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Taking a break – 7 Days in Lisbon

Everybody needs a break. With television and internet everywhere taking a mental break can be tough these days because you can’t really escape. Plus, there’s always that fear of missing something. Going off the internet means you can’t check your mails, no digital communication. You can’t watch the latest videos from your favorite artists and for most people the biggest pain: No Facebook. To regenerate and get back that great feeling of being creative should be the results of vacations.

Our daytime job is not making tutorials for YouTube or doing some camera tests but making businesses happy with corporate videos and commercials. It’s not always easy and fun but that challenges us even more. In our free time we think about how to make the web happy or how to help the ones out there that doesn’t have the chance, time or money to go to film school. It’s not a job from nine to five but more what we make out of it.

You don’t have to be in the film business to know that you need to take a break and when to take that break – it’s important especially for us creatives – tanking up that creative fuel. We told our clients six weeks before the vacation that we wouldn’t be available for a while which led to a lot more work than expected the last three weeks before the break.

I decided to keep it simple and went to Lisbon, Portugal. Clear benefits: The same currency, short flight, not too different from the German culture (compared to Asia or Africa). I’ve never been to Portugal before but I read that the people would be more relaxed, friendly and open-minded – compared to Germany. I’m glad to say that this was really the case. Most people spoke English very well and even if they didn’t they tried their best to understand what I was talking about.

Abandoned buidling in AlmadaParque Eduardo VII at NightHistoric center of Lisbon 1Historic center of Lisbon 2Panorama: Docks in AlmadaCamera enjoys the view
Filming in Lisbon 1Filming in Lisbon 2Ponte Vasco da Gama at NightFisherman in Almada

After our trip to Thailand last year with only one not so great zoom lens, the Canon 18-135mm and a 50mm F/1.8 lens for night shots I decided to take a little bit more gear with me. What I really was missing in Thailand was a nice wide focal length so I took the Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 with me to Portugal. For mid-range and telephoto shots I packed the Canon 24-105mm F/4. Cameras? Canon 7D and 600D.

I planned on shooting a lot of stuff but due to the extreme heat of over 38 degrees almost every day this really became a problem because I got dehydrated so fast. I wanted to capture the city of Lisbon and other parts of the region just like they are, not only the typical tourist spots. When you’re a tourist don’t go where other tourists go but look for the locals. This is the best rule of getting to know a city or country better. I was quite impressed by the old buildings and the small streets in the historic city center. Lisbon really is a city worth capturing.

The city across the river is Almada which has some great restaurants directly at the water. It also may be the best view of Lisbon. There are a lot of fishermen at the docks and the (bridge) Ponte 25 de Abril is not far away. I got some nice shots there.

I made a short film with impressions of the region that I liked the most. The film was edited in Premiere Pro CS6 just because we haven’t had the time yet to switch to Adobe CC.

Written by Moritz Janisch