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This photo was taken in a very cold December afternoon a few years ago. It shows one of the many nameless and isolated beaches that lie along the southwest coast of Portugal. Wintertime in this region is often characterized by periodic storms that hit the coast with strong wind and rain. I remember this occasion quite well, because the weather was more inviting to stay home, rather than go out. Still, looking at the cloudy forecast, I decided to go out and brave the elements.
I wanted to be on site close to sunset, hoping for some good light breaking through the cloud cover. It took me about 1 hour of brisk walking through a dirt trail and sand dunes to reach the beach. After arriving, I was drenched by a heavy downpouring, but still my hopes of good photo opportunities remained high. I know from experience that the worst weather may result in interesting landscape photographic conditions and subjects. Walking along the sand, with the waves coming in, I found it challenging to set up my tripod, camera and lens, while avoiding getting wet. Before every shot, I waited for the water to recede.
However, for this photo, I timed it so that the water would be flowing up the beach. The result was that my feet got wet, but the foreground became more interesting. I like how the cliffs, sand, and water provide some depth to the image, complemented by a dark and menacing sky. In the distance, a lonely ray of sunshine manages to break through the clouds, right before sunset. I walked back home cold and wet, but happy to have been in this beach under such nice photographic conditions.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor