My name is Christian Navarro, better known as Jisusisback online, I’m a street photographer and I’ll be your Barcelona tour guide. My nickname was born a few years ago when I let grow my hair and also my beard until some of my friends started to call me Jesus. When I realized what was going on it was too late and then “Jisus is back” just became real.
The Whole World in One City
Since then, I’ve been shooting all around the world in places like Bangkok, Hong Kong, New York, Berlin, and the list keeps growing. I’m from Barcelona, a city full of tourism, political movements and pigeons.
The weather here is strange. Sometimes I feel like I’m back to those hot days in Bangkok when it’s summer time but then winter comes and it seems that Berlin’s winds say hello to all the citizens.
One of the advantages of Barcelona is that you have people from everywhere and also people from all ages. That is awesome because for example, you can shoot an old man walking down the street with a classy hat and old shoes but at the same time you can shoot a group of chinese tourist taking pictures of La Sagrada Familia. The diversity here is amazing, sometimes I feel I don’t have to travel anymore because all these interesting people in the end come to this city for their vacation or just to get captured by my camera. The only important thing here is to be part of the environment is around you. Don’t try to fake a moment, just let life work and you’ll get your shot.
Where to Capture Barcelona’s Light
Another important point in Barcelona to do street photography is: the light. It is just perfect here. Every morning you’ll find an amazing sunrise, which you could use to get those dramatic pictures with long shadows on the ground. The colors you’ll get are just great If you don’t expose too much with your camera.
At midday, the sun is at the highest point so it’s not a good time to shoot outside but Barcelona has a solution for that. It has three very old neighborhoods where the streets are very tiny and light there is not too strong during that time of the day so you can get amazing shots of the buildings, or people who just live there.
El Born (La Rivera), El Gótic (Gothic Quarter) and El Raval are the three places I’m talking about:
Seriously, to me they are the best places in town to practice my skills as a street photographer. Even the people who live there are very different from the rest of the neighborhoods. There is a stunning mix of cultures in there from every part of the globe. You’ll find people from Africa, China, Pakistan, people from northern Europe, from South America, etc. You can’t miss it if you ever come to this wonderful city.
In the afternoon, when the sun is going down, there is an amazing place to watch the sunset and get cool shots. It’s called Los Bunkers. It’s a high place on a hill where you have a whole view of the city, of the sea and also of the sun hiding its last rays behind Tividabo’s mountain. People used to go there with their guitars to chill with a few drinks and feel the really good vibes.
Interacting with the Locals
It’s funny to me how people react when I’m standing in front of them with my camera ready to take the shot. Most of the time they don’t realize that I’m taking the picture because as I said before, I always try to be part of the context so my subject will stay relaxed. Barcelona is a very crazy city so people don’t have time to argue with you If you are taking pictures of them but if you do not show respect they can get very mad and Spanish people are very passionate for arguments. Always be kind and If you feel that someone didn’t like that you took a picture of them. Just say hi and try to open a conversation with them. If that doesn’t work you can always use the excuse that you’re a lost and naive tourist visiting the city for first time and that you can’t stop shooting because “you’re very excited to be there “.
There are a few people that would surprise you with how nice they are because they even let you to shoot twice or more times. These people don’t appear too often but when they do and light is perfect you can get some very cool shots. Some people don’t care about what you’re doing because they have more important things to do in their lives and as I said, If you show them respect they won’t say anything.
To me the best thing I like to shot here in Barcelona is the diversity of people that we have from around the world. Every day, I discover new people that I didn’t know existed here and every day I get more excited to meet them. I wake up every morning, I prepare my coffee and I step into the streets waiting for what life is ready to bring me – amazing shots and the coolest people ever.
Anyways, my city is just perfect for street photography and I invite all the street photographers from around the world to come here and do what they enjoy the most, to freeze life with their cameras to let it last forever.