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I was strolling along the coastal road in the small town of Vila Nova de Milfontes, in southwest Portugal, when I noticed these interesting cloud formations. I had plans to photograph the local beaches and seascapes at sunset in this late November 2020 afternoon. The weather was cold but there were some nice clouds in the sky, which were good signs for interesting and colourful sunset photos.
In this coastal town, the river Mira reaches the sea, creating a very scenic estuary. I walked down to the beach, set up my camera and wide-angle lens on the tripod, and made several shots as the sun was going down. After a while, those cloud formations I had noticed before were becoming illuminated by the setting sun’s rays, reflecting the warm colours. Due to the wind, the structure and texture of the clouds were changing with increasing altitude; in the bottom and middle layers, the formations were still massive, but towards the top the clouds were more dispersed and linear in shape. This transition was accompanied by a gradual change in colour and brightness.
What attracted me was this layering of textures, shapes, brightness and colour, which I photographed with a telephoto lens to isolate these elements from the rest of the scene. I also have photos made with the wide-angle lens, which turned out nicely, but in those these characteristics are not so evident. By excluding the rest of the seascape elements from the frame, I increased the impact of the clouds, which was what I wanted to capture in the first place.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor