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