The Fisherman of Barcelona
Dressed like a tourist to blend in, Josep Fàbrega Agea hides in the shadows of the medieval streets of Barcelona, waiting for the perfect shot.
A retired teacher and psychologist, Fàbrega now spends much of his time photographing the city he loves. Although he does most of his street photography in the crowded, touristy section of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, Fàbrega's haunting images feel timeless, mysterious, and often deeply lonely.
“The first thing I look for is the contrast between light and shadow," he says. "Once I have the contrast, I look for the scene. In the scene I look for the side walls, the background, and the character. If I combine the three, it’s perfection.” He calls the people that appear in his images "characters" because they become the star of his fictional stories.
Fàbrega explains that there are two kinds of street photographers: hunters and fishermen. The hunter is in pursuit of the shot, whereas the fisherman stays in one location and waits for the perfect image to appear. Fàbrega makes his best work while fishing.
The crumbling walls, narrow winding streets, and tall buildings in the medieval section of town, combined with the crisp Mediterranean light, create unique diagonal light and deep shadows and detail—the perfect conditions to fish. Before he sets out, Fàbrega considers the time of day, since the sun's position is key to achieving his desired effect.
“I am in love with Barcelona: its light, its people,” Fàbrega says. “The city is like a living being that grows and transforms. I’ve followed the evolution of this city as if it were a child.”
When editing in Adobe Lightroom, Fàbrega enhances what he's captured by adjusting the high-contrast shadows and highlights. Follow along in this tutorial.
Fàbrega's love of the city and its people are evident in his images. It’s clear that Barcelona itself, not just its inhabitants, is a primary character in his photographs.
Executive Creative Director, Dan Cowles
Executive Producer, Summer Wilson
Director of Photography, Colin McAuliffe, 01 Productions
Producer, Clark Todd, 01 Productions
Assistant Camera, Dean Snodgrass
Production Manager/ Fixer, Laura Vidiella
PA/ Driver , Dani Galvan
Sound Technician, Diego Casares
Editor, Craig Beridon
Colorist, Ibon Olaskoaga