Leaf, Odemira, Portugal by Paulo Bizarro

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Picture Story

This photo was taken near Odemira in southwest Portugal, while walking along one of the many local trails that are part of the Rota Vicentina network. This network comprises more than 750 km of walking and cycling paths that are in the coastal region of Portugal, between the villages of Sines and Sagres. They are one of the best ways to know this area of the country, the Natural Park of Vicentina Coast and Southwest Alentejo.

On this occasion, I walked this trail with my wife and daughter, starting from the small mountain village of Troviscais and passing some wonderful locations along the river Mira. The area includes agricultural farms with some cattle, from which the local population make a living, plus groves of fruit trees. The weather was fine, after some recent rains the atmosphere was crisp and clear. I have always enjoyed autumn for photography, because of the vivid colours in Nature and the golden sidelight.

While descending one of the many hills present in the trail, I noticed some of the leaves were already presenting nice colours. I wanted to make a close-up of the leaves against the colourful and blurry background. Even though I did not have a macro lens, I used a telephoto lens to achieve a similar effect. In this case, the very good Fujinon 90mm f/2, which focuses quite close. I selected an aperture wide enough to throw the background into a nice blur, while keeping the leave in focus. I like how the red and earthly colours on the leaves contrast with the warmer tones from the background vegetation.

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