Meeting Street photographers : Daniel Sanchez Alonso

This blog allowed me to get in contact with many fellow photographers over the last years, yet it mostly remained “electronic” correspondance. Therefore as our trip leads us to many places in the world, I believe it is a great opportunity to meet some of you and why not, spend some hours shooting in the streets. For those willing to participate, I also ask them to answer three short questions in order to know a bit more about them, their work and any recommendations on where to shoot in their city.

Daniel is the first one to participate, thanks for that. I started exchanging emails with him about a year ago, so it was a real pleasure to meet him for real and go shoot some street photography. All of Daniel’s shots were taken with his Leica M9 (please on pictures to see high res).


Daniel in Plaza Mayor

I) Tell me a bit about you

I am a self taught photographer who started in photography “por amor al arte”  (“for love or art”) and later became professional to make some money out of this hobby that kept me broke all the time. I have been publishing portraits and reportages since 1993 on magazines in Spain and some international too (El Pais Semanal, Vanity Fair, Yo Dona, Elle, Rolling Stone, etc.) I try to keep a true spirit for real photography even nowadays it’s getting harder and harder to live out of this profession. In street photography I always liked Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Willy Ronis, André Kertzész, Jean Loup Sieff, etc.

II) What do you enjoy most about street photography ?

In street photography, it always caught my attention the magic moment, Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment”, as Doisneau said “I am not interested in refined culture, but only in the instinctive things. I look for surprise, I hope to be surprised. “… …”Sometimes I encounter a scene, a scene that evokes something to me, be it dumb, arrogant, or charming”.
It’s interesting to observe people and things around. With all this you can tell a story, but I also like to photograph moments where you can’t tell the time (year) it was taken at.
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III) What are the best places in Madrid to go out and shoot ?

– It’s nice to walk in the streets on both sides of calle Mayor, from Puerta del Sol until the Royal Palace, and get lost in the Madrid de los Austrias. Old Madrid. And walk back to Gran Via, a centenary avenue full of Theaters as in Broadway and many many people and things happening around.
– Also, young and modern Mercado de Fuencarral area, from Gran Vía to Sagasta st., where alternative and trendy people, and also the gay neighborhood that turned for many years and old area into fashion shops and very cool restaurants and night clubs to hang out with its variety of people and colours.
– Down Serrano st., Jorge Juan st. and Ortega y Gasset st. you can the most expensive shops with its particular look, women shopping in the most exclusive shops in Madrid, carrying a lot of chic bags (or having the private driver to hold them) and smart looking men with expensive cars and bikes. Also very interesting restaurants and night clubs to hang out.
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IV) Shared scene

When possible, I’ll try to post two interpretations of a same scene while we were out shooting. In this case, it resulted that Daniel and I clicked at the exact same moment. The big difference being that Daniel went for a landscape shot, and I chose a portrait orientation. Also he had my 35mm Lux Asph mounted on his M9 and I was using his 50mm Cron.  Regardless of the lens, I think he opted for the best framing. Also note that we use quite similar processing.
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To discover more about Daniel’s great work, follow this link : http://www.dansanphoto.com
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Coming up in our trip over the next month is Galicia, Porto, Lisbon, Paris and Lausanne. If you are located in one of this area and like to go for some drinks and some shooting, do not hesitate to contact me. It will be great to meet you.
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