Category Archives: History

Back Story: Porto Portugal

I had a chance to visit Porto, Portugal this week. It is a beautiful city with character. Or said another way, it was a beautiful city that has seen better days.

Photographically it is a beautiful place, given the colors, history, textures and clutter so as a photographer it was a wonderful place to see. But that underlying feeling of neglect and poverty is what made the strongest impression of my visit there.


At the top of a very long outside stairway, is a small alley with a mix of abandoned and neglected apartments. At the top of the stairs sat this woman who, to me, typified the European grandma. There she was, shelling peas in her lap, as she enjoyed the view from outside her apartment. Behind her were some abandoned, mostly graffiti covered apartments.

An old world view, of an old world port, in a region that has over 2000 years of history.


The colors were saturated to bring out the contrast better. There is a lot going on here. The yellow of the building contrasts nicely with the blue of the skis. The red of the door and red graffiti of the bird provide interesting items and balance from left to right. Because of the mix of colors, I hope people see the main character for this photo, the lone lady shelling peas.

Graphic / Composition

Because of the wide angle lens used, there is some warping in the buildings that I think work well for this image. The walls on both sides of the image, funnel the eye to the main character. The triangle created by the walls, creates nice depth into the image. The arched window on the right provides an additional view of the river and delivers more information about “Place”.


This image was created as a high dynamic range photo. This allowed me to combine a properly exposed sky with a properly exposed building and walkway.

ISO 400, 20mm (Canon EF-S10-22mm Lens), F10 and bracketed by speed at 1/125, 1/320, 1/800.

The images were combined using Nik HDR Pro.

You can see more photos of my visit to Porto, Portugal here.

All images are (c) R. DeRobertis 2011


How Convenient! Boston Bodegas and the Immigrant Experience

A friend of mine and fellow photographer Peter Bates is exhibiting his work at The Newton Free Library from now until July 31.  I had a chance to go to the opening reception last week.

What I liked about his exhibit is that Peter choose a project to drive his photographic passion.  He chose to photograph Boston Bodegas at twilight using HDR techniques.  His work is wonderful.  but better yet, Peter interviewed the owners and wrote a back story about each Bodega and their owner.  It is a wonderful exhibit.  

He inspires me. 

Images reprinted by permission by the maker.  Contact Peter at 

Henry's Market

Composite Interview Shot Happy Superette Onwer

The Newton Free Library is at 330 Homer Street, Newton, MA 02459
Hours open:
Mon-Thr 9-9
Fri 9-6
Sat 9-5

Memorial Day

I just posted a cross over entry about my dad on my marketing blog.  You may find it interesting.

You can find it here.

A few days in Ireland

A few days in Ireland

While on business I spend a few days in the village of Adare in Ireland.  Adare  is a quant vacation village with a wonderful old world feel.  I had some time to photograph the Adare Manor .  The manor was built by the Second Earl of Dunraven and his wife, Lady Caroline Wyndham in 1832.  It was a pleasant photographic study.  I also had some time to photograph the village shops a beautifully colorful subject. 

I’ve posted some images on my website here .  You can enjoy a larger version of the podcast here .

Music is by Keith Hichliff .



The history of photography

It is important if you are going to take photography seriously to understand where photography came from.  I found a wonderful podcast by Jeff Curto a professor at the College of Dupage.  The podcast is his “History of Photography” class.  A lot of work went into this podcast since they are enhanced podcasts meaning that he has incorported each of his slides / images into the podcast.  From Egyptian paintings to Ansel Adams in fifteen 2-3 hour podcasts he covers not only the history but spurs thoughtful discussion on the craft called photography.

For example something I learnt from the podcast is the life and times of Mr. Daguerre.  Mr, Daguerre is recognized as one of the first photographers.  He certainly made photography a business enterprise by inventing the means that brought photograhy to the masses.  Below is considered the first photograph.  Notable is that in the lower left hand corner is a person getting his shoe shined.  (The first picture of a person).  Because he waited long enough there was enought exposure time to be captured.

A quasi – fictional book about Mr. Daguerre is available on Amazon.  It is an interesting book in that as much history is blended into a romantic story of the way of life that Mr. Daguerre lived in when he invented photography.