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Barcelona Love Story ~ A Photo Journal w/ the Fuji XT20 & 27mm Pancake Lens

It was the summer of 2017, their first time in Barcelona.

I played host and showed them the sights.

We cycled to the beach – three of us on two bikes – and watched a jazz show on the roof at La Pedrera.

We got caught up in a correfoc, stunned by the sweet gunpowder smoke, like aliens dropped in a Wild West movie.

We watched the lights dance at the Magic Fountain show.

I tried to give them their space, to hang back, a doting uncle, but I couldn’t help photographing their Barcelona love story as it unfolded before me.

How lucky they were to see it as it was back then.

I wonder if they still think of it as I do. I wonder how they remember that surreal city by the sea.

Barcelona Romantic Day Out for Couples - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com7 Barcelona Romantic Day Out for Couples - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com6 Barcelona Romantic Day Out for Couples - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com7 Live Music on Rooftop of La Pedrera Antoni Gaudi Building in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com3

Live Music on Rooftop of La Pedrera Antoni Gaudi Building in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com3 Live Music on Rooftop of La Pedrera Antoni Gaudi Building in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com3 Barcelona Romantic Day Out for Couples - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com15 Barcelona Romantic Day Out for Couples - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com15 Barcelona Romantic Day Out for Couples - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com12 Barcelona Romantic Day Out for Couples - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com12 Barcelona Romantic Day Out for Couples - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com12


Photography/Camera Talk

I’ve banged on quite a bit about my love for the Fujifilm camera system. One of its main advantages being its compact size, which means you can take it along with you wherever you’re going without feeling like you’re intruding on the natural flow of life.

Fujifilm XT20 with 27mm Pancake Lens Review2

The last thing you want to do when trying to shoot candid/documentary style photographs is intrude or disrupt the scene. And, yes, I believe this still very much applies when shooting friends and family.

If you’ve ever shot with a big old DSLR and a chunky zoom lens, you’ll know exactly what I mean. The moment you pull it out of your bag, “life” becomes a “photography shoot”. Things freeze up. You are no longer part of the rhythm of what you are experiencing, but some sort of threat.

Ben Holbrook Travel Photographer on Train in Spain

As with so many of my photo journals, many of the images in this collection were only possible because I just so happened to have my little Fuji X-T20 dangling around my neck – paired with the ultra tiny/slim 27mm pancake lens. Such an unobtrusive and unintimidating little setup.

We were primarily out for a day of cycling and sight-seeing in Barcelona, so the focus wasn’t on photography. But I’m glad I had my camera with me.

We had no idea we’d come across a correfoc (fire run) in the streets of Pobelsec, and I’d go so far to say that these are some of the best photos I’ve ever taken.

Fujifilm XT20 with 27mm Pancake Lens Review1

Key takeaway: 

It’s true what they say, you know: ‘The best camera is the camera you have with you’. And when you shoot with Fujifilm, you’re more likely to have a camera with you more of the time.

And when you have your camera with you more of the time… well, you’re going to be presented with more opportunities to shoot more photos.

And that’s really the biggest key to becoming a better photographer.

For that reason alone, I highly recommend picking up the old Fuji X-T20 (or the new X-T30). Or, frankly, any camera that’s small enough to take with you wherever you go (I’ve got my eye on the Ricoh GRIII).


More Barcelona Photo Journals

In Deep at La Mercè’s Surreal Correfoc (Fire Run) ~ A Photo Journal (Barcelona)

Sarah Drove ~ A Photo Journal (Fuji XT3 + 23mm F2)

Day & Night at Barcelona’s Gràcia Festival ~ A Papier-Mâché Playground (Photo Journal)

Canon 50mm f/1.8 with Fuji XT3 ~ Manual Focus for Analog Style Digital Photography

Correfocs: The Devils & Fire Runs of Catalonia ~ Fiestas del Poble Sec (Barcelona)

“I Do Love October” – Autumn on the Gower Peninsula w/ Fuji 35mm f/1.4 (Samples + Lens Review)

Photo Journal: Escaping Barcelona ~ A Day at Vilassar de Mar

One Winter’s Day in Barcelona ~ A Photo Journal

Sant Joan Festival, Barcelona ~ Explosions in the Sky (Photo Essay)

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6 Comments

  1. Albert Smith Albert Smith

    I really like the images that you captured with the 27mm lens. Yes, the best camera is the one that you have with you, and the pancake lens makes that camera easier to carry in non-photocentric situations.

    I have been using Fujifilm X-class cameras for around 3 years now, but could not consider the original 27mm lens because of the lack of an aperture ring. I use all the external knobs and dials on my camera and didn’t want to have to adjust for a single lens.

    This all change with the upgraded version of the 27mm which I just received after being preordered for a couple of months. I love it! When mounted on my X-E3 it is effortless to carry, and like you said, if you have a camera you will use it.

    I have 9 Fujifilm lenses of many focal lengths and apertures, but I have a feeling that the 27mm is going to be responsible for many of my future images.

    • Hey, thanks for your comment Albert! Yes, it’s a beautiful little lens. I Didn’t realise the new version had an aperture ring! How cool! I did know about the WR, which is great. Do you have it yet? Let me know how you enjoy it!

  2. Jason Jason

    Great photos. Planning on checking out the 27mm for a upcoming vacation. Thanks!

    • Thanks Jason! Yes, it’s a fantastic little lens. Let me know how you get on with it!

    • It’s a fantastic little lens – all you need for a compact travel/street camera!

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