Monday, December 15, 2008

Bragging rights! lol

Picture of the week - NEWSWEEK

Not to tout my own horn... but I'm soooooo proud! :)))


Monday, November 24, 2008

A different perspective

Sometimes, all it takes is looking at everyday things in a different perspective.
There's a place in Lisbon that fills up with people during the weekend - if the sun is out, you can bet that Belém, home of the famous "Pastéis de Belém" (Portuguese Custards), is buzzing with people of all ages and walks of life. It's an amazing place by the river Tagus where people go to relax, play, romance... I've been there hundreds of times and it wasn't until recently that I found out that I had stopped noticing all the great things about it... When I looked around through my 40D's viewfinder, this is how I saw the Discoveries Monument...


... and this is how I remember the iconic Tower of Belém...


So, ask yourself this: "Which of the things I take for granted in my life haven't I been noticing properly lately?"... Then go shoot it from an unusual perspective and see how that makes you feel :)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mystic and Mysterious

It's a place that makes you feel like you've entered the Twilight Zone. Fabulous architecture, intense atmosphere - from the buildings to the gardens... and please don't get me started on the tunnels!

Earlier this year I got myself an ultra-wide angle lens for my beloved 40D and went to try it out in Sintra, at Quinta da Regaleira. I live only a few miles away, but I had never been there and I was blown away by the place... Lord Byron knew what he was talking about when he described Sintra as a "Glorious Eden"!

I took this one crouching on one of the steps :)
It's The Palace:



Then, I entered the palace and came out on a balcony. Surprise, surprise - a welcome breath of fresh air (contrasting with the heavy atmosphere on the inside). When I first looked around I wondered if I really had entered the Twilight Zone and got teleported to Disneyland :)







Walking around the gardens, I came across the Initiation Well, inspired by the initiation rites of the Knights Templar. Going down these stairs is a truly mystic experience... if you can block out all the other people around you.
I could focus for a moment and it was a powerful emotion... I was dizzy even before I began the descent... but taking this next photo (I know I already posted it here, but now you know the rest of the story) may have had something to do with that :)

Vertigo


Monday, November 17, 2008

Eye on the detail

The other day I crossed the river Sado on a ferryboat. I was pleasantly surprised by the brand new and colourful ferries that go back and forth between Tróia and Setúbal. I was kind of overwhelmed by the details and very eager to see what I could do using only the 70-300mm range and these are some of what I came up with :)







I had forgotten how much fun I can have while focusing on the details...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Raising awareness - all as one

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes YOU did!

Long road ahead

Here's to the celebration of a historic victory and to the long road ahead... May the world find a tranquil path to evolve into something better - step by step.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Here's to the possible dawn of a new era...

Purple sunrise

As the sun was rising over the beautiful dam of Vale do Gaio (Torrão, Alcácer do Sal - Portugal), I endured the chilly morning air to get this (and a tonne other :) photos.
It seems appropriate for a day like today - a day which I'm hoping will bring the world a new sense of hope...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The place I dream of...

Braving the elements

Meet the lighthouse of my dreams - Bugio Tower, we call it (apparently, the name Bugio originates from the similarity of the structure to that of a candle in a candle-holder - bougie is French for candle and many Portuguese words have French origin).
I can see it from my window (and now that I bought a longer telezoom, I can see it even better :). This photo wasn't taken from my window, though. Took it from a yachting harbour near where I live. The day was beautifully wintry and the sea was choppy... perfect!

I guess I'll just have to go there some time and become a squatter ;)
Preferably when the weather gets a bit better... or worse, as most of you would call it :)


Monday, September 29, 2008

Wrath of the gods

My passion for severe weather was satisfied the other day during what I can only call a true orgy of clouds just before a magnificent thunderstorm.

Grey Sky I

The colours, the shapes, the way the wind moulded them before my eyes... a real feast - and I thank the gods for it.

Grey Sky II

By gods I mean Mother Earth and her weather leprechauns, elves and pixies... of course ;)

Looming

These photos don't do justice to the event itself... but I had lots of fun taking them. I was especially glad to be able to capture the faint flicker of a lighthouse caught in the middle of that raging storm.

Green flick(e)r of hope...

A green flicker of hope for those who feel lost and scared when witnessing these "arguments" from up above. Very faint and distant from where I stood... but there, without a doubt. There's always one of those, no matter how dire the straits we may find ourselves in... you just have to really look for it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mystified by the misty morning



I couldn't believe my eyes...

Suspended

... when I opened the drapes of my hotel room window...



... I could have sworn I had walked into some sort of Twilight Zone...

Golden mist

... but I finally managed to go for my camera - and now I can relive that morning whenever I look at these. Lucky me! ;)


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Almost... and that's fine

Lost in time

Is almost better than nothing?... Sometimes I wonder.
Being used to watch the skies in search for the worst possible conditions (like any respectable severe weather freak ;) I sometimes have trouble dealing with the possibility that never came to be... Like this stormy sky that came over me the other day in Alentejo, as I was shooting these amazing castle ruins.
The cherry on top of that cake would have been being caught in the middle of a thunderstorm in such a fitting setting... But, alas, that did not come to be. As if frozen in time and space, the grey stormy skies just hovered above me, taunting me and never evolved into what I wished they would...
You can't always get what you want, right? That's quite debatable, I know, but let's just leave it at that for the time being... ;)

Anyway, even if this left me wanting more (wind, thunder and rain - go figure! lol), it allowed me to get this (and other) photos... Way better than some boring blue sky shots. It's something I've learned through photography and it serves me well in my life: rather than bitching about not getting quite there (in any endeavour...) it's always better to look on the bright side (insert Monty Python's little tune here ;).

