Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:
Part 112: The X-Pro2 and Something Old Something New
Last week I shared a photo story about getting out during a break in the rain to stretch the legs of the X-Pro1 and XF56, a combination that I’d hadn’t given attention to for far too long.
This week you’re going to get a photo story about the X-Pro2 and a new (sic) place I “discovered”
Let me start of with some back story.
I run a photo tours group here in Porto as part of a global organisation for connecting people.
A few weeks back (when the weather was truly bad) some people where in town from the Barcelona branch and asked me to show them around a little.
I grabbed my umbrella, and the X-Pro2 and the XF35 and set off to meet them
They wanted to see a particular place, and not being very good with names (in any language) I wasn’t sure where to find it.
The wondrous age of the internet, google maps yadda yadda and we were soon on our way.
During the walk there I chanced upon some narrow streets that I hadn’t seen before!
My Catalan visitors weren’t photographers and had a tight time budget, but there was no way I was going to let the opportunity for some photos pass me by.
Could I have just gone back later? Of course! And indeed I will (and have in fact)
But that day, with the soft grey light and the damp glistening cobblestones.. the faded beauty of the yellow brickwork and gungy green moss clinging to the ground… that day was a bit special, and the weather made the streets empty. That was the aura that I wanted to photograph.
All shots taken with the X-Pro2 and XF35/1.4 lens and processed in SilkyPix Pro v8, using my technique of changing the RAF file so that the software believes it was shot with an X-Pro1.
Amusingly I’ve forgotten to change the camera model exif data back (to X-Pro2) on one of the Flickr hosted pictures, so it appears to be from an X-Pro1, but it’s not 🙂
Before we get to the faded beauty of the narrow cobbled streets, I’ll start off with a shot I grabbed to test the look of my X-Pro2 to X-Pro1 image process. Yes it’s just a chair, but I wanted to see the colour and the texture. I was also waiting for the Catalans to turn up as I had arrived early!
As you can probably see, I’m not big into sharpening my images! But I like a slightly softer look that isn’t so digitally sharp, YMMV. I think my process here will continue to evolve, but I feel I’m heading in the right direction
The cover shot of this article! This FOR ME is very Porto, old ruddy tiles adorn faded yet bright yellow stone, the skyline is practically timeless, yet spotted with little modern clues such as satellite dishes and aircon units.
Occasionally, (very occasionally) people comment on the pictures that I use for my articles that they’re not touristy, or well known landmarks or that I’m somehow missing their vision of this city. But to me, I’m not here as a tourist, I’m not here as a native, I’m not writing a city guide. The scenes I show are what attracts my eye. I make no apology for this.
If you’re in town and want to find this street, then type ‘Rua do Barredo’ into your map app 🙂
Growing up in a fairly modern town in England, a combination of Victorian and 1970s architecture, the ancient world of Porto never gets old for me, these streets have seen thousands of years of use, they’re saturated with the humanistic imprint of life. The Catholic churches, the bright colours, the non-uniform bricklaying and the texture of the streets provide me an almost tangible sensory experience. I love living here very much 🙂
Porto certainly isn’t a place for people that struggle with hills and stair climbs! I find it mind boggling to try and comprehend the thousands and thousands of people that must have descended/ascended this path over hundreds and hundreds of years. Past lives from past times, yet have people really changed so much? We’re all driven by our basic needs and a very real desire to get to where we need to be. I imply no real kinship with the past, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hear its echo when we walk along its path.
Unless you’re unlucky with the weather, or enjoy traveling to southern European cities in winter, this is the view you won’t often see, cold and damp and empty. I think the solitude brings out the pride in the place to be honest.
It’s the Friday before I publish this (on Sunday, or weeks later if you’re getting this on the blog) and I’ve a clear afternoon, the Spring’s finally arrived here, and the sun is beating down. I might go there this afternoon… but something tells me I might actually prefer the images I took back in winter to whatever tourist infused scenes I find today
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