Porto, Portugal is a stunning old city. I am lucky enough to visit every couple years. My favorite hotel to stay at is the Pestana Porto Hotel. Some info from their website: Pestana Porto is one of the best hotels in Oporto, located in Praça da Ribeira in the heart of the historic core of Oporto, and standing on the city’s medieval walls, with a magnificent view of the river Douro.
This hotel in Oporto occupies part of a block of 16th, 17th and 18th century building, and has been classified World Heritage by Unesco. Its privileged location makes it possible to cruise down the river Douro, departing from the bank right in front of the hotel, and to take the historic tram to Foz do Douro or visit one of the Port wine cellars.
The shot above has a bit of a grunge look…I use onOne Software Photo Tools 2.6 to get this effect. My favorite setting is “Brian’s TKO”. Click and you get an instant grunge shot!
onOne recently released Perfect Photo Suite 7!!! I have been playing around with it and love it! I will write a review soon!! Get your copy today!!!
From the lovely old city of Porto, Portugal…one of the coolest small churches I have ever seen. The ornate wood carved interior painted with a gold color. It looks stunning in HDR! The church is off the beaten path and tough to find. Its very small and it takes a bit of work to get inside. If you are ever in Porto…it is well worth the visit. Can you imagine carving all those details? Unreal!!
Talke Photography Settings:
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 12.0 mm
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6
Porto at nite is stunning. One of the better views of the city can be from the Luis Bridge. In the middle of the bridge railway cars travel in each direction. Walking paths are on either side. This shot above is from walking across at nite and enjoying the view ahead.
Info from the web: The Luís Bridge (Ponte Luís I) is a metal arch bridge that spans the Douro River between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal. At the time of construction its span of 172 m was the longest of its type in the world. The Government held a competition for the construction of a metallic bridge over the Douro River on a site that was adjacent to an existing bridge and would replace it. Téophile Seyrig had already engineered the D. Maria Pia Bridge project nearby, whilst working as a partner of Eiffel. He now took sole responsibility for the new, major Luís 1st Bridge. The construction was begun in 1881 and the bridge opened on 31 October 1886.
Porto at night is beautiful!! I love this little old city. This day I walked around for hours taking HDR’s and as the darkness arrived, I wanted to take a standard night shot from the mountain side. The D300 can take decent night shots…but I wish I had a D3 or better for low light situations…ah to dream one day! As the sun was setting I was walking up these roads towards to the top of the hill. Row houses everywhere. Luckily there was a small walkway near the edge to catch a river/city view. From the walkway you can take steps lower each level to more houses. So I know I was not in great safe territory. A dude with a camera bag and tripod in the dark with some odd people walking around…any photographer has been there. So you have to stand confidently and prepare to use your tripod as a weapon if necessary! I snapped away while keeping my third eye on my surroundings. I grabbed my shots and made it out safely and called it a day! The shot was worth the worries! I look forward to heading back to Porto again this year…this time it will just be shots of wineries!! Much safer!!
When I visited Porto a few months back…I stayed in Porto at a hotel called Pestana Porto. Cute and small…with wonderful views of the city and a perfect location. I had an early AM to go out and shoot and before I returned to catch my flight. Right outside the front of the hotel was this courtyard…it had this odd cube fountain. It was built in the 70’s and called “O Cubo”. A decorative and funky piece! A great subject for HDR. I really like Porto…wish I enjoyed wine…it would make visit very drinkable! LOL
Here is some info from the web: The Pestana Porto is one of the most charming hotel in Oporto, located in the Praça da Ribeira, heart of the historic city centre. This Oporto boutique hotel offers an explendid view of Douro river. It is part of a group of buildings dated from XVI, XVII, XVIII centuries, and it is classified by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage site. Located at the historical site of Porto, the Pestana Porto is 20 minutes from Sá Carneiro International Airport and 5 minutes from the train and metropolitan station of S.Bento. The hotel enhances all the charming atmosphere of Ribeira, in a pitoresque group of buildings with original trace over the Douro River.
While in Porto a few months back…I had a few hours to walk the city. As I was walking across the San Luis Bridge, you can look down and see the homes of the local people. I assume these are semi-poor people…but hey the one dude has a satellite dish!! What up DirecTV!!! Many of the homes on the river/hillside are dilapidated and need some serious repair. The one good thing is that it gives you a look into the past. It probably has not changed much in many years. The textures, colors and style are beautiful to me…I dont mind the aged look as well!. Wine is better with age, why not aged homes in the city of Port wine? I loved Porto and all of its history! I wish I had more time to spend here and all throughout Portugal! A beautiful country!
Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 18-200 VR F/3.5-5.6
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 32.0mm
Exposure: HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
Gear: Tripod, Cable release
Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro, Viveza