January 13, 2019 • Leave a Comment
I travel to southern Spain every year to visit family near the city of Almería. It is a pretty area, squeezed between the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean Sea. It is close to landscapes and little hamlets that have not changed much since the turn of the twentieth century, but that are sadly being encroached upon by industrial agriculture, in the guise of an ever expanding sea of plastic greenhouses. But there are still places where one can spend a quiet afternoon strolling about and trying to capture the essence of an age gone by.
La Fabriquilla is one of those places, located close to the southernmost tip of Cabo de Gata. It is mostly known to tourists from elsewhere in Europe as a remote and solitary beach, with perfect sunsets and plenty of room to park your camper van. But the area also contains the remains of what used to be a salt mining operation, sometime during the twentieth century. Located across the main road from the beach, it consists of a few derelict buildings, a nineteenth century church and some scattered fishing skiffs in various stages of decay. It is a place that, at first glance, has no particular attraction. But this impression changes if one arrives late in a windy winter afternoon. As the sun goes down over the Mediterranean it bathes the old buildings and boats in golden light and the place comes alive with colors, shapes, details and shadows. It is a transformation, from a mundane scene to a wonderland of light, that I have witnessed in many other places as well. Suddenly there are so many compositions to work on that the light disappears too quickly. This gallery is but a small sample of what one evening at La Fabriquilla had to offer.
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Photos, commentary and opinions by Alberto Patiño Douce