May 2018 - Beira Baixa
Published on: 18th May 2018
By David Noton
Beira Baixia: I’ll bet you’ve never heard of it. I hadn’t before coming here. In fact the region doesn’t officially exist anymore, apart from in my Portugal travel guide. It’s rugged, sparsely inhabited country wedged up against the border with Spain and sprinkled with the odd castle and rustic villages which are populated by hunched women in black and weathered geezers who seem to spend all day hanging around the square staring quizzically at every passing car, especially right-hand drive Land Rovers. The surrounding fields at this time of year are a riot of colour; purple and yellow jobbies abound between twisted olive trees. It really is quite beautiful, and there’s no one here, apart from the locals. In fact there are so few tourists about both the only campsite for miles and the tourist information offices in Penamacor and Monsanto are closed. And yet the weather and colours are superb; this is the time of year to be here.
Anyway, I can’t waffle on as usual; I have to head out for an evening shoot soon. Tomorrow, after almost three weeks roving around Portugal I head for Galicia. You’ll be able to read (and watch) all about what’s been quite a trip in the coming issues of the f11 Photography Magazine of course.
The May 2018 edition of the f11 Photography Magazine is Live for our f11 Members perusal. In this issue, 76, we take you Behind the Lens in one of the most colourfully vibrant places I have ever been; Cartagena, Colombia. From there, my What’s In a Picture? piece deconstructs the challenges of capturing impromptu travel portraits on the hoof, while my two postproduction videos work through images from that shoot and identify a common fault; heavy-handed highlight recovery. On that topic, identifying faults and judging just how good your own pictures are is tricky, isn’t it? That’s why, as a result of an f11 member’s request, this month’s Low Down assesses how we can do that objectively. And as my Workflow series nears its conclusion, I look at how we can save the one thing we’re all short of – time – when working on the fruits of our creativity.
Meanwhile, our regular f11 columnist Bas Meelker takes us to Brittany, while our Guest Feature looks at the work of Nicholas White. The Spotlight this month is on f11 Member and Ulsterman David Nixon and his beautiful set of pictures that concentrate on the evocative coastline of the north of Ireland. Do you have a body of work for our f11 Spotlight? We’re looking for f11 members with stimulating, original work and an interesting story. You know how to reach us!
This month’s Members’ Gallery features your images of castles, kingfishers, cities, lonely churches, and touches on the thorny topic of plagiarism. And just a reminder; last month we commemorated the seventh year of our f11 Photography Magazine (and its predecessor, Chasing the Light) by announcing the launch of our f11 Your Vision 2018 photographic competition for fully registered f11 members. Full details are here, but in a nutshell send us your masterpieces of creative originality by the 30 June and you could win a tempting prize, not to mention the accolades.
And lastly, quite a few features in this and upcoming issues have come about as a result of requests from you, our f11 Members. Such suggestions actually help us enormously to plan future editions, so please do not be shy in sending us your thoughts. It is, after all, your magazine. Oh, and if you’re enjoying our monthly offerings, do spread the word.