Trip to Barcelona and Madrid (pics)

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Paul Richman
Paul Richman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,021
Trip to Barcelona and Madrid (pics)

I want to thank so many of you who commented on my worry-thread about this trip and pickpockets. I took much of your advice and had no problems whatsoever. I didn't dress like a tourist, had nothing in pockets, was alert, etc.

Not to say it's terribly safe, though, as a couple from NYC we met at our hotel in Barcelona had just had baggage stolen right from the hotel lobby. This was the Gaudi Hotel off La Rambla, a nice place in a fun area.

Here are a few pictures from this trip. The rest of the Barcelona and Madrid photos are on my web site.

Barcelona Cathedral, near La Rambla - This is my favorite image from the trip. Never leave your super-wide at home!

I use a screen-filling stretched version as wallpaper on my Mac monitor.

The E-M1II makes it so easy to take shots like this at fairly low ISO handheld. I enjoy the heck out of this camera and lens!

Shot from the open roof of the Gaudi Hotel where we stayed. It was lovely to shoot from high with no visual obstructions.

Sadly we missed our chance to go inside Sagrada Familia, as it had been scheduled for the day of the general strike.

Are we permitted to take inside cameras such as ours? Their rules and regs say:

"Professional photo equipment is not allowed inside the Basilica. The only media to access will be those previously authorised by our Press Department.

Professional photo equipment is not allowed inside the Basilica for photo shoots with special clothing to celebrate any sort of festivities, nor with any decorations designed to distract or draw attention for artistic, religious, promotional or any other purposes."

I liked Barcelona and had the very best empanadas ever there. Mmmmm good!

We fell in love with Madrid. I love to photograph beautiful building, and so my jaw dropped the first evening when I saw this down a narrow street close to our hotel:

The Famous ME Hotel In Madrid. At night, but only after full darkness, the hotel is lit up so beautifully.

I've done very little photography after dark, so this was a gas repeated every night. What a joy it was to do this low light shooting handheld at low ISO with this equipment!

I did some walking the next eve, as I'd spied the tall Telefónica Building earlier the 2nd day:

These lit up at twilight so I was able to include some darker blue sky. Polarizing this scene with a CP was really cool to watch in-camera.

I felt quite safe waling around at night (but I was still careful and alert, especially while taking my camera in and out of my Pacsafe bag.

I enjoyed night-shooting so much that I hired a cab to drive me around the next morning and evening to do more of this:

Metropolis Building, a true Madrid landmark.

Moonset during sunrise.

The Royal Palace and Prado were great to see, but neither allowed interior photography. Ugh!! I did get some fun courtyard photos at the Royal palace though.

Courtyard at the Royal Palace.

El Escorial Palace-Monastery was good to see, but again, no interior photography!

El Escorial Palace-Monastery

On the way back we stopped here:

Basilica Horario De Misas.

An impressive place, but again, interior photography not allowed. At least I got the satisfaction of turning my back and not paying to go inside!

Toledo was marvelous, and we had a terrific guide and tour:

It was so easy to handhold shoot the 4 or 5 shots needed for this panorama.

I did learn allot about LR and PS when processing this panorama. Using the LR version of "Merge to Panorama", I tried out all its options. I had used it before many times. But I found out that it blurred the sides, especially the left side and just could not do a decent job.

But I was able to get an excellent stitch in PS, using Auto Align with only Reposition.

We saw an excellent El Greco painting there, but again, no photographia.

Bringing 2 E-M1II bodies with 2 lenses (12-100mm f4 Pro and 7-14mm f2.8 Pro) was just perfect. Not too heavy for long carry and well protected in my smallish Pacsafe black bag.

I did have two big regrets, that would make me come back to these 2 cities in a heart beat. Missing Sangrada Familia is one, assuming I could get in a do photography inside.

When I got home, I googled "Madrid buildings" to help with naming some of the buildings I'd shot. To my horror and surprise, I found out that I'd missed some fantastic architecture, especially in the financial district. I would have had time to photograph them if only I'd known!

Lesson learned:  Google 1st, travel 2nd.  I'm not a good trip planner...

Such is life....

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Paul Richman
Pixels By Paul
"There's a good picture nearby. Find it. Take it. Share it."

 Paul Richman's gear list:Paul Richman's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 Olympus Zuiko Digital 300mm 1:2.8 +11 more
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