Alentejo, Portugal by Paulo Bizarro

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This photo was taken while walking the trail between Almograve and Cabo Sardao, in the southwest coast of Alentejo, Portugal. I was walking this short trail, about 6 km, in late March this year, looking for new photo opportunities. This sea arch, carved by erosion for many years, was a place I had seen before. Unfortunately, at that time, I had no chance of taking the photo I envisaged. This time, I planned better, and was ready to make an interesting photo.

Close to sunset, I knew that the waning light would be hitting the cliffs at the appropriate angle. To arrive at this specific location, some care is required, as it is located off trail. It is necessary to walk down the cliff over the sand dunes, until a small platform is reached. After doing so, I positioned my tripod and set up the camera, plus a Big Stopper filter on the lens. I wanted to achieve a long exposure effect, to smooth the water, and enhance the ruggedness of the sea cliffs and arch. I tried several exposure times, to check the effect on the water. Too fast, and the smoothness would not be enough; too long, and the blur would be too much. In the end, 27 seconds seemed about right. I have also engaged to long exposure noise reduction in the camera, to achieve as best as possible a good quality RAW file. At the end of the day, when I look at this photo, it reminds me of a very nice time spent in that coastal area, bringing back memories of the sea, the sea gulls, and the softness of the sunset light.

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