Blue haze, Milfontes, Portugal by Paulo Bizarro

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This photo was taken in the fields near the village of Milfontes, in southwest Portugal’s coast. This is an area I know very well, and I often photograph in the region. The photo was made during the Summer, a period where this small town is busy with tourists and vacationers. To avoid the busy areas, I planned for a sunrise session in the nearby fields. The idea was to photograph the hay bales that dot the farmlands during this time of the year.

I took both wide angle and telephoto lenses, and made various compositions, starting very early, before the sun rise. In July, when this photo was taken, this means being in the field before 5am, which can be a challenge. I strolled around for a few minutes, looking for possible framings and compositions. I ended up using the telephoto zoom lens more than the wide-angle lens, because it allowed me to compress the perspective, placing in evidence the bales against the background hills and fog.

From past visits, I knew it was common for fog to appear, because the river Mira runs its course along the hills. The fog provided an interesting and necessary element to link the fields and bales with the mountains in the distance. Before the sun rise, all the scene was bathed in this ghostly blue tonality, adding to the serenity of the landscape. I also paid attention not to have any cropped bales in the frame, something that is easy to do. As such, I think the composition is well balanced, with a line of three bales in the immediate foreground, followed by the lone hay bale in the middle distance.

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