Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (A Preview)

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Lamego, Portugal) (2)

A week ago was the Portuguese national holiday, Assunção de Nossa Senhora (Assumption of Mary), and we took the opportunity of a long weekend to make a stop in the picturesque town of Lamego in the Douro Valley enroute to the home village.

We walked all the way up, at least 600 steps (!), to Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, built in the mid-18th century. Not surprisingly, I took so many photos of the church that I’ve managed to edit only a tiny preview. More to come in the album.

Bom fim de semana!

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Lamego, Portugal) (3)

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Lamego, Portugal) (4)

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Lamego, Portugal) (5)

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Lamego, Portugal) (1)

Serra do Pilar By Night

Serra do Pilar in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto, Portugal) (1)

Last month we were at Serra do Pilar in Vila Nova de Gaia to see fado singer Gisela João perform on the first night for Cais de Fado. By day, Serra do Pilar is a facility of the Portuguese Army and closed to the public, but on occasion it opens up to serve as an event venue. If the name Serra do Pilar sounds familiar, it’s also next to a monastery which has a terrace with the best view of Porto over the Luís I Bridge. I only started shooting from that viewpoint last month, and since then I’ve been back at every opportunity for more.

I carried two cameras with me the night I took these photos, switching between the two depending on the lighting conditions, using the FX body for the performance and the DX body for the wide angles. Night shooting is a real challenge, and the only time I’ll bump up the ISO from its lowest position. If the ISO is above 400, I’ll typically run the photos through a noise reduction program. Event night shooting is especially tricky: mixed lighting throws off the white balance, motion blur has to be controlled, lights and shadows are constantly moving around. I shoot manually 100% of the time, and it’s tough to get the settings right every time, in-camera. Yet, I get such a kick out of it, because when it works it is really gratifying. (I sound like such a masochist!)

Enough tech talk, back to the photos. You’ll find more in the growing Cais de Fado album.

Serra do Pilar in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto, Portugal) (4)

Serra do Pilar in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto, Portugal) (2)

Serra do Pilar in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto, Portugal) (3)

Serra do Pilar in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto, Portugal) (5)

Serra do Pilar in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto, Portugal) (6)

July 24, 2014
Album: Cais de Fado 2014

My Metro Station Has Cows

There are times in my expat life when I wonder, “How long will it be before things that seemed odd at first suddenly become normal?”

Does YOUR metro station have cows?

My timing wasn’t good enough to get the metro going by at the end of this little videoclip on my phone — it passed just after I finishing recording so you’ll just have to use your imagination to contrast the urban look of a metro next to a cow barn. The area around me is semi-countryside, but really not far from Porto: a 20-minute ride gets me to the heart of the city (Trindade Station, by City Hall). Compare that to a 20-minute metro ride in Toronto which would get me only get me as far as Lawrence Station on the Yonge Line heading north. It’s really a different world here, and to me that’s a good thing.

Hazy Porto

Porto, Portugal (1)

I took some couchsurfers around Porto today, a zigzaggy circuit that included viewpoints, bridges, train station, cafes, city hall, lunch in Gaia, lots of typical Porto steep street climbs and peering to the ground far below.

It was warm today but the sun and clouds were battling it out in the sky, creating an odd mix of fog and haze, with the light breaking through here and there. After wrangling with the colours and contrast, my inner photo editor decided to throw in the white balance towel and let VSCO take over most of these pictures. Here you go!

Porto, Portugal (2)

Porto, Portugal (3)

Porto, Portugal (4)

Porto, Portugal (5)

Porto, Portugal (6)

Porto, Portugal (7)

Porto, Portugal (8)

Porto, Portugal (9)

Porto, Portugal (10)

Porto, Portugal (11)

August 19, 2014
Album: Portugal (Summer 2014)

Douro Valley Sunsets

Douro Valley sunset (Portugal) (1)

When it comes to sunsets, I’m crazy for layers. See why?

All of these shots were taken around the Douro Valley, either on Friday driving to Penela da Beira for festas or yesterday on the drive back to Porto. (If I’m diligent, I’ll even plot some of them in my Pinterest map of Portugal, which will have a lot more pins after next month’s road trip.)

Douro Valley sunset (Portugal) (2)

Douro Valley sunset (Portugal) (3)

Douro Valley sunset (Portugal) (4)

Douro Valley sunset (Portugal) (5)

Douro Valley sunset (Portugal) (6)

Douro Valley sunset (Portugal) (7)

August 15/17, 2014
Album: Penela da Beira (Summer 2014 Festas)

Penela Da Beira: Video Preview

Procissão 2014 Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Penela da Beira, Portugal) (1)

We are back from our long weekend in the family’s home village of Penela da Beira (Viseu region, Northern Portugal), where festas (celebrations) in honour of Nossa Senhora da Piedade have been going on for days. This afternoon was the religious procession following mass, and I asked Paulo to take some video while I took pictures. Here are just a few of them, the rest will be uploaded (eventually) to the album, along with photos from side trips to nearby Lamego, Torre de Moncorvo, and a site of religious interest overlooking the Douro River called Santuário de São Salvador do Mundo.

[video link]

Procissão 2014 Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Penela da Beira, Portugal) (2)

Procissão 2014 Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Penela da Beira, Portugal) (3)

August 17, 2014
Album: Penela da Beira (Summer 2014 Festas)

Viagem Medieval 2014: The Album

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (1)

18th annual Medieval Fair / Viagem Medieval
Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal
July 31-August 10, 2014
Official site: www.viagemmedieval.com
All photos and videos shot August 3, 2014.

It’s a holiday in Portugal tomorrow, and we’re heading off to the family’s home village in Penela da Beira for the festivities. I wanted to post the album before we leave, because we will be unplugged over the weekend and I know I will have another boatload of photos when we return.

This album is BIG, so I’m posting a cross section and I invite you to check out the rest of the album via Flickr:

[thumbnails]
[view as a full-screen slideshow] – includes videoclips

Viagem Medieval 2014: Food & Drink
Viagem Medieval 2014: Videoclips

Bom Fim de Semana!

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (2)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (3)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (4)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (5)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (6)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (7)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (8)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (9)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (10)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (11)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (12)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (13)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (14)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (15)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (16)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (17)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (18)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (19)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (20)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (21)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (22)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (23)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (24)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (25)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (26)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (27)

Viagem Medieval 2014 (Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal) (28)

August 3, 2014
Album: Viagem Medieval 2014