Lisbon, August 18: Fado at Povo

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Performance Photography / Photo Log / Photography / Portugal

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August 18, 2019; Lisbon, Portugal. A quick break from the photo workshop in Switzerland for a jump to the next part of our trip: Portugal to visit family.

Sunday night’s dinner was at Povo, a restaurant and Fado house in old Lisbon. The food was excellent traditional Portuguese fare but the main event was Fado.

Fado is a traditional music genre native to Portugal. It is most commonly thought of a music of sadness, loss, and longing — but that would be as much of an oversimplification as saying that blues is always sad. It can be said, and has been said, that Fado is a mystery. (Scroll down for the English translation.)

It can also be said that Fado is expressive.

Sunday night’s singer, Sofia Saragoça, with accompanists playing Portuguese guitar and classical guitar, lived up to the traditions of longing, mystery, and expression. Sofia is apparently a product of Povo’s artist in resident program, the best of whom are invited back to sing on weekends. She is excellent — an old soul singing well beyond her years. We had front-table seats. We were entranced.

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Next, back to Switzerland…

(Canon G7X II. RAW processing in DxO Pro, Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Switzerland, August 7: Calming…

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Landscape / Photo Log / Photography / Sunrise / Switzerland

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August 7, 2019; Above Vevey, Switzerland. After our day at the Fête des Vignerons, we spent a few early pre-breakfast hours in the vineyards above Vevey. The sky was still shaking off its storminess.

And when I turned around, wine on the vine.

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Stay tuned…

(Nikon D850; Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Switzerland, August 6: How the Day Began

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Performance Photography / Photo Log / Photography / Switzerland

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August 6, 2019; Vevey, Switzerland. One of the highlights of our trip was the sixteenth Fête des Vignerons (Winegrower’s Festival.) We’d never heard of the Fête and had no idea of its magnitude and importance. The first clues we got were in the week before the photo workshop while we were visiting friends near Lake Neuchatel in northwestern Switzerland. Every time we mentioned that we were going to the Fête, the response was a more profound “wow” than we’d gotten when we told friends that we’d scored tickets to Springsteen on Broadway last year. This was apparently a very big deal.

It was. Oliver planned a couple years in advance to make this a part of our trip and purchased the tickets last September.

You can read about it here and here. (The second link should have a translate option near the top of the page.) The briefest of summaries: The Fête takes the form of an extremely elaborate two-and-a-half-hour opera which tells the story of a year in the local region. While the theme is wine growing, the story touches on all aspects of life including life in the village, which includes cattle and goat farming, which are central to the culture.

The performance is in a twenty-thousand seat stadium which was purpose-built for the event and will be dismantled when the festivities end. If you look at a satellite view of Vevey, you won’t see a stadium; instead you will see a large parking lot near the water. The stadium is in view of the vineyards being celebrated. Look to the upper left in the stadium photo above.

Before the performance, Oliver set up a shot with some of the performers. These women and girls represent the buds on the grapevines. They are but a tiny proportion of the six thousand performers, almost all of whom are volunteers. Not sure who had more fun: we or they.

Oliver getting the performers arranged.

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Cooling off after the shot. It was 91º F (33º C).

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Although cameras (other than phones) were prohibited, I managed to get my pocketable Canon G7X II through the gate. This was the camera I used all day. The best camera is the one you have with you. I’ll only include two photos — I encourage you to see the website.

Celebration of the cows coming home from the Alpine pastures. (In the U.S., we party till the cows come home. In Switzerland, they party when the cows come home.)

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The fairy overseeing the proceedings. All proceedings need a fairy to oversee them.

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After the show, we were allowed to go down to the stadium floor (which was made from the world’s largest LCD screen with constantly changing patterns and scenes during the show) and photograph the performers having their unofficial Fêtes.

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Later, as you already know, the heavens opened up.

And then…

Stay tuned.

(Canon G7X II. RAW processing in DxO Pro, Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Switzerland, August 6: How the Day Ended

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Inspiration / Landscape / Photo Log / Photography / Sunset / Switzerland

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August 6, 2019; Vevey, Switzerland. Our first week in Switzerland was spent visiting old friends and meeting new ones. Wonderful in all ways, and proved just how friendly Switzerland really is, but not terribly productive photographically.

On August 5 we began our workshop with Oliver Klink. It was a great day, and I learned some valuable lessons, but no keepers. August 6, however, was different. It was special in many ways. You’ll see how the day began in the next post. Here’s how it ended. Why I was only using the pocketable G7X II will be apparent next time.

First shot looking south across Lac Léman.

Next shot a little while later, looking west.

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(Canon G7X II. RAW processing in DxO Pro, Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More fine-art photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Return to the Sea 3: Soft/Set

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Abstract / California / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes / Sunset

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February 17, 2018; Big Sur Coast, California. What do you do when Mother Nature serves you a blah sky? Not a cloud. No fog to speak of. Just boring blue sky. You improvise in post-processing, that’s what you do.

This is one of two treatments of this frame. Many pixels’ lives were forever changed.

(Nikon D750, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro, Editing in Adobe Photoshop.

More fine-art photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Return to the Sea 2: Rinse

comments 32
Abstract / Impressionism / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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May 31, 2016; Big Sur Coast, California. After having a really bad day, we drove down to the Big Sur coast — one of the most spiritual places in the world — for much needed soul cleansing. Long hikes, good food, and photography provided the thorough rinse-off we needed.

This is one of five treatments of this one frame. Many pixels’ lives were forever changed. As were ours.

(Nikon D750, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro, Editing in Adobe Photoshop.

More fine-art photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Return to the Sea 1: Rising

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California / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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January 28, 2017; Sonoma County, California. Heading home after a weekend on the coast. As I drove, I watched this squall develop over a period of thirty minutes but there was no place safe to pull off the road for an unobstructed view. Thought I was going to lose it for sure. Finally a safe turnout. And there she was, climbing out of the water, into the cloud.

(Nikon D750, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro, Editing in Adobe Photoshop.

More fine-art photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Moses Supposes…

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Floral Photography / Florascape / Flower / Impressionism / Photography / Rose

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…his toeses are roses…

(Regardless of the accuracy — or not — of Moses’s supposition, he was careful to watch the RGB histogram and underexpose 1.7 stops to keep from blowing out the red channel.)

(Nikon D850, AF-S VR Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More fine-art photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Around the Neighborhood 3: Roberta

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California / Photo Log / Photography / Wildlife

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July 13, 2019, Back Deck. Roberta was born about two years ago and we’ve been watching her grow since she was a kitten. She comes around every six weeks or so, patrols the yard, and moves on. Sometimes she looks inside and watches us. More often she gives the house a wide berth.

Last week she walked by about thirty feet away, heading for the steps on the deck. I grabbed the beast, confirmed that I was in spot-metering mode, opened the French door, and framed the shot. Once framed, I said, “kitty kitty kitty” and shot as she turned and gave me a look. The look said, “I am not a domestic cat. Don’t ‘kitty kitty kitty’ me.”

And with a twitch of the tail, she sauntered away.

How do I know she’s a she? I don’t, but everything I’ve read says that a two-year-old male bobcat would be larger than this one’s approximate fourteen-inch shoulder height. So, rightly or wrongly, it’s Roberta.

(Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Around the Neighborhood 2: Red-Tailed Hawk

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California / Hawk / Photo Log / Photography / Wildlife

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July 11, 2019, Just down the street. Red-tailed hawks have lived in my neighborhood for years but they have been stubbornly elusive when I’m out with a camera. One day last week I went out to get the mail and I heard hawk cries nearby. Several different voices. I looked up, into a tree and there they were. Three of them.

I dashed inside and got the beast — eight pounds of camera body and lens. While I was inside, the birds arranged themselves so that I couldn’t get all three in one shot. But this one sat alone on a branch, very interested in what I was doing.

(Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Around the Neighborhood 1: A Tree

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California / Inspiration / Photography / Positivity

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July 14, 2019, Los Gatos Creek Trail. For the past several weeks I’ve been in a mode of weekly themes. It does give me a focus, so I’ll continue — but this one is different: it’s a smattering of what I’ve shot in and near my neighborhood in the past week or so. Not deathless photography, but it does make a nice potpourri. In many cases it proves the adage, the best camera is the one you have with you.

Most recent one first, shot with my phone yesterday on a Sunday morning walk. I’m generally adamant in my view that tree carving is unacceptable, but for this one I’ll make an exception. I hope the tree is proud to carry this message.

(iPhone 8. Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)