Calle Alcala, Madrid, At Night

SEPTEMBER 2001 – Shortly before midnight, traffic rushes by on Calle Alcala, one of the major streets leading into the city center of Madrid, Spain. In the background the brightly illuminated Edificio Metropolis can be seen. Photo © by Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

In the summer of 2001, I spent a couple of weeks in Madrid, Spain. Between one of those trips I had purchased a brand new digital camera: a Kodak DC 4800. It was the first digital camera that I actively recognized as worth considering. Its sensor would capture images at 2160×1440 pixels, i.e. a stunning 3.1 megapixels, good enough for decent smaller prints. I remember it to be quite expensive, though, but the quality was stunning for that period time. Of course, it could not compete with analog 35 mm film that could yield 10 megapixels depending on the film type and scanner used.

For this photo I waited in the middle of the street on a green strip, probably opposite of the Banco de Espana. There was a pod which I used as a makeshift tripod for stability. Otherwise I would not have been able to expose for 1/8 second. The resulting image is slightly underexposed, and you can see some noise when inspecting the image at 100% in Photoshop, but it is – even today, exactly 20 years later – an authentic, vibrant image. By the way, the image above has not seen a lot of editing: straight from the original file, I cropped away some ugly lamp on the right, increased brightness and added just a bit of saturation. Done. Love it.

The high resolution image

Capture Date & Time30-SEP-2001, 23:34
LocationCalle de Alcala, Madrid, Spain
CameraKodak DC 4800
Exposure1/8 sec at f/4.5
Digital Image Source FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions1397 x 2095 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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