Almost every large city has a place where the paths of people coming from all over cross. David Salcedo’s photographs speak of comings and goings, of time spent lingering, and of how an eight-pointed star became the epicentre of a city.

What is Ocho Puntas and what does it mean for your project?
Eight points refers to the star that dominates the centre of Plaza Cataluña in Barcelona. The star is a reference to the goddess Istar; and in the square there are also a large number of mythological references, such as Herboles, Mercury, Athena, etc.

What makes this place special and what did you want to convey with your photos?
This place is special for several reasons, since it is not only the centre of Barcelona, but also the region of Catalonia. It’s also where a large number of visitors and workers pass through every day. Furthermore, it’s a border between the upper and newer part of the city, and the older neighbourhoods. In the Middle Ages, it was the main entrance portal to Barcelona, and certain punishments were carried out there: something of that remains in the harsh, roughness of the space.

To what extent is this place typical of Barcelona/Catalonia/Spain?
I don’t think it’s typical: it’s more like a place you have to go through even if you don’t like it, to get from one place to another in Barcelona; and, if you can, you avoid it. I believe that all cities in the world have a place with these characteristics.

How do you look for reasons to take a picture?
I don’t know, because when I’m shooting I go into a kind of trance in which I let myself be carried away by intuition. It’s when I choose which photograph to work on and when I set up a narrative, that I end up defining the motifs. This moment is very important for me, because it’s where I also define myself.

What fascinates you about city and street photography? Where did the idea for this project come from?
What fascinates me the most about street photography is how accessible it is, and the trance state I enter into. I’m always working on projects. I think I do it to better channel all the energy that arises when I photograph, and to be able to better communicate ideas and themes.

Although it’s a street photography series, it appears very composed rather than spontaneous. What was your photographic approach? What did you pay special attention to?
All the photographs I take are candid. It’s true that I have a habit of choosing certain backgrounds for a photograph, and few elements for its composition. In this work I paid attention so that the blacks in the photographs give a sensation of being velvety.

You often show excerpts and sections of people and objects. Do you see the part as an idea of the whole – as a possibility of narration?
The photographs have to work for me both together and individually. I use these cuts to further emphasize the viewer’s feeling of being inside the image; in addition to accentuating the mystery and strangeness.

What does geometry in photography mean to you?
It is one more tool – not the only one – to create images and build narratives.

How important is it for you to work with light? What can the light say?
For me it’s very important and almost vital to work, both in colour and in black and white, with the harsh light that we have during the Mediterranean summer. I know that this light is not well understood or appreciated in other places, but if I want to explain certain idiosyncrasies and metaphysics, I cannot do it with any other type of light.

How did the Leica Q2 work for your project? What experiences did you have and what challenges did you face?
I developed Ocho Puntas thanks to Leica Iberia asking me to work with the Leica Q2 for a year. The truth is that I came from using another brand, but I didn’t have to face any challenge: from the first moment, I got used to it without any kind of difficulty.

What do you see as the beauty of a city?
Apart from photography, what I like most are history, mythology, symbology, anthropology of beliefs and the traditions rooted in a place. I believe these concepts are what give personality and character to cities.

David Salcedo is a Spanish photographer. His documentary eye captures motifs around him that often speak of human existence in general. His pictures have been exhibited in Spain, parts of Europe and America. Among others, he was the winner of New Talent Fnac 2015 and the Andalusian Photography Centre’s Proyecta 2016. Salcedo has published two books and four fanzines. Find out more about his work on his website and Instagram page.

Leica Q

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