Posted by: alyceinwonderland | July 24, 2010

portugal dreaming

I’m only in Portugal for another week, and I can only predict how much I’ll miss this wonderland of a place. Living here is like walking through a lucid dream — where the perfect weather daily kisses your skin, the fruit flow bountifully from the field next door, and the burnt auburn terra cotta roofs sizzle beneath the warm sun, a sun that is never, ever harsh. I can say honestly that the only pull back to reality is (ironically, considering the previous metaphor) my barely containable anticipation for watching Inception on the big screen back in the States.

This entry is about how I conducted a love affair with a place. The town, called Arcos De Valdevez, is an hour outside the city of Oporto, nestled in the mountains. My boyfriend’s family, with whom I’m living, has been more than kind and accommodating (Their little mansion sleekly constructed entirely of wood and stone, I have a feeling, will somehow find subconscious expression in my future architectural imaginings).

With such beauty all around me, I aimed for a photo shoot that captures the spirit of my surroundings. But even though every glance is like an unframed painting, how do I capture how a place feels? The problem with most landscape photos is that with the lack of human subjects comes a lack of kinetic energy, and life. They also become harder to relate to, more like a two-dimensional image than a moment in time.

By placing myself in the photos — but maintaining the environment as the primary subject — I try to somehow breathe life into landscape photos. At the same time, I try to designate the human subject as a component of the picture rather than as its protagonist. After all, Portugal should be the main character of the story here, not me.

Thanks so much to Mark who collaborated with me on the shoot!



  1. breathtaking. absolutely just…beautiful, gorgeous, summer perfection rendered into 9 amazing photographs. i’m in love.

  2. your pictures are amazing! the sixth one in particular, and your hat. take more pics pls.

  3. haha Thanks!! The gorgeous lighting was very helpful.

  4. nice photo skills!

    and you would like inception. 🙂

  5. I really really really like the last one 🙂 I can just imagine you lounging about, a glass of wine in one hand and a cheese in the other, mountains in the background. Ahhh jealous~

  6. Thanks! I saw Inception. Mind-blowing.

    The last one’s my fave, too! Perfect capture by Mark!

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