was literally rendered speechless and unable to articulate anything.

    So today I had some time to compose my thoughts while folding laundry. Let me just say I love them all. No exception. The black window is one of my favorites. Brilliantly positioned, and all that textured white space to the right adds a lot of drama to it.

    Bicho and AJC are genius. (The photos are pretty smart, too. :)) I’d print enlargements and hang them on my wall. And I love how you captured the light in Tapas Time I, Ole, Banco Verde and Lost in Paradise. Your eye for interesting angles is evident in the Callecita photos, Andalucian Rincon, and Fachadas Antiguas.

    I am amazed at the diversity of subjects and the creativity. Brc, that these are all SOOC with no color correction or cropping is a testament to how spot-on your instincts are for framing and composition and finding interesting and extraordinary shots. I am truly, truly in awe.

    MM, I wanna be Brc when I grow up, too.

  9. Ivory I really appreciate your thoughts and am humbled by your feedback.

    In the interest of full disclosure… while I do not own Photoshop, I do have some ability to manipulate photos with iPhoto. There was some cropping and minor fiddling with saturation and white balance on some of the photos. So though a few are SOOC, not all are. But there is certainly no layering or masking or unsharp masking or anything fancy going on (at least not yet):)

  10. Thank you EVERYONE for taking the time to look through and comment on my photos. Your feedback means a lot to me. Now you know why I was so nutso about getting my camera before Christmas (we left on the 26th).

    If you didn’t follow the whole sordid story… after buying a Canon Rebel XTi kit at Costco and experimenting a bit I decided I didn’t like the kit lenses so I returned the whole thing. I then bought the Rebel XTI body, a Tamron 18-200 lens and a Canon 50mm lens from B&H Photo online.

    I love my camera and my lenses had so much fun taking photos in Spain. As you can see there is a lot of great material to work with there. The Tamron lens was IDEAL for travel. It is very small for a lens with such a wide zoom range and gave me a lot of flexibility to get different kinds of shots (it doesn’t do macro very well) without lugging a really long zoom lens around. In terms of the 50mm lens… any of you who don’t have one HAVE to get one. It has a really wide aperture and takes FABULOUS photos with natural light. It creates great bokeh too (okay how many of you remember what bokeh is — it will be on the test).

    Shrew I particularly appreciate your specific feedback on all the photos (and I’m blushing at your confidence in my abilities). I especially value the feedback that tells me how I might have improved… that’s what’s going to help me get to the next level.

    Thanks again to all of you. BTW, I took about 2,000 photos, so I have around 1,960 left to share. That oughta keep us all busy for awhile 🙂

    Once I replenish my mad money fund I need to get a tripod and Photoshop!!

  11. Oh and to answer a few of Shrew’s questions….

    Yes, Bodega II does really capture the mood of Sevilla and its people.

    The Amor shot does not capture the feeling of Spain or Seville (and I agree that it doesn’t really fit in this set of photos), but it very much reflects the whole flavor of our trip which was visiting family vs. sightseeing. Those are the hands of my sister-in-law and my new baby neice.

    I love your editing, sharpening and color enhancement. Can’t wait to get PS.

    On the shoe picture I didn’t know there was a filter that could eliminate reflection!

    I agree with you about the lack of human presence in some of the photos. I love the Tapas Time shots in that they really give the viewer a sense of what Sevilla is like. But I do feel that as is (without people) they look like generic stock photos or postcards. Same with Callecita It’s just that sometimes if there are just random people it looks more like a snapshot than art.

    We have eaten at the Hosteria del Laurel, but not on this trip. This used to be one of my favorite spots in all of Sevilla. Apparently the play Don Juan Tenorio was inspired by this place. However they have exploited this connection for monetary gain and in the past 20 years it has become so touristy and commerial that it has lost much of its charm. It is also REALLY expensive now.

  12. Alright…..
    I have looked at these images four times now. The first time I was just WOWED. Came back hoping to say something that sounded “smart” and still…just wowed. Now I have looked at them all again and again. I am so impressed. I want to hop a plane that will take me and my camera anywhere but here. 🙂
    I think I’m most impressed with the angles you chose in each shot. Even the face-on shot of the cart guy, because in the scheme of the photos it IS a different angle. And you know, not to take anything away from Shrew’s manips, (I think it’s a personal taste sort of thing) but I think I like all the original shots best. I guess I would have to know—for example, the bike shot—did the camera capture the color as it looked? Or did Photoshop bring out the color as it looked?? I like to see things as the eye actually saw it. My frustration all along has been failing to capture things exactly as I see them. Photoshop is WAY fun…don’t get me wrong. But something about these shots are so……………can’t think of the word……….sincere? as they are. Anyway….mind blips are so frustrating!!!
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful images with us brc….Enjoy your gift!

