‘Her headscarf seems to continue up into the tree’ : José Luis Barcia’s best phone picture

The Spanish photographer’s shot of an Iranian woman in a hijab has recently acquired new resonance

Despite not being a religious person, José Luis Barcia Fernández has long been fascinated by the rituals, rules and uniforms of faith. After photographing the hooded capirotes of Seville’s Holy Week, and Jews, Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem, the Spanish photographer travelled to Iran four years ago, where he took this shot of a woman in a hijab silhouetted against a tree and a sky filled with birds. He already had the shot he wanted in mind when he came across the woman, who was standing by a stunning mosque in the Tajrish neighbourhood of Tehran.

“There were lots of birds and a beautiful tree,” he says. “I saw this woman and got the shot, which seems to show her headscarf, with its floral motif, continuing up into the tree. And then you had the birds, which I like photographing because it’s fun.”

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