Saturday, 24 April 2010


Can you take street photographs in an African town, Accra, Ghana’s capital, as if you were in Barcelona? I apply the same technique: I like to photograph close, using a wide angle (remember what Robert Capa said), a 28mm. Clearly there is a big difference than in Barcelona: I am a white man with a camera in a town with little tourism and I don’t go unnoticed. Sometimes I can take the picture without them noticing me, or it is what it seems, and sometimes I have to argue with the people I just photographed-fortunately Ghana is a former British colony and almost everyone speaks English-; and in some occasions I stage the photo. Yes, I stage the photo. Here's the story of these 3 images


I’m taking photos in this place where collective taxis and vans stop. I like these images in which there are many people doing many things at once. Have you seen it? There are 5 people with their arms bent upward at almost the same position. After a few shots, the man in red besides the white van yells to me in one of the Ghana’s dialects. It seems very angry. What is he saying? -I ask the man dressed as a Barça player, which I have explained before that I'm from Barcelona and we have spoken about Eto and Touré Yaya. He laughs and replies me: He’s saying you can’t take pictures, which is forbidden. Finally the blood does not reach the water.


Obama was going to visit Ghana soon and I needed a picture to explain it. I see his painting from the car and ask the driver to stop for a moment. A group of journalist travel with me in the vehicle that is taking us to the hotel for lunch, so I do not have much time. It is noon and the heat intense. The seller, of course, is sitting in the shade. I approach and ask him if he can get out and move ahead besides the painting to make the photo more interesting. He doesn’t speak English and does not understand me. I smile and take him by the arm to the Obama's portrait. He stands up but stays planted in front of the painting. No, No! Like this! And I march along the painting a couple of times to show him. He understands me now and does it but keeps on staring me. But just in this photo someone tells him something and he gets distracted. Click


I see these armchairs next to the workshop of Eric’s coffins. But no one is sitting there. I ask Patricia, a Coca-Cola’s employee in Ghana that helps us, if she would like to pose for me. She agrees and asks permission to the armchairs’ owner. I see her frown. What’s going on?-I ask her. He wants money- she tells me. My rule is NEVER pay to take pictures. Patricia returns to discuss again and convince him. Clic!

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