All images taken in Madrid while I was participating in the Descubrimientos PHE Madrid (Discovery Award) at Photo España. My work was included in the official programme, exhibition, as well as a series of portfolio reviews. All my travels on this day were centered around these activities


The view up the stairwell and elevator shaft of the Hostel Martin on Calle Atocha. A beautiful building housing several low cost, no thrills, but perfectly tidy and well-appointed hostels.The view up the stairwell and elevator shaft of the Hostel Martin on Calle Atocha. A beautiful building housing several low cost, no thrills, but perfectly tidy and well-appointed hostels.


Having set up my mobile phone to alert me a minute before each hour, I was ready at 11:00 to photograph (as spontaneously as possible) whatever or whoever was in front of me. On my way to the first portfolio review of the day I encountered this older gentleman. He didn’t appear too happy to have my camera shoved in his face as he crossed my path – I imagine despite his obvious irritation that he never thought about incident again. I, on the other hand, have this lovely picture to show for it.


The man from Vu. Vincent Marcilhacy of Agence VU reviewing my work seems slightly bemused to have his picture taken but is a real good sport about it. He praises my work for being different and well produced, and offers good advice on strategy.


The man from Du. Lars Willumeit of Du Magazin reviews my work. A friendly and upbeat person, I really enjoy speaking to him. He also praises my work, noticing the high production level that I always strive for.


A small municipal park off Calle Ramírez de Prado. As I left the Complejo El Águila where the portfolio reviews were being held, I noticed the tops of these two slender trees. They caught my attention because they resembled two great big green fingers stuck into an uninspired, institutional Spanish-flavoured planting arrangement. I always notice the texture and variation of gardens. I photograph many gardens.


On my way back to Hostel Martin to escape the heat and have my siesta, which after three days in Madrid I understood the significance of. This women had the look of someone who was off in her own thoughts. She seemed melancholic and I wondered why – I took her picture with the camera sitting in my lap. As luck would have it the train was stopped at a station.


Back at the Hostel Martin in my uninspiring, but perfectly functional room. It was siesta time and I felt too lazy to photograph anything other than what was facing me – my closet.


I don’t usually sleep in the middle of the afternoon; so my siesta ended after a short snooze – I decided to go out and explore the area around calle Atocha – I had heard about a nearby gallery named the Tribeca Gallery that was taking part in Photo España. I went to investigate but found they were shut. Outside, I found a dumpster filed with construction debris. I believe it is the duty of every photographer to photograph garbage (rubbish, trash, detritus). It’s a universal theme – ever changing, limitless and plentiful. It’s a bit like photographing other universally found objects - flowers, trees, dogs, or smiling babies for instance.


CNN had begun reporting the official results of the Iranian election. To my surprise (and probably most of the worlds’ surprise) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was being declared the winner from the results of vote counting (not exit polls, but actual votes counted only hours after the polls had closed.) Something fishy was going on.


My curtain. The view out the window wasn’t inspiring in anyway. The curtain, I felt, had more character than the view.


With CNN still on the TV, glued to the news coming out of Iran, I watched as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “the Iranian George W. Bush” gave his victory speech. Notice the official time in Iran (22:30) – I had no idea Iran that was 3 hours, 30 minutes ahead of Madrid. I always thought international time zones were separated apart in increments of whole hours. Then I remembered that some countries do that kind of thing. Until I got the film back from the lab I had no idea I had caught with his eyes half shut – how appropriate.


On my way to buy some 120 film before I was scheduled to meet up for drinks with my fellow ‘Descubrimientos’. I realized that I was on my last frame of my last roll. I decided to get myself over to FNAC or El Corte Ingles in a hurry (I was already running late.) Along the way I photographed these pedestrians moving through the crowded Plaza de Callao. I eventually got to both stores only to find that neither sold 120 film of any description. I had to settle a Kodak disposable camera instead, kicking myself for being so careless with my film usage.


Switching to the Kodak disposposable was quite fun – I normally wouldn’t use one, but they have an intrinsic lo-fi quality that I find rather appealing. My fellow ‘Descubrimientos’ thought it was strange that I was using such an unrefined piece of equipment. I didn’t really pay them much attention – a camera is a camera after all. Drinks were being had outdoors in the lively Plaza del Dos de Mayo. I turned to my left and saw this municipal shack covered with graffiti, stickers and splashes of dirty street residue. I still don’t know what purpose this shack served, but it was interesting to me. The other photographers didn’t understand why I chose to photograph this anonymous edifice, so I explained about the DayFour Ulysses project – most of them looked at me like I was a bit mad. It started to thunder and lighting so we went looking for food.


We ended up in a small restaurant (location and name unrecorded). There were a group of us – about 12 photographers in total – most whom I had not had the chance to get to know very well, let alone speak to. It’s always strange to be surrounded by other photographers. There is usually a sense of unspoken and unresolved competition of ideas and photographic concepts. Everyone sat about eating, gossiping and getting increasingly drunk. I don’t handle alcohol very well, so I remained relatively sober throughout. I got up to photograph these two paintings on the wall – in my mind they were a married indigenous South American Indian couple. I liked their smiles and the friendly demeanors that their likeness’s portrayed. Once again I got some strange looks from several photographers around the table.


I enjoy speaking to one of my ‘Descubrimientos’ counterparts – Diego Ballestrasse. He is based in Barcelona and works on fine art based projects. You should check out his website: ( He kindly lets me take his picture. Although, one of the drawbacks of disposable cameras is red-eye (sorry, Diego).


At exactly 1:00 AM we arrive at the ‘COCK’ bar. My last picture. Inside is a swanky crowd with a fantastic bar serving cocktails. I stand discussing the Photo España experience with a female photographer from Barcelona. Out of nowhere, another of the ‘Descubrimientos’, a well-known London-based photographer approaches. We shake hands and he smirks at me, asking where I am from. He then turns to my companion and immediately launches into a tale of the sexual exploits of one of his ‘Descubrimientos’ buddies sitting nearby. I guess he’s trying to impress my companion. I find myself just staring at him, perplexed by his behaviour. Cock Bar, I think, how appropriate. The heat and three days of portfolio reviews have taken their toll – it’s been a great trip, but I am exhausted and its time to go back to Hostel Martin to retire before my early morning flight to London.