If the people make a place, and in turn the place makes the people, then what sort of pictures can you capture?

Recently, on the section of my site talking about my favourite camera, I compared the humble Fuji X-Pro (and by proxy X100) series to the indomitable Leica M.

Well Leica have just released a new model M. No don’t worry, here’s not the place to find out about it, you can do that at their website. But I cannot tell a lie, I did watch their promotional video…

…for one simple reason, they sent a trio of ‘Togs to Porto.

Porto is based in northern Portugal, the second largest city in the country – Porto plays a significant role in Portugal’s history and culture.

But Porto also holds another, far less grandiose significance…

I live there!

So the mighty Leica deem Porto worthy of flying in photographers to capture street scenes here… Cool! But for me, when I want to do that, I just leave the house!

So armed with a “mere” Fujifilm, let’s take a bus ride (sorry I can’t spring for a plane) into town and see what we can see!

The Purposeful Explorer
Porto rolls down the valley into the Douro river, criss-crossed by ancient side streets. Like any popular tourist destination, it pays to explore away from the main areas, to see and feel as much as possible. Who knows… maybe you’ll be so enamoured with a place that you’ll end up living somewhere new!

Street Cards: A Serious Matter
Wander away from the main streets and you’ll see local life flourish. Groups playing card games, this is clearly a serious business!

The Attraction & Fear of Nice ThingsMatter
Porto has many shops, a lot of them are not ‘chain’ stores, but independent places selling treats and delicacies. Meats, cakes, Port, wine, coffee… Nice things! You should definitely treat yourself, well if you’re allowed in that is!

A Forgotten World
To my eye at least, Porto offers the chance to see people go about their lives, in surroundings that have not really changed for a great number of years. This, too me, has a special charm that drives home the notion that things do change, but they really don’t.

It’s wonderful that a company such as Leica acknowledges Porto* as a destination that demands photography, if you visit the city, I guarantee you’ll see the sights that those Leica photographers did, you’ll love them and photograph them, and you should start there. But if you then venture just a few hundred meters away from those famous places, you’ll see the views from a slightly less well trodden (but no less authentic) path.

The Timeless Line

Whatever camera you shoot (and no matter who’s picking up your travel costs) you’ll find a little spark of visual magic on these streets.

(*Yes, I’m aware of Leica’s manufacturing connection to Portugal!)

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8 Replies to “Porto People Street Scenes”

  1. Great post. It’s clearly a photographer’s paradise – those sloping cobbled streets are extremely photogenic, and you appear to be getting more than your fair share of good light!

    PS the washing line shot is one of my faves of yours – not sure why, but it seems to imply that life there moves at a very different pace to what I’m used to.


    1. Thanks very much Alex,

      The light here is amazing, well when the sun’s up high it’s all a bit harsh, but I’m sure that the golden hour is longer than an hour, and it’s REALLY golden, I mean seriously everything just glows…

      We had a pretty unseasonal March and April weather wise, LOTS of rain and hail, but this past week it’s been lovely… Like July in the UK lovely 😉

      That washing line shot is my fav (so far) of 2016, well give or take some shots of the sprog that I don’t bore my flickr/blog followers with!

      The washing line shot just came out exactly as I wanted, I cloned out a street lamp, because I wanted the only modern thing in it to be the pants, and I had to wait a while for a boat to sod off on the river that looked too modern, then a shallow DOF, so you couldn’t make out anything too modern on the river bank!

      I think I’ve wormed that shot into at least 2 blog posts!

      It’s weird… it didn’t really occur to me to blog about Porto in a holistic way. But I saw the Leica M-D promo vid and thought, hang on a minute, I live there, I’ve got a stack of images from Porto, and their togs just went to the obvious places (well in the vid, dunno about real life)

      OK, I’ll start to sound like a tourist board if I keep typing any longer!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jos, here ya go!

      Oh and FWIW when I do street here, I don’t shove a camera & flash in people’s faces! But what do I know, I don’t shoot Leica 🙂


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