Shapes and Textures from My World in Porto

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For this post we’re going to look at shapes and textures!

It’s always good to go out with an idea for a shot, something that you’ve pre-visualised and are then able to realise.

But I know many of you (and I include myself) also like to go out, ‘photo exploring’ – that is to wander looking for what you might see.

So with that in mind, here’s a selection of shots that I happened to find, then once found I had to have!

These are all shot with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the XF35/1.4, in and around the city of Porto (in northern Portugal)

The Only Way is Up
I guess this is quite a common photograph… but it’s so discombobulating! It’s actually a reflection of the bridge, with a sliver of the track from the funicular that takes you to the top of the hill that forms the valley of the Douro. I always try to keep an eye out for scenes that appeal to me visually.

Head Shot
This appealed to me as at first pass it’s a simple scene. But I liked the photographer in the shot offset against the 2 shadowy figures behind the glass. The glass is textured and I liked how the diagonal strut linked it all together. This was taken at Sao Bento station in central Porto.

The Cabin
I have been migrating my software workflow to a new platform, so I was looking for images to test the workflow. To that end I decided to explore the allotments near our property. These allotments usually feature huts made from corrugated iron, so (me being me…) I decided to have a peak inside. I’ve always had a fondness for scenes that have lots of intricacy and detail, and this didn’t disappoint!

Touch the Sky
Speaks for it’s self, no?! Late May and June are months of celebration in Portugal, with many fairs and stalls etc springing up! This is the Ferris wheel from the fair at Matosinhos.

Three's a Crowd
Virtually every building in Porto has at least one of these units on the side, often multiple units! I think they are to do with air-conditioning… I find them as ubiquitous to Porto as water towers are to the skyline of New York. Remember: just because you see something everyday, doesn’t mean there’s no value in photographing it! These were taken just outside of the Mercado Bom Sucesso

They're Hear
Another shot from an unexpected place!! I was inside the Mercado Bom Sucesso, looking to get myself a brigadeiro (I’m a bit addicted to them) and once my chocolate lust was satisfied, I had a little look around and saw these outdoor gas heaters (presumably in storage until winter). The repetition and the colour is what made these catch my eye.

Shadow on the Stair
This was taken the day I obtained my Portuguese residency, it was quite a log day, with a lot of waiting around and making sure I had my papers in order. PERSONALLY, I always find that bureaucracy is quite a lot of work… suddenly made simple when you finally get the correct documents in front of the correct person! Mission completed, the day a success, I left the Matosinhos Municipal just as we were getting to the ‘golden hour’ of light and the shadow on these stairs popped out at me from across the street! Sometimes with pictures, it’s the most simple ideas and scenes that turn out the best!

Airport Footsteps
We recently went on a short trip to see my family in England. A delayed plane and a 3 year old daughter meant that it was each to their own for amusing themselves! My girl climbed and played and danced – I (of course) took pictures! I’ll write about the trip to England at some point!

I’m happy with this one!! As frequently seems to happen… I’d done for the day, packed the camera away; caught the bus and was headed home. It’s a bus route I don’t frequently take, and it drops me off near where my normal route takes me, but a couple of hundred meters up the road. As soon as I got off the bus I saw this scene and it immediately appealed my eye. Dark, light, textured – dilapidated yet bright! I knew I have to grab a shot.

Yes, photo exploration can be a lot of fun – the chance to make images from the apparently mundane world that so many simply stride past to hide. But things are forever changing, just because you see something frequently, doesn’t mean you should pass it by without a second look, or better yet, a photograph!

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