Madrid - A Weekend Exploring Creativity

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There’s something incredibly freeing about film photography. Maybe it’s not knowing how the photos will turn out or not worrying about digital distractions. But on this trip, a weekend jaunt across the pond for much needed relaxation after a busy winter, was about something more. 

You see, over the past 8 years photography has been a huge part of my life. Whether film or digital, somewhere along the way the spark, the joy was lost. It turned from curious experimentation and spontaneity into a business. Which was fine, it allowed me to peruse my passion while capturing memories for others. However, even with my personal work, it became less about me and more about the likes, the hearts, the page hits; it became about how other people felt when viewing my work, not how I felt when creating it. 

A Turning Point

This trip was more than just a few days away from the city. It was about simultaneously exploring somewhere new, while exploring a passion, one that I’ve somehow forgotten.

The night before I left while packing, I made a spontaneous decision to just bring one film camera. I was going to leave everything else behind and just have fun taking photos. I ended up taking an old Olympus OM-1, the only camera I had that didn’t require batteries (all of my others had died long ago). Little did I know this trip would ignite creativity in ways I haven’t felt in a long time. I was able to freely create with little regard for the outside world, I was able to create for myself. Never mind the technical issues with the camera (light leaks and expired film), these photos are beautiful for the fresh start they represent.

Maybe it was being isolated in a new city, speaking the language but seemingly oblivious to life outside of my own, but this trip was exactly what my soul was asking for. From the terrace at my Air BnB just minutes from center city, to overlooking the city at Parque Cerro del Tío Pío, here’s what I saw. 
 

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*For those wondering, I'm going to try and put together a technical recap at the end of each post. Here's a quick note about what I used and how I created these images.

The Process

These images were taken on an Olympus OM-1 with a 28mm f/3.5. Photos were over-exposed 2 stops onto Portra 160 and Fuji 400H which expired several years ago. I had these images processed at Indie Film Lab with minor retouching performed by me in Lightroom. As you can tell, the camera had severe light leaks that lead to some wild images. Additionally, the lack of a working built in meter made exposures a guessing game but the overall experience enjoyable and freeing.