Once upon a time … a Photographic Journey in Portugal

Every photo, every “once” in a time, is also the beginning of a story “once upon a time. ~ Wim Wenders

Sharing stories and images of everyday activities as well as exciting adventures is one of the many ways we remember them and re-live the experiences again and again. Sometimes when we travel it takes a while to sift through the rich memories and countless photographs to bring it all into focus.Village Street POR 2014 A collection of some photographs from my recent trip to Portugal is ready to share with you. I’m thrilled that the tour I organized was such a wonderful experience for everyone. Jose Antunes, our expert photo pro and guide, and Fernando Picarra. our friendly, extra driver, were encouraging, patient, and more than willing to help all of us create images that will give us memories for years to come. Jose took this photo of me as we were walking towards the sea in Ericeira, a colourful, little fishing village on the Atlantic. Marion McCristall Tour Leader in Portugal by Jose AntunesI hope you will take a few minutes to enjoy my photo essay with images ranging from seascapes to quaint villages, palaces, botanical gardens, Roman ruins, and more of the treasures that “say” Portugal. Click the link to view “The Charms of Portugal, A Photographic Journey”. https://mccristall.exposure.co/the-charms-of-portugal

(Click on images in the article if you want to enlarge them.)

Note: If Portugal is not on your list of places to visit, you’ll want to add it. However, you must be careful as one visit there can captivate and charm you and you’ll likely find yourself returning and telling your own story of “Once Upon a Time”.

If you’re interested in doing some photography in Portugal, contact Jose Antunes to arrange individual or small group outings. http:joseantunes.com

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved



Sea Foam and Crashing Waves in Portugal

Sometimes life takes you to places where you know that you were meant to go.  The Sintra area of Portugal charmed and seduced me with stunning seascapes, fresh air breezes, quaint villages tucked among rolling hills, and lush forests dotted with impressive granite boulders.

The Atlantic seacoast near Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers up vistas of incredible natural beauty.  There are many bays and sheltered coves with golden sandy beaches nestled between high walls of craggy cliffs.  Each is unique and begs you to stay awhile and listen to the crashing of the waves and the calling of the birds.

In March, I was there on a photographic journey and studied with the well-known Portuguese photographer, Jose Antunes.  http://joseantunes.com We visited the seacoast in both the misty early morning and glowing late afternoon light.  The waves crashed on the shore and danced in the light with vibrant colours of blues, greens, and turquoise. The sea foam twirled and swirled as it pounded the shore.  It was hard to tear myself away from watching the waves roll in, each one bigger than the last, only to curl up, crest, and be spent on the shore.   I would say repeatedly to Jose, “Just one more,” and finally agree to move on to explore a new locale or site.

Sam Abell wrote, “Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment, this very moment, to stay.”  Jose provided me with countless opportunities to experience the joy of being near the sea. My images  keep those moments alive for me and I can use my senses to conjure up the impressions in an instant.

Hopefully, it won’t be long before I can return for a longer stay to relax and create even more memories of this remarkable, nature inspired area of Portugal.

To see more of my photography, check out the Galleries in the Portfolio section of my website http:marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

Sun, Sand, and Protection

Savary Island at low tide

Summer is almost here…can you feel it?

Find a place at the shore where you can take in the ocean breezes, read a book, have a siesta, chat with friends, or, simply BE.

imagine having a picnic here

Remember to give some thought to the protection you will use to keep the sun and mosquitoes at bay?

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day on Savary Island, just off the coast of Powell River, BC.  I didn’t know what to expect with regards to flying insects so I tucked mosquito repellent in my pack along with some sunscreen.  My favourite sunscreen lotion is Ombrelle by L’Oreal.  It comes in various SPF strengths and I like how easily it blends into my skin.  I’m sensitive to perfumes so I appreciate the fact that it has very little scent.

I have been on the search for the perfect mosquito repellent for years and finally found one I like last summer.  It’s made by Watkins.  I apply small dabs of the lotion under my clothing and it does a good job of keeping the mosquitoes from biting.  I like the fact that it has a very light scent even though it contains 28.5% deet.

When I lived in Thailand, I used a brand called Jaico Mosquito Repellent but I can’t seem to find a source for it in Canada.  It comes in a roll-on and is stronger smelling but certainly worked well for me.  So if you live in Europe or Asia you may want to check it out.

When you’re at the beach be sure to check out the tide pools.  It’s interesting to see little creatures scurry around in their endless search for food.  It was fun to watch 5 or 6 tiny crabs fighting over a bit of clam flesh.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I like to collect one or two little treasure to bring home.  The low tide left an abundance of seashells so it was easy to just scoop them up.

If you’re going to be in an area with lots of barnacles, be sure to wear something on your feet to prevent nasty cuts.  I still wince when I remember cutting up the soles of my feet running through barnacles at low tide when I was in my teens.  Mother Nature can certainly teach us some valuable lessons.

pretty to look at but watch out for the sharp edges

Now that summer is approaching, be sure to take time to relax at the beach or beside a stream.  It will nourish your soul and you’ll return home feeling refreshed and ready to go again.

Savary Island, British Columbia