November 26, 2019 – Member’s Forum: Portugal – Top To Bottom with Mike Whalen

The Program

If you like visiting European countries, there’s a lot to like about Portugal as a travel and photo destination. It’s big on history,antiquities,culture, great food, friendly people, (many who speak English), and it’s a direct flight from Dulles airport. Also, the country is small enough to see a good part of it (by car) in a relatively short time.

In this presentation, Mike will review his May 2019 road-trip with his wife and two friends. Starting and ending in Lisbon the team drove a big loop that included Sintra, Óbidos, Porto, Braga, Douro Valley, Evora, and Lagos (Algarve). Mike wil provide the route, the company who booked hotels, setup car rental, and provided a pre-programmed Garmin navigation device. Naturally, many photos taken along the way will be shared.

Portugal exceeded expectations in every respect and therefore is highly recommend going there either for a vacation or seeking photo-ops. If you have any interest in visiting Portugal, you may find this presentation informative. Portugal has been somewhat of a sleeper for tourists and the traffic seemed less than the other popular European destinations. However, don’t expect that to last as the word gets out of this lesser-known gem.


BIO of Mike Whalen

As a teen, Mike learned a few photo basics from his father, a photographer and artist. He dabbled with film cameras in the 80’s and 90’s, and after that with a few digital point-and-shoots.  However, it wasn’t until 2006, when he purchased a basic DSLR, that he began to see the potential of digital technology.

After a chance meeting with member, Willa Friedman, in 2008, where he learned about NVPS, he joined in 2009. He has served on the board from 2010 to the present and served as President in 2013. In 2018 and 2019 he was awarded distinguished service awards.  From participating in many NVPS competitions, he received numerous annual awards including, “Photographer-of-the-Year”, “Color-Print-of-the-Year” and “Image-of-the-Year” at various times. In recent years, he also scored three cover shots on the Spring editions of Washington Gardener Magazine and in 2016, he won Nature Visions “People’s Choice” award. Mike also donates his time regularly, as a pet photographer for the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and, volunteers as a photographer for charitable organization’s annual DC events such as: The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and The Epilepsy Foundation of America.

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