Following the Algarve colors thread. Portugal [1]

At the end of March, I had the good luck to be able to visit and enjoy a trip in Algarve, in south Portugal. To say the least, I got my fill of sunshine, grilled fresh fish, colors… and photography, of course! ๐Ÿ˜€

I, too, spent a really good time painting some watercolors with really nice and kind sketchers (feel free to visit my watercolor sketching blog too if you also like painting and travel journaling) so I take advantage of the opportunity to say hi to my English speaking new friends. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย ย ย ย ย Hiii!! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜†

But, back to photography. โ˜บ๏ธ

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During the trip, I tried to create photos at the whim of inspiration, alternating and associating the artistic, reportage and touristic approach. To share these perhaps a bit disparate photos (I worked on a consistent portfolio about the azulejos – the portuguese lovely tiles – too. I will show it to you later), I am going to let the colors, the light and sometimes the subjects guide me. PS :
At last, the color won!! ๐Ÿ˜›

As usual, I try to analyze my pics a bit, hoping that it could help you to improve you travel or day to day photos, too.

So here is the first episode of my Portuguese saga. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Shadow of a palm tree, colorful graffitis… and this writing, just perfect for my “title slide”…
How could I have resisted?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I used a tight framing to exclude all the elements I was not interested in. Plus, cutting my subjects helps to anchor the composition. You just have to let the wires guide your eye!

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Then, a seagull invites us to follow it in some back alleys, to explore Alvor in the early morning. The high key rendering (the pic is really light, really white!) and the acidic colors links this photo to the previous one.

I think I can remember that the bird was here, enjoying the morning (it was 8:20 am) and that I got closer and closer to disturb it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
I shot when it flew away!
The wide angle composition with the bird at the top right of the frame, standing out on a plain sky, is really dynamic.

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The blue/yellow harmony leads us to Ernesto, a fisherman already really active in the early morning.

Light and shadow, yellow and blue, earth and sea… I composed this pic with a diagonal dynamic, with the boat at the bottom left and the man at the top right of the frame.
We will meet Ernesto again in upcoming pics so I thought it could be great to introduce ourselves, for a start. ๐Ÿ˜€ By the way, he is not posing. I think he is just wondering what I am doing here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Ready to follow the color again?!… The Portugaise blue is so complelling!
So yes, I indulged in taking a seagulls + blue sky + palm tree leaves pic!! ๐Ÿ˜€

The light on the fronds brings a warm color and just enough contrast to the photo.
The tight framing gives a bit more originality to this picture than if it was a wider view, and a mystery feeling too. We can even imagine that we are dreaming, on a deserted island, spreading out on the sand and admiring the sky. ๐Ÿ˜†

The slanted palm tree leaves and the bird located in the bottom left corner are important for the dynamic of the composition.

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I keep going with the blue… Incidentally, I like the way the first pic sky seems to extend in the second one. โ˜บ๏ธ
This time, no slanted line : the verticals and semi-horizontals seize control!

At first, the shadow of the palm tree attracted me (again ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), along with these so cute sardines drawings that are the symbol of Algarve too but, finally, I chose to focus my approach on the white and blue graphic scenery.
This photo uses a sort of yin yang structure, with the blue imposing in the white part and vice versa. We could also say that there is a white and blue center, surrounded by a blue layer at the top and a white layer at the bottom. ๐Ÿ˜›

I waited for the passer-by, of course. The woman is really way out of the center but the sort of frame in a frame, in the corner of the pic (area defined by urban structures), helps to install her in the composition. And I really like out of the center compositions, so… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Yes, here, I succumb to a rather literal link with a “sardinhas” transition.
And you can find again my love for slanted subjects! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A stack of slippery fishes is not the most organized subject so I associated here a “corner framing” (the fish group is attached to the up left corner of the frame and the ice around it, in the other parts of the frame, gives the pic some respiration) and a slanted composition.
Please note the “countercurrent swimming fish” with the head just in the top left corner! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The destiny of the caught sardine being what it is, here are our shiny friends again… with a crispy outfit!! ๐Ÿ˜›

This time, I used the curves of some ovals to guide our eye in the picture : edge of the dish and fish bone.
And, about the 3 orangish elements ligned up according to an ascending diagonal, I really can’t say that it was on purpose!! But it’s nice, isn’t it?! โ˜บ๏ธ

The shallow depth of fields (90 mm, f/1.8) gives me the opportunitรฉ to make the fish head pop with its strong texture and color, in front of a softer background. The fish bone is just sharp enough to be legible and to play its role in the composition without stealing the show from the fried fish eye! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I keep unwinding the Ariadne’s thread of color… ๐Ÿ˜€

Don’t you think that the hue of the ruins of Monchique monastery, on this pic, and even the texture reminds the grilled sardine aspect?! ๐Ÿ˜†
It makes me think, too, to the warm colors of the Algarve cliffs…

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Ooops! Warning!!! Postcard alert!! Your attention, please! Postcard aleeeeert!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
OK, the composition is not bad with this out of center arche bringing us again to our deserted island but, still !!… Gorgeous teal sea, awesome light, breathtaking landscape, damn!! Postcard aleeeeert!!:lol: )

So, warniiiing, we need some blurr, or some graphism, or a strong concept, some real art, you know! If not, we are going to drift and going out of the rails!…
(Just to say, we need a bit of green too, please, for my variegated approach) ๐Ÿ˜›

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Yeah, ok, the honor is vaguely intact…

That’s true that the rendering of this boat, as softened by our daydream, and the way it seems to float on the sky (yes, the cloud you see at the top left really is a reflection!…) saves us a bit from the postcard pitfall, even if the idyllic feeling stays. And, after basking at the beach, isn’t it great to loung on the grass too? ๐Ÿ˜€

Slanted line, diagonal, you said?! ๐Ÿ˜€ Yes, here, that’s fun that the small green tifts turn the oblique of the grass into a green diagonal. The eye is guided from the low right corner toward (near the boat) to the top left one, following the greenery.

The other photo, with this lime green and bright yellow pair, includes a lot of graphical stuff, too!
One horizontal and one slanted line, some little vertical dashes to add some dynamic… Rectangles, a circle changed into an ovale… Obviously, we keep up with this simplicity I like so much but that’s nice when there are some subtleties hidden in it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Right, after this annoying “postcard alert” and even if the colors brought us to this gorgeous yellow/green harmony, no no NO, we won’t let ourselves won by a conclusion in form of a giant pineapple in a poppy field!!!!

No way! A bit of restreint, for pity’s sake!!! ๐Ÿ˜›

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So, here it is! I hope that this first colorful walk in Algarve was enjoyable for you!
In the next episode, tadaaa, sensational revelation, I will show you some vertical pics too!! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜‰

4 comments

  • Joanne

    You are an amazing person! Both your photographs and watercolours are enjoyable to look at and your accompanying comments are interesting teaching points. (Also for me they bring back happy memories of the Algarve.) Keep it coming!

    • Anne-Laure Jacquart

      Oh, thank you so much, Joanne! I have so few comments on the translated in English articles!… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks for your kind words about my little creative word and my comments about the photos. I am happy you found it interesting!

      Yes, so many great memories…
      I hope we will be able to meet again! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Anne-Laure Jacquart

      Thank you so much for your comment, Sunny!
      I am so happy that my book for children is going to be available in English too!!!

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