Lisbon: Via the Eyes of Ricardo Junqueira

Lisbon’s pastel dreamland nonetheless appears like a small European village. Photographer Ricardo Junqueira offers us a candid view by his lens.

Exploring the cobblestone streets of Lisbon, Ricardo Junqueira takes within the aroma of recent espresso and heat bread. Round him, he hears individuals chatting. They’re all talking completely different languages.

It’s a metropolis the place everybody is aware of everybody. A spot “the place the baker is aware of your title” and the place individuals take the time to cease and speak as they’re on their means from one place to the following. 

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The photographer first moved to Lisbon ten years in the past, and he felt at house nearly instantly. “Inside every week, my spouse and I had fully surrendered to this charming metropolis,” he remembers. “We have been in love.”

He was delighted to study that he didn’t want a automotive; he might journey anyplace—and in all places—by foot. 

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It modified the best way he checked out his environment, encouraging him to pause and soak within the colours of town.

“Whenever you journey someplace for the primary time, or while you transfer someplace new, you all the time have a bonus, and that’s the truth that you concentrate,” the artist says. “You’re capable of see issues—issues others may cross with out really seeing them—with recent eyes and with out prejudice.” 

Born in Brasília, Junqueira was raised on among the most exquisite architecture on the planet, with Lúcio Costa’s revolutionary structure and the long-lasting edifices of Oscar Niemeyer.

His ardour for structure, nurtured throughout his first 22 years in Brasília, was all the time there. It adopted him as he moved to São Paulo, then to Natal within the state of Rio Grande do Norte, and eventually, to Lisbon in Portugal. 

Bird's eye view of pastel colored facades of apartments in the Lapa neighborhood in Lisbon
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And, it was structure that inspired him to discover his new metropolis. Having constructed a status for structure and interiors, he was contacted in 2010 by Airbnb. When he moved to Lisbon, the model grew to become one of many first he labored with within the Metropolis of Gentle.

After taking pictures for magazines and business purchasers, Junqueira cherished the thought of photographing “actual,” lived-in residential areas—not essentially people who could be featured in {a magazine}, however people who have been particular nonetheless. Every place was distinctive as a result of it was infused with the character and character of the individuals who lived there. 

It was throughout this time that he started making photos of town’s glittering pastel façades—whereas strolling to and from shoots, but additionally when wanting by the home windows and balconies of the homes he visited.

He’s all the time appreciated to seize greater than what he’s been assigned, protecting the shot list after which going past to note one thing extra. When he first began in 2012, he photographed two to a few homes per 30 days for Airbnb, however curiosity in trip leases—and this sort of pictures—boomed. 

Exterior of a pink apartment complex in Lisbon, Portugal
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By 2018, he was taking pictures two or three homes for Airbnb each single day. He was additionally working with a distinct firm, which added one other three to 4 homes to his every day schedule.

Junqueira estimates he’s photographed round 2,500 homes all through Lisbon within the final ten years. The placement was normally a shock. He was given an handle, and he arrived. However that spontaneity allowed him to get to know Lisbon in and out. Now, he’s capable of predict how the sunshine will fall over nearly any given road at any time of day or 12 months. 

After all, Lisbon is thought for its gentle, due partly to its topography and structure. When captured at simply the precise second and angle, that gentle bounces off these golden yellows, rose pinks, and sky blues to create a color palette that feels nearly too good to be true.

And, then, there are the hills.

Tourists overlooking Lisbon and the Tagus river from Miradouro de Saeo Pedro de Alcantara, Portugal
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“Lisbon is a perfect metropolis for photographers as a result of it’s the ‘Metropolis of Seven Hills,’” Junqueira says. “Subsequently, it has many viewpoints, and it’s all the time doable to see in many various instructions from the next perspective.” 

The neighborhoods the place Junqueira made these photos are unfold out throughout town, every representing a singular second in its historical past.

Within the Alfama district—identified for its slim, labyrinthine streets, terracotta roofs, and melancholy fado music—you’ll find constructions that date again to properly earlier than the earthquake of 1755.

