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Rich in Content

Jeff Raymond on May 23, 2014


Portugal has a wealth of culture and history, but our focus early in the week has been on our video projects, and on the individuals whose stories we are telling.  Students are getting 4-5 hours of sleep each night, and instructors more like 2-4 hours as we prepare content for the next day of teaching.  We are adjusting on-the-fly as we see specific needs that students have.

Teacher composite

I have been blown away by the level of teaching and coaching that our students are receiving.  Stanley Leary and James Dockery are incredibly knowledgeable and gifted at teaching, as well as devoted to the success of these students.  The classroom time is like drinking from a fire hose, but being able to go out and immediately apply the newfound skills allows them to lap up everything that spilled out.

Sintra_002 Photo by Doug Fry

As we move later into the week, we’ve had the opportunity to get out and explore some photographically compelling historic sites.  I’d planned to do this earlier in the week as an introduction to Portugal; it’s people and culture.  But some logistics with the availability of missionaries caused us to push these excursions to later in the week.

Yesterday, we visited the town of Sintra and it's many castles.  The Moors came to Sintra in the 6th Century and began building the walls of the castle arond the year 1000.  You can pretty much point your camera in any direction and find an interesting photo.


Although the hours to go on an excursion pull students off their projects, I think it worked out better in the long run.  This way, rather than shooting “eye candy” (as Stanley calls it), where there’s no rhyme or reason to photograph something…it just looks good.  Instead, they are focused on their projects and on the much needed “B-Roll” (photos and video that visually illustrate what the person in their story is talking about).

Below are few of shots showing where we were yesterday and this evening.  You can click on any of the photos in this blog to see them larger.


Sintra lies pretty much undisturbed from the days of it's Moorish roots.  It's narrow streets and quaint shops are of endless interest.  Portugal is Europe's least expensive city to visit, so these historic areas attract many visitors from EU countries.


Downtown Lisbon is a bustling city, with a unique Old World flare.  It's cafes and pastry shops were a continual enticement to our team.


One of my favorite shots from today.  Amanda, one of the students, had been photographing this man's dogs.  As he sauntered off, I followed out of curiosity.  He rounded the corner and headed up these very interesting marble steps.  Just as I fired this image, a trolley car unexpectedly zoomed by on the street above, creating a very interesting sense of motion.