Monday, October 12, 2009


Pentax K10D + Zeiss Planar 50/1.4

Some readers of this blog may have noticed that I identify my home location as "Porto, Portugal." Some may even have recognized Porto (the English call it "Oporto") as being the city where Port Wine is bottled, a place with some unique and picturesque locations. Those might have already asked themselves why I have never posted photos of Porto.

I have been living here since the mid 80s, first in the city and now in the suburbs. But, as often happens with places one knows well, my photos of this city usually seem to fall into the "postcard cliche" trap, at least to me. I'll try to avoid that here.

The shots below were taken recently at the Ribeira neighborhood, in the old town. The riverfront is a very touristic spot, but the inner streets haven't changed much along the decades. For centuries, this has been a poor area, a place where a stranger would have to tread lightly. In the XV century it was the home to sailors and longshoremen, whose descendants still live here, probably almost as poor as their ancestors. Tourists often wander its narrow streets, trying to find their way up to the cathedral. They must wonder why the houses are not better taken care of, why they are not inhabited by upbeat young artists, why there are no souvenir shops and typical restaurants every other door...

This place has never been intended as a tourist attraction. But it is slowly becoming one and maybe one day everything will look jolly and perfect. That's not a bad thing. But Ribeira will then be something different from what it has been along all these centuries...

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

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