• Eillie Anzilotti: Ten Days in Spain

    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

    Red Square

    Posted on March 14, 2013 by Eillie Anzilotti

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    There is a difference between traveling and sightseeing. When sightseeing, the images are laid out for you, predestined. You find what was in the photograph from the guidebook, enlarged and dimensional, and take a picture to prove that you, too, were there. You voyage through cities as you would a grocery store, grabbing the essentials, making note of bargains, and trying to proceed in as orderly a manner as possible, with no time wasted.

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    Travel is the reverse. You let the city guide you, discovering streets and views and people because they look interesting, not because another source tells you they are. You let yourself get lost, and maybe you miss a cathedral or two but you find something you feel no one else might notice. 

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    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

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    I spent ten days in Spain, traveling. I started and ended in Barcelona, looping through Bilbao and Madrid in between. When photographing, I attempted to capture what I found to be the character of the cities, not so much their claims to fame. 

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    In Bilbao, geometric modern architecture sprung up amid much older buildings, creating a dynamic that, while startling, defined the city and made for an intriguing mix of past and present. The past lived large in Bilbao; a street performer strummed traditional melodies on an African instrument, and during Carnival, while I was there, revelers of all ages took to the streets in antique costumes and danced in the city’s squares.

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    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

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    And in Barcelona, a family band pumped almost Cajun-sounding music through the streets, testifying to the city’s energy and multiculturalism. Barcelona, though, while known for its offbeat skater culture and the small, winding streets of the Gothic quarter, is nevertheless a stately place, impressive in scale and bordered by the Pyrenees. I tried to capture both aspects in my photographs. 

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    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

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    Traveling with a camera necessitates keeping your eyes open to what you are seeing, not just to what you think you should be seeing. It may not be the grand sights and famous places that have the most resonance, in the end, but the quiet moments that remind you where you truly are.

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    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

    Photo: Eillie Anzilotti

    Red Square

    About The Author: Eillie Anzilotti is a senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania. Class of 2013.