I first visited Guatemala in 2016, a vacation to meet the family of Monica and to see a bit of her country. And as I have not visited the country or family last year it was high time to meet her (and my) Guatemalan family again. The start however wasn’t without it’s fair share of obstacles, but that wasn’t going to stop us from having a fantastic time!
Monica and I have been exchanging options and ideas for a long long time as to where to go on vacation this year and it was mostly hard to find a location where we’d both be able to fly to in a fairly decent way. That was really hard in the beginning of our search, but when we got it, al the pieces suddenly fit together seamlessly.
As the year draws to an end I’ve been thinking over the many activities over the past year. New experiences, great moments, a few lesser moments and oh so many photos.
There is a song by Manu Chao called ‘Me gustas tu‘ that -Monica once told me- is used by many people to learn words in Spanish. One of the lines in this song is ‘Me gusta Guatemala, me gustas tu’, and I’d get a change to experience that for myself this year. Monica visits her family every year and when deciding on our vacation plans for this year, we came to the conclusion that it would be a great idea to visit Guatemala together. I’d get to meet Monica’s family and friends in Guatemala and see the beauty of Monica’s country. However when it’s summer in Europe, Guatemala has it’s rain season. So we had to wait a while and on October 23 I finally started on an incredible journey…
For the vacation that is up ahead I’m traveling with a slightly different set this time. The main thing is one ‘all-purpose-lens’ that will prevent lens-swapping.
It’s taken quite some time to fit this bag together as I’ll be on a trip far far away and I do not want to miss any great shots. However bringing all of my prime lenses will simply distract too much from enjoying the vacation. That said… there is only so much I can do without (at least, that is what I told myself) so some items simply are necessary.
I will be taking a backpack this time instead of a messenger bag because I’ll mainly use the 18-135mm lens and won’t need to swap lenses. The backpack will hold most of the other items as far as I need them with me.
Of course the X-Pro2 will come along. And I will use the 18-135 lens as my main lens. It means that I will loose some of the shallow depth shots, but on the other hands I won’t miss shots swapping lenses. The 14mm is an extra for some specific shots if I run into the opportunity.
The X100 is my backup and might be helpful if the X-Pro2 and the big lens are ‘just too much’ or for some low light photos (the 23mm 2.0 lens is hard to beat).
I’ll also bring two Hoya ND filters and a polariser for the 18-135mm. I hope to have some time and a few beautiful locations for a bit of artistic photography. Further I’ll bring my small Fujifilm flash as I’ve missed enough photos simply because I forgot to bring the flash.
For stable shots I have a mini Manfrotto tripod and a normal one from Mefoto, both very well to carry around.
And of course there my iPhone for the ‘on hand shots’. The iPad is handy for some reading in the resting times here and there, but also as a mini photo-editor and posting some photos when we happen upon a bit of WiFi.
I’ll bring lots of Sandisk cards and batteries and a battery pack to keep the devices going and going and going. In the ‘Visible Dust’ pouch there is a little maintenance kit and the lower left item is a 3000 lumen flashlight.
Now give me 10 to 15 minutes to throw some clothes together in a suitcase and I’m done :)
Monica and I are planning a vacation to Guatemala later this year, but we can’t just let the summer pass without a vacation so we found a great destination in the south of Spain. A new location for us with loads of different architectural buildings and plazas to discover and it’s hot hot hot!
When I got my X-Pro1 a few years ago, the first lens I had (and I had that before the X-Pro1 even) was a Fujifilm 18-55mm kit lens. It was (and still is) considered to be one of the best kit-lenses you get with any camera by any brand. I sold it not to long after and just maybe I’ll buy it back…
Here are a few more images of my visit to Barcelona in December. I shot them on Ilford Delta 400, a bit too grainy for my taste, so I added a little bit of noice-reduction in Lightroom.
Personally I also see a little but of out-of-focus shots here and there, but that’s the reason why the Leica is currently in Will van Manen‘s care for a check-up.
A theme of 2015 has been traveling to Barcelona to visit my girlfriend M. there as often as possible and so it seemed like a great idea to end the year there as well. Having spent Christmas here in the Netherlands with the family, on December 27 I hurried off to Schiphol to visit Barcelona one more time in 2015 and end that wonderful year together with M.