Living so far from home, I'm very fortunate to be given the chance to travel back to my home country, Spain, once per year, with a group of high school students, as part of the curriculum of the school I currently work for (mind you, I'm a language teacher, and that is what pays my bills and allows me to enjoy photography from the safe, stress-free distance of a pure hobby, albeit one that accounts for most of my free time). This is a study trip, which means we are primarily there to experience all the country has to offer, from a cultural, linguistic and historical point of view, and my responsibility is by no means small, but that does not mean that I'm not able to carry around my trusted little GM1 at all times, which allows me to double as a photographer while "on the road" for some photographic journey, as well.
|La Almudena, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|No trespassing, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Curves and shadows, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
Since I'm the organizer of the trip, the itinerary we follow every year depends entirely on my own criteria (granted that the School direction agrees with my planning, obviously), therefore I try to draw a completely different tour every year, so the students (and myself) have the chance to explore different areas of my country and, at the same time, the variation keeps myself motivated and excited to see places I hadn't seen myself before. For the past trip, last June, I decided we would be heading South, to Andalusia, the place where my mother was born before migrating up North shortly after. This would be my first time after all these years to fully travel across this vast and rich area and see the places that have been haunting my memories since childhood.
|Duplication, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Lonely rays of sun, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Lady down the stairs, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
It was an extraordinarily hot June, blue skies and fiery sun pouring all over us, which made our walks a bit too unbearable at times, shadows our only shelters from temperatures higher than 40 degrees, everyone looking for shades or simply avoiding the streets in the afternoons, yet this granted me nice opportunities to photograph highly contrasting situations that might otherwise have passed unnoticed to my eyes.
|The gang, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Calesa, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|The chairs await, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Ronda behind the bars, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Ronda I, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Ronda II, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Puente Nuevo I, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Puente Nuevo II, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
It's in situations like these when I realize jus how convenient is to have a very small, portable kit, one that you can carry around when photography is not (it should not be) your main or even secondary goal (you are working as something else) but you don't want to lose the opportunities that might arise from your daily responsibilities. GM1 has been, to this date, the only camera I have consistently carried and used in all my work trips, totally unnoticed in my small handbag, and able to give me the group pictures that I'm supposed to grab to document my trip along my personal photographies on the side. For me, there is no doubt that a small camera is essential in any hobbyist arsenal, for it allows you to photograph in situations when otherwise you would not (or only with a phone and its much limited image quality).
|Sources of light, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Vertical and circular, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|The crown, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
Another highlight of our trip was, no doubt, Granada. And, within that beautiful city, the ancient, astonishing Alhambra Palace. The last remain of a once mighty empire, the red jewel defies the pass of time on top of the hill, overlooking the city below with pride. This was our last visit of those two intense weeks, and it was the perfect conclusion. I'm looking forward to next year's trip already, and planning where our steps (and shutter clicks) will lead us on that occasion!
|Bush tunnel, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Inside Alhambra, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|
|Alhambra, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm|