Photographing in Albufeira, Portugal

Man is this post late or what. I was in Albufeira, Portugal in June of 2014. Almost 6 months late! But I guess thats what you get when you’re working all summer long on set and then have a crazy schedule when you get back home.

The only reason I went to Albufeira was because of the wife. I was reluctant at first as it’s a resort town and I wanted to spend any free time I had in a bustling city. She was tired of the rainy weather in Ireland, and I had a long weekend due to a Bank holiday. I finally caved and purchased the tickets. Boy I’m glad I did.

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When we finally arrived we headed out to the beach and the old part of the town. Of course the first few images were primarily touristy photos. Why not right? Memories for the wife and I to remember the city by. But while I was walking down to the beach I managed to see a few places I needed to stop by later and photograph. Places such as this:

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The next morning I went out to photograph this little field they had. I assumed it was a park and I wanted to get closer to the goal to photograph the cross hanging above it. To me this was unique, I’ve never seen a football goal with a cross positioned behind it. In my own goofy Canadian way I stopped a local and tried to communicate with them on how I could get inside this park. Finally after the both of us finished flailing our arms for several minutes, the local managed to communicate to me that this was a mental hospital. She told me I could easily get in there through the main gates, but a part of me was to worried I’d get locked up in there if someone stopped me. I managed to only photograph the above image along with this one from behind a low fence.

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It was strange to also see things like the carousel below. It was spinning, playing music, but completely empty and surrounded by graffiti. The graffiti in Albufeira reminded me a lot of the graffiti in Naples, Italy. Damaging in a way. Their not works of art by any means, mainly just random writing and scribbled across walls and doorways.

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The image below isn’t that great, but I’ve posted it because of what I experienced in that moment. I was waiting outside a store as the wife was shopping for gifts. This guy was sitting there minding his own business, but to the right of me was a guy screaming bloody murder because he couldn’t enter a bar nearby. I took this shot because I thought at that moment it would be an interesting photo. It’s not, but the memory associated with it is.

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Albufeira was the launching pad, in a way, for my Light & Shadow project. A lot of the images taken during the day were shot with a red filter to really punch up the contrast. When I finally received the negatives back from the lab I was pleased with the results. Deep heavy shadows with sharp crunchy detail. It was exactly what I was hoping to achieve. There were more images along these lines shot in Albufeira but I’ll be posting them on my portfolio site later.

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Some of my favorite photos this summer were shot in Albufeira as well. Images like the one below with the guy at the bar with the window frame framing him were shot while I was wandering the streets at night.

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If I get the opportunity again I’ll be making more trips to Portugal. If I had more time I would have taken 2 weeks off and traveled from Albufeira to Porto then up to Lisbon. Unfortunately I didn’t, so it’ll have to be planned for another trip. Maybe next summer after I’m done shooting Season 4? If it happens? We’ll see.

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Thanks for stopping by and feel free to comment below.

Albufeira, Portugal (June 2014)
All images were shot with the Leica M7 and either the Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f/2 or the Canon 50mm f/1.4 LTM on Kodak T-Max 400 or Ilford XP-2 400.

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