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Matinee: 'Sintra Magic' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

5 January 2019

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 183rd in our series of Saturday matinees today: Sintra Magic.

In 2014 the Canadian photographer Taylor Moore opened the photography gallery SintraMagic right across from the Quinta da Regaleira in the UNESCO World Heritage village of Sintra, Portugal.

"I don't photograph things," he says. "I photograph the way they make me feel."

That takes some manipulation and Moore, who says, "I wrestle with every image I shoot," does a lot with his images after capture. That's the magic for him.

He's worked for Getty Images, Electronic Arts, Canadian Tourism, Squaresoft and the Discovery Channel doing both stills and video. But there's something about Sintra that makes it home.

You can see the stills on his portfolio page, his Behance page and in The Palace of Mystery: My Pictures of Quinta Da Regaleira. And you may want to soak them in after seeing the three-minute video.

He renders the images in a painterly fashion, almost as if they were the work of, uh, Thomas Kinkade, which is not to be confused as a compliment.

But Moore's images are not simply idealistic. They begin, instead, with a capture of some scene in the very picaresque Sintra, famed for its castles and palaces set in lush gardens. Who can blame him if he idealizes them in post production?

We happen to like the stills he creates. But even if they are not to your taste, it's instructive to see where he goes.

Images with a wide dynamic range can easily defeat post processing, particularly if they begin life as JPEG captures. Moore manages both the highlight and shadow areas of his images eloquently.

He doesn't reveal his method of color grading or adding light rays of HDR processing. Whatever magic he employs, you too can conjure up even if your image is not of castles and gardens.

In that sense, we found it inspiring. But magic is, after all, a trick performed by a practiced pro. Moore, to his credit, employs his magic to reflect an emotional state.

One you may share by the end of the video.

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