An idea of exploring the city with 35mm lens has been brewing on my mind for a while. It struck me that if there is any place I should start with, it's where I live. In late March I rented a Sigma 35mm lens and booked my staycation in 2 different spots in the city center. First three nights were spent in an AirBnB apartment in Malasaña district, the other 3 nights - in the nQn apartment close to Gran Via. Every early morning and evening I'd get outside to explore the neighborhoods of the awakening city. Explored neighborhoods were Malasaña, La Latina, Plaza de España, Gran Via, Plaza Mayor and Las Letras.
Malasaña Neighborhood Elements
It's the most hipster neighborhood of Madrid and exploring it was on mind for a while. There you will find many historical buildings, vintage book shops, cafes and bakeries. Do yourself a favor and visit this cozy book shop Besa Y Lee, you may be lucky to run into Lola, the bookshop owner's dog and the sweetest creature I've ever met.
People And Buildings
First image in the below series was shot from the window of the Malasaña apartment. Second image is a street overlooking Riu Plaza hotel in Plaza de España.
The below images were taken in the early morning at Plaza de España and Callao.
Often we forget to look up but if we do it more frequently, we can see something different and intriguing. This looking-up perspective was shot at Plaza de España.
The vibes of La Látina are different from hipster Malasaña and posh central places like Plaza de España or Gran Via. Historical and old buildings are everywhere and social contrasts too.
Plaza Mayor and Gran Via
Taking a stroll to Plaza Mayór in early morning will reveal it in a different light compared to the evenings when it's full of people. Very few people are walking by and at certain time between 8 and 9 am streets are washed with water, which presents a good opportunity of capturing reflections.
Looking for reflections in the puddles at Gran Via can also turn into obsession.
This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Madrid with a very Spanish feel. In the narrow streets you will find classical tapas bars, cozy cafes and culture life of CaixaForum, El Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums is all within the walking distance.
Exploring Madrid without visiting its famous rooftop terraces wouldn't be a complete experience. It's possible to buy an the entry ticket to Riu Plaza 360 Rooftop Terrace at the spot and it's open daily from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m, the last entries are allowed until midnight. It's best to line up for entry in advance before the sunset as the queue can get long. The view in this image is overlooking Calle Princésa leading to Faro de Moncloa and Sierra of Madrid at the horizon.
Another terrace I opted for was Picolagartos in Gran Via. That evening I was also gifted with explosive sunset which made the scene even more exciting.
To sum it up, having only one focal range with me during the whole week challenged me to think out of the box, stepping closer or further away to capture the scene, rather than zooming in and zooming out.
Tools used for the project:
Sigma Art 35mm f1.4 for Sony E mount rented from Fragmaticos
Sony A7 III camera body