Bica

Being born, raised and living in Lisbon until 19, I ended up in Sintra where I live at the present time. For quite sometime, I lost contact with the city pulse and everyday life in its quarters, something I’m trying to catch up now as much as I can. A lot as changed and is still changing but the soul of those old quarters stays as I recall it.

There is also a slight mood of decay, in result of the present economic downfall, which matches the spirit of Fado music (for those who are unfamiliar with it, it’s a sort of Portuguese blues).

Bica is not exactly a quarter but a steep and narrow street that as a very charismatic little tram. It goes up and down, carrying those who don’t want to make the climb back up to Calhariz. It’s more of a tourist attraction in these days rather than the real piece of public transportation equipment that once was.

I can easily lose myself in places like these and frequently lose track of time when I´m shooting. I think that’s the best sign of how much I enjoy doing it. For me the real challenge is to document these places and people without being – or feeling, for that matter – an intruder.

I feel I have a long way to go but I’m truly enjoying the ride.

All photographs by António Marques – © António Marques Photography. 2012

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18 responses

  1. especiall like the tram-picture! These pictures seem to tell a lot of very interesting stories. Good work!

    June 15, 2012 at 12:08

    • António Marques

      Thank you, Andreas.

      June 15, 2012 at 15:24

  2. Your tram looks like it uses the same technology as the cable cars here in San Francisco!

    June 15, 2012 at 15:01

    • António Marques

      I supose so… There are two of them, connected underground by cable; One goes up as the other goes down, crossing halfway.

      June 15, 2012 at 15:27

      • Slightly different technology. In San Francisco, the cable is in constant motion. The car operator controls a clutch to grab the cable when he wants the car to move and release the cable when he wants to stop.

        June 22, 2012 at 17:21

  3. love the sequencing between 4,5 & 6…thank you.

    June 15, 2012 at 15:02

  4. Your images are great and make huge inspiration to my own work. Thank you for sharing them. I have nominated you for the one lovely blog award and very inspiring blogger award.
    Here are the award rules. Great work!

    June 15, 2012 at 18:06

    • António Marques

      Thank you for the kind nomination, but I cannot accept nominations that have rules implied. It defeats the purpose of being nominee, doesn’t it?

      June 15, 2012 at 18:17

      • You are very welcome. I agree (only at some point) that accepting rules in this award does defeats the purpose of being nominee.. But on the other hand: it’s just nice and good to say other people how great work / blogs / pictures they do! 😉

        June 15, 2012 at 18:34

  5. You have some solid shots here…

    BTW, I went to Sintra when I was in Portugal in March. Very nice place.

    June 15, 2012 at 18:24

    • António Marques

      Thanks, Trevor.
      Really? I don’t know if you took some shots while in Sintra but if you did, consider sharing them on your blog. It’s always interesting to see a familiar place through the eyes of a talented photographer.

      June 15, 2012 at 20:54

  6. Jorge Ledesma

    I love the mood of these series Antonio, so very Bressonish, if I dare say so myself, great work.

    June 16, 2012 at 20:07

    • António Marques

      Thank you, Jorge. It was a sort of random, fluid shooting, without any particular purpose in mind except to capture what seemed interesting as it came along. It feels liberating to shoot in this way and I intend to do it more often. Thanks again for stopping by.

      June 16, 2012 at 22:52

  7. I love the street shot where everyone is in a different pose, looking in different directions. It feels relaxed and dynamic at the same time, and so different from the city streets you see when you commute to work in the morning and most people seem to be moving in more or less the same direction at the same pace, same attitude, thinking about work instead of the other humans around them. Instead, the street shot here with the gentleman in the foreground looking at you features mostly people looking at each other, and not in a hurry to be somewhere else. Now I want to be there too!

    June 17, 2012 at 05:12

    • António Marques

      Thanks, Amelia. If you ever came to Lisbon, that’s definitely a place worth checking.

      July 11, 2012 at 19:10

  8. I love the simplicity of black and white. Great stuff! =]

    June 18, 2012 at 10:23

  9. Pingback: Match day « António Marques Photoblog

  10. How interesting. And your photos makes everyday life in these narrow streets look very nice.

    July 11, 2012 at 00:03

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