Click on any image to enlarge.
"PORTICO FOR THE EYES OF GOD,"
PORTO CATHEDRAL, PORTUGAL
"STREETLIGHTS, TILES, AND IRON LACE,"
"THE 'APPROACH WITH RESPECT OR DIE,'
ENTRANCE TO CASTELO DE KING ALFONSO HENRIQUES,
"YOUR FAT, BLOND APOTHECARY IS AT THE BACK DOOR SIRE.
HE SAYS HE HAS SOMETHING THAT WILL CURE YOUR SORROW
AND MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE A BIRD IN FLIGHT
EVEN AS YOU SIT ON YOUR THRONE."
CASTELO DE GUIMARES, PORTUGAL
"THE GRACE OF A PORTUGUESE COMMUNAL INTERFACE
COMPLETE WITH AGGRESSIVE PIGEON DETERRANCE,
"ECLESIASTICAL PEEPHOLE," OUR LADY OF REMEDIES,"
"HOSANNAS TO THE ASCENT OF TEXTURAL PATTERN,"
Having trained my eyes to notice visual order and narrative intersections I composed this image on the stairway up to Lamego's beautiful hill cathedral and hospital, Sanutario de Nossa. The image has both a nexus between texture and pattern but also a kind of biblical waving of palm fronds at the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.
"NOVEMBER TREE, SANTUARIO DE NOSSA," LAMEGO, PORTUGAL
While walking around the hill church sanitarium I noticed this graceful contrast that, in the isolation of my viewfinder, revealed an attitude to nature that is just below the surface of our psyche. Humans want order and precision but if that is all they have, it leaves them spiritually impoverished. Our souls crave a little wildness just a s long as it fits neatly into the constants of our aesthetic.
"LOCAL RESTURANT PORTICO COMPLETE WITH HANGING LAUNDRY
TO INDICATE FRESHNESS," LAMEGO, VISEU, PORTUGAL
I was taken with the rye humor of this restaurant to make a living as much from passing tourists as from regulars. You might have to enlarge this image to appreciate their effort.
"AS THE SUN WORE THROUGH THE OVERCAST,
THE DOURO DREAMED ITSELF IN A LAZY ARC BELOW PINHOU,"
VISEU DISTRICT, PORTUGAL
"REFLECTIONS ON AN UNREQUITED GRACE,
PONTE DE PEDRA" DOURO VISEU DISTRICT, PORTUGAL
is my counter to all of those who think that looking at the world
through a camera, stunts your experience of a place.
was Initially attracted to the elegant reflection of the Ponte De
Pedra from the back of our riverboat. As it so often happens the real
eduction and realization of a local gravity happened when I put the
panorama together in my studio and was able to see far more than I
would have been able to take in in the very brief time I had to
photograph the bridge.
the south shore, the span had been dismantled before it could
completed its mandate. On one side of the deconstruction site there
was restaurant whose sign was my clue to what happened. Ponte De
Pedra means walking bridge.
was a massive stone bridge designed for heavy traffic downgraded to a
sidewalk across the Douro. Why?
I love high resolution images, I could look very close at my image
and figure out why the Portuguese could no longer drive trucks across
in the mortar in several places reminded me that Portugal is a
seismically active country. One of their bigger quakes destroyed a
sizable portion of Lisbon. The threat of earthquakes are also why
this little country has become so adept at seismic proofing all of
their newer bridges.
"IN A SWEEP OF SUBLIME STILLNESS,
THE DOURO DRIFTED FROM THE SUR INTO THE REAL,"
VISEU DISTRICT, PORTUGAL
are 5 dams on the Douro River. Each one backs up the river into
beautiful lakes sometimes for miles. If there is nothing to disturb
the surface the lakes mirror the shore. This mirror was captured in
the early morning just after the fog had risen.
"AUTUMN BURNING GLYMPSED FROM A BUS IN THE VALE DE MENDIZ,"
ALIJO NORTE, VILA REAL, PORTUGAL
I find touring very educational and would probably never gain
entrance to places you get to see I am not a tourist.
make this distinction because tourists get bussed everywhere and a
bus is probably one the worst platforms from which to make a
photograph. You can't just say STOP, I want to take a picture. That
said, we diehards make the best of what we get. Favaios is famous for its Muscatel wines. The small but fascinating
town sits high in the hills north of the Douro River and the Villa
Real was the steep road, winding through beautiful vineyard country
back to Pinhou where our boat was docked. The best we could get was
to get the driver to slow down a little bit and that was the 5 second
window that saved me from total frustration.
"CASTELO RODRIGO, LONG AFTER THE REIGNS HAVE PASSED,"
"A POLTERGIEST QUIETLY TRYS THE DOOR ON OLD #8,"
CASTELO RODRIGO, GUARDA DISTRICT, PORTUGAL
"LATE FOG LIFTS ON THE RIO DOURO
AS IT DRIFTS PAST THE RUINS OF ESTACIO CASTELO MEHLOR,"
of Barca da Alva the towns in the Guarda District along the river are
farther between until you to get below the Pinhou.
towns to the south of the river that can't be seen from the gorge,
still have a ghosty presence on its shore, in the form of abandoned
depots along the old CP railroad grade which once was the fastest way
in the east to get to Porto.
Castelo Mehlor became just such a presence in this river mirror image
as the last hint of fog lifted from the water's surface.
"STRONGBOX FOR THE MEMORY OF WIND, SUN, THE EVER-CHANGING RIO DOURO, AND THE SOUND OF TRAINS THAT NEVER COME,"
BARCA DA ALVA, GUARDA, PORTUGAL
were docked at Barca Da Alva, the farthest upriver our riverboat
could go. The evening just before our return trip back down to Porto,
I got up from a loud and lively party and went up on deck to find a
bridge that had gone almost unnoticed to me in daytime, ablaze in
resplendent light like some noble making an entrance to a fan fare of
brass. I went back to our room and got my camera.
up on deck, I leaned hard against the flagpole and took a series of
very slow shutter exposures not expecting that any of them would be
other than blurry junk. Well, nothing ventured. noting gained. This
is the result of handheld photography at night with exposures of over
5 seconds each.
"DEPOT WITHOUT A TOWN
FOR A FOR A TRAIN THAT NEVER COMES,"
ESTACIO DO COA, GUARDA, PORTUGAL
As we moved farther down river the one of most ghosty of the abandoned railroad depots slipped past. The road to town was hidden as was any visible reason for its existence except the railroad grade itself. The haunting was somehow heightened by nicely tiled outside restrooms.
"ESTACIO DO COA, WHERE THE RISING
AND SETTING OF THE SUN,
COLOR OF THE SEASON,
AND THE ENDLESS SPEECH OF MOVING WATER
ARE ALWAYS RIGHT ON TIME."
GUARDA DISTRICT, PORTUGAL
"THE ACCUMULATED GRACE OF BEING THERE FOR A LONG TIME,"
DOURO VALLEY, PORTUGAL
"THE RIO DOURO DREAMS AN IMPRESSIONIST VIEW OF ITSELF."
VISEU DISTRICT, PORTUGAL
once in a long while I come upon an image that has an internal
conundrum. This is one of them. It is, at once, as sharp as a razor
and as soft as down. These visual spectrum extremes are caused buy
the fact that the vineyard owners usually burn their dead vines and
leaf litter in the fall. We passed through one of the steeper sided
valleys where the smoke had begun to settle creating this marriage of