The Costa Verde, or Green Coast, is a region on the northern coast of Spain, where the Cantabrian Sea meets the green meadows and cliffs of Asturias. There are endless compositions for photographers from cliffs, sweeping bays, sea stacks, beaches and rocky outcrops. But the challenge is photographing an extremely wet and temperate climate for much of the year. I live in Ireland (renowned, rightly so, for its ‘soft’ weather), but the coast of Asturias is just as fickle for photography.
In the summer of 2019, my partner and I drove to Costa Verde in our Land Rover Defender. Shortly after our arrival, we camped overnight at Playa La Canalona, near Llanes. Just offshore is a sea stack called Castro de las Gaviotas (the “Fortress of the Seagulls). But what caught my eye wasn’t the birds, but the shape of the sea stack, which resembled an elephant’s head with a large eye and a long trunk. A breach in the sea stack mimicked a small sea arch on the headland behind, hence the name ‘Little and Large’.
But how do you capture such a seascape in dull weather with flat lighting? I tried some short exposures, but these didn’t really work. In the end, I decided that the best way to capture the mood and majesty of the scene was to use a long exposure to isolate the sea stack and a 120-second exposure aided by ND filters to capture this shot.Upload YOUR Picture • WIN $200 Cash
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor