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.
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.
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.
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.
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).