In March, 10 members of Sony's Alpha Imaging Collective ventured to the south of Spain to capture Andalusia's stunning vistas, winding streets, vibrant culture and staggering architecture. Here are seven of the region's not-to-be-missed places to see and photograph:
Plaza de España
This magnificent public plaza built for the 1929 World's Fair in Seville primarily houses Spanish government offices. Its unique mix of Art Deco and Neo-Mudéjar architecture and rich reddish-brown color make it a popular filming location that has been featured in films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. A series of bridges allow pedestrians, carriages and vehicles to pass over the small moat crossing in front of the Plaza de España, adding to its enigmatic charm.
Hilltops of Granada
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada is not only home to the world famous Alhambra, but is also a city of stunning vistas. The steep hills of Granada provide idea perches for photographers and filmmakers to capture gorgeous, textured scenes of this charming Spanish city surrounded by the majestic snowcapped mountain range. Tip: Hotel Alhambra Palace has a covered terrace that provides an unobstructed panoramic view of the city and Sierra Nevada that's perfect for those looking to capture a stunning sunset.
Watching the sunlight colors reflect on the snow kissed tops of the Sierra Nevada mountains was a real treat. As the colors started to fade the village of Granada began to illuminate. This image is a composite of two photos taken twenty minutes apart bringing together the blue hour color and nighttime lights. Shot on A7RIII w/ the 100-400mm at 177mm f4 with a 4 sec and 15 sec exposure. #AICdoesSpain @sonyalpha
The Alcázar of Seville dates back to the 10th century but the expansive gardens and Moorish architecture have made it a photography and filming hotspot for decades (more recently featured as a shooting location for Game of Thrones). Its endless labyrinth of topiaries and tunnels decorated with wall mosaics composed of thousands of colorful tiles make it an interesting and textured subject for shooting both indoors and outdoors.
This image took one four-hundredth of a second to capture, about thirty seconds to frame, and maybe a half hour to edit. That’s the beauty of photography, the ability to capture a moment, immediately. But I’d be lying if it didn’t feel cheap at times. Here’s what I mean... — As I stood in such an awe-inspiring, almost sacred space, the breadth and effort and meticulous attention to detail was almost overwhelming. I find so much inspiration in that because it speaks to the sheer time and effort it took to bring that vision to life. Someone created that space on top of an empty piece of dirt, after years and years of unwavering dedication to a vision. — THAT is inspiring to me. I want that type of unwavering dedication. I want to create something that takes years to finish, despite the fluctuations of trends or my own fickle creativity. So next time you think, “no one makes it like this anymore,” take it as a challenge to be the one that does. #AICdoesSpain #alphacollective
Barrio Santa Cruz
Barrio (the Spanish word meaning "neighborhood") Santa Cruz provides photographers and filmmakers the opportunity to step into a living postcard of historic Seville. The district's narrow alleyways and gorgeous old world buildings that spill into a series of quaint and bustling plazas make for a street photographer's dream. Regardless of the weather, these streets, lined with patios below and balconies above and connected with cobblestones, creates endless dreamlike scenes that capture the relaxed but vibrant culture that pulses through the heart of Seville.
Discovering a new city is much like falling in love. Sevilla can only be described as friendly, open, and lovable – a hidden gem! I can’t wait to see what the next couple of days have in store for us. Having the best of times with the @sonyalpha crew. #AICdoesSpain —— a7R III 24-70 2.8 1/200 sec ISO 250 #sonyalpha #alphacollective
Also known as Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, Seville Cathedral sits adjacent to the Alcázar complex and its colossal size and remarkable gothic architecture command the attention of both those outsides its doors and inside its hallowed interior. Completed in the 16th century and occupying approximately 23,500 square feet, the cathedral is a standing work of three-dimensional art in addition to a sacred home of a thriving church community. Tip: For a series of special vantage points and behind the scenes trivia, take the rooftop tour offered by the cathedral staff in a variety of languages including english. Warning: the tour includes tight spiral staircases that could make a figure skater dizzy.
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This opulent citadel has served as a headquarters and fortress for several eras of ruling religious occupants. Another example of Islamic and moorish architecture within the Iberian Peninsula, the grand courtyards, complex of palace buildings and vast gardens can occupy anybody's lens for hours on end. The intricacies of the ornate details that cover every square inch of this hilltop fortress are just as marvelous as the whole medieval palace.
Metropol Parasol ("Las Setas")
This wooden sculpture built is a symbol of modern art in the old world town of Seville. Taking six years to complete construction, Metropol Parasol was finally finished in 2011 and is affectionately known as "Las Setas de la Encarnación" or simply, "Las Setas" which means "mushrooms" in Spanish. Its mushroom-like aesthetic towers over a plaza in the city and has an elevator that takes visitors up to a promenade that snakes across the top of the entire structure – offering panoramic views of the city and a different vantage point of the structure itself.