About two weeks ago I visited Lisbon, Portugal. I was sent to this picturesque and westernmost capital of mainland Europe to do an assignment for a Norwegian magazine. But whenever I had some extra time I roamed the hilly and cobblestoned streets of the city situated at the mouth of the Tagus River.
In particular I found great pleasure in going astray in Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon. Here the old houses perch on the steep hills that shoot up and down from the medieval Castle of São Jorge that overlooks the whole city and down to the shores of Tagus.
This is also the area where the distinctive yellow trams of the capital rattles through narrow streets and sharp and abrupt runs. In particular the Remodelados, the trams of line 28, has become almost the identity of Lisbon. The small, four wheel vehicles date back to the early part of the twentieth century and are one of the tourist icons of modern Lisbon. The first tramway in Lisbon entered service on 17 November 1873, as a horsecar line. Today’s electrified tramways commenced operation in 1901.
For me the trams became a photographic quest. Wherever I came across them I tried to capture what I think is a very distinct face of the Portuguese capital. I tried to take advantage of the light at different times of the day (and night). I played with long exposure time. I had fun using both wide-angle as well as telephoto lenses. I rode the trams and I walked next to them. I waited for them around corners where the perspective or the composition would make for an interesting picture. I simply had fun chasing the old and small trams of Lisbon.
The pictures here are a handful of the many hundreds of tram photos gathered while wandering the streets of Lisbon. They were shot with my regular cameras, but processed with Instagram on my cell phone. Those of you who follow my blog know that I have become a fan of this app – as well as of many other apps for processing photos taken with cell phones. They don’t make Photoshop, Lightroom or other photo editing programs obsolete, but they do provide a fast way to gain some fun and often impressive results.