Fashion Photography in Avila, Spain 1991

Fashion Photographer Kyle Zimmerman in Avila, Spain

Fashion Photographer Kyle Zimmerman in Avila, Spain 2


When I was living in Spain, one of the magazines we worked with wanted to do the fashion editorial in Avila, a beautiful place about 70 miles west of Madrid. We took Agnes, a beautiful American model and a whole talented hair and make-up crew. I remember the walls. They were the old, very old and yellow and so high and they surrounded the little city completely. This is how Wiki describes it and how I remember it…

Its main monument is the imposing Walls of Ávila (11th-14th centuries), the medieval work was started in 1090. The fenced area is of 31 hectares with a perimeter of approximately 2,516 meters, 88 blocks or semicircular towers, 2,500 merlons, paintings by 3 m. thick, an average height of 12 m. and 9 gates. It is the largest fully illuminated monument in the world.

This is the view from the outside of the city. Amazing!

It was a fast and furious shoot, we had eight shots to do in one day, I worked quickly even though I was doing an alternative process at the time, cross processing my film.

Cross processing is when you develop your film with different chemistry than is intended. It takes practice to come up with formulas that can be consistent and you have to shoot the film with adjustments to allow for the ‘wrong’ chemicals.

I loved cross processing my film because I could come up with very unique ‘looks’ and color shifts that felt very personal to me. I have always thought of film as if it were paint. The emulsions were/are so varied and emotional. With film you can have watercolors or oil paint, pop art or impressionism.

The real work in becoming a digital photographer is finding ways to bring that emotional quality and variance back to our images, without emulsions…




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