Roofs and Ruins


Lover’s Leap. The sleeping giant of La Peña de los Enamorados rises above the rooftops of Antequera, Andalucía, Spain.

As alluded to in the previous post of this series, this post covers part two of the fourth photography day of my recent trip to Andalucía, Spain—a day devoted to road tripping from Órgiva in the east to Ronda in the west, with plenty of quick photography stops along the way.

Our last stop before arriving in Ronda was Antequera, a beautiful little city that deserves more time than it got. We went to a nice overlook where we could see over the rooftops to the hills and mountains beyond, as in the photo above. Unfortunately, the light and sky weren’t the best, so the images probably need some careful work before they get printed. As it is, warming up the buildings tends to kill what little blue is in the sky, which seems to have a lot of smoke or smog in it; but warming up just the buildings and not the sky just looks wrong. The color is the problem. Flexing to black & white is the obvious answer, but I have not deliberately converted a photograph to black & white in well over a decade. Personally, I stick to color because I find it jarring to have a mix of black & white and color photographs in the same book or on the same website or on the same wall. I find them to be just too different, much like putting a book together that is half photographs and half watercolors—it just doesn’t work for me. Color and black & white photography also feel like separate pursuits, even if related, like drawing and painting. Regardless, I will confess to taking a quick peek in Lightroom and do admit that all the problems go away when you remove the color. In fact, the tower on the left side stands out very nicely. This confirms in my mind that the only real issue with the image is the color and that should be redeemable, but it might not be easy. As part of my research for this blog, I discovered that the mountain in the background is named La Peña de los Enamorados for the Romeo-and-Juliet-esque legend of two lovers leaping off the rock hand-in-hand rather than be separated…time will tell whether I follow their example and die on this particular hill.

Parallel Parking. A long row of cars points towards the keep of the Alcazaba de Antequera, Andalucía, Spain.

A short walk from the previous spot was a nice tighter view of the castle. I like the row of colorful cars which stand out so strongly against the otherwise white-and-clay-tile color palette and point to the castle tower. Since everything in this image is relatively close, it avoids the smoggy color problems in the distance that handicapped the previous image.

Our other stop earlier in the day was the village of Alhama de Granada. This was one of those villages that definitely had what I would call a “lived-in” look that I find to be lots of fun to photograph:

Selective Maintenance. Modern drainpipes and cables contrast with badly-weathered walls and a collapsing roof in Alhama de Granada, Andalucía, Spain.

There was also a nice derelict flour mill in the gorge next to the town that would have been nice to explore up close, but the overlooking view was pretty, if not particularly original:

Gluten Free. The old flour mill lies in ruins in the gorge below the town of Alhama de Granada, Andalucía, Spain.

As is often the case, my wishes for this part of the journey would have been for more time and better light (and a bigger van!) but it was a lot of fun and I ended up with images that I am happy with.

Technical notes. The photographs in this post were taken with a Nikon Z7 and a Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S. All were processed from RAW in Adobe Lightroom Classic.

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