Currently in Lisbon, one of my new favorite cities in the world for food, colors, travel, light, photography, and living.
Initial impressions of Lisbon:
Man, Lisbon — what a beautiful city.
Beautiful cobblestones that feel great on your feet, friendly folks, great fish, cheap espresso (70 cents), colorful houses (pink, orange, red, green, blue), beautiful patterned tiles, and the barbecue Peri Peri chicken is the best in the world.
I’m so grateful to be here with Cindy and our two moms. Our moms have been with us since Marseille, and this is our second time in Lisbon (we loved it so much the first time, we wanted to come back).
I think Lisbon is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. I think it’s a lot more beautiful than Paris, a lot cheaper, a lot cleaner, and far more colorful.
I love the elevation in the city as well — giving you a great view of the city and the water.
My favorite thing about being in Lisbon in January: it is still relatively warm, and the light is so nice and bright during the day. Being in Berlin and Prague (lovely cities)— was a bit depressing when the light didn’t come out as often.
Our time here — I’m currently working on some book projects, and producing a new online photography course with Cindy. We’re so lucky to be working in our Airbnb, while our moms go grocery shopping at the farmers market, while also helping cook and clean for us. Double mom power for the win.
Also during our time here, our favorite little joys including going to the grocery market together, trying the egg tarts here, getting barbecued pork ribs and chicken and enjoying the food in the park, experimenting with cheap 2 euro wines, cheeses, and just enjoying talking with one another.
I’m so blessed to have two beautiful moms, and having the opportunity to spend time with them, getting to know them better, and sharing precious experiences and moments together.
We’re soending about $100 a night in a really nice Airbnb here in Lisbon, and it is our new perfect atelier/studio. We can do creative work in here (fast WiFi, and also free Nespresso machine), and we have a room with brilliant natural light. I did the cinematography for Cindy’s newest film on her mother titled: “The Undeniable Force of Khó Khăn”
I also love the aesthetics of this apartment — beautiful wood all around, and high ceilings.
One of my mini epiphanies about life and travel:
One of my favorite joys is just walking.
I’ve always known how much I enjoy photography, but I forgot how much I appreciate and love walking. I actually think a lot better, and can meditate best when walking, slowly— enjoying the feeling of my feet against the cobble stones. It’s like a massage for my feet, a good stretch for my hips, and whenever I go on a nice long walk — mentally, I just feel better.
Another photography strategy that I have discovered:
Take photos while walking.
Which means, don’t always stop to take a photo. Sometimes it is best to just shoot photos while walking. This has helped me shoot more, and also make interesting photos of Cindy with motion blur.
And of course, shooting with RICOH GR II at night with a flash has helped me enjoy night photography much more. I’ve also purposefully been shooting more blurred photos, which I love the feeling and mood.
For editing and post processing, I’ve been just shooting JPEG on the Ricoh, importing the photos to my iPad with the SD lightning adaptor, and first picking the photos with the favorite function in the default Photos app, then post processing in Adobe Lightroom CC for iPad (love the filters they have, especially the “Punchy detail” filter. Looking at photos on the iPad is awesome — it is so much faster than using my laptop, and the photos look gorgeous on the 10.5 inch iPad Pro.
An editing tip on choosing your best photos: look at your photos as small thumbnails. This has helped me quickly scan my photos to judge my compositions. I can quickly see what my best photos as small thumbnails, rather than looking at every single image full-screen.
Some of my favorite pictures in Lisbon the last two days, from 1,700 photos: