Streets of Lisbon is an ongoing series of blog entries where I share some of the street images I shoot in Lisbon. In my photowalks in Lisbon I don’t necessarily follow a particular narrative or theme, I just hunt for micro-stories, quirkiness, humour, characters, colours, layers, geometry, light and whatever else catches my fancy.
In 2014 I spent a lot of time in Portugal, and I had quite a few chances to hang out in Lisbon for some recreational but nonetheless soul-nourishing free-form street shooting. Lisbon is full of stimuli, and it never disappoints me.
Here’s a round up of some street shots from last year (well, the last two photos are actually from early January 2015)
As this lady threw pieces of stale bread on the floor in Praça do Rossio, all the pigeons flew towards her, some landing on her hands. While street pigeons, often referred to as rats with wings, are considered a pest (they do transmit bacteria and disease), the lady seemed so comfortable while handling them. Which seemed to me a quirky enough scene – definitely something worth a quick snap.
When this early June downpour hit, I took shelter under an awning, in praça de Camões. The strong rain seemed to want to last forever, but taking pictures proved a fun way to kill time. Lisbon in the rain is highly appealing visually, and opens up some nice photographic possibilities, with reflections coming alive, umbrellas, and people running to escape the water drops.
At some stage, rain or no rain, I had to run away from my shelter or I wouldn’t make it on time to photograph the fadistas who were going to play fado on the historic tram lines, as part of the Festas de Lisboa (a festival running all June in Lisbon) – which was the reason why I was in Lisbon in the first place
Trams, cable cars, buses and trains (both on board and the stops) are among my favourite places to hang around when I’m shooting street photography in Lisbon.
If there’s one thing I absolutely love about Lisbon it’s that, despite being a relatively cosmopolitan capital city, some parts of town have a sort of small village feel to it.
What we put in a picture is as important as what we leave out, a photographer said once. What the hell are these people looking at?
Lisbon is built on 7 hills (just like Rome, to mention a city I’m familiar with), which means there’s no shortage of scenic panoramic points (miradouros) where you can have a drink outdoor while watching the sunset – This one in the picture is in the Graça neighbourhood. I have lots of boring shots of the view of the Saint George castle, the roofs, and the Tejo river, so when this intense wintry golden light kicked in, I stopped down the camera and attempted a few high contrast, low-fi looking images of the people who were hanging around.
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