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This photo is from one of the many interesting locations in the southwest coast of Portugal. The entire coastal region is part of a natural park and full of beautiful places, but the Cabo Sardão lighthouse is a personal favourite. I must have made hundreds of photos from this very spot during the last 20 years or so, but that does not prevent me to go back. The character of the place changes with time of day, and with time of the year. In the case of this photo, it was taken quite recently, mid – way through springtime. Therefore, the vegetation that is clinging to the cliffs shows a nice green colour, in contrast with the darker and lighter geological layers.
I had to get up very early to arrive just before sunset, as the clouds were being illuminated by the first light of the day, showing a light pink colour. I used my wide – angle lens to be able to include in the frame the entire surrounding cliffs, plus the ocean and sky. The lighthouse was still on, providing a small beacon in the composition. The low light levels have allowed me to use a long shutter speed to smooth the water a bit, while still retaining some of the ocean’s texture and sense of movement. I made several tests with different exposure times, deciding that I liked this one the most.
After the sunrise, the lighthouse was turned off, and some of the early morning magic went away. I remained a little longer, simply watching the white storks that nest on these cliffs.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor