Ferraria, Azores, Portugal by Paulo Bizarro

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This photo was taken in August 2017, while on a family trip to São Miguel, the largest island of the Azores archipelago. After a busy morning visiting some of the many interesting locations in the island, we decided to relax a little bit in the small town of Ferrarias, in the western part of São Miguel. The main attraction of this place is the occurrence of hot springs, which have been recently renovated. It is possible to relax and spend some time in the spa, or as an alternative, to go for a swim in the ocean.

One other attraction in the area is the Ferrarias lighthouse, which was built in 1901. The building is located at the top of the cliffs, at an altitude of 107 metres. I wanted to make a few photos of the historical lighthouse, even though the weather was changing quickly, and some rain heavy clouds were approaching. In the Azores, one must be prepared for all sorts of weather conditions, and their abrupt change. I parked the car in a nearby spot, and scouted the area, coming up to a nice viewpoint. I wanted to convey the lighthouse isolated in the landscape, framed by the approaching clouds. I decided for a wide-angle lens to include the green foreground, plus the menacing sky – the lighthouse would be portrayed as a small and isolated element in this natural setting, but still recognisable as a key element.

I proceeded to set up my tripod, and took a few shots, including using my 10 stop neutral density filter to smooth the water and the clouds a little bit. In the end, this was my preferred photo of this session. We ended up spending the rest of the day in the oceanic pools down by the hot springs, enjoying a well deserved rest.


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