Colorful Madrid

More walking about in Madrid with interesting subjects around every corner. I’m not sure if it is better to wander around endlessly or to sit in one place and wait for the world to pass by instead.

The weather was perfect on our trip and I almost wish I had brought along a flash unit and my heavy 2.8 zoom lens. On the other hand I might have been just as happy with one of my old roll film cameras like the Brownie Hawkeye or the Agfa Jsoly.

As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you but I always long for the one that is not. I shot a lot of photos with my 12-24 zoom lens and cropped the images later. That way I could take photos on the fly with reasonable depth of field and not have to worry about composition until after the fact. It’s not the best way to take photos but I did get some shots that I would not have any other way.

The Nikon D300 has a rather loud shutter so it’s not always easy to be stealthy when taking photos but as long as you keep moving no one seems to notice most of the time.  The biggest issue is with contrasty light and that is why it would be better to pick a good spot with great light and wait for interesting subjects to come to you.

Unfortunately when you are on a short trip you never feel like you can sit for very long and are usually on the move going somewhere to see something else. The camera bag seems to get heavier by the minute and your muscles begin to protest. At that point I begin to envy the people taking photos with their camera phones and point & shoot compact cameras.

There is always some sort of trade between camera size and quality though it’s better to get something rather than nothing. For the most part time seems to be the limiting factor in getting good photos. Usually you will arrive at the wrong time of day, month or year and find yourself being rushed to the point of overlooking the best compositions in order to get to your next destination. Meanwhile other tourists happily snap blurry photos of themselves in front of famous landmarks to show the people back at home. I’m not complaining though, well not much anyway. It’s the nature of the game and what makes it endlessly interesting to take photographs. I love going places where I have never been and seeing things that are new to me.

I also took my 70-210 /4-5.6 D lens, which is ok for stationary subjects but is way too slow for fast walking Spaniards in the waning light of the evening. It’s not the fastest focusing lens either at least not for moving targets. I could have cranked up the ISO higher but at some point everything starts looking like mush or even grainy mush.

One Reply to “Colorful Madrid”

  1. You live and breathe photography to work so hard for your photos. Your mind and body are always in motion, thinking of cameras, carrying camera bags, wishing you’d brought different equipment, hoping for better lenses and dreaming of better light.

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