Merce, Barcelona

This is one of my own personal favourite photos.
Its back a few years from Barcelona where they have some great festivals and scant regard for health and safety. Its part of the Merce festival when they dress up as diablos (devils) and have a fireworks display. The odd things as opposed to shooting the fireworks into they air they kinda hang onto them on sticks above their heads. At this point when the photo was taken I’d be following them a while and knew I hadn’t gotten what I was going to be happy with yet. The group all bunched in together and they lit the mass of incendiaries together, before breaking out and hopping like loons across the streets – madness, utter madness.
So you kinda had to wrap yourself up in whatever was to hand so that sparks didn’t fall down around your neck, back or hair. Retaining eyesight was also another pre-occupation – Tiga’s sunglasses at night worked for that.
Most bizarrely, or obviously if you think about it, I managed to damage some equipment. I’ve never heard of this particular damage anywhere and I’d like to believe I’d be part of a select few fools who have experienced it. I managed to burn the UV filter on the lens. A spark hit the filter and was so hot and raw that it burnt the coating/glass.
Glad it didn’t hit me.
This was definitely one of those time where you had to stand a little closer to get that shot. Technically really challenging too, there’s +8 stops of light in less than a second, and back down again. Nothing stays the same and people hopping everywhere. Plus you kinda have to keep an eye out for your own safety.
This was a different kind of fire fight.