As I wrote here before, I had a trip a few weeks ago to Lisbon, and I’ve done quite a bit street photography and also a few panoramas there, so I’ve decided to do a blog about that and not my usual strobist stuff.
I really needed a break from school, exams and trainings, so it was great that we got invited to Lisbon.. We walked around town, saw the interesting sights and spent most of the time eating. We didn’t spend so much time within Lisbon, we rather saw the towns around it, like Cascais or Parede.
Lisbon is an amazing place, the older parts town are like mazes, really narrow streets, tiny yellow or red trams running up and down the hillside packed with tourists, a couple of the braver ones hanging from the handrails outside. Cars barely fit by each other, but no one has problems with waiting a bit. Blue and white tiles on the houses are typical for Lisbon, types can range from simple shapes to huge ornate pictures and they even have a tile museum. I have to say, it is a really beautiful city.
The newer part of the city center is also fascinating, this part was rebuilt after an earthquake and all the streets are very wide and the layout is checkerboard-like with larger shops and pedestrian zones. Quite a contrast with the older part, but it is also very nice and I think they match each other well.
The smaller coastal towns are also very nice, calm places, you just have to be careful when you walk on the seaside street you might get swept over by a large wave (believe me, I speak from experience). The waves can also cause problems in a photoshoot (surprised model running for his life is me):
Most people would prefer a nice Leica with a fixed lens for street photography, nothing too obtrusive, nothing that would be big enough to stand out from the crowd. Well I sadly don’t own a Leica, so I just took my Canon 40D (with a battery grip, so it was the size and weight of a few bricks) and used my 17-85mm as the ‘walkaround’ lens (also not a light piece of equipment). My 50mm is too long on an APS-C sensor camera for this style, I only used that if I wanted a few shallower depth of field portraits of people. It would have been ideal to have a 35mm lens, and that would have been enough, but I don’t own one of those just yet… hopefully next time.
It was such a nice change to just carry a camera, don’t worry about flash settings and the models posing, I just walked around saw something interesting and pressed the shutter. It was quite a relief, because I’m currently a bit stalled with my strobist stuff… though I have a few new ideas, I just don’t have enough time to do them.
Shooting a panorama doesn’t really require any equipment (though a tripod is useful, but not necessary), you just hold your camera in portrait position, use manual exposure and manual focus so the exposure and focus will be consistent throughout the pano and slowly turn around while keeping the camera perfectly level.
Aligning the images in post is really easy, you just download Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor, it is a free program), drop the images in and it will automatically do the pano without any help. Very straightforward and easy, just don’t forget to set the image to 100% quality before exporting because the default settings are lower quality.
Sorry that I did just one post for several images, but I felt that they were connected to the same trip and needed to be shared together.