A story behind: I don´t know if it is only happening to me, but almost every time a take photos in some remote village, a small group of elderly people gathers around. They talk and ask questions. Maybe it happens because a stranger photographing the landscape may be for them the most interesting event of the day. "Please be careful" one man said - "last autumn our neighbor Joaquim disappeared here. He probably has drowned. The sea and the waves can be dangerous". Centuries of sea-fishing tradition are reflected in these people and in the local quay sides, fraternities and also in many colors of the fishing boats.
The calm and placid shoreline continues here for miles and miles. The coastline is dotted with small and rather poor fishing villages with colorful houses along narrow alleyways. There is a sensation of peace and serenity that comes from contemplating the ocean and the sunset. Murtosa ( this is the name of the nearby village ) is a destination for those yearning to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Even during summer time the area around Murtosa is never invaded by tourists or marry-go-rounds. There are no outdoor cafés and restaurants. This is a bit of forgotten land.
Please feel free to cease that moments and contemplate the passing time at this special place where Joaquim has died and the place where that night the sunset light flooded us with that singular luminosity and colors that I so clumsily tried to capture on my photo.
Location: near Murtosa, 60 kilometers south from Porto, Portugal.
A story behind: Today when the temperature outside hit 20ºC I knew what to do. I opened a bottle of 2009 Moscatel Roxo pink wine. This is a creation of one of the most famous Portuguese wine makers Domingos Soares Franco from the Setubal peninsula which is located just a couple of kilometers south of Lisbon ( and only 9000 bottles were made of this extremely rare type of vines ). The wine is very much salmon colored, and surprises with a complex fruity nose and peachy honeyed goodness. The palate is dense and generous, round fruity with passionfruit and pineapple and does not fall away through the finish. It all ends almost sweet and long. It is pink ( or "rose" in Portuguese ) but so wonderfully different from that famous Mateus Rosé "wine thing". This is a kind of wine Portugal can be really proud of. An excellent accompaniment to lighter meals or just to drink alone during the hot and lazy March afternoons just as I did. Date: Saturday, March 19th, 2011. Maciek.
A story behind: Here it is: the Vodafone office building in Porto with all its polygon spaces, with its twists, turns and formidable geometric lines. It is a nice object to point your lenses at because it can be shot from so many different angles.
A story behind:Today I traveled to Sortelha. This is a charming small historical village in the Portuguese interior with a picturesque castle and old stone traditional houses covered with red tiles ( some of the houses are actually sculpted in the rocks ).
The weather was nothing like spring. In fact it was more like winter: rain, bitter cold and some wind.
The meadows were all just spring-green colored in contrast to gray and rather unpleasant sky. But that was a perfect combination for a photo, and all I needed for a good landscape composition was an object to seal these two elements: a lone olive tree ! I soon found a perfect match and put a tree in my composition according to the "rule of thirds".
Location: near Sortelha, 20 kilometers from the Spanish border, Portugal.
A story behind: The Lord of the Stone chapel in Gulpilhares is a very popular photography spot. You can find thousands of its pictures taken from every possible angle. Last Wednesday night I thought of something different. My idea was to include the human factor ( located in the left upper corner ) to contrast with the water movement around the stone in the left lower corner. The low tide made it possible to have a wide strand of the sandy beach to get the moving water stripes longer and therefore more dynamic. I used my 2-stop soft-step ND Grad to achieve this nicely balanced exposure. The image was intended to be color so the filter has kept my tones smooth. The chapel on the rock and moody sunset clouds made the rest of the scene. PS. Photo of the day at photomedia.comLocation: Gulpilhares, Portugal.
Three ships seen on the horizon waiting on the roadstead before they enter the port of Leça de Palmeira.
A story behind: In the beginning of spring this site isfrequently shrouded in a dense and lasting marine fog. I was more than pleased to learn the air was crystal clear this evening. I wasted no time getting down to the beach, found my point of view over the small stone, and pulled out the 4-stop ND Grad from my bag. Positioning the filter at 0º angle over the sky, I managed a few long exposures while continually refining the filter’s influence over the scene.
A story behind:Serralves is the biggest contemporary art museum in Porto. Sunday was a lovely day with lot of light and truly early summer temperatures. We had a lunch at the open air museum´s cafeteria, then a stroll in the park among the trees and flowers bursting into spring. ( The second photo awarded a first page of Onephoto.net ) Location: Porto, Portugal.
Traveling to small Portuguese towns like Celorico da Beira in the middle of the week can be a real pleasure. That day we were probably the only tourists there and the old part of the town was completely "ours". Celorico da Beira is one of these "forgotten" Portuguese towns that does not make the Top 50 Portugal Tourist Attractor List but that is exactly what makes it so attractive and appealing: no tourists!
So have a walk along the walls of the XII century castle with the astonishingly beautiful vistas over the Beira country. The medieval style castle is old but when you look closer you find some old stone inscriptions with a names like Sérvio, Munida and Junio dating back from the Roman period of emperor César Augusto (27 a.C.-14 d.C.). But there is more to Celorico than its medieval castle. Walk a couple of steps down and you find a very well preserved 200 meters long Roman road still in use ! No tourists, friendly people and a piece of big history waits for you in Celorico. Have fun as we did.
Sunset at the Mosterios beach. São Miguel island, Azores.
A story behind: Saturday night. The Mosteiros beach at the westernmost tip of the São Miguel island is one of my favorite spots for photography. Every time I come there the beach is different. The sandy and rocky parts of the beach are always in a different place due to the kinetic force of the ocean. Even big rocks at the furthermost part of the beach seem to "move somehow". That night the dark clouds above the rocky islets intensified the glow illuminating the water in a very interesting way. No wonder why in 2010 the archipelago of Azores was the winner of the "Portugal´s Seven Natural Wonders" contest.Location:Mosteiros, Açores Islands.
Gear: Nikon D80, Sigma 10-20 mm. ND 0.3 and ND 0.6. Nef to Tiff conversion. Saved in Jpg file.