It’s May 2022, and I’m excited to kick off my personal challenge: 30 days of photography, in which I’m comitted to shoot and publish one photo each day.

I tried something like this about 5 years back, but it was a one year challenge and I only managed to keep consistent for the first 11 days or so. Definitely not anywhere near 365 days.

So this time, I’m going to go at it with a smaller challenge, which is 30 days of photos.

Starting today.

Rules are simple:

  1. shoot at least one photo each day with a photo camera (mobile phone does not count).
  2. publish the photo on this page and social media (I’m going to publish it on my @dlucian Instagram account). Add the #30daychallenge hash tag.
  3. optionally add the story behind the photo.

This post will be updated with the new photos as I go through with it. Feel free to jump directly to day 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

Day 1

This is obviously on May 1st, International Workers’ Day.

Carpobrotus edulis is an invasive plant found on most of the peaks of Portugal’s shoreline, also known as ice plant, hottentot-fig, highway fig or sea fig. Wikipedia says that its leaves are edible, but I didn’t try it. Yet :)

Took this photo on a short visit to Cabo da Roca, the most western point of land in the continental Europe.

Short, because usually there a blazing strong wind there, which makes visits rather short before the cold wind gets under your clothes and drives you away.

Shot in JPEG with Fujifilm X100V, 23mm f/2.8 1/500sec ISO 640.

Day 2

Pedro is the barber that made me look better today.

His tattoo certifies that he is very passionate about his job. I felt well taken care of and I totally recommend going to Barbearia Oliveira right next to the Estrela park.

There are three barbers there and I have been to each and every one, so no matter who you’re going to get, you’re very likely to be in good hands.

Shot in JPEG with Fujifilm X100V, 23mm f/2.0 1/400sec ISO 640.

Day 3

I’ve met @valstokey two years ago just after New Year’s day.

Valentina is a beautiful soul, passionate about life, striving to make a difference and spreading love wherever she goes.

You can usually find her in Lisbon, smiling and having fun, meeting new people and chasing new and exquisite experiences.

This photo was shot on the ferry boat from Cacilhas to Cais do Sodré, after a seafood feast at Solar Beirao, the best place to go wild on seafood of all kinds.

#fujifilm #x100v #fujijpeg #fujicolor #nofilter #lisbon #30daychallenge

Day 4

The board-games night is happening every two weeks on Wednesdays in Lisbon, and this one was particularly fun because there were large groups of people playing fun games like Shit Happens, Skull, Codenames and Secret Hitler.

I was aiming to stage a photo for this day, but the instant shots I took from the game were far better.

Casa Cabana was kind enough to host us so we had a wonderful experience.

Day 5

This was at Selina Secret Garden, during a Nomadic Coffee break. I find it very uncomfortable to ask strangers if I could photograph them, but this time I managed to do it. There was a young couple working with their laptops outside and I asked them if it would be ok to take a shot of them working.

This is one nice aspect of working from Selina’s, the fact that there are several big tables just outside the coworking area where you can enjoy fresh air, under the blue sky, without staying in direct sunlight.

Day 6

Would you want to preview the day you’ll die?

Tonight I went to a home dinner party organized by my dear friend Therese, who is one of the warmest, kindest person I know. Besides her incredible tasty cooking, she mentioned that she likes to find out more about her friends that are coming for dinner, so we played a card game with interesting questions.

The card I pulled had this one:

“If you could preview one day in your future, what day would you choose?”

Guests mentioned moments in the future such as “Myself in 30-40 years in the future”, “How much is Bitcoin worth in X years”, “November 4th”, “The day I’m drinking wine on my porch with my friends overlooking the ocean”, but it occurred to me even before reading the question to the guests that I would definitely want to preview the day I’ll die.

I’m not very much interested in how I die, but I’m interested in how will that day go. Because seeing my future self on that day would give me a good indication of how well I’ve lived my life.

That’s all the information I need.

After all, I am more and more convinced that we, humans, are here, living our lives, to experience life as a human being.

And I want to experience it thoroughly. Every. Single. Day.

Day 7

Is love a force of nature?

When we hear about the forces of nature, it’s either storms, quakes and volcanos, or it’s the 4 scientific forces of nature: Gravity, The weak force, Electromagnetism, and The strong force.

But what about love? A mother’s love for her child. A lioness’s love for her cub. A man’s love for her spouse. A teen’s love for his father. For our friends. For our relatives.

Since all of us living creatures are part of nature, it feels to me like love (and also hate and all the others) should be called forces of nature. These powerful emotions have the strength to move mountains, build cities, and even wipe out civilization.

So, again, is love a force of nature?

I was on top of the Farol da Nazaré wanting to take a picture of the lighthouse. When I see this child running up to her mother and hugging her. She was busy with her phone just moments before, but she just seemed to melt when hugged tight by (what it seemed to be) her child.

Day 8

I explored a very interesting monastery today in Batalha, called Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória.

It resembles the Notre-Dame de Paris, yet it’s not very touristy and you can actually walk around pretty much everywhere. Tickets are not expensive and there is plenty to visit, including a small museum.

The colored glass windows make interesting lights inside its walls, which is why I felt like shooting the sun coming through the window.

Shot with Fujifilm X100V using the Retro Gold film simulation which made this happen.

It’s an unedited JPEG straight out of the camera, 23mm (35mm equivalent), f/4.0, 1/450sec, ISO 2000.

I just loved the sunrays and the details of the window, so I decided out of the 245 photos I shot today, this is the “foto of the day”.

Day 9

There’s something from yesterday’s visit to Santa Maria da Vitória monastery that made me more attentive to details. We easily walk by something that has a big level of details, just because we’re used to the street we’re on or we’re all caught up in our thoughts. Or we’re just thinking about the next task or the last one.

Attention to detail opens up a whole new world just around the corner. There’s a history for every single piece of material that exists on this planet. And sometimes, it’s worth slowing down and admiring the details.

Remember the saying “The devil’s in the detail”? It’s the details that make something either simple or rather complicated (and prone to problems).

I took this shot walking through the narrow streets of Santa Catarina, Lisbon. Portuguese people treasure traditions, starting from architecture, and door knockers are no exception. Even though the history of door knockers goes back thousands of years, all the way to ancient Greece, they still have plenty of door knockers around the old city of Lisbon.

Fujifilm X100V, ISO 640, 23mm, f/2.0, 1/180sec. Pure JPEG, zero editing.

Day 10

I did a good deed today.

Well, at least one: I made a cat happy.

Coming back from visiting the Benfica stadium, I was at the Miradouro do Largo das Necessidades viewpoint, when I saw a black cat on the ledge.

Of course, I walked straight towards her but she wasn’t too friendly so she ran away.

But then I was reminded that I keep canned cat food and dog food in the car. For hungry cats and dogs along the road.

No time to waste!

I went straight to the car, got the can, came back, showed it to the cat, and immediately piqued her interest.

Yay!

I opened it and… well… as seen in the photo, she wasn’t so scaredy-cat anymore. She seems quite hungry.

I made a (hungry) cat happy!

That made my day even better.

So remember, be kind to animals!

Day 11

This one is a longer story, read about the fear of being rejected and other demons.

Day 12

In a short work break today, I saw this interesting man writing something in what appeared to be his notebook. I can relate to that as I’ve been journaling for more than 20 years. The pleasure and benefits of putting words on paper have been thoroughly studied and confirmed.

So I took a moment to ask him if I could take a picture of him writing, and I learned a few things about the interesting man.

His name is Matej and he’s a creative human being from Macedonia. He is visiting Lisbon, and his passion is… well… writing words on paper. It was a pleasure to get acquainted with Matej, and I realized again and again how Lisbon is the perfect place to meet wonderful people whom you can have proper talks with.

If you’re into creative work, check out his work on m-is.me or follow him on Insta @matejpetrov.

Day 13

I passed by an old place yesterday, which I thought was closed a long time ago. I remembered Sofia was the one who served me a very delicious fish dish, and I came back a few times before lockdown came and everything closed.

But, surprisingly, I saw Sofia inside, and when I looked better, it was not only open but rebranded into Sofia’s Place. Sofia is the most friendly waiter/restaurant owner I have ever met. She’ll be happy to tell you all about the food, the story, and the experience of dining in a cozy place such as hers. Sofia has a very interesting story, I won’t go into details here, but it’s worth asking about it if you go there. She’s definitely a clear case of how ambition and perseverance made her dream of owning and running her very own cozy restaurant come true.

So today I went there for lunch with @dylanmouthaan, and since Dylan was running a few minutes late, I took the opportunity to ask Renica, the waiter on duty, if I can take a picture of her, for my 30-day photo challenge.

Talking to Renica, she felt familiar, but couldn’t quite pinpoint if and where I met her before, so I went home. My surprise was that I discovered I was on a photo walk last year and Renica was one of the models that posed for the photographers on the walk.

How small a city is this!?

She’s clearly a great-looking model, expressive and worth photographing.

So if you’re in the São Bento neighborhood, definitely go and have lunch or dinner at Sofia’s Place, you’ll most likely run into Sofia, Renica, or both.

Day 14

I was on a photo walk today, organized by Naoh. There were so many good photos that I shot, which made the decision of which is going to be the photo of the day much harder.

I chose this one because the people on the boat were cheering and dancing like there was no tomorrow, and the fisherman was looking at them completely not interested. It was a special contract between people who are making the best of their vacation and people that are probably fishing in order to have what to eat today.

Our world is full of contrasts, and even though life isn’t fair. This is beautiful and ugly at the same time. It’s ugly because life should be fair and good things should come to good people. And it’s beautiful because it creates diversity. In my opinion, diversity is one of the key points that makes life worth living.

Day 15

Today I was honored to participate in one of Ana Luar’s photo events called Sweet Color. It was organized by her, at a farm nearby Lisbon, with three models and several photographers.

The scenes were quite complex, and the models were not only very beautiful, but also professional and expressive. For this one I brought both my Nikon D4s and my Fujifilm X100V, and I am very excited to edit all the photos and show them to you.

Fujifilm X100V, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/1400sec, ISO 640,

  • Event: Sweet Color
  • Photo: Lucian Daniliuc
  • Production: Ana Luar
  • Makeup: Beatriz Vaz

Day 16

It feels like I dropped the ball today on my photo challenge. I was so caught up in all the new things that I started today that I only did a few photos on my way home. I started an intensive Portuguese course, which is 3 hours a day, every day, and a 30-day Mind Valley course (they call it quests). I know I can handle everything but that leaves less room for my artistic hobbies.

This was a good opportunity to try out my editing skills, so I used Luminar Neo to relight this scene and make it more warm and dramatic. Around Lisbon’s city center, all the roads are pretty much like this: narrow and hilly. Which makes each walk a nice one, as I’m still mesmerized by the Portuguese style.