Portugal Street Photography From Porto
Porto, at any time, is pure Portugal street photography pleasure. If you like an old European feel of real live characters this city will reward with more than a glancing blow. A stream of Portugal street life will flow for you around every corner. Just follow the stoned pavement. The setts, often confused with cobbles, will take you to the usual suspect in public markets, cafes and street activities. Bolhao is rumoured to be one of Europe’s finest food markets with the opportunity to observe fish mongers and the daily pick fruit, just off the vine vegetables under an opaque crinolined roof. Light streams in as you barter for specialities of dried pig’s heads or goose neck barnacles. How about Portugal’s mainstays, honey or fresh figs? It is all here and the man and his daughter are at the entrance to welcome you with his music machine that filters the market as you make your fresh daily choices.
After Portuguese marketplace mania move out into the cobblestone streets. Clattering around on those ancient rocks is all the charm while you are looking for what they will spill out around the next corner! Take in more Portuguese living with a slow coffee at the shop nearby. You can see Portuguese going about their daily routines, shopping and talking and gawking and interacting with the ubiquitous pigeons.
Late afternoon sun brings out the other ever present Porto scene, people gathered in squares and cafes to discuss the topic of the day. Politics and economy always skirt around local gossip and beautiful people.
For more on northern Portugal and pigeons in the streets of the world, see also:
Living The Streets Bolhao Market Entrance Entertainment, Porto, Portugal ©heathersimondsphotography.com
One is the Loneliest Number
Lonely one. One.
The loneliest number? That familiar chant has a lyrical ring but alone is not always lonely, even though it stands alone. Sometimes alone is necessary.
It is easy to get lulled into mingling the crowds, following the people, hiding in the wings. A lot can be accomplished in solitude. Contemplative, meditative, thoughtful, soul searching all have merit in this fast track world of hustle bustle. And then there is technology. Pressing and pushing into the mold. What the ubiquitous “everyone” is doing. Solitaire is not always grim. There is peace in aloneness. Peace brings clarity. Conflict avoidance is meritorious. Single has value.
There are a few composition rules in art that relate to numbers. Some adhere to the strictest of interpretations. Odd numbers are stronger than even. Three and five are better than one so goes the rule. But one can provide focus, narrowing. The old man in the plaza is reflecting on his life, the single pigeon is uncommon, both are reinforced by shadows, the homeless man has just discovered outerwear left behind by a city view taker, cafes welcome singles, streets abound with single strollers. One will always limit the focus, whether or not it is a lonely one.
For more on street photography, see also:
Portuguese Old Folks of Amarante Region, Northern Portugal
Late Afternoon Folks
Portuguese old folks are easy to find in northern Portugal. Just step outside in the late afternoon. Catch them taking in the late afternoon warmth before dusk sets in. Cobbled streets absorbing the suns rays keeps those older tootsies toasty. Now just slow down to their pace. That is more difficult but necessary. It is part of the story.
Take the Amarante municipality, east of Porto, just far enough to venture from that manageable but hustling city to meet some countryside folks. They may have time to stop and gaze or even converse. That is, if you speak Portuguese. If you do not, universal language of gestures and smiles and friendliness works as well as in most parts of the world. If you are outside, milling about, and not looking at the wealth of northern mountain scenery, check the folks out. Just be warned, they can be a little shorter than you in stature, if you are sneaking candid shots. There is lots of time to make some hand gesture small talk even if you do not know Portuguese. Keep that camera low and the smile broad and you will be rewarded.
Portugal is a small country and easy to travel. Migrate away from the bigger centres and you will find Portuguese old folks less hurried in their gait but with stories in their eyes.
If you are looking for more photos of street photography and local people, see also:
Arshan Siberia People and a Few Cows
Mountain Town Sublime
Arshan, Siberia is a mountain town nestled at the foot of snow capped Sayan Range. There are a few things that you should know before you venture up the less beaten track from Lake Baikal to experience it.
Water – Arshan is famed for it and visitors come from all over Russia for the water experience. The name Arshan comes from the Buryat word for “spring”. People come to gulp it, there are bottle filling stations everywhere. If they are not imbibing, they are partaking in it, in a spa sort of way. If neither or both are for you, you can also take in a hike along a mountain stream if you do not want to drink or immerse in it.
Yawn – if it is nightlife you want, you had better take the next bus back down to Lake Baikal. Better still, head on back east to Ulan Ude or west to Irkutsk, where you might be able to find a semblance of nightlife. Otherwise, you will be stuck listening to the boom box output of visiting Russians. Besides vodka, it is part of the remote vacation experience in Russia.
Kids – They make it easy. Discover community life through the eyes of the children. Whether visitors or locals, around the world, curious and innocent, naive and open, kids are kids.
Outdoors – it is a nature kind of place with hikes in some of the purest air available on the continent. Take a breath.
Vodka – is more available than groceries. Walls of it. The convenience store walls are reserved for vodka and the small display case in the center has edibles. Vodka prevails over food, get used to it.
Cows are almost as available as vodka. You can meet them on the main street, in the back alleys and just about everywhere else. If the owners do not pay attention to them they come calling.
For more on travel in Siberia and Russia see also: