A Photographer Back Home

Once you’ve spent a long time traveling far away from home taking thousands of images in the way as I did during my 18-month journey through Asia, finding what to photograph back home is not easy. When far away everything is exotic. From the landscapes, to people and architecture, all catch your eyes’ attention and all you want to do is to shoot non-stop. But when you go back home familiarity is a photographer’s worst enemy. It might take some time to change your mindset and start looking around your familiar surroundings with a different eye.

Forcing yourself to shoot is one of the best ways to transition your eye out of the compulsive exotic search I was used to. I did just that one afternoon back in San Sebastian (Spain), my hometown. San Sebastian has become lately a popular tourist destination not only for its beautiful architecture and surroundings but also for its delicious food. The city claims to be the place in the world with more Michelin stars per inhabitant. As it has been photographed from all angles, particularly its seafront, I got out with no other intention than to capture the city’s atmosphere by the seaside, trying to communicate with images what a stroll around my city might bring you on a sunny winter afternoon.

 (Carlos Peñalba)

La Zurriola beach was almost empty and the low tide was perfect for dog walking.

Boat in harbor in San Sebastian (Spain) (Carlos Peñalba)

The sun started to go down early casting a beautiful light all around the city.

Young woman sat on balaustrade in San Sebastian (Spain) (Carlos Peñalba)

Boats in San Sebastian harbor (Spain) (Carlos Peñalba)

Man paddleboarding in La Concha beach in San Sebastian (Spain) (Carlos Peñalba)

Later on while editing this silhouette I decided to play a bit with color temperature and gave this guy with his dog a colder and more menacing look.

Silhouette of man and his dog sat on balaustrade in San Sebastian (Spain) (Carlos Peñalba)

The balustrade around La Concha beach is one of the most characteristics features of San Sebastian. This year marks the 100 anniversary since its inauguration by King Alfonso XII in 1916.

La Concha balaustrade at dusk in San Sebastian (Spain) (Carlos Peñalba)

The dock by the Nautico Club is the perfect place for a romantic sunset.

Young couple kissing on La Concha beach pier in San Sebastian (Spain) (Carlos Peñalba)

Apart from that afternoon, I haven’t taken many pictures of my hometown other than the ones I take with my iPhone for Instagram. One day I must go back to San Sebastian and this time dedicate it a bit more time to do personal reportage of my view of the city. Distance is a great way of learning how to look back at your origins in a different way. It’s a project I hope to make it happen soon.

Here’s a selection of my best Instagram images of San Sebastian:

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