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Photography by Michael Critchley

A collection of abstract shapes and textures


Dedicated to my wonderful wife Francine, who listens and encourages and is always there to keep me focused! What would I do without her?

SPANISH WALLS The design and photography in this book are Copyright Š2013 by the author Michael Critchley. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any mechanical or electronic means without written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Photography: Michael Critchley Design/Text: Michael Critchley


Photography by Michael Critchley

spanish

walls

A collection of abstract shapes and textures Shot on a two week holiday in Spain, this book is about my favourite photographic subject – abstractions and impressions of my surroundings. As you browse through the pages you will notice many parts of buildings or objects but not the whole object. The pieces that make the building are far more important to me than just a photographic record of it. These pieces are my ‘abstractions’, I liken them to abstract art where shape, colour, texture and spatial relationships play together to form the image and take the viewer on a journey to all four edges – the composition is the organised sum of the interior functions of every part of the work. The ‘art’ is in seeing.


San Juan de los Terreros As of 2013, this small section of a new holidayhome development – the most colourful by far in the area – is finished yet empty. The whole area is fenced off and patrolled by a security company. One can only wonder why? Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ16


San Juan de los Terreros It’s sad that people have to deface a clean surface. But it is art and self-expression. Isn’t it? Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ9


Gold, Cream and Grey – Denia Typical rich colours and textures seen on the walls of Spanish homes. I like the gold rectangle on the LH side and the patch of orange-red under the top ‘ripped’ cream-coloured render. A pleasant arrangement of colours and texture. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/400 @ ƒ7.1


Ronda de les Muralles – Denia The dark camouflage-green wall accentuates the shaped brick window frame surrounding the security bars for a window that doesn’t let light in. I love the painted metal grid and ceramic name. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/1600 @ ƒ7.1


Green Door – Vera A composition of halves. The white areas in the top half deteriorate from left to right and run into the rough-stone ochre-coloured bottom half. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ6.3


A half-hearted ‘Christo’ – Mojacar Striking angles and contrasting textures of blues and whites. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/640 @ ƒ11


Blue Alcove – Villaricos The blue alcove in this roofless ruined chapel contrast against the white walls and shadows. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ5.6


Street Signs – Denia The shadows of a street sign echo the shapes of the painted sea in the coastal town of Denia. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/800 @ ƒ8


‘The Saint’ – Denia Empty plant pot holder and shadow. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/2500 @ ƒ7.1


Yellow and Grey – Mojacar A simple composition of grey tones, white stripe and yellow curves. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/1600 @ ƒ8


Converging Triangles – Mojacar An interesting composition of varying grey triangles. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/500 @ ƒ11


Grey Composition – Pozo del Esparto A composition of simple geometric shapes and shadows and smooth concrete render. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/800 @ ƒ10


Watched – Pozo del Esparto Subtle tones, simple geometric shapes and shadows create this composition. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/800 @ ƒ10


Tin Boxes – Mojacar Grey telecommunications and power boxes and flat areas of white create this composition. I like the intrusion of the plant and irregular shadow into the grid-like structure. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ11


Bands of Colour – San Juan de los Terreros Coloured walls with windows are separated by bands of coloured shadow. Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ8


Street Light – Pozo del Esparto A flat composition of top, center and bottom has depth added by the position and shadow of the street light. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/1250 @ ƒ10


Repress the Light – Garrucha The shuttered and covered windows area separates the two large angular shapes accentuated by the blue sky. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/640 @ ƒ10


Three Black Windows – Mojacar A composition of vertical quarters. One quarter landscape and three quarter’s white wall. I like the way the angular white wall with three black windows dominates and blocks out the receding landscape behind. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/400 @ ƒ11


A Lost Home – Garrucha Strong textures and white paint are all that remain of a past existence. Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1600 @ ƒ9


Sliding Window – Garrucha My favourite composition. Sunshine reflects into a passageway while the rest of the building stands in the subtle colour of shade. The lines, bottom and left, draw the eye in to the window area, out to the right and up to the top through the sunlight. All four sides are connected with interesting areas of colour and texture. Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ8


Nude Palm – Garrucha Windows through empty window frames. Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1600 @ ƒ9


Bondage Palm – Garrucha Natural sculpture in front of a coloured wall. Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ4


Braided Palm – San Juan de los Terreros Natural sculpture against strong colours and geometric shapes. Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1600 @ ƒ13


Square Window – San Juan de los Terreros An arrangement of simple objects and areas. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 125 1/800 @ ƒ11


Black Fence – San Juan de los Terreros Straight lines and areas. I was surprised to find a strong black fence surrounding this property. Quite strange for the region but very dramatic. Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 400 1/400 @ ƒ11


Shadows – San Juan de los Terreros Strong shadows change direction throughout the day. Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ7.1


Graffiti – Denia ‘Creative Vandalism’ has its place, as here on a derelict site I have no objections to it, but in the middle of towns i.e public places, when you can’t turn a corner without seeing every conceivable space scrawled upon by mindless idiots with nothing better to do, I can get really angry. Spain is full of Graffiti. I couldn’t believe how much there is. In my opinion local government is too soft on this form of vandalism! Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/800 @ ƒ4.5


Splat! – San Juan de los Terreros Political statement or vandalism? Objections to too much commercialism in the property market, where all this property is made available to foreign investment and left empty for ten months of the year, or just plain hooliganism. Either way – interesting shapes and patterns! Canon EOS 7D EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM ISO 200 1/1000 @ ƒ7.1


Blue Door – Mojacar What a great door in a white wall. Who needs right-angles when you do-it-yourself? The top right section of the door with the keyhole seems to have been added at a later stage and upside down! Canon EOS 7D EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ISO 200 1/250 @ ƒ11


Spanish Walls The photographs in this book are an attempt to form a link between photography and abstract art. They are not emotionally inspired from the depths of my soul, but pure observations of the environment surrounding me. Having lived within the influence of an arty family certainly helps, but once you are aware of certain design principles, the world is full of visual excitement which doesn’t have to follow the ‘Rule of Thirds’. The art is in seeing. I hope you enjoy this book and are inspired to look at things differently. Michael Critchley “I love the complicated logic of a perfect composition. It is not just the shapes and lines that make one travel through a painting. It’s the placement of the strongest colours, the sharpest lines, and the dominant shapes.” (A quote from the artist Kathryn Stats)


Spanish Walls