Catalan photographer Neburruben has been capturing life on the streets of his native Barcelona since 2011. Inspired by the work of street photographers such as Vivian Meier, Saul Leiter and Fred Herzog, Neburruben offers a glimpse behind the scenes of one of Europe’s most popular cities.
CT: Hi Ruben. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what’s your background and how did you get started as a photographer?
My first contact with the world of photography was back in 2011 when I bought my first reflex camera. That same year I took a basic photography course and since then everything I’ve learnt I’ve taught myself. I also started my Instagram that same year and it’s very much thanks to this that my passion for photography is still alive today.
CT: Why did you start to photograph Barcelona?
Barcelona is a perfect city for street photography. Taking pictures in such a large city allows you to blend into the crowd and capture ephemeral moments without being noticed. A camera goes completely unnoticed in a city as touristic as Barcelona.
CT: What makes Barcelona so special in your opinion?
The great atmosphere that reigns in its streets, in its outdoor terraces, its great weather and all the amazing attractions. I think its a very modern, happy city. For these reasons and many more it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most visited cities in Europe.
CT: What’s one of the most beautiful or surprising things you have photographed in Barcelona?
On the edge of the city there are a number of hills from which you can enjoy stunning views of the whole city. The best viewpoint is without a doubt the Carmel Bunkers, an old Civil War era anti-aircraft battery located on the top of a hill. These days it serves as a public viewpoint offering 360º views of the city and although it’s open 24 hours a day, the best time to visit is at sunset. Taking in the Barcelona skyline with the Mediterranean in the background during the ‘golden hour’ is a true privilege for any photography lover.
CT: How would you describe your role as a photographer? What do you try to capture in your photos?
With photography I try to capture decisive moments that will never happen again. A movement, a detail or a place that seems interesting to me but that always includes a human element too to give life to the image. In so doing I tell stories of daily life.
CT: What’s your favourite place and time of day to photograph Barcelona? Any tips for people who want to photograph the city?
My favourite place in the city – and where I spend most time with my camera – is the Gothic Quarter and the Born. In my opinion these are the most enchanting areas in the city. There you can easily stroll around without worrying about traffic. And of course, the narrows streets, facades and monuments are all very photogenic.
Given that Barcelona is such a touristic city, I find that first thing in the morning is the best time to take photos, although dusk is when you can really capture the vibrancy and positive energy of the city. The streets take on a certain air of mystery at night time.
My tip for anyone visiting the city and wanting to take photos is to really seek out the lesser well-known locations, the places that aren’t in all the guide books and that are real hidden gems. Barcelona is full of these kinds of hidden spots.