Liquid Atmospheres

PhotographerJoão Almeida
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

This set of photographs aim to depict atmospheres from the interiors of vernacular manmade cave water tanks for agricultural purposes. The sculptural shapes and poetic lighting were not intentional for the stone carver and yet they are of great quality and richness. It’s a set of poetic and atmospheric architecture without architect’s designs, and complex geometry with structural challenges without engineer’s plans.


Entering into one of these water-retaining chambers is a one of a kind experience and one gets overwhelmed by the large scale of these stone-carved caves after squeezing through a tiny whole in the ground or small window-like opening in a wall. At first your eyes are not prepared for the low light conditions inside but after you settle your vision, the amazing shapes are highlighted and emphasized by the filtered light that breaches in. If one is lucky to find one of these structures empty or almost empty, it is possible to wander inside for a deeper experience. Water and moisture is all around you, the sound is unique, the smell is innocuous, surface of the walls and ceilings are marked with the carving tools in rhythmic patterns and the light draws contours and silhouettes Each visit into one of these reservoirs is a sensorial experience.