Lisbon, Portugal.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is an easy city to love. Straddling the banks of the Tagus River just inland from the coast, it is a city brimming with character and history and charm, and did I mention that the food and the light is to die for?

I spent a blissful week in Lisbon wandering the cobbled streets of this wonderful city, stopping for a coffee or a pastel de nata here and there (and everywhere). Despite the seven hills Lisbon is a great walking city and when your legs finally do give out it is never far to one of the city's atmospheric trams. Who does cities like this?

 The light in Lisbon is beautiful for photography.

The light in Lisbon is beautiful for photography.

 Lisbon architecture reflected.

Lisbon architecture reflected.

 Price do Comercio

Price do Comercio

 25 April Bridge and the Tagus at low tide.

25 April Bridge and the Tagus at low tide.

 Goodness in a can. All manner of canned fish!

Goodness in a can. All manner of canned fish!

 Of cobblestones and reflections

Of cobblestones and reflections

 The Santa Justa Elevator

The Santa Justa Elevator

 Color and texture in Alfama.

Color and texture in Alfama.

 Lisbon on the move

Lisbon on the move

 Typical Lisbon architecture. The outside of a building covered in azulejos tiles

Typical Lisbon architecture. The outside of a building covered in azulejos tiles

 Carmo Convent. One of the few central Lisbon buildings to survive the earthquake of 1755.

Carmo Convent. One of the few central Lisbon buildings to survive the earthquake of 1755.

 Statuary in the square

Statuary in the square

 Anyone for a 1934 vintage port? Make mine a double

Anyone for a 1934 vintage port? Make mine a double

 Tourism happens

Tourism happens

I left my heart in Tavira.

Next stop on my Portuguese journey was the quaint little town of Tavira, in the Algarve region, a few hours by fast train from Lisbon. This was my first small town experience in Europe and it will be a hard act to follow. With a population of around 25,000 people this beautiful little town straddles the Gilao River with the opposing sides of the town connected by an ancient Roman arched bridge.The town is home to many beautiful churches and prototypical colored buildings. Nearby there are beautiful beaches and islands. I just loved this peaceful and picturesque little place and can't wait to return.

 The Gilao River and Roman Bridge at sunset. Tavira, Portugal.

The Gilao River and Roman Bridge at sunset. Tavira, Portugal.

 Peak hour in Tavira, Portugal.

Peak hour in Tavira, Portugal.

 And while I'm at it!!!!! Tavira, Portugal.

And while I'm at it!!!!! Tavira, Portugal.

 Riverfront architecture. Tavira, Portugal.

Riverfront architecture. Tavira, Portugal.

 Tending the salt farm. Tavira, Portugal.

Tending the salt farm. Tavira, Portugal.

 Blue skies smilin at me, nothin but blue skies do I see. Tavira, Portugal.

Blue skies smilin at me, nothin but blue skies do I see. Tavira, Portugal.

 Starting young. Tavira, Portugal.

Starting young. Tavira, Portugal.

 Dinner time (almost). Tavira, Portugal.

Dinner time (almost). Tavira, Portugal.

 The Gilao River and Roman Bridge. Tavira, Portugal.

The Gilao River and Roman Bridge. Tavira, Portugal.

 The Salt Farm. Tavira, Portugal.

The Salt Farm. Tavira, Portugal.

Coimbra, Portugal.

Coimbra is a delightful riverfront city in central Portugal and was once the national capital. It is a beautifully photogenic city that is famous for one of the oldest universities in Europe as well as for medical facilities that draw patients from all over Europe. It is an architecture and street photographers dream.

 The Old Town.

The Old Town.

 Which Wa To Go

Which Wa To Go

 The University is perched on top of a hill overlooking the city.

The University is perched on top of a hill overlooking the city.

 A Break In The Pattern.

A Break In The Pattern.

 Fruit And Flowers.

Fruit And Flowers.

An amble through Portugal

I kicked off my first ever visit to Europe in Portugal where I spent three weeks having an unscripted wander. I started in Porto and made my way to Coimbra in the centre of Portugal. From Coimbra I Travelled to the delightful little town of Tavira in the Algarve. I left my heart in Tavira and went to the capital of Lisbon before flying to Paris for a week of street photography.

Portugal is such a cool country. Great scenery, amazing food and friendly people. There is nothing not to like about this beautiful country.

What was in my bag for this 4 week wander? I took very little in the way of camera gear, trying to be as minimalistic as I could be. My entire kit consisted of: One Canon 5D Mark iii camera body, a Canon 24-105mm f4 lens, a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens as a backup in case I dropped the 24/105 and for low light situations, a circular polarizing filter, a three stop and ten stop neutral density filter and a small cleaning kit. For a tripod I took a knock off Gorillapod that I bought in Vietnam for $15USD before I left to which I fitted a ball head that I already had.

This kit served me well. Everything that I needed and nothing that I didn't. The 24/105 had enough zoom for most situations. I would have preferred to take my 24/70mm for the faster f2.8 aperture but I knew that 70mm was going to be just too short. The "gorilla pod worked well when I needed a stable platform but given it's cost I made sure to keep the camera tethered to my arm when I was shooting with it on bridges or near water :)

Below are a small selection of my favorite shots from my first stop in Porto, Portugal.

 A building decorated with Azulejo tiles glows in the light of a Porto sunrise.

A building decorated with Azulejo tiles glows in the light of a Porto sunrise.

 Porto city is dominated by the Tower of Clergies, one of only four oval shaped churches in the world.

Porto city is dominated by the Tower of Clergies, one of only four oval shaped churches in the world.

 Romance lives.

Romance lives.

 Portugal's national sweet the mouth waveringly delicious Pastel De Nata. #mymy

Portugal's national sweet the mouth waveringly delicious Pastel De Nata. #mymy

 Portuguese clothes dryer. A common scene through Portugal is washing hanging from windows.

Portuguese clothes dryer. A common scene through Portugal is washing hanging from windows.

 Porto city and the Douro River.

Porto city and the Douro River.

 Abbey Road meets Harry Potter. University students in their traditional black capes cross the street.

Abbey Road meets Harry Potter. University students in their traditional black capes cross the street.

A change of scenery.

As I mentioned in my last post I have just returned to Vietnam from a month traveling and shooting in Portugal and France. I will be posting some "travel photography" from this trip over the coming weeks as a visual change of scenery :)

Hanoi Panorama and Vibrant Vietnam Book Project

I am just back in Saigon this week from a month of traveling and shooting in Europe and I was THRILLED to finally get my hands on a copy of my fourth book, Vibrant Vietnam, which was released while I was away. Below is an image of the full set of product from this 18 month project, two 150 page hard cover books and five bound post card sets of images from my travels for the books. Many thanks to ART Director Paolo Maling and the team at Artbook Vietnam for their hard work, patience and support.

Vibrant Vietnam and Hanoi Panorama photo books