Thinking Inside the Box: Terreiro do Paço

Thinking Inside the Box is an occasional series in which I talk about the making of my images.

I arrived at Terreiro do Paço, Lisbon’s vast central praça, too late.  Or so I thought.

The multimedia spectacle celebrating the renovation of the Arco da Rua Augusta was about to begin, and the crowd was immense.   There was no place to set up my tripod and get a clear view of the colorful projected imagery on the building’s facade.

I tried my best.  I secured a position as close as possible, but still there were dozens standing in front of me.  Plus buses and trams, power lines and poles marring the view.   I angled my camera upward, frame after frame, trying to avoid all the hazards, with disappointing results.   I thought the evening, photographically-speaking, was a bust.

But fortunately the show would be repeated one hour later.  I returned with a new attitude.

This time, I positioned myself far back in the crowd.   “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” I thought.  The heads in front of me were no longer nuisances, but in their silhouetted abstraction became an integral layer providing depth, context and a bit of creativity to the composition.

Finding the best spot to make an image often requires changing your viewpoint and changing your point of view.

terreiro do paço, lisbo

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