Easter Processions in Madrid

These images are from last Easter Friday’s procession, from the Nuestro Padre Jesús de Medinaceli church, in the center of Madrid.

Spain’s traditional Easter processions even amaze many Spaniards… they are without doubt extremely unusual. But very moving. There were probably a thousand people involved in this one, and many more thousands turned out to watch.

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9 thoughts on “Easter Processions in Madrid”

  1. Great photos Ben. I love street photography but still feel uncomfortable taking a person’s photograph. I feel as though I am intruding. Do you generally ask permission (obviously not in these group shots) if you focus on an individual? It’s a weird one for me.

    1. Thanks Ian. I feel a bit odd about it as well. I prefer these group situations (especially in public events) where I feel it’s OK to take photos, that people won’t mind. If it were more individual, I think I’d want to ask, rather than furtively ‘snatching’ someone’s photo, so to speak.

      I think that I wouldn’t want to do to someone else what I wouldn’t like someone to do to me – in many areas of life, not least street photography! I would love to be able to ask people permission to take portraits in public settings, but I’m a little shy about that sort of thing. I like this guy’s photos and approach:

      http://leicaliker.com/2013/08/17/18-rui-palha-lisbon-portugal-street-photographer/

      Clearly a lot of his portraits are taken so subtly and fast (Cartier Bresson style) that the subject doesn’t notice, and perhaps that’s OK. In many cases he takes a print of the photo to the subject later and they are delighted, I think that’s a lovely idea. These are all ideas I’d like to explore. But never to make anyone feel uncomfortable or annoyed.

      I met a lady in the procession that told me that photographers often take photos of the church events and later leave copies in the church reception office for them to distribute. I’ve been thinking of doing that with a few others that I have from that night, if I think they might like them.

  2. The picture of the alter boy holding an Easter basket and sharing a grin with his father? uncle? is simply wonderful! So much is captured in that single moment. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. To correct and clarify my previous comment …
    …or priest?
    I think it’s interesting that I was so captivated by the expressions on their faces, I completely overlooked the older man’s garb.
    And important garb it is in telling the story, isn’t it?

    1. Hi again Szan, my wife and I think he is not a priest, but just wearing one of the traditional outfits for the procession – I’m sure he is very connected to the church in some way. So I think it’s probably father and son or uncle. I was captivated by their expressions too. I saw them a few seconds before with the same wonderful smiles, and managed to photograph them in a moment in a gap between other people walking down the street. Just seeing them made me very happy!

  4. Ben–thanks for being so generous with your time, thoughts, and photography. You even take time to respond to the responses! I know a speak for many when I say I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate your online presence. That said, I hope us responders don’t become a “burden” for you. I respond to much of what you post because I am moved by it; it so often resonates with me.

    On the topic of street photography, have you seen the documentary “Finding Vivian Meier”? It’s FANTASTIC. She definitely seems to have had no reservations about “snatching” photos. Fearless!

    On the topic of gear, I just ebayed a Fujifilm Xe-1, which I will use with some old Olympus manual lenses for street and landscape photography. Super excited!

    Thanks for the wonderful shots of Easter celebrants on the streets of Madrid. I always look forward to your posts, but don’t “expect” them. When they arrive, they are a gift. Thanks.

    1. Hi James, thanks as always for your kind comment, and don’t worry, the comments aren’t a burden at all, but make me very happy.

      I will definitely look up the Vivien Mayer film, thanks for that. Great news about the Fujifilm Xe-1, if you ever post any of your images online, let me know!

      1. P.S. let me know what you think of the XE-1, it looks very tempting, I like the fact it is a very basic looking in operation, and apparently very quiet.

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