  13. I have now written three impassioned replys…all of which are gobbled up into the great beyond by my SDJ puter…just know it was a terrific rant. I will summarize it:
    1. Even film labs process color
    2. I struggled with this very same thing idea for a long time
    3. All digital photos need processing beyond what iPhoto
    4. I looked dern cute on my soapbox

  14. Whoa whoa whoa….sorry I made you climb all the way up onto that soapbox!! 😉
    Let me explain in case my comments were misconstrued. I am all for Photoshop. I’m all for processing. I’m all for playing with and manipulating photos. Although I couldn’t quite afford the real thing, I’m having a ball playing with Elements…my manuals are already getting dog-eared! However, for THIS set of photos in particular, I preferred them SOOC. That isn’t to say I prefer ALL photos SOOC…but these were something else. Kinda like eating cheesecake at Christmas?? Your first slice you have plain and it’s OOOOHHHH so good, that you decide to go back for another, but this time you want to make it a bit better, so you put strawberry sauce on top….but then you wish you didn’t because you enjoyed the first piece you had more?? That’s not to say the strawberry cheesecake wasn’t wonderful….but there was just something about that first piece that hit the spot….that’s how I feel about brc’s photos….they hit the spot. Does that make sense? (Leave it to me to use a food analogy!)
    Sorry if I hit a nerve Shrew! But you did look awfully cute on that soapbox… 😉
    Reminds me of a line from one of our favorite movies….
    “Sorry fine sir, I meant no offense!”
    I guess I should stick to doing dishes and changing diapers….I stay out of trouble that way! lol

  15. Haha! First of all, let me thank Shrew for so aptly describing what I felt. “Pea green with envy” sums it up nicely. At first viewing, I was like, “Whoa! Good grief, woman, way to show all of us up!” Then I spent the next few hours wondering why my years of experience in photography can’t get me a small batch of photos of this caliber after every overseas trip. Then, I got a hold of myself and my lonely ego and thought, “Hey, at least when Brc’s a world-famous photographer, I can always say I knew her when!” Then that made me feel better. A little bit. But I was still awfully jellis of her shots.

    Now that I’ve reclaimed my sanity, I just want to second what Shrew said. Brc, you’ve got to seriously think about sending some of these to National Geographic or Lonely Planet or anywhere else that appreciates great photos like these. You are as close to a natural talent as I’ve seen. No myth there.

    Last, but not least, I think Shrew would look cute anywhere. (Does kissing up to the hostess earn me any extra points, or at least somehow make up for my recent absence online?)

  16. KD don’t you dare stop…this is a fantastic discussion!!!!

    I just see what I tried to explain to my local printing guy and Apple (when I printed a mini stupid portfolio) as a slight dingy tone or gray haze to the images…after taking Kelby’s workshop, I now know it is the look unprocessed photos have.

    I can only imagine if brc garners mad photoshop skillz that not only will I envy her, but I will want to be her,because she will be traveling the world with the likes of Rick Sammon!!! The point I was making is that she is ready for the next step.

    As to cheesecake…I guess why have the unfinished plain as your first piece, when you know that the strawberry (although I prefer cherry topped) is absolute perfection?

    IvoryHut my ol’ pal…I KNOW brc just killed me with these…imagine what she deemed “not worthy to post”? I would kill to have your rejects brc!

    And IvoryHut kissing up always works here!

  17. Shrew and Ivory I appreciate the accolades, but if you think my travel photos are any better than yours you are mistaken. It is precisely your travel photos (and non-travel photos) that inspired me while shooting on this trip… Paris, NOLA, Trinidad, Phillipines!!

    I hope we do get to all meet up in Newport because it would be really fun to shoot with you and compare notes.

  18. If we do meet up in Newport, I think I will have to “accidentally forget” my camera, so as not to be extremely embarrassed while shooting photos with the likes of you all!! lol
    Anyway…to process or not to process….that is the question. I believe that the rendering of art with processing is almost another leg to the whole photography field. It takes talent to see a photo, have a vision of what it could be, and then create it.
    It’s another talent altogether to make the camera see what the eye sees. Remember my comment above about the bikes?? Was the actual color closer to the original photo’s color, or did the processing bring out the actual color? If so, then I think it was a great use of processing to help the photo along some. However, if the original was closer to the actual color, then you’ve made a photo that may be more exciting to the eye, but not as authentic. I guess knowing when to process depends upon what your goal is with each individual photo. If the goal is to authentically represent a vision, then processing can be used to more closely simulate what the eye saw. However, if the goal is to create a more perfect version of what the eye saw, then processing can help create that vision. And then there’s the whole can o’ Photoshop shots…those are just plain fun. 🙂
    I certainly don’t think the question should be one of ethics….I think it’s a matter of taste and purpose.
    Have a great trip Shrewbie!!

  19. Karen, I completely see what you’re saying. Personally, I kinda was leaning more towards Brc’s SOOC shots myself. I think it’s because in my mind, I associate Europe with more subdued colors, almost suggesting the vast weight of history that exists there. I think that’s also why a lot of Europe photos work well in balck and white or sepia. It agrees with the mind’s preset notion of just how old those countries are. And that’s probably why you and I feel that Brc’s SOOC shots are more … authentic and sincere.

    For example, let’s take that Callecita II photo. I see that, and immediately I think Europe, not just because of the structure but also because of the color. If that were, say, the Caribbean, then I might prefer it with more color punch. I guess somewhere in there is the need to reconcile what the mind expects and what the eye actually sees.

    For the macro/abstract photos, my first thought also was to sharpen and make the colors more vivid. Because those are more art photos, not really suggesting a place or time.

    Anyway. Those were my thoughts. Mind you, I haven’t had breakfast yet, so they may change after I’ve ingested some calories.

  20. Oh, and I almost forgot to add that Shrew did say that Brc had to submit these “AS IS” to National Geographic.

    Had to get more kissing-up-to-the-hostess in there. 🙂

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