Portugal a Posteriori


Saint Stephen’s Chapel. Saint Stephen’s Chapel basks in the late afternoon sun in Baleal, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED at 1/180 sec, f/9.5, ISO 64.

Well, this is the twelfth and final post about my trip to Portugal’s Silver Coast. I figured that this was a good chance to sneak in a few pictures that I didn’t have space for the last few weeks. The first three are all architectural images using the PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED wide-angle tilt-shift lens which excels at that genre. The white church and blue sky in the image above reminds me of Santorini (see earlier posts here and here) which makes me happy.

The next image is a little cramped vertically, but I think I was backed up to the edge of a street. Tilt-shift lenses really require a tripod and tripods in the street are generally unwise, after all. Thinking about it now, I should have stitched two or three vertical shots together into a panorama—the tilt-shift lens is well-suited to that and then I would have had a much wider field of view. But as it is, perhaps this is a time to try a little “generative fill” magic to add a little sky to the top and a little more grassy space at the bottom. I did have to get clever with Affinity Photo to remove the obnoxious shadow of a streetlight from the face of the building, though. (There is a similar shadow on the building visible in the background on the left side.) Despite all of that, I think this is a striking building with the faded blue doors and shutters and the exposed stones on the right edge. While the color scheme would also very “Santorini”, the style of the building (especially the tile roof and blocky chimney) are all wrong for that island.

Sky Blue. The late afternoon sun shines on a weathered building in Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED at 1/350 sec, f/9.5, ISO 64.

The buildings in the next image have been through a lot. They almost seem like they are covered in graffiti, but it is actually just layers of paint or plaster flaking off the underlying concrete.

Seals by the Sea. An abandoned and barricaded building stands badly weathered along Portugal’s Silver Coast.
Nikon Z8 with PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED at 1/30 sec, f/9.5, ISO 64.

As with earlier trips, I like to tabulate how much I used each of the lenses I lugged along. For these major trips with a lot of landscape work, I have converged on bringing seven lenses: three zooms which together cover 14-400mm, two tilt-shifts, and a fisheye. That, of course, is only six. For Andalucía, I brought the fast 85mm f/1.8; this time I opted for the crazy-wide 9mm. Part of the reason I left the 85mm at home is that with the 85mm tilt-shift I would have triple-coverage of 85mm (including the zooms) which just seems silly. Since the 85mm tilt-shift is nice for things like sand patterns and doubles as (my only) macro lens, I preferred it this time. Also, I have had a lot of fun with the 9mm lately (on Whidbey Island, for example) so that’s how I ended up with this set:

# used
% used
# used
% used
Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S5524 (41)45.1 %1504 (24)65.2 %
Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S5134 (13)43.5 %275 (5)11.9 %
Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S430 (11)3.6 %285 (9)12.4 %
Laowa 9mm f/5.6 W-Dreamer364 (2)3.1 %
PC-E Micro Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D363 (1)3.1 %41 (1)1.8 %
AF-S Fisheye Nikkor 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED121 (4)1.0 %112 (5)4.9 %
PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED70 (5)0.6 %43 (2)1.9 %
Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S47 (0)2.0 %
Total11806 2307
Lens usage on Portugal and Andalucía trips, sorted from most to least used in Portugal. The number of appearances in these blog posts is in parentheses.

It is obvious from the table above that I took a lot more pictures in Portugal than in Spain, despite the fact that the Spain trip was a day longer. The primary reason is all of the high frame rate sequences of waves and surf. Since most of those involved the 100-400 and 24-120 lenses, the overall usage is heavily skewed towards them. But really all of the lenses were well represented and, as indicated by the numbers in parentheses, readers of this series have seen some images from all of them.

For last week’s post about Óbidos I stuck to the white-and-yellow color scheme for the most part, but those weren’t the only colors in town. Some of the shop entrances were well-decorated for Christmas, such as this one in reds and pinks and a little lavender:

Festivity in Pink. A shop entrance is brightly decorated for the Christmas shoppers in Óbidos, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 53mm, 1/180 sec, f/13, ISO 500.

And despite being November, hibiscus were blooming:

November Hibiscus. A hibiscus blooms along the narrow streets of Óbidos, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 82mm, 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 500.

And at least some of the walls—also seen in the background of the image above—were a beautiful blue with bits of yellow-orange showing through:

Blue Water. Weathered bright blue paint has started to flaking off of a wall and an access cover in Óbidos, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S at 22mm, 1/8 sec, f/11, ISO 64.

Whew. I am ready for the blog to move on past Portugal! For the next week or two, the blog will return to wrap up Whidbey Island before it moves on to something completely new!

Thank you for following along, and I hope you have enjoyed seeing a little bit of Portugal’s Silver Coast. I am planning to do a Silver Coast book, like I did Santorini, but Andalucía is next up so it might be a year from now.

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2 responses to “Portugal a Posteriori”

  1. Actually I like the “crowded” building just as is. It would have been more ordinary if it had more sky and grass. All great

    Also – whew – you carry a lot of lenses! Your recap was super interesting. My number for the 24-120 would be about 95%

    • Thanks, Lucy! I am glad you like them! And, yes, it’s a lot of lenses. But I try to draw the line at seven!