Seascapes and Immersive Media: representations of Nazaré, Portugal, from early 21st-century 360o videos [EN]

Célia Quico

 

Immersive representations of Portugal’s seascapes are here to be presented and analyzed, from stereoscopic
photographs from early 20th century to 360o videos from early 21st century. In particular, this presentation
will focus on immersive representations of Nazaré’s seascapes.

Like other Portuguese fishing communities, Nazaré has inspired the most diverse visual representations,
either by painters, photographers or filmmakers. However, during the first half of the 20th century, perhaps
no other photographer captured Nazaré and its inhabitants more and better than Álvaro Laborinho, photos
that represent a valuable source of information about this fishing community. Álvaro Laborinho’s deep
interest in the various photographic technologies and techniques led him to experiment with stereoscopic
photography. Most of these images are practically unknown, either to stereoscopic photography specialists or
to the general public. There are at least 40 pairs of stereoscopic photos by Álvaro Laborinho, of which 23
pairs can be categorized as Nazaré seascapes.

Today immersive media are somewhat different from these stereoscopic photos, certainly with a greater
degree of technological sophistication, but probably with less durability over time given the rapid
obsolescence of digital formats. Taking advantage of the wave of global interest generated by the giant waves
of Praia do Norte of Nazaré, Red Bull Brasil produced and launched the 360o video “Surfing with Pedro Scooby
in VR” in late 2016. Another perspective of this territory is shown in the 360o video “Nazaré, Mais que Mar é
Mulher”, directed and produced by Brazilian journalist Marina Oliveto, which gathers testimonies from
different generations of Nazaré women who share memories and expectations about their homeland,
launched late 2019.

More than 100 years set apart Álvaro Laborinho’s stereoscopic photographs from the 360o videos produced
by Red Bull Brasil and by Marina Oliveto. The same land, the same sea, but different perspectives and different
degrees of immersion – literally or figuratively. In this presentation, we will then dive into these immersive
representations.

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