Just a little of something good can leave a bitter taste in your mouth... But if the alternative is nothing at all - which would you choose? Would you rather enjoy and cherish what little you got or would you prefer never having to regret not getting all you wanted?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Peek-a-boo ;)

Peek-a-boo 02

View from the castle on top of Montemor-o-Novo (Alentejo, Portugal).

Looking for what could make a good photo is a funny process...
Sometimes you have to look beyond the obvious - just as in life itself :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Is it smoke? Is it a cloud?...

Fading contrail

It's a contrail.
Caught a glimpse of it from my window as I passed by... I hurriedly went for my camera (back in 2006).
Then, camera in hand, I took my time to really understand what it was... and tried to make the most of the late afternoon light, as the sun was going down.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

UFO?!

video
No photos this time... :)
February, 2005 - I made this video (a very long time ago, I know!) from my window. This is a shortened version (featured here) of the original, which you can watch here.
I submitted it to several people who supposedly know quite a bit about possible UFOs... No one could ever tell me what this is... There was no sound from above, only from traffic passing by on the street below...
What do you think it is?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Vertigo

Vertigo

When I bought an ultra-wide angle lens for my 40D (the Canon EF-S 10-22mm), I took it to Sintra for a visit to the Regaleira Palace.

I ended up taking a lot of cool photos, one of which I'm including here (you can find more here - and I especially like this one).

I was also able to confirm that I'm a "wide-angle photography kind of person" :)

But that's another story...

The photo in this post shows the Initiation Well, a very mysterious place. I find it quite hypnotic and the descent really is an amazing experience... Sintra at its best!

Jamaica... it could be Paradise



I came back from Jamaica a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing - the Caribbean Sea will always have a special place in my heart :)
And it could have been a trip to Paradise. Don't get me wrong: Jamaica is absolutely amazing, a place where Nature has spared no efforts and came up with a true masterpiece! And it's nobody's fault that I can't call it Paradise: why did I have to live in Europe, which makes me have to endure an 8+ hours flight to get there?... And why can't I afford to fly 1st class? ;) Nobody's fault, really...
If you haven't been to Jamaica (I stayed in Ocho Rios) I highly recommend it if you're a fan of the ocean. The ocean and the people - I loved them. I'm very sorry that I didn't get to see a real thunderstorm while I was there. That's what I was really hoping for since day one... Maybe next time :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Photography is my 6th sense

I know, I know – "Photography as a sense? What the hell is she talking about?!”

But that’s how I think of it. My 6th sense (I know I must have one, right? - they say all women do…) has very little to do with ESP and such stuff… And then again, maybe it does. Let me explain…

My 6th sense is made up of the heightened state of all my other senses… I use it to make photos. They may look like nothing special to you, but they speak volumes to me – each and every one of them. If I’m in the right mood, I can “see” photography… “touch” photography… “taste” photography… “hear” photography… and I can even “smell” photography (although sometimes I’m sure you’ll understand why I wish I couldn’t!)


Just try this:

1) Take your camera and turn it on

2) Place yourself in front of something you want to photograph… or just take a snapshot of ;)

3) Close your eyes

4) Feel the camera in your hands (you’d better know by heart where the shutter button is by now… ;)

5) Feel your lips with the tip of your tongue (somehow, I believe you’ll find this bit either very ridiculous or highly erotic… either way, it’ll tell you a lot about yourself!)

6) Listen carefully to your surroundings – if you try hard enough, and assuming you’re at home, you’ll be able to hear what’s going on in your neighbour’s bathroom – (quickly) filter that out and direct your attention to the world outside your window, for instance… even if traffic noise is all you get, I'm sure you'll thank me for the heads-up ;)

7) Now, forget all about your neighbour’s bathroom (I mean it!)… and take a deep breath

8) Hold your breath, focus on what you want to shoot (no, not your neighbour… the stuff you want to photograph), gather your now heightened senses (all 5 of them) and combine them into a 6th sense… and breathe out as you press the shutter button.


Tell me, what did you get? If nothing else, a very different photo from the one you would have taken with your eyes wide open… not better, not worse – unique. And yours – a reflection of what you felt when you took it.

Well, I invite you to try this exercise and let me know what you came up with… I invite you to let me know what you felt during the fifth step of this exercise ;)

Keep chasing the light… I will catch you later – trust me, I will


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My contribution to the Cloud Appreciation Society

When I found out about The Cloud Appreciation Society, I knew I was not alone! No more thinking that I was the only one constantly with my nose up in the air, looking for clouds, storms... and basically just staring at the sky... ;)
These are four of my photos that The Cloud Appreciation Society as featured on their website (until now, because I've sent them a few more):


And as long as I have a camera in my hands (which I hope I always will...), I'll keep looking up, searching for amazing skies to photograph. Me and my 40D make quite a team... ;)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Testing - 1, 2, 3...

Is this thing working? ;)

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