The Architectural Charm of Porto

In a recent blog post I took a look at the people and street scenes of my beautiful adopted home city of Porto (in northern Portugal)

A street photographer’s delight, the folk of Porto provide a form of reportage that (depending where you grew up) will draw you in.

It’s not my intention to make the inhabitants of Porto sound like mere photographical fodder, not a bit of it – the people here are warm, friendly, polite, well educated, multilingual, and thoroughly modern.

After several visits to Porto, we decided to make it our home, can I offer any further proof of my love and respect of this city? (I think not)

Street photography may very well live and die by the people in the shot, or the humanistic nature of the image captured, but in a wider sense street photography often requires the context of the background.

Which brings me to this post.

Porto is no modern spring chicken, much of it is very, very old and parts of it have, well frankly, seen better days.

It’s this juxtaposition of people and scenery that will capture your eye when you’re here, so let’s take a look at the architectural charm of Porto.

We’re going to looking at a fair few pictures, so get comfortable, pour a glass and enjoy! Alternatively, if you’re on your mobile, with only a 3g connection, you might want to come back later!

All these images can be clicked on to open in a new window, where you can change the image size and see the full exif data.

All are shot on the Fujifilm X-Pro1. Which I love dearly.

Old and New
Old and new, this side-by-side nature is so often seen here.

River Banks
Down by the Douro, the buildings are centuries old, and extremely beautiful. The colours may be a little faded, but their aesthetic is without doubt. This area is very tourist focused.

The Old Sign
Get yourself into the side streets and you’ll find places that have been unchanged for many years. This shop sign hangs outside of a place that closed 20 years ago! Note also the mustard coloured building in the background, this is a colour you’ll see a lot of here. Also note the glowing light (I took this quite late in the day), that’s not post production folks, that’s how things glow here!

Not everything is beautiful or possessed of wabi charm. Some of the city is quite dark and foreboding.

Wrought Iron
Porto constantly reminds of the beauty of what once was there, while still showing you the beauty of what endures.

Please don’t think that I am telling you Porto is being left to crumble… Renovation and building work is constantly taking place.

Mercado Bom Sucesso

Urban Surfer
The modern constructions have a entirely different look than many of the old buildings, but the beauty is always present. Both inside and out (NB: these 2 shots are not the same place)

Observing Change
(As the saying goes) if there’s one constant in life, it’s change. The mind boggles at the many street scenes this statue must of seen (sic) over the years.

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