Skip to content

Lisbon in Focus

When people ask me about the craft of photography – and by no means I want to claim to be an expert – they usually first ask about my gear. I get it, the gear is important. Of course you want to have a DSLR to get a good quality shot and have a lens with a wide spectrum to catch it all. Post-processing is part of it too, some lighting improvements and tone adjustments. But that’s not what it is really about. You can get good equipment nowadays for less and less money, and that’s cool because it allows more and more people to express themselves creatively. But what I like about photography is to get to look closely, find interesting subjects, uncover the hidden things in daily street life. Basically photography – or the kind photography I like – is focusing, finding beauty in common things and following their geometry. The gear helps, but the work is done by the eyes. The result is joy, and maybe some interesting shots (among many many hundreds).

test

IMG_1630 KopieIMG_3963jIMG_1756 (1)IMG_2753 KopieIMG_2436 IMG_1910IMG_1861 Kopie IMG_2792

Italy September 2012 Part I

In September 2012 I went for a trip to Sicily and Southern Italy with friends. On the way there I had also a chance to visit Milano. I already posted some of these impressions on this blog but thought it would be nice to cramp them all into one entry. Also as I mentioned there are some new pictures as well 🙂

test

Sunset over Vulcano

A view over the Bay of Naples.

2012-09-04 14.06.37

The world famous cathedral of Milano. A beautiful piece of Gothic architecture in black and white.

Catania

Catania is an amazing city. Build on the foot of a massive volcano (Etna) it was destroyed and rebuild a couple of times. A fitting alternative name for the city would be Phoenix, as it has risen from the ashes like the legendary bird. In Catania the streets and many buildings are made out of lavastone (basalt) and it may happen very well, that you end in the cellar of a bar in which there are still traces of old lava flows under your table (Agora Hostel Bar). If you are on the main square (Piazza del Duomo) be sure to visit the Cathedral and enjoy this magnificent view from the rooftop.

vespa

Actually this shot is not from 2012. But it fit’s quite well so here it be 🙂 Personally I adore Vespas. And a beautiful turquoise Vespa in Rome must be a win, no?

milanocentral

The train station was build by the Fascists under Mussolini. It is colossal in size and displays various sceneries of Italian life and culture. Today large commercial ads dominate. It is still a fascinating piece of 20th century architecture and a prominent showcase for totalitarian gigantism.

magic

It was the beginning of a warm day in late summer, sailing on board of a ferry into the natural Bay of Naples. As we came on deck we had the privilege to witness this beautiful sunrise over the Vesuvio volcano. The view was stunning and we watched with a humbled AAW. Although we didn’t sleep much on the ferry this night and we had a long program ahead of us in Naples, this sunrise was enough to carry us through the day.

Istanbul April 2013

Less then a week ago I returned from a short trip to the magnificent Istanbul. It was the first time I visited an Islamic country and the first time I experienced a megalopolis with staggering 16 million people! So it was a very insightful and interesting trip. We enjoyed the beginning of spring in the Gardens of the Saray, drunk tea served in the traditional way above the city skyline and paved our way through the busy streets of the Old Bazar. We saw the last station of the Orient Express (sadly not existing anymore), found a feline friend on the Prince Islands (should be rather called cat islands) and explored the nightlife of Galata. In short the city on the Bospurus was beautiful and amazing!

test

View of the Bospurus from the Galata TowerPrince IslandsBetween the MosquesHagia SophiaCat in Mosque

Portugal Part II

This post is a continuation of the one I published some days ago about my Portugal journey in mid of February. It was a good choice to travel there in February by the way. There aren’t many tourists and you meet a lot of locals. The temperature (around 15 to 20 degress Celsius) is perfect for walking around, but there is a good chance for rain though. So that’s a bit of a risk. Although I was in the sea for a couple of minutes (I promised it to a friend) in general I can’t recommend going for a swim in winter 😉 Unless maybe you are Russian and practice one of these crazy winter swims being shown on TV. Anyway the water was darn freezing.

test

View out of the Torre

So maybe it is a better idea just to look at the sea, for example from the Tower of Belém. You get a great view and the architecture of the tower, build in the 16th century, is fascinating by itself. Actually this isn’t the Atlantic but the Tejo River. Unfortunately it was quite foggy this particular morning and you can’t really see Almada, the city lying on the other side of the river bank.

IMG_4452

I liked these small grocery stores very much. You don’t see them very often in Vienna anymore sadly. We had a funny experience in a small shop selling handcrafted ceramics. The old lady spoke Portuguese with me even after I signalized that I didn’t understand it. But she realized that I didn’t get the price so the old lady showed it to me with her hands hereby teaching me how to count in Portuguese. Then the charming woman said something like “Good Schoolboy” and we had a laugh. And in case you wonder about the odd sign of the above shop. I wonder too 😉

IMG_1518

The “waterfront” of Porto is definitely the most AWE-inspiring part of the city. In this town we joined a free walking tour due to our short stay (just one day). A young teacher showed us her city with much dedication. There was an old women monastery out of pure gold. Replying to my question about protection measures she just said “These kind of things don’t happen here”. Her love for Porto was insipring and uplifting. But she also talked about the hard times Portugal is facing due to the finance crisis these days. There are many young people without jobs and it looks grim unfortunately.

IMG_4400

A narrow street in Porto. The Portuguese are fond of cute dogs (I think I didn’t see any big ones). They are everywhere! This particular one followed me a while but lost interest in me after seeing a cat and chasing the poor little thing.

Red Rooftops of Lisboa

In the background you see the Cathedral of Lisboa in a similar style as Notre Dam  (I guess at this point architecture lovers will shout uncontrollably). The picture was taken from one of many viewing points, so called miradouros. You see the Baixa (downtown) and parts of Alfama, the higher part on the eastern side of the old town. Needless to say the red rooftops are magnificent.

Portugal Art

Portuguese are definitely keen on urban art. I didn’t like everything, but this piece was cool. Maybe you would think the tiles are unusual and quite modern here. But in fact Portuguese use tiles a lot. They are called Azulejos and have a centuries old tradition in Portugal. Wanna know more about them? Well I guess then you have to tune in for Part III in a couple of days ;)*

* or you read the wikipedia article, but ppppssss.. don’t tell anyone.