One of Barcelona’s biggest attractions is the Magic Fountain (Font Màgica) below the Palau Nacional at the start of Vinguda Reina Maria Cristina. Built in 1929 for the International Exhibition, the fountain offers a spectacular display of water acrobatics that is synchronized with music and lights which generate over 50 kinds of shades and hues. The water beams create a magic dance which unfolds before the eyes of a usually quite big crowd. For more photos and explanations how I approached this colorful night time shooting continue reading after the jump….
For photographers the spectacular light show, that takes place almost year round each evening after nightfall, offers great opportunities to capture atmospheric and colorful night time images. It is bright enough that you can get away with handheld shots, as my photos demonstrate. As camera I used my Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the mZuiko 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 Travel Zoom. Due to the crowd setting up a tripod would be quite difficult, especially as you have to move around to make the most of this experience.
While with shutter speeds of 1/50 sec you still see lots of texture in the water beams, reducing it to 1/20 sec already blurs the water significantly more.
While shooting around the fountain I dialed in a fixed ISO of 1600 and set the camera to P mode, resulting in most images having an f-stop of around f/5.4 and a shutter speed of between 1/15 sec and 1/50 sec. Zooming in typically reduces the shutter speed as less light hits the sensor when shooting with longer focal lengths, as opposed to when shooting with a wide angle focal length.
In the photo below I further reduced the shutter speed to 1/15 sec to blur the red water beams and create that dreamy look.
So next time you visit Barcelona make sure you bring your camera and go visit the spectacular water and light show at the Magic Fountain.
Have a great Friday!