UPDATE: Unfortunately the Foto Ruta photography tours in Barcelona have closed shop. An excellent alternative is Shutter Kings, photography tours and photoshoots in Barcelona’s top locations. Check them out instead!
Foto Ruta was born in Buenos Aires. It grew up in Santiago and now, fully grown it has ventured across the pond to both London and finally Barcelona.
A creative way to explore the city and learn about photography
Foto Ruta is “a creative way to explore the city and learn about photography”.
From the Foto Ruta Barcelona website…
Our creative photography tours, events and workshops are unique in that they help you see the genuine side of Barcelona, encouraging you to venture off the well-trodden tourist trail whilst teaching you how to take great photos in the process. Not just for photography lovers, our experiences take a fresh approach to photography tuition through a range of interactive, informative and affordable tours and workshops that will appeal to anyone and everyone who wants a sociable, fun and memorable adventure in Barcelona.
I was kindly invited to go on their Streetscape tour around El Born (which if you see below is one of 4 tours they offer), a beautiful neighbourhood of Barcelona ripe for some stunning photography.
Unfortunately my level of photography skill would be classed as intermediate at best. Don’t get me wrong, I would venture to say I take a better photo than most – it amazes me how few people can actually frame a picture correctly – but I don’t even own an SLR. So armed with my iPad Mini (yes, sorry Yvonne!) we met at one of my favourite cafe/bars for people watching, En Aparte in La Ribera, just off Plaça de Sant Pere, which as some of you may know is one of the most charming squares in the whole of the Barri Gòtic.
We chatted about our photography experience and went through some of the basics of digital photography such as aperture, shutter speed, lighting, metering etc. We looked at examples of photography techniques and the things we would be looking out for on the tour – patterns, backgrounds, reflections, leading lines, and how to seek out the interesting – it was all thoroughly informative although my iPad Mini was a little embarrassed for most of the time.
Then we were off. Plaça de Sant Pere is a perfect place to start a photography tour with it’s ancient convent of Sant Pere de les Puelles which dates back to 945 AD and what can only be described as an incredible lamppost.
We wandered through the backstreets of El Born taking photos at every opportunity of things I never thought I’d find myself taking photos of – billowing sheets on a washing line, doorway intercoms, and even irrigation piping in a flowerbed – always trying to find that interesting shot. Railings, two tree trunks, playground apparatus – anything we could find to shoot through that would frame the interesting perspective on life beyond it.
I found myself sitting on the floor, leaning against walls, peering round corners, and looking up through the narrow streets trying to catch a glimpse of the unexpected. It was all very geeky in the photographic sense of the word but completely enjoyable to have the opportunity to do these things without feeling like a complete lunatic.
In all, we took two hours exploring streets between two points that you can walk between in 7 minutes. It was an amazing way to see the city. Stopping at every opportunity and taking it all in rather than hurriedly walking from one place to another. It was an eye-opener to say the least.
Alejandro, our guide and a professional photographer, was knowledgeable and encouraging. We were lucky to be in a small group so had an ample amount of his attention. He was always giving tips and suggesting things to try. I shall never look at the city in the same way again.
Our final destination, and one which I was completely in agreement with, was Bormuth, a bar listed as being on Plaça Comercial but I have always used the entrance on Carrer del Rec. It was time to go over our photos with a fine toothpick (that came with an olive in a glass of vermouth) and discuss the afternoons events.
It was a nice way to end the what was a thoroughly enjoyable journey.
4 Types of Barcelona Photography Tour
Foto Ruta Barcelona has 4 photography tours to choose from.
Foto Ruta Clue – A set of clues will lead you on a journey of discovery around a selected neighbourhood, giving you a greater understanding of the city and teaching you how to take great photos along the way.
Foto Ruta iPhoneograhpy – A half day iPhoneography tour and workshop brings the city and our love of mobile street photography to life, providing you with all the tools you need to harness the power of your iPhone or smart phone camera, its apps, and your own creativity.
Foto Ruta Streetscape – Guided by a pro-photographer, Foto Ruta Streetscape is a half day tour that is an alternative day in the city exploring a combination of must-see sights and undiscovered locations, whilst learning about photography.
Foto Ruta Academia – A full day of photography and urban exploration. The groups are small meaning you’ll get one-to-one tuition and guidance throughout the day and they can cater to your preferences and interests when developing the day’s itinerary.
Foto Ruta Barcelona on TripAdvisor
Further information I loved the tour as you can tell. But don’t take my word for it. Check out
Foto Ruta Barcelona on TripAdvisor to see their great reviews.
And for more information on all their photography tours available in Barcelona visit
www.foto-ruta.es. You can also find them on