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!
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!
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!
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.
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!)