National Geographic Student Expeditions: Barcelona Photo Workshop
After three weeks of teaching and travel, I am back home in Seattle sifting through all the photos and memories from my time with National Geographic Student Expeditions. This was my second year with Photo Workshop Barcelona and my 5th time teaching and trip guiding in Barcelona. The photo above shows our 25 students this year, our pack of fearless photographers and adventurers. They were so much fun. From day 1, they were committed to experiencing all that Barcelona could offer. First, we started at Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. Its lightness is hard to convey in photos, but it’s unlike any other cathedral I’ve visited. It stands 558′ tall in a city where buildings rarely rise above 9 stories. When you walk through surrounding neighborhoods, you can still see the cranes rising and working above the cathedral spires. And from the inside, there is amazing light all day long.
After spending a few days in Barcelona acclimating to the jet lag and heat, we head to Figures & Cadaqués. The Dalí museum in Figueres is trippy and weird and exactly how Dalí would have wanted it.And the small town of Figueres is beautiful. For me, nothing compares to Cadaqués. This town is the love of my life. I was teaching a small group of students about manual exposure and other less interesting things when a group of boys from the town started jumping off the ledge and into the water. We absolutely had to stop our lesson and start photographing what was happening. I love this spontaneous shoot and how my students jumped right into the experience. I was talking with these three boys and they told me,” puede llamanos Messi, Suarez, and Rinaldo (you can call us Messi, Rinaldo, Suarez.” Just three of the best soccer players in the world. Nbd. Back in Barcelona, we did lots of shooting around the city. During the weekend, something called the Sardana is performed in the cathedral square. It’s a beautiful Catalan tradition. Musicians are set up to play for hours, and people come to the plaza, meet their friends, and dance the very specific choreography together. Then, we visited Girona, Besalú, and Banyoles. After arriving in Girona, we quickly learned that parts of season 6 of Game of Thrones was filmed in the town!We spent the afternoon in the medieval town of Besalu…And ended our day in Banyoles, the hometown of our NatGeo photographer extraordinaire, Tino Soriano.
Meanwhile in Barcelona, we just couldn’t get enough of Gaudí. This is from the roof of La Pedrera.
And then, finally, after 10 days of learning and shooting together, we open a pop-up gallery show on our last night together. This whole trip was such a delight to lead. Big high fives and gold stars to my incredible co-leaders Gaston & Michelle and our assistant Judith! And most of all, our students who totally owned this trip and kicked ass.