balenciagamos

el rastro did not disappoint

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This past Sunday, I finally made it to El Rastro, Madrid’s famous flea market, which takes place the last day of each week, from around 9am to 3pm (finishing a little earlier in these summer months when the heat becomes unbearable…) in La Latina. I had heard and read a bit about the open-air market, which has even been given the title of “Cultural Heritage” of Spain.

You can find everything from antiques to parts for electronics to cheap clothing and souvenirs — but in heading there I had only one objective, finding an old film camera. It’s something I’ve been wanting for a long time because I love black and white photography particularly, and while digital is certainly convenient, for me it takes some of the fun and art out of trying to capture great pictures. I took a last loop around a side street of the market and finally found a guy specializing in cameras and lenses and so on (you can find others with a couple of old cameras mixed into their tables, but they often don’t know or can’t guarantee that they will actually still work, which was kind of… important for me). The salesman was very knowledgeable and helpful, and guided me to decide on this Olympus Pen, a classic model with half-frame negatives (so you get 72 pictures out of a roll of film for 36 for example) and semi-automatic lens, which allows for some experimentation but also doesn’t let you take a picture (a cute little red flag comes up in the viewfinder) when there’s too much/not enough light for the exposure you’re trying to get. I was even able to bargain down on the price a bit since it was late in the day (although my actual tactic was just the ever-effective “I only have….” )

The past two days I’ve already taken it out and about with me to capture some shots, and I look forward to finishing the roll and then (waiting and) seeing how they turn out! It must be about a decade since I’ve had that experience of taking pictures and not getting immediate results. And I’m already thinking about maybe going back to El Rastro next week for some silverware or painted plates…

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This entry was published on July 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm. It’s filed under Spain, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “el rastro did not disappoint

  1. Can’t wait to see your pictures! It sounds like you had a great time at El Rastro, and your new camera looks so much fun. There are so many good finds there!

  2. What a great find! El Rastro always has great little treasures! So jealous of yours.

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