Holiday in Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

It’s been a busy summer and, while the weddings have been brilliant and the couples no trouble at all, its been a draining year in other ways as some will know. A mental refresh before the winter weddings start was required and so Ren and I headed to the Algarve for the second time.

Although a bit of a walk up a pretty steep hill, our apartment was first class. Arriving at night you couldn’t help be impressed by the room lighting.

First impressions of Carvoeiro weren’t bad but not great either. The square just of the beach (more of a triangle) is fairly small with only a few restaurants. Higher up along both the cliff sides that bracket the beach you find mostly houses and hotels. In the end the place grew on me and we found some great places to eat. The people, as we found last time, were relaxed and very friendly.

Most of the restaurants are a little way off the front on the main through road, they even call it “Restautrant Hill”, and its really not as picturesque. Pants…

I’m not a big sun worshipper but the beach and sea are very clean and the sand pretty good for castles (taken with Ren’s phone)!

Come sunset I could use the edge of a near rock to block out the low Sun’s glare and get a nice glow instead.
It was a good time to add to our collection of self timer shots too.

The walk up either side of the beach is pleasant and there are good views along the coast. The coastline being south facing means that when you get to the top you can get good high key shooting into the sun (you’ll need to set the camera on manual or use approx +2 exposure compensation).

You can take a trail along the cliff edge but there are photo opportunites along the road between the beaches.

The beach just to the east of Carvoeiro is larger and 230 steps up you get this view off it:

In October its not too busy and one of us had great fun in the big waves watching the odd boat sail by.

To the west, a short walk up and lots of steps down takes you to a small but very interesting beach, the rocks eroded at the base creating an overhang (don’t try and get up after taking a photo!). I’m using a cheap (£69.99 on sale) Casio for a lot of these photographs but some of these were taken with an old canon G9 which I’d modified with the chdk ( firmware to be able to shoot a long sequence of bracket exposures which are combined later using photoshop to create a High Dynamic Range Image.

The little casio was a fun camera, and its sweep panarama mode worked pretty well. Here on a trip out to Ferragudo on a “train” that runs this longer run twice a week from Carvoeiro.

I couldn’t resist a quick demo to show the difference between a wide angle and a telephoto when keeping a near subject the same size. Next time you take a photo of your partner, walk back, zoom in and take another.

I’ll also use a zoom, as most people do, just to get closer. First is a Church in Portimão and then the storks are on the Cathedral in Faro.

It was a bit of a trek out to Faro (taxi then train getting and don’t get back too late or you’ll not find a bus or taxi without a good walk from the station into Lagoa) but it was worth it. Its a place I could really enjoy photographing with my professional kit. Great shapes and light.

The “bits that fell off” pile…

Whether with a pro camera or pocket camera I’ll always shoot something a few ways if I find it interesting. I was drawn to the light on the coloured tiles and with shiny surfaces different angles can get you very different results.

Hope there was one or two photographs of interest. Any questions, technical or otherwise, drop me a line.

Posted on October 18th, 2012

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