Colorful buildings in Alfama, Lisbon with people on rooftops
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Go to Príncipe Actual, and also you’ll uncover colourful mansions constructed within the nineteenth century. Bairro Alto, house to well-known newspaper workplaces within the 1800s, was as soon as a hub for journalists and, later, bohemian artists and writers

The pastels are sprinkled all through all the metropolis, and they are often discovered inside most of the buildings as properly. “The colours are a desire of the Portuguese,” Junqueira says.

Typically, he’ll see laundry drying within the noon solar—a small glimpse into the internal lives of the individuals who name these residences house. Typically, a resident will poke their head out or sit on the balcony to benefit from the sunshine and sounds of town. 

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Whereas many photographers have sought out Lisbon’s hilltop vantage factors in the course of the golden hours round dawn and sundown, Junqueira is completely different. The character of his assignments implies that he doesn’t have the luxurious of planning round “excellent” lighting circumstances. However he sees that as a present; regardless of the circumstances, he has to make do with what he has.

“I’ve by no means appreciated routine,” the artist admits. “I prefer to {photograph} what destiny presents me with. I believe it’s doable to make stunning pictures in any climate and at any time of day.”

Since he’s out and about in the course of the daytime, he doesn’t want a tripod to make these pictures. He brings two cameras with him—a Nikon D750, fitted with a 14-24mm f.2.8 Nikkor lens, and a Nikon D850, fitted with a 24-120mm Nikkor lens.

The reason being easy. With two cameras, he can keep away from altering lenses and cleansing his sensor all through the day. The photographs featured right here have been made with the 24-120mm, which affords him fairly a little bit of versatility. 

More often than not, Junqueira shoots in aperture precedence mode, setting his f-stop across the f/11 “candy spot” so that each one the main points are sharp all through the body.

If there’s an individual within the shot—a pedestrian or biker, for example—he has to watch out for movement blur, so he usually retains his shutter speed round 1/125 of a second, quick sufficient to maintain issues sharp even when he’s taking pictures at a 120mm focal size. 

In daylight, he can maintain his ISO low at 100. Very not often, he’ll want a polarizing filter to chop down on noon glare, however except for the cameras and lenses, he normally solely carries “some reminiscence playing cards and a few additional batteries, a coloration checker, a brush, and a lens wipe.” He travels gentle. 

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“It is vitally straightforward to cross Lisbon from one facet to the opposite in a couple of hours’ stroll, and town invitations you to take action,” the artist says. “Throughout that stroll, you’ll encounter a wide range of structure within the neighborhoods, starting from buildings from the Roman Empire to the Center Ages, and even essentially the most trendy—as is the case of Parque das Nações, which was constructed within the late Nineties. This coexistence of ancestral structure with these trendy additions makes town very attention-grabbing.” 

In Lisbon, the streets are secure and the persons are pleasant. Many instances, Junqueira has been stopped by an older individual, somebody who’s lived within the neighborhood for a few years, who will share a bit concerning the historical past of their home and its environment. He’s touched by their kindness, and he’s all the time keen to place his digicam away for some time to hear.

“Though the variety of vacationers has been rising, and in some extra central neighborhoods, there’s already some gentrification, many of the metropolis nonetheless lives like a small European city,” Junqueira explains. 

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That small-town ambiance implies that the artist is now conversant in a lot of town: The scent of fresh-baked bread and the sounds of individuals speaking typically fade into the background.

In some ways, he envies guests who’re simply getting acquainted with town, remembering what it was like “falling in love” with its streets a decade in the past.

“One factor I’ve all the time had—and one factor I hope I by no means lose—is the flexibility to look intently and curiously at issues,” he tells me. “I attempt to be like a two-year-old little one who’s seeing all the things for the primary time.”

Peacock perched on an orange fence in Lisbon, Portugal
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You may study extra about Ricardo Junqueira and his work by visiting his Offset portfolio, website, and Instagram at @​​_ricardojunqueira (skilled) and @ricardojfoto (private). 

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