lady on the streets of lisbon


From the decay of old and neglected streets, the Portuguese capital of Lisbon is trying to rebuild itself, in remembrance of its once glorious identity. Amidst that struggle of progress, the people maintain their pride and their dignity.

where my story begins

A room once filled with hope and joy,
Now lays quiet, deserted, and vacant,
The walls so bare and cold,
Stare down at me,
Giving the illusion of a prison,
The space so wide and empty,
Makes past times go away,
The hope of what tomorrow may bring,
Lies in the corner of this room,
The light shining through this window,
Shows where my path lies,
A path that suddenly ends,
Where my story begins

Words : Mira Sophia
Photography : Antonio

where the people are pleasantly strange

This desert path I follow,
Ends where the village begins,
The village small and quaint,
Where the people are pleasantly strange,
I ask around the town,
For a place to eat and sleep,
But instead I find,
That they have lost all their sheep.

Words: Mira Sophia

Photography: Antonio

(Disclaimer: I tried to get Mira to change the last line of the poem, but she refused. It is her poem after all, and she finds it amusing… which it is…)


Another from the Convento do Cristo in Tomar, Portugal.

Continuing from my last post as I experiment with HDR Efex Pro and develop this HDR look a bit further.

nobody lives here anymore

Usually the problem with handheld HDR is getting an exposure that is long enough to get detail into the shadows without ruining the image with excessive camera shake. Yes, I know I should use a tripod, but at the moment in question I didn’t have one with me. So you do the best you can, and image stabilization on your lens certainly helps. However, I think I must have been so concerned about getting a good image of the shadows, that I forgot to consider what was happening to the highlights. And you can see the result here – blown out highlights.

I’d like to say “lesson learned” but who’s to say. What frustrates me is that I know this is not a mistake I would have made if I had used my tripod, as my workflow is quite set then – determine a good exposure on the highlights and work your way into the shadows 1-stop at a time. But when you’re handheld and the most I can program into the camera is 3 consecutive exposures (Nikon-envy here, with their 5 bracketed exposures…grrr!) then you will inevitably find difficulty in high contrast scenes. But in saying that, I have to say that I am impressed at how well I did manage to keep it still for those three exposures.

So, I’m experimenting with HDR again. Learning and using the excellent Nik Software HDR Efex Pro. I’ve tried the other major contenders, but for me, I just find the Nik product so much more intuitive and easy to work with. And because of that, I find myself trying to develop a new look for the images  – at least it’s new for me. I’ll put some more on over the next few days (assuming I find the time).

Hope you like it…

desktop of the month – february 2011

The image for this month’s desktop calendar comes from the same place referred to in the last post, the almost-900 year old Templar castle, Convento do Cristo, in Tomar, Portugal. This is a corridor from within the castle, where monks had their quarters. The late afternoon light and the fact that one of the doors was left open, gives the image a somewhat mysterious feel. I wonder who it is that is standing in the doorway.

Sizes available: 1920×1200, 1600×1200, 1280×854


This was taken at one of the oldest Templar castles in Europe, in Tomar, Portugal – The Convent of Christ, built in 1162. There was only one way to take this image and this perspective of the old stone, spiral staircase. Flat on your back, and looking up.

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