<<< o >>>Barcelona #3 22 comments + add yours

This was taken in Las Ramblas (Barcelona), a 1.2km promenade running through the centre of the city. As for the subject matter: I'm not quite sure why he was offering free hugs, and judging by the expression of the guy on the right, neither were most of the people walking past, but he did seem like a genuinely pleasant guy.

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5.29pm on 23/7/08
Canon 5D
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
45mm and 43mm
aperture priority
travel [Barcelona, Spain] + no print + people + urban
comment by Ninu at 06:46 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

WHOO HOOO!!! #1 baby! Okay Dave so this one I instantly enjoy because of the bw tonal range you have going on here. Nice depth of field on the left 1/2 and I enjoy the different other perspective you have on the other side. I never would have thought to do such a shot.

comment by ap at 06:52 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008


comment by Erik Drabløs at 06:58 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

I would guess that it's just a nice guy inspired by the "free hugs campaign" video on youtube. (Thought everyone had seen that by now). One could always use a hug. :D Very nicely captured situation. I especially like the skeptical passerby.

comment by djn1 at 06:59 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

ap/Erik: I have to confess that I don't tend to watch youtube all that often, but I suspect you're both right.

comment by g-) at 08:16 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

Free Hugs is a huge campaign...the guy that started it was on Oprah and all kinds of TV shows in America. I'm guessing it inspired a lot of people to go out there and try it.

Nice photo. :-) Although I wish you had also captured someone appreciating the hug...this almost seems to give a negative take on such a beautiful gesture.

comment by djn1 at 08:38 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

g-): I only saw one hug while we were there, and didn't get a good shot so didn't post it. As for the impression that this sequence gives: I would hope that it's seen in a positive light, despite the strange look from the passer-by.

comment by Claus at 09:03 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

At least the sign dosen't say drugs :-)

comment by Kevin H. Stecyk at 09:25 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

Great capture David! The guy's skeptical look on the right photo is priceless.

Given your words above, I trust you didn't take him up on the free hug?

comment by lilly at 09:33 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

This stirs up a lot of emotions for me.

comment by tino at 10:24 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

Hehe, these "free hugs" photos appear on many photoblogs at the moment. I have seen such guys too, seem to be a "global issue". The faces on the second picture are awesome.

comment by owen-b at 11:08 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2008

At the London Pillow Fight in Leicester Square in March there were several people walking around with free hugs signs. Have to say, theirs were only a little less hastily thrown together than this chap's but they managed to give quite a few free hugs while I was watching! It would appear to be something of a movement these days, and so long as it's not being used as a distraction to pick people's pockets (Las Ramblas can be a bit dangerous in that respect if you're not careful), a welcome one at that! :)

comment by Ruthe at 12:13 AM (GMT) on 28 July, 2008

Nice pics, love the guy on the right, grumpy! did you have a free hug?

comment by DedicatedRR at 12:36 AM (GMT) on 28 July, 2008

I was just at an anime convention and free hugs are huge at those things, you can just stand with your arms open and someone will give you a hug. :) Good to see he looks like he's enjoying what he's doing!

comment by Michael Rawluk at 03:14 AM (GMT) on 28 July, 2008

The Free Hugs thing seems to be sweeping around the world now.

comment by kate at 04:21 AM (GMT) on 28 July, 2008

omg. hilarious! great moment caught. love the set of the jaw on freehugsguy down to the wrinkles in his chin/tonsil showing through his neck. contasted w. dubiousness of passerby foreground/chuckle guy background, both of whom i personally think say it all. dave- as always- you have a real feel for just the perfect moment. thanks for giving all of us such a great touchstone night after night. :)

comment by ishizawa at 07:08 AM (GMT) on 28 July, 2008

Love the moment the man look up to free hug boy.
I like the B/W image, this color fits the moment too!

comment by Audrey Mottishaw at 07:57 AM (GMT) on 28 July, 2008

Your photoblog is my home page, so every time I have looked at my computer this morning I have had a laugh.

I think it is hilarious. I just love the look on the man's face in picture No. 2 - also the "The Hugger" with his "Oh well" expression.

The black and white works well. The first photograph is particularly sharp.

What a jolly start to a Monday morning!

comment by Penelope McFadin at 01:52 PM (GMT) on 28 July, 2008

Hahah.. this has to be one of your best and funniest yet. Thanks for the smile this morning!

comment by Foxarts at 02:48 PM (GMT) on 28 July, 2008

Nice photo, as usual, and for the "free hugs" operation, I find it a nice way to do something pleasure. Last night, in a centre of a city, a group of people present all other with Free Hugs and Free Smile... something good, why not? :)

comment by djn1 at 06:27 PM (GMT) on 28 July, 2008

Thanks everyone :-)

comment by Thibault at 12:29 PM (GMT) on 29 July, 2008

ahah nice picture. i love people who look this guy.

comment by Thibault at 12:40 PM (GMT) on 29 July, 2008

Nice one.