Madrid, 1957

APRIL 1957 – View across the Estanque Grande del Retiro in Madrid, Spain. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

This is one of the earliest color photos in our archive, shot by a distant relative during a trip to Spain in April 1957. Most of the color photos from this collection have faded beyond repair.

This shot of the Estanque Grande del Retiro in Madrid was not different, but I accepted the challenge and tried my best to restore some of the beauty it must have had when it came back from the lab in 1957. You shall be the judge whether this has worked or not.

In any event, this photo is again proof for how a location can change over time. If you take a look at recent images, you will find virtually no change at first. It’s still the popular recreation park in the town center it used to be back then. There are still rowing boats, albeit the wooden ones have been replaced by smaller ones made from hard plastic. Only once you beam yourself to the location of the photographer of the 1957 shot and explore the area, you will discover a huge high rise building that sits on the right-hand side of the monument (in the picture). Of course, this depends on the actual viewpoint. Some contemporary photographers find a sweet spot where the trees block the view of the high rise building perfectly. But many don’t, and that’s a shame, somehow.

Anyway, I like those comparisons between now and then, and I hope you like them, too.

And here is the original scan without any corrections. The print really looks like this today.

Oriiginal scan of the 1957 color print without any corrections applied: The print shows a terrible red shift and the colors have faded almost beyond repair.

The high resolution image

Capture DateApril 1957
LocationMadrid, Spain
Image Source7 x 10 cm Print
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions4568 x 3218 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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