10 AUGUST 2021 - DAY TWO
SERRA DA ATALHADA
We wanted to capture windmills, icons of the Portugal landscape, on our trip, so we headed to Serra da Atalhada. Here one can find a well-preserved cluster of them, some used as tourist accommodation and some still used for milling grain. We decided to work with the Commune Stool and Petit Chairs in this location, due to their scale.
We discovered some stone tables and stools built beside each windmill and were surprised and delighted to find that the Commune Stool fit right in, its scale almost identical to that of the stone stools while its unique design and materiality gave it prominence in this set.
The Petit Chairs also paired nicely with the sculptural forms of the windmills, the tone of the walnut timber recalling the windmill roofs and the texture and colour of the upholstery nodding to their stone bases. For this image we used one of our props, a simple plane of colour, to help define the composition and balance out the visual elements.
Feeling hungry after a productive morning, we headed to a local restaurant famed for its wild mushroom and lamprey rice, but found that this dish was not in season. Still, the food was great and after Diogo’s praises and friendly banter with our waiter we ended up trying their “friends only” moonshine and, with a bag of locally produced Monalisa potatoes, we could have spent the entire afternoon there if we didn’t have some work to do!
MATA DO BUÇACO
Our next stop was Mata do Buçaco, a place settled in the 17th century by monks who, as well as building structures, planted many different species of plants and trees that thrived in the mountain climate giving the whole place a fantastic, fairy-tale atmosphere. There were other visitors mesmerised by its beauty and we had to wait patiently while a young harpist finished taking some portraits in the spot where we wished to hold our own photoshoot. It was well worth the wait. We placed Saia Lounge Chair on the long staircase at the Fonte Fria waterfall and found that the spot gave the image a surreal quality, as if the chair were magically spawned out of the surrounding vegetation with its beautifully textured and coloured upholstery.
CABRIL DO CEIRA
We ended the day at Cabril do Ceira, a site suggested to us by Diogo’s partner who had fond memories of the place from when she was a girl scout. Here the river Ceira flows through an impressive limestone gorge where a small dike creates a beautiful swimming spot. We soon realised that the best photos would need to be shot in the middle of the river, which would mean any piece of furniture would need to be carried over the water and set atop the dike, and the photographer would need to be positioned inside the water, risking his precious equipment.
After some discussion, hesitation, and a trial run with the Saia Lounge Chair, we decided to go ahead with Diogo's bold idea of shooting the Box Sofa (the heaviest of all the pieces we shot) in this location. So there we went, surrounded by puzzled bathers, through uneven ground, manoeuvring strenuously over the water and slippery surfaces... and back! The result was well worth the effort. We got another singular picture with the two massive limestone walls in contrast with the sleek horizontal frame of the Box Sofa so elegantly lifted above the water on its delicate legs.