#133. 24 Hours in Madrid

By pascaljappy | News

Dec 16

Wouldn’t you LOVE to get to spend a year roaming the world in search of perfect subjects and have plenty of time to post-process the marvelous images you bring back from exotic places ?

I would.

A lamp on the ceiling of Madrid airport looks like an alien head

Alien head in Madrid Airport

But it doesn’t happen this way. Most of my picture making takes place at home (which is nice, in search of small unnoticed grasses or other hidden subjects) or in between planes or trains. Which is .. hurried and tiring, but better than nothing.

So here are a few pictures from a recent 24h work trip to Madrid. If you’re hoping for a scenic tour, sorry, ain’t got to happen … But it’s not all bad news 🙂

First stop : the airport. And whan an airport !

The vast halls of Madrid Airport are very photogenic

The vast halls of Madrid Airport

I’ve seen my fair share of airports and few have been built as evidently with photographers in mind as this one 😉
The terminals are loooong halls with wavy organic ceilings undulating over a rainbow of pillars painted red at one end and blue at the other, a very intelligent and elegant design that instantly lets you know where you are (if you’re not colourblind and know the very basics of optical theory). I underexposed the pictures in post-processing to give them a more abstract quality, so you’ll have to trust me with the pillar colours 🙂

Below deck in Madrid airport - Olympus OM-D E-M5

Below deck in Madrid airport

Moving below deck, the picture making fun continues. This hall looks like a dentist-chair convention without the dentists 🙂


Bagage reclaim area

Not only does this place look great, it is incredibly well organised for travelers. Congratulations to the architect for thinking of users and not only artists when designing his work ! The bagage belts are gorgeous to look at but also very clearly laid out, easy to get to and move away from.

Madrid airport bagage belts from above

Bagage belts from above

Whoever designed Charles De Gaulles airport in Paris must have been under the influence of red and white mushrooms before taking to the drawing board. That vortex of evil is so ugly, unfathomable and unpleasant, it’s a realief to witness the achievements of architects who place human beings at the center of their reasoning.

Next stop the tube.


Yet another tube blur

It’s a 30 minute ride from the airport to the financial center of the city. Easily long enough for local to think me crazy. They obvioulsy hadn’t seen people shaking cameras about all that often before 😉


Speed of light

Some were indifferent to my insane danse. Good !

Final stop, the hotel. If you haven’t noticed, I’m in quite an underexposure mood at the moment 😉


Waking to a misty dawn

As promised earlier, this is about all you’re going to see of Madrid … sorry 😉

Day at work.

Time to go home. Airport again, just to show you the colour of these pillars. The pillars are red, but I’m flying so fast towards them they appear blue …


Roses are red, pillars are blue

And finally, my ride home. As I am very rich and didn’t feel like talking after a hard days work, I booked all the plane for myself.


Pick your seat. Any seat …

Choose your seat, sir, she told me.


And off we went. Awa hame !


So there you have it. 24 hours in Madrid. Or at least in Madrid airport 😉 I’ll try to take more pictures of the city if / when I go back 🙂

A note to gear heads! This is one of these circumstances where the Olympus OM-D both shines and shows its limits. The pictures, taken in a rush and in difficult light, are beautiful quality. I really continue to think this is the best camera in the world for the tourist photographer. The sensor is incredible, the body is strong, IBIS works great and the lenses are perfect.

On the negative side, autofocus often refused to lock and some of the files are quite out of focus. While they all look lovely (to me at least …) on screen, they would be impossible to print large (even A3) because of pixel-level unsharpness. There’s no free lunch. If you want to print big, you need to take your time, focus accurately, and make every little detail right.

  • chidona says:

    I love the ‘below deck’ picture! I always get nervy when using my camera in places like airports/tube, do you ever get stopped?

  • pascaljappy says:

    Thanks Chidona. No one has ever bothered me in airports or stations. Security might object to tripods, but ‘regular’ photography doesn’t seem to be an issue in Europe and Asia (except in restricted areas such as security search areas …